Heroin In Wyoming, American Healthcare, The Unkillable Soldier, Jeremy Thorpe, Social Media, F-35


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Mainline Street

Sean Flynn | GQ | 6th January 2015

Ory Joe Johnson was popular at high-school in Wyoming until he broke an ankle, took painkillers, and drifted into drug dealing. "If you can play ball with thousands of dollars, you're stepping into a different line of people. Their livelihood depends on guys that are clean-cut, white, drive a nice vehicle with actual insurance, and taillights that work. Those type of people aren't going to rip you off" (5,490 words)

America’s Bitter Pill

Steve Brill | NPR | 5th January 2015

Obamacare gives more Americans health insurance, which is good, but costs are still out of control, leaving taxpayers to foot inflated bills. "Nothing has been done to curb profiteering on the part of hospitals and drug companies. The insurance companies are as much the victim of that as we are. They're incompetently managed; they're not very nice people when you get them on the phone; but they're stuck in the same ditch we're in" (1,870 words)

Adrian Carton De Wiart: The Unkillable Soldier

Peter Crutchley | BBC News | 6th January 2015

Carton de Wiart served in the Boer War, World War One and World War Two. He was shot in the face, losing his left eye, and through the skull, hip, leg, ankle and ear. He tore off his own fingers after a shell shattered his left hand on the Somme and a doctor refused to amputate. He won a Victoria Cross at Ypres, where he was seen "pulling the pins of grenades out with his teeth and hurling them with his one good arm" (1,320 words)

The Damning Life Of Jeremy Thorpe

Douglas Murray | Spectator | 5th January 2015

The trial of Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe for the attempted murder of a male lover in 1979 created "the biggest scandal in twentieth century British politics". Thorpe was acquitted, but ruined. His death has cleared the way for publication of Michael Bloch's long-awaited biography: "After reading a draft in the 1990s Thorpe said words to the effect of ‘over my dead body’, and this took longer to come about than expected" (2,020 words)

A Mile Wide, An Inch Deep

Evan Williams | Medium | 5th January 2015

Quantity is easy to measure; quality much harder. Is Buzzfeed "bigger" than the New York Times? In page-views, perhaps yes. But as a force in world affairs, surely not. Likewise for social media: Instagram may have more traffic than Twitter, but Twitter does more important work. Traffic is a useful metric, but a limited and sometimes dangerous one; platforms that chase traffic for its own sake can rise fast