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What We're Reading | 12.22.13

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Each week, members of the WFPL News team spotlight interesting stories we've read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:Gabe Bullard:Listen to this. What is this? Is it a very smart robot, a very awkward person, or a brilliant-but-awkward merging of human and technology? At The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal looks into this latest development in telemarketing technology, a machine that removes the personal aspects of communication between two humans. Read The Surreal, Cyborg Future of Telemarketing.Joseph Lord:Several years ago, I read Jack El-Hai's book The Lobotomist about a medical practice that most agree now isn't something we'd like to happen to us. The U.S. military practiced lobotomies once, and The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the World War II soldiers who underwent the procedure. Read Lobotomy Files: Forgotten Solders.Bonus: OK, maybe that one wasn't very festive. So here's a story about weird holiday tradition in Sweden, where some residents  have an affinity for burning a giant Christmas goat display. Read  Sweden's Holiday Tradition of Animal Arson.

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.