Asbestos Classics

The Asbestos Times

Mano Majumdar | Works In Progress | 15th November 2023

Yes, asbestos is a powerful carcinogen and we spend billions removing it from buildings. But during the century in which it was hailed as a miracle material, it did have its benefits (although they did not outweigh the then-unknown risks). As cities became more crowded and flammable, this fireproof substance prevented what could have been many 19C-style "Great Fires" from spreading (3,140 words)

All Classics Are Funny

Joel Cuthbertson | The Bulwark | 10th November 2023

Classic books are classics for a reason, and part of that reason is that they are funny. Or so runs the theory put forward here — that a lot of what we think of as the "timeless quality" of a text is actually humour that can still be appreciated centuries later. "A joke is language unmasked. A joke grounds and justifies itself. A joke bears all things, believes all things" (2,920 words)

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