I’ve been on vacation this week, which has given me ample time to read. Some articles of interest:

Rumor To Fact in Tales of Post-Katrina Violence” from the New York Times. I will be posting my own reflections on the 5-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina next week, but one thing a storm (literal or figurative) does is expose the cracks of a culture. Katrina exposed the cracks in the levees. It also exposed the cracks in the relationships between communities in the Big Easy, and this article traces some of those “cracks” exposed through the violent crimes that occurred in the wake of the storm.
NPR ran a long (12-minute) piece from their “Human Edge” series about a young woman with autism who describes what it is like to live with autism in a “neuro-typical” world: “Autism Gives Woman and ‘Alien View’ of Social Brains.”
The New Yorker has an article about Hospice Care that is well worth reading for anyone facing illness or end-of-life care decisions: “What Should Medicine Do When It Can’t Save Your Life?” I’m hoping to write more about this article soon…
Last Sunday’s NY Times cover story about Emerging Adulthood (“What Is It About 20-Somethings?“) also raised questions for me. The author seems to want to believe that “emerging adulthood” (people in their 20’s taking a long time to “settle down”) is a new and important developmental stage. I’m skeptical and more inclined to believe it’s a cultural phenomenon that underscores some of the problems with our society. What do you think?
Finally, The Atlantic has a piece about “Prisons Without Walls,” exploring the various ways to track prisoners on parole or probation. It raised good questions about freedom–what do we sacrifice when we commit crimes? Do we want to save money for low-risk criminals to be released from prison but monitored? What is a just way to handle the prison system? 
More from Beliefnet and our partners