Sugar Labs substitutes extruded plastic for sugar, and makes a new kind of dessert.

The Invasion of the German Board Games

The Real Reasons Why the Government Shut Down

The Entirely Rational Basis For Turkeys Move Into Syria

3D-printed cakes and cake toppers display themselves. The one on the left was made in collaboration with Duff Goldman, otherwise known as the Ace of Cakes.

LAS VEGASCall them Cakerbots. Adding to the growing list of things you can 3D print (toys, human organs,pizza that will be eaten on Mars, etc.) is a machine promising that, with it, you can print yourself some dessert.

In the 3D Printing section of the Consumer Electronics Show, one of the consistently busy booths has belonged to 3D SystemssSugar Lab. And to, in particular, the booths display of elaborate cakes and candies whose confectionary components have been constructed inside a 3D printer.

The ChefJet and ChefJet Pro print, basically, sugar: They work byapplying a mixture of alcohol and waterto wet and then harden the sweet stuff.The devices focus on crystalline sugar, combined with the capabilities of the printers themselves, results in forms that would be next to impossible to construct with human handslittle sculptures that double as dessert. The printersstart at more than $4,000for models that print with black-and-white food coloring; color modelswill likely retail for closer to $10,000.As Sugar Labs co-founder, Kyle von Hasseln, told me, the target markets for the machines are bakeries, restaurants, and event planners.

So, basically: The plastic couple that sometimes tops wedding cakes? That can now be edible. The princess atop little Jennifers birthday cake? Same. Architectural confectionery isenjoying a renaissanceof late; you could see 3D printing fitting right into that trend. Indeed, the towering cake you can see in the picture at the top of this post was made in collaboration withCharm City Cakess Duff Goodman, ofAce of Cakesfame.

The construction components are fitting: Von Hasseln and his wife, Liz, are trained architects. They actually stumbled onto the Sugar Lab idea when they were experimenting with 3D-printer-friendly materials (sawdust, that kind of thing) for fabricating architectural models. We tried sugar, Kyle von Hasseln told me, just because it was cheapand then we realized that if we modified it, we could eat it.

And what about making the eating … actually pleasant? How do you make construction materials taste good? We got into the material science of it, Von Hasseln says. A chef probably could have gotten it really quickly, he laughs, but it took him and Liz several tries, he says, before they got a formula that would combine structural integrity with good flavor.

So then whatdo3D-printed confections taste like? I sampled Sugar Labs chocolate offering. And the stuff tasted pretty much like traditionally manufactured chocolate doesexcept a little less sweet, a little bit drier, a little more crumbly. You know how chocolate, after it melts and rehardens, has a slightly different flavor and texture than it did before? The 3D-printed chocolate is like that.

But what it lacks in tastiness, it makes up for in prettiness. Imagine being served this towering thing for dessert.

Eels use electricity in more complex ways than anyone had imagined.

When cities compete to attract big employers, the country as a whole suffers.

Since Amazon announced last year that it is going to build a second corporate campus, cities238 of themin North America, in three countriesquickly started courting the company. They scrambled to propose the most generous package of financial incentives they could muster, in hopes of luring the online-retailing and cloud-computing giant.

On Thursday, Amazonannouncedthat it had whittled its list down to 20 finalist cities spanning the country, from Los Angeles to Austin to Boston and Miami. What does the future hold for the lucky winner? In Amazonsrequest for proposals, it dangled the promise of hiring up to 50,000 full-time employees (at an average salary of more than $100,000 a year) over the next 10 or 15 years, and spending $5 billion in the process of executing the project.

Their peaceful premises and intricate rule systems are changing the way Americans playand helping shape an industry in the process.

In a development that would have been hard to imagine a generation ago, when video games were poised to take over living rooms, board games are thriving. Overall, the latest available data shows that U.S. salesgrewby 28 percent between the spring of 2016 and the spring of 2017. Revenues areexpectedto rise at a similar rate into the early 2020slargely,saysone analyst, because the target audience has changed from children to adults, particularly younger ones.

Much of this success is traceable to the rise of games that, well, get those adults acting somewhat more like children. Clever, low-overhead card games such as Cards Against Humanity, Secret Hitler, and Exploding Kittens (A card game for people who are into kittens and explosions) have sold exceptionally well. Games like these haveproliferated on Kickstarter, where anyone with a great idea and a contact at an industrial printing company can circumvent the usual toy-and-retail gatekeepers who green-light new concepts. (The largest project category on Kickstarteris Games,and board games make upabout three-quartersof those projects.)

When truth itself feels uncertain, how can a democracy be sustained?

In God We Trust, goes the motto of the United States. In God, and apparently little else.

Only a third of Americans now trust their government to do what is righta decline of 14 percentage points from last year, according to anew reportby the communications marketing firm Edelman. Forty-two percent trust the media, relative to 47 percent a year ago. Trust in business and non-governmental organizations, while somewhat higher than trust in government and the media, decreased by 10 and nine percentage points, respectively. Edelman, which for 18 years has been asking people around the world about their level of trust in various institutions, has never before recorded such steep drops in trust in the United States.

Immigration isnt the only sticking point.

When the government shuts down, the politicians pipe up.

No sooner hada midnight deadline passedwithout congressional action on a must-pass spending bill than lawmakers launched their time-honored competition over who gets the blame for their collective failure. The Senate floor became a staging ground for dueling speeches early Saturday morning, and lawmakers of both partiesas well as the White House and political-activist groupsflooded the inboxes of reporters with prewritten statements castigating one side or the other.

