Cricket, Productivity, Gulags, Caesar, Ukraine


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The Dark Art Of Swing Bowling

Catherine Tucker | Conversation | 28th March 2018

The aerodynamics of bowling a cricket ball, and how to skew them in your favour. “If a player can bowl above 85mph – or if the ball has aged – the bowler can reverse-swing the ball. A delivery that is expected to swing away from the batter instead swings towards them, and vice versa. The fact that more roughness makes it easier to create reverse swing introduces the temptation for players to increase the roughness illegally, making it easier to generate reverse swing at lower speeds” (1,000 words)

A Guide To Personal Productivity

Marc Andreessen | 4th June 2007

Don’t schedule appointments. Keep yourself free to do whatever seems most important at the time. “If you pull it off — and in many structured jobs, you simply can’t — this simple tip alone can make a huge difference in productivity. When someone emails to say, ‘Let’s meet on Tuesday at 3pm’, the appropriate response is: “I’m not keeping a schedule, but give me a call on Tuesday at 2.45 and if I’m available, I’ll meet with you’. Or, if it’s important, say, ‘You know what, let’s meet right now'” (3,700 words)

Inside The Gulags

Masha Gessen | Literary Hub | 28th March 2018

Soviet prison camps served a dual purpose: To punish, and to provide cheap labour to the State. “The death rate was extremely high, and the number of executions multiplied. In the Great Terror of 1937–1938 the state executed 681,692, more than 10 times as many as in the preceding 16 years combined. But the population of the camps continued to grow. By 1938 it topped two million. By the time Stalin died in 1953, two and a half million people were held in the camps” (1,700 words)

Caesar Bloody Caesar

Josephine Quinn | New York Review Of Books | 22nd March 2018

Julius Caesar’s life was an epic of blood and brilliance. “Caesar fought more than four million Gauls, killed one million, and took as many prisoners — most of whom would have been sold into slavery. The Germans, too, suffered terrible losses, including one episode when Caesar imprisoned a delegation of German migrants who came to negotiate a truce, stormed their camp, killed the men who resisted, and then sent his cavalry to run down and slaughter the women and children as they fled” (3,500 words)

The Best Books On Ukraine

Eve Gerber | Five Books | 22nd March 2018

Yale historian Marci Shore discusses writing by Amelia Glaser, Vasily Grossman, Pawel Pieniazek, Zanna Sloniowska, Serhiy Zhadan. “Westerners have a tendency to use ethnic categories as a shorthand for understanding other parts of the world. If there are Ukrainian-speakers on the Maidan, then they must be Ukrainian. And if they’re Russian-speakers, they’re really Russian. To me, the essence of Ukraine’s identity is precisely this intermingling, these riches of the borderlands” (2,260 words)

Video of the day Endurance

What to expect:

Malcolm Gladwell and Alex Hutchinson discuss how extreme athletes learn to enjoy suffering

Thought for the day

Quiet people have the loudest minds
Stephen Hawking

Podcast of the day How Does A Show-Jumping Horse Work? | Slate

Shauna Alexander explains how to choose, groom, feed, train and ride a jumper
(6m 19s)

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