A year of protest, as seen through street art

2019 will go down as a year of worldwide unrest. In the last few months, protests have raged from Haiti and Venezuela to Iraq and Lebanon, from Russia to Canada.

Around the world, citizens are frustrated about inaction on climate change or angry about government corruption. Some protests have made international news; others have come and gone with less attention. But one thing many of them have in common is the presence of protest art.

The quality and wit of signs, murals, and costumes are striking, prompting viewers around the world to think about …

Thousands of Google’s cafeteria workers have unionized

Around 2,300 cafeteria workers who work at dozens of Google campuses in the Bay Area, including the search giant’s main headquarters in Mountain View, have unionized.

The workers — who include dishwashers and food preparers who serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner for Google employees — voted last month to form a union after a campaign that’s been two years in the making, according to a source involved in the campaign.

Their organizing has gone largely under the radar even amid other high-profile worker activism at Google in the past year, which has included employee protests about sexual harassment, the …

California will require solar panels on all new homes. That’s not necessarily a good thing.

Update, December 31: On January 1, 2020, California’s residential solar mandate will go into effect. Here’s our explainer, first published on May 15, 2018.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently voted 5-0 to add some new provisions to the state’s building code. Among them is the requirement that as of 2020, all new house and multi-family residences of three stories or fewer, along with all major renovations, must be built with solar panels.

Where solar is not suitable, homeowners must have access to a community solar project or receive efficiency upgrades that compensate. (There are some exceptions for buildings …

The hidden calories in your booze, explained

Three pints of India pale ale can deliver you half a day’s worth of calories. And a typical glass of California cabernet sauvignon today may have more alcohol and more calories than it would have a decade ago.

Who knew?

Unlike companies that make food, brewers, distillers, and winemakers aren’t required to disclose calories and ingredients on their cans and bottles. (They’ve lobbied against this kind of regulation for years.) And survey data has shown that very few people have any idea what’s in their boozy beverages of choice.

The public health community has pushed hard to change that. The …

Culture in the 2010s was obsessed with finding community — and building walls

Warning: Spoilers for the film Midsommar, the video game Night in the Woods, the book Pleasantville, the third season of Twin Peaks, and the musical Hadestown follow.

It’s when Dani discovers she can speak the language that she realizes she’s home.

Dani is the protagonist of the 2019 folk horror film Midsommar. She’s left the tatters of her life in America to join her boyfriend Christian and his buddies in far northern Sweden, as they research European midsummer rituals. Back home, Dani’s family has died in a horrific murder-suicide carried out by her sister. But …

Vox Sentences: an anti-Semitic attack at Hanukkah

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Suspect pleads not guilty in Hanukkah party attack

  • A man arrested for stabbing five Jewish people at a Hanukkah celebration now faces federal hate crimes charges. [New York Times / Michael Gold and Benjamin Weiser]
  • Grafton Thomas allegedly entered Orthodox Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg’s home Saturday night and attacked with a knife before fleeing the Hanukkah celebration. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem