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For The Bored Morning Commute Babes: 5 New York Times Article Recommendations

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

As a child, when it came to hard news, I automatically rolled my eyes at the idea of screaming politicians whose voices emanated from my dad’s phone. Now, my idea of politics has changed.

Bad governance can have its slimy clutch on everyday aspects we wouldn’t even think about, but it’s useful to know about them if you want to build up your identity as a citizen who can be trusted with remotely any responsibility.

That being said, one immediately thinks of the news as a way to stay informed. Recently, I bought an annual subscription to The New York Times (NYT) as a promise to my 2023 self to read more. The kind of information here spans different categories and fantastically covers issues from groundwater crises to the mysterious, top-secret makings of glitter.

Here are a few gems that stood out to me.

The Outdoor Cat: Neighborhood Mascot or Menace? by Maria Cramer

Ah, yes. The neighbourhood kitty. It’s not as much of a concept here in Toronto, but quite the peddler and purveyor of wonder in Kuwait, where I was raised.

This article covers whether these outdoor kitties are an invasive species in places like Istanbul, where their presence is perhaps a tourist attraction in their own right.

It also speaks to the concern of mysteriously disappearing, smaller wildlife and their correlating statistics, which point tell-tale fingers at our domestic beasts.

Who can blame them? It doesn’t take much to come to the top of a suburban food chain when your only competition is a beady raccoon that keeps to himself and a posse of drooling canines whose owner (thankfully) drags back indoors after every promenade.

Chill and light, this is a NYT article for a quick dinner at the end of the night.

Why Are Voters So Upset? Consider a Snickers Bar By Paul Donovan

I’m all for clever little analogies that reflect the current political situation. Consider the dumpster fire, but with added poetic lyricism.

This brilliant article talks about inflation and a few statistics related to it. Apparently, inflation in America has taken a positive turn this last year with a surge of jobs and other additional economic successes. If that’s so, why do we still focus so much on how terrible the prices of everything are and the awful black haze that seems to surround Walmart all the time now? 

The article explains how inflation rates for both infrequent purchases (things like TVs and other expensive goods) and frequent ones (girl treats, gas station goodies — *cough cough* — snickers bars) are a huge reason why folks believe inflation is higher than it is.

Although prices of the former have dropped in the last year, rising grocery budgets have led furious households to believe that inflation affects them more than it actually does. In reality, less than one-tenth of a home’s budget is spent on groceries, but those prices dominate the perception of inflation.

This NYT article is good for a quick scan before ECON 241 at 11 a.m. or before you make any hasty purchasing decisions at the Eaton Centre.

What is Glitter? By Caity Weaver

I think this one might be one of my favourite reads because it’s the very article that convinced me to get an NYT subscription in the first place. This article is a delicious read on aluminum metalized polyethylene terephthalate, known by her stage name, glitter.

Although such a tiny little niche to squeeze oneself into, it’s fascinating to hear the real-life, chemical production of something that seems so fantastical — associated with sparkling holiday confections or the latest whimsical productions on Parisian runways! 

We join the writer, Caity Weaver, at a glitter factory in the U.S. as they weave in and out of the GlitterX corporation. It sounds something vaguely out of a poorly-written Wattpad story with the lamest world-building you’ve ever read — yet somehow, it all manages to be true.

The article ends on a cliffhanger — that there is one clientele for glitter that is so unpredictable, so sinister, that Weaver couldn’t beat or bribe the intel out of the GlitterX representative. This is naturally infuriating. My guess is the military, but I also value my life, so let’s say that that is a hypothesis under construction — not an official statement.

This is a read before the allotted time for a journal session so you can jot down your new, sparkly findings in disbelief.

How America’s Diet is Feeding the Groundwater Crisis By Christopher Flavelle, Somini Sengupta, and Mira Rojanasakul

I have been personally victimized by fried chicken mukbangs on Instagram reels, and I feel so vulnerable coming out with my story. However, it must be done because I know someone might agree with me so that we can join together in shared terror.

Fried food is perhaps synonymous with American food culture. The poor things don’t have too much going on for them besides it. That being said, they are my guiltless pleasure, as I love a sexy little chicken burger any day. 

However, there are devastating consequences to a diet that relies so much on poultry and beef, and its production has been known to dry out whole rivers and devastate the air quality (that we all breathe in, may I remind you!).

This was an eye-opening piece to the urgency of the drinking water crisis in the U.S. and is an important piece for anyone to read (I’m sure the vegans have known this already, but I’m too proud to admit anything in their favour).

This is an NYT read if the privilege of pristine and fresh drinking water is something you acknowledge and wish to continue having for yourself, and the generations of humanity to follow.

Hit Men are Easy to Find in the Movies. Real Life is Another Story by Jesse McKinley

All of our favourite John Wick characters lurk in the dark corners of the night waiting for a sign but how often does this scene replicate in real life? There are plenty of murderers and killers in the world, but how many hit men?

With dazzling technology at every intersection of space available, it’s too easy to be hounded in on by the police if you talk too loudly about wanting an ex taken care of. The truth is, most people can’t afford a hitman and pay cheap ones to do a horrible job that is immediately clocked by the authorities.

This article is for a wait at the GO station before your train pulls in — beware of any suspicious characters that may arise after you read it, though.

Maryam Ahmed

Toronto MU '25

Asides from licking dessert bowls clean and having an addiction to scouring the Dior website, I am a full-time psychology student at Toronto Metropolitan University. I am Indian ethnically, but I was born and raised in Kuwait— a desert sweetly snuggled between the elbows of Saudia Arabia and the beach of the Arabian Gulf. I spent several happy years studying in an international school, in awe with my beloved Art and History professors whose lessons went beyond our books. My love for writing germinated along with my already burdgeoning love for reading and has never really died since. Reading had seen to the rise of certain hobbies and had become the only way to relate to the incredible charaters on paper— fencing, horse-riding, and a matronly interest in embroidery (although I'm quite good at the last one). I love painting fantastical landscapes and collecting artsy posters of cats or vintage magazine prints. HerCampus initiates an amazing circle of empowerment and friendship for female students across the world, and I am so proud to be apart of this year's writer line-up. I cannot think of a better way to reach out to vibrant, talented women than through this platform, and I look forward to intergrating myself into this fabulous community!