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  • The FBI is expected to officially announce next week that 2020 saw the highest single-year spike in murders in the last six decades, driven largely by various forms of panicking because of COVID. But the murder rate will remain "far lower than it was through much of the 1980s and 1990s."
  • Jim Mattis, the Secretary of Defense under President Trump, testified in the Elizabeth Holmes trial yesterday that he was duped by Holmes into believing her blood-testing machine was revolutionary, so much so that he invested $85,000 of his own cash in Theranos and pushed for the military to use the technology, which somehow wasn't illegal.
  • The Metropolitan Opera's season will open with a staging of Fire Shut Up in My Bones by composer Terence Blanchard, who's perhaps best known for his work scoring Spike Lee films. This makes Blanchard the first Black composer of a Met opera in the company's 138-year history.
  • Melvin Van Peebles, who directed the 1971 blaxploitation classic Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song and earned the reputation of being the godfather of Black cinema, has died at the age of 89.
  • Cary Fukunaga, the director of the latest installment in the James Bond film franchise, called out early iterations of the character for "basically" being a rapist.
  • Today I learned that chess grandmasters burn up to 7,000 calories a day in tournaments because they concentrate so f**king hard on chess.
  • The term (and underlying concept of) "virginity" has been called out as heteronormative and misogynistic, so "sexual debut" is being proposed as an alternative.
  • The New Yorker has nice things to say about Several People Are Typing, a new novel that takes place entirely in Slack.
  • And finally, some very orderly reindeer: