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Yesterday, five of the alleged assailants responsible for the gruesome December gang rape and eventual death of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi were brought to trial in India. The proceedings were closed to the media, and the accused were ushered into their trial wearing woolen caps to obscure their identities. This cloaking of the attackers’ faces is a grim reflection of the way in which details of the case have made their way into the public consciousness thus far.  Details about the crime in question, as well as the people involved, have been shadowy and, at times, confusing.

After three years of honing their live sound, Stereo Telescope is set to release a full-length album, On and Running, on January 29th. This synthpop duo is composed of Nikki Dessingue and Kurt Schneider, veterans of various indie and electronic bands from the Boston scene. Each member sings and performs a host of instrumental tasks, which is quite impressive considering the complexity of their music. With a blend of post-rock ambience and meticulous electronic instrumentation, Stereo Telescope’s sound is evocative of the Postal Service or, more recently, M83.

Desert Sharks are a four-piece surf (who woulda guessed?) punk band from Brooklyn. They’ve got a brand spankin’ new EP that hits the Internet shelves today via their Bandcamp. “Sister Cousins,” recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks Studio, is an EP that keeps it short and not-so-sweet, but in a good way. They stay snarky with lines like “I’m gonna burn this neighborhood right to the ground/ So I never have to worry about seein’ you around” on “Feel Bad.

It seems that 2012 was the Year of the MOOC. MOOCs, for the uninitiated, are not the furry woodland creatures that (I think) they sound like. They are massive open online courses, and they are more popular now than ever. Millions of students have already taken advantage of these free classes from premier universities around the world.  Many have been quick to dismiss MOOCs, insisting that the university model is still the best source of a well-rounded education. But these brush-offs miss the point.

Just when you thought that the holidays had drawn to a close this year, HBO has announced that it has a few more gifts in store for its viewers. Over the next few months, the network will release a whole slew of DVD offerings. If you’re a fan of TV shows that feature strong, complex, and intelligent female leads, you should take care to mark your calendars for these upcoming DVD releases.  1.

Chinese couples that need a little help making a baby can now rely on the least sexy place on the planet—their local hospital—for passion (at a price).  The Songziniao Hospital in Wuhan city, Hubei province, hopes to encourage couples to procreate in their decked out sex rooms, which go for 880 Yuan (about $140 US) a night.   The rooms look like the kind of “love nests” you’d find in by-the-hour hotels, with dim red lighting, round beds, and plenty of sexually explicit artworks (to encourage the patrons to get busy, of course.

Bianca Venerayan Toronto, Ontario, Canada Student/Designer/Writer Tell me about this outfit. The jacket is courtesy of sugarlips.com; it’s $55. The pants are from Club Monaco seasons ago—they’re pajamas disguised as socially acceptable pants. They were on sale for about $60. The socks are from the men’s section at Uniqlo (four for $10), the shoes are by Jeffrey Campbell ($120 on solestruck.com), and the necklace is from Zara ($30). I think the best part of my outfit is the clear box purse with silver hardware. It was $10 at Public Butter, a vintage shop in Toronto.

This past year has been absolutely chock full of cringe-worthy soundbites and disheartening stories about rape around the world. From the ubiquitous mishandling (and biological misunderstanding) of the subject by politicians in the 2012 election, to recent horrific events in the US and abroad, it seems that we can’t escape from the heart-breaking regularity of sexual assault around the world.    Of late, two high-profile news stories involving rape have been vying for space among the headlines.

A happy Monday morning to you, dear reader. While you’re prying your eyes open in preparation for a brand new work week, let me a present you with an early reward for your effort. Here is a brand new webseries for you to fall in love with (if you haven’t already)—Chloe and Zoë.    Chloe and Zoë is the brainchild of Chloe Searcy and Zoë Worth, two 23-year-old women with a cool mix of LA and NYC informing their style.

Last year was exciting for women and the news.  BUST is proud to have brought you so many of those stories, and we thought the start of the new year would be a great time to recap the posts that got the most virtual hits on the BUST blog.  So without further delay, here were the top 10 stories from us: 1.  10 Awesome Feminist Halloween Costume Ideas. From dressing as a gay couple to show support for marriage equality, to dressing as members of the newsworthy Pussy Riot, BUST readers seemed eager to find cool, creative, feminist costumes for Halloween. 2.
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