“The trip lasted nearly a month, devolving from a journey of want and fear into an outright abduction by smugglers in the United States. Freedom came only after an extra $1,000 payment, made at a gas station in Fort Myers, Fla., as her kidnappers flashed a gun.” From the NYT’s: Damien Cave and Frances Robles: A Smuggled Girl’s Odyssey of False Promises and Fear.

+ “Ping-pong is a game for obsessives. Obsessiveness, in fact, is a prerequisite for success.” Eric Nusbaum in Deadspin: The Immigrant Sport: What Ping-Pong Means In America.

+ “What’s the difference between God and a mountain guide? … God doesn’t think he’s a mountain guide.” From the National Post: Joe O’Connor on the avalanche that changed backcountry culture: The Day the Mountain Fell.

+ Buzzfeed: Meet The Scientists Who May Have Found The Cure For Drug Addiction.

+ The other night I used a flashlight and a tennis racket to try to scare a raccoon away from my garbage cans. The raccoon sensed my weakness; saw right through me. Just sat and stared with look that said it all. “You’re not gonna use that racket, and even if you did, we both know you’ve got no backhand.” But maybe I shouldn’t feel so bad. Like humans, raccoons have adapted to modern life. From Nautilus: The Intelligent Life of the City Raccoon.