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The weekender: the best of the week gone by

Julie Denesha

This is what's the matter with Kansas

Andrew Prokop took a look at the growing budgetary chaos in the state of Kansas, where an ambitious tax cutting agenda by governor Sam Brownback was supposed to create a supply-side paradise. Instead, the state can barely pay its bills and today Brownback seems to be losing in the polls to his Democratic challenger in a deep red state.

The lurking menace in hospital elevators

New Voxer Julia Belluz brought us frightening news about a surprising health menace — hospital elevator buttons. The thing about elevator buttons is lots of random people touch them. And the thing about hospitals is they're full of sick people. All-in-all they've got more bacteria than the surfaces of toilets.

Turn down for this

You've probably heard DJ Snake and Lil Jon's anthem "Turn Down For What?" without necessarily having any idea what the heck that means. If you're as uncool as I am, you'll find Alex Abad-Santos' explanation indispensable.

Taylor and Nilay are never ever ever getting back together

Taylor Swift published some thoughts on the future of the music industry in the Wall Street Journal. Nilay Patel went surprisingly long on refuting her. No word yet on when his debut album is coming out. Meanwhile, Danielle Kurtzleben filled us in on a political crisis in Ireland brought about by Garth Brooks.

Are America's colleges any good?

Higher education in the United States is often described as the best in the world, thanks to the enormous prestige and fame of our top research institutions. But the typical American college student actually struggles by international standards. Libby Nelson explained that a big part of the problem is poorly prepared students, who come out of high school already behind their peers.