Each week, members of the WFPL News team spotlight interesting stories we’ve read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:
Gabe Bullard: Around Twitter, the WFPL team is sometimes called the Hipster Newsroom. It’s a term a lot of people of a certain age have spent debating and avoiding (though maybe you haven’t ever heard of it). But what are its real origins? One returning feature of NPR’s Code Switch blog is the examination of controversial words. Typically, these have been racial and ethnic slurs. But this week, they took on Hipster. Read Don’t You Dare Call Me a Hipster! I, Sir, am a Hep Cat.
Erin Keane: The second film installment of “The Hobbit” opens this weekend. According to former students and colleagues, author J.R.R. Tolkein was quite captivated with Kentucky lore and local color and would often beg for details about country life in the Bluegrass state. Apparently, you can find nearly all of the hobbits’ family names in Kentucky phone books. Here’s a short explanation. Read Tolkein’s Kentucky Hobbits.
Bonus: And the counterpoint, which claims all of this hobbit apocrypha to be so much balderdash.
Joseph Lord: Prescriptions for attention deficit disorder drugs have skyrocketed over the years, and critics worry that the spike is less about the disorder and more about the marketing efforts of pharmaceutical companies. The New York Times looks into the issues, including a new push for adult ADD—and how much of it (or how little) is based on science. Read The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder.
Bonus: This may be self-serving, but those looking for quality long reads should check out this exploration of the decline of coal in Eastern Kentucky and its effect on miners from WFPL’s Erica Peterson.