Led by President Trump, Republicans accused Senate Democrats of holding hostage the entire government and health insurance for millions of children over their demands for an immigration bill. This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators, the White House said in a statement issued moments before the clock struck midnight. In a series of Saturday-morningtweets, Trump said Democrats had given him a nice present for the first anniversary of his inauguration. The White House vowed that no immigration talks would occur while the government is closed, and administration officials sought to minimize public anger by allowing agencies to use leftover funds and by keeping national parks and public lands partially accessible during the shutdownin effect, bynot shutting downthe government as fully as the Obama administration did in 2013.

Nearly a century of mistrust of America and an obsession with defeating the Kurds sparked its operation in Afrin.

In the 19th century, Britain, France, and Russia occupied or fostered the independence of Greece, Serbia, Romania, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Tunisia, and Egypteach one part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1920, the victors of World War I forced the Ottomans to sign the T
reaty of Svres, which detached what would become Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel from the House of Osman. The agreement also granted the French a zone of influence in the southeastern portion of Anatolia, adjacent to its Mandate for Lebanon and Syria, while the Italians were ceded an area that included southern and central parts of Anatolian territory, including Antalya and Konya. The Greeks established a protectorate in Smyrna, now known as Izmir.

The U.S. vice president promised peace in the countrys newly recognized capital, but his itinerary showed that a deal is far beyond reach.

JERUSALEMMike Pence was greeted in Israels center of government on Monday in the way of a dear friend. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu beamed as he stood with the American vice president in his offices. I have had the privilege over the years of standing here with hundreds of leaders and welcomed them, all of them, to Israels capital, Jerusalem, he said. This is the first time that I stand here where both leaders can say those three words: Israels capital, Jerusalem.

It is my great honor, on behalf of the president of the United States, to be in Israels capital, Jerusalem, Pence replied, similarly emphasizing the wordcapital. But also, I look forward to speaking with you in detail about the opportunity for peace. When President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israels capital and vowed to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv in December, he did so convinced … that we would create an opportunity to move on in good-faith negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Pence said.

The Senate struck a deal to reopen the government on Monday morningbut without any help from President Trump.

If ever there were a time for a dealmaker in Washington, this weekend was it. Friday, as a shutdown loomed, it seemed as though Republicans and Democrats would be able to reach some accommodation to fund the government, but in the wake of that failure,the mood turned bitter over the weekend.

With leaders in Congress at an impasse, the most logical person to step in and broker an arrangement was the president of the United States. Thats usually the case, but its especially true now, with a president whose name, thanks to his first book, is practically synonymous with deals. And yet, Donald Trump remained strangely absent. Oh, sure, the president was tweeting, but he offered mostly uncharacteristically bland restatements of the White House line that it was all Democrats fault. After meeting with Democratic leader Chuck Schumer on Friday, Trump stayed largely on the sidelines.

Advocates are tracking new developments in neonatal research and technologyand transforming one of Americas most contentious debates.

The first time Ashley McGuire had a baby, she and her husband had to wait 20 weeks to learn its sex. By her third, they found out at 10 weeks with a blood test. Technology has defined her pregnancies, she told me, from the apps that track weekly development to the ultrasounds that show the growing child. My generation has grown up under an entirely different world of science and technology than theRoegeneration, she said. Were in a culture that is science-obsessed.

Activists like McGuire believe it makes perfect sense to be pro-science and pro-life. While she opposes abortion on moral grounds, she believes studies of fetal development, improved medical techniques, and other advances anchor the movements arguments in scientific fact. The pro-life message has been, for the last 40-something years, that the fetus is a life, and it is a human life worthy of all the rights the rest of us have, she said. Thats been more of an abstract concept until the last decade or so. But, she added, when youre seeing a baby sucking its thumb at 18 weeks, smiling, clapping, it becomes harder to square the idea that that 20-week-old, that unborn baby or fetus, is discardable.

Corporate goliaths are taking over the U.S. economy. Yet small breweries are thriving. Why?

The monopolies are coming. Inalmost every economic sector, including television, books, music, groceries, pharmacies, and advertising, a handful of companies control a prodigious share of the market.

The beer industry has been one of the worst offenders. The refreshing simplicity of Blue Moon, the vanilla smoothness of Boddingtons, the classic brightness of a Pilsner Urquell, and the bourbon-barrel stouts of Goose Islandall are owned by two companies: Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors. As recently as 2012, this duopoly controllednearly 90 percentof beer production.

This sort of industry consolidationtroubles economists. Research has found that the existence of corporate behemoths stamps out innovation and hurts workers. Indeed, between 2002 and 2007, employment at breweries actually declined in the midst of an economic expansion.

Allegations against the comedian are proof that women are angry, temporarily powerfuland very, very dangerous.

Sexual mores in the West have changed so rapidly over the past 100 years that by the time you reach 50, intimate accounts of commonplace sexual events of the young seem like science fiction: You understand the vocabulary and the sentence structure, but all of the events take place in outer space. Youre just too old.

This was my experience readingthe accountof one young womans alleged sexual encounter with Aziz Ansari, published by the websiteBabethis weekend. The world in which it constituted an episode of sexual assault was so far from my own two experiences of near date rape (which took place, respectively, during the Carter and Reagan administrations, roughly between the kidnapping of the Iran hostages and the start of the Falklands War) that I just couldnt pick up the tune. But, like the recentNew Yorkerstory Cat Personabout a soulless and disappointing hookup between two people who mostly knew each other through textsthe account has proved deeply resonant and meaningful to a great number of young women, who have responded in large numbers on social media, saying that it is frighteningly and infuriatingly similar to crushing experiences of their own. It is therefore worth reading and, in its way, is an important contribution to the present conversation.

For rising models in one of the largest favelas of Rio de Janeiro, fashion is an opportunity for self-actualization.

Though it may seem like a dystopian TV series, this is a documentary, and its message is clear: We are all being watched.

The overbearing queen bee boss stereotype is a toxic feedback loop.

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