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The Weekender: studying psychopaths, stopping sinkholes, and reforming surveillance

The Weekender: studying psychopaths, stopping sinkholes, and reforming surveillance


The best of the week gone by

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Welcome to The Verge: Weekender edition. Every Saturday, we'll bring you some of the best and most important reads of the past seven days, from original reports, to in-depth features, to reviews and interviews. Think of it as a collection of some of our favorite pieces that you may have missed — or that you may just want to read again. You can follow along below, or keep up to date on Flipboard.

  • Feature

    Ring of fire: why our military's toxic burn pits are making soldiers sick

    Thousands of servicemembers are returning to the US sick from a cause the government isn’t eager to talk about. But advocates are pushing back, and they know it all revolves around one problem: pits of burning garbage used to dispose of waste at war.

  • Detours

    The sinkhole that swallowed a swamp

    Verge Detours’ first stop in Louisiana is the site of a 25-acre pit that’s swallowing up the trees around it. Scientists have been brought in to examine the sinkhole, but stopping it will be no easy task.

  • Review

    ‘Ender’s Game’ review: virtual reality

    After almost 30 years, Orson Scott Card’s famous sci-fi novel has made it to the big screen. Was it warped into a flashy Hollywood blockbuster, or can the film carry over all of Card’s moral complexity?

  • Report

    Spycraft: how do we fix a broken NSA?

    The breadth of the NSA’s surveillance only continues to widen as more details of its operations leak out. We spoke with a number of reformers, from senators to writers, to see what they think it would take to constrain the agency’s powers.

  • Report

    Here comes a special boy: 'Achewood' is back, but TV isn't ready

    The web comic Achewood gathered a cult-following for its careful, absurdist humor, but it slowly died off back in 2010. Now the strip is back, and it’s looking to make a new home for itself on TV.

  • Review

    13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display review (2013)

    Apple has made the nearest thing yet to a MacBook Air with a high-resolution Retina display. The 13-inch Pro isn’t quite as slim, or quite as light, but for only $200 more than an Air, Apple may be giving consumers one very difficult choice.

  • Interview

    The devil you know: inside the world of a psychopathic scientist

    After studying the brain scans of psychopathic killers for decades, neuroscientist James Fallon discovered that his own brain had the same exact makeup. We spoke with Fallon about how that’s changed his perception of genetics, what it really means to be a psychopath, and how he’s dealt with the discovery.

  • Report

    Gaming in darkness: 'Papa Sangre II' is a terrifying world made entirely of sound

    How can you navigate a game that has no visible world? Papa Sangre’s developer worked with gyroscopes, a 3D sound engine, and even Game of Thrones actor Sean Bean to make a fun, scary, and compelling world out of darkness.

  • Report

    Dead meat: how to raise livestock in a post-antibiotic era

    Overusing antibiotics to keep farm animals healthy could have dangerous consequences, and researchers have begun looking for alternatives. Some options? Probiotics, garlic, and green tea.

  • Review

    Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks review

    With OS X Mavericks, Apple is bringing more of iOS over to the Mac while polishing up some of its existing rough spots. Is there any reason to ignore this free upgrade?