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Just 14 days left in 2020. Speed things along with a round of recharges:

1. Michaelangelo Matos’ phenomenal new book is out. Can’t Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop’s Blockbuster Year is a detail-rich read on the constellation of music that shaped a moment, and how a moment shaped the music. His scene-setting, pattern-matching, vivid turns of phrase, and historical vision are every bit as electrifying as the music he’s immersed in. A deeper-dive review in the weeks ahead.

2. Gabi Yetter, a Recharge reader and founder of “The Good in Us,” a Facebook group dedicated to deeds of solidarity worldwide, has published her first novel. Whisper of the Lotus is set in Cambodia, where Yetter used to live. All proceeds from the first two months of book sales go to the antitrafficking organization Justice and Soul.

3. In a crowded field of candidates for funniest folks of 2020 who’ve made the best of an excruciating year, comedian Leslie Jones stands out.

4. If you haven’t spelunked yet through Yesterday’s Print, dig in. Archival news clips with a bite. From 1918: “The man who is unwilling to wear a flu mask usually is of the kind who expects everybody to listen to him when he speaks.” Also from 1918: “Don’t throw away the masks. Two of them tied together will make excellent ear muffs later on.”

5. A headline that sands down the cynicism of any cold news-junky heart: “Over 900 Cars Paid for Each Other’s Meals at a Dairy Queen Drive-Thru in Minnesota.” What? What? And no one called me? I don’t like Dairy Queen anyway. “What started as a random act of kindness…resulted in over 900 cars also taking part in the pay-it-forward chain,” reports CNN’s Alisha Ebrahimji.

6. The Arizona Daily Star and ProPublica teamed up yesterday to host a livestream of stories about developmental disabilities, boosted by the National Center on Disability and Journalism.

7. “A small dam but a big deal,” a colleague told me in celebrating the news of a 100-year-old dam’s removal from a former golf course to improve salmon migration.

Share your own good news at recharge@motherjones.com.

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A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

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