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Relisha Rudd

Through the Cracks

A new WAMU podcast, Through the Cracks, tells the story of Relisha Rudd, an eight-year-old girl who went missing from a Washington, D.C., homeless shelter in 2014. By the time the police began their official investigation, in March of that year, no one in Rudd’s family, at her shelter, or at her school had seen Relisha for at least 18 days. This podcast, hosted by Jonquilyn Hill, isn’t a true-crime investigation; it’s an examination of how society failed Relisha, from systemic poverty and its de-stabilizing impacts to the unchecked shelter system and beyond. Hill is a compassionate guide, never losing sight of Relisha, the loss at the heart of her subject, even as she zooms out to scrutinize the fissured structures that surround the case. It’s important—oftentimes enraging—reporting, but it also feels particularly significant these days, when so many children are without the usual, albeit imperfect, safety nets, such as school. ( —Clementine Ford


Wampler Guitar Pedal

There are two kinds of electric-guitar players: those who are fluent in effects pedals and those who throw their hands up at any gear more complicated than a digital tuner. For the latter group, of which I am a part, I recommend getting your fingers wet with a Wampler Tumnus, an overdrive pedal that couldn’t be simpler to use. It has three knobs—for gain, treble, and volume—that open up a world of dynamic tones, from subtle to significant. It’ll have your guitar singing like Bloomfield’s and then Buchanan’s with just a twist. ($150, —Alex Oliveira


Taika Coffee

Just when I thought I’d perfected my iced-coffee game, along came Taika, a new purveyor that offers not only my much-needed caffeine—a moderate 130 milligrams per can—but powerful adaptogenic herbs, which help make sure you get an energy boost without getting the jitters. Theanine, for focus; lion’s mane, for clarity; ashwagandha, for calm; Cordyceps, for energy; and reishi, for immunity—it’s all hidden in there, and you don’t even taste it, because the coffee masks it completely. Sold in packs of slim, well-designed cans, Taika is available in black, but latte-lovers may be tempted by the organic oat-milk and macadamia varieties. (I’m partial to the oat milk, but all have merit.) ($59 for a case of 12, —Ashley Baker

Sarah Jones in For All Mankind, Season 2, aired 2/26/21

For All Mankind

What if the Soviets had put a man on the moon first? That’s the premise of For All Mankind, an Apple TV+ series that imagines what would have happened if the United States had lost the space race in the 60s. The show focuses on a group of Right Stuff–style astronauts and their spouses, and also steps back to look at how pivotal events could have ended differently, and not just in the Cold WarTeddy Kennedy’s presidential ambitions, the Equal Rights Amendment, and Watergate are all turned upside down. You don’t have to be a NASA fan to enjoy the series, but it is best suited to viewers who like their dramas dark: For All Mankind has comic moments, but it doesn’t paint a cheery picture of what could have been. ( —Alessandra Stanley

Issue No. 88
March 20, 2021
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Issue No. 88
March 20, 2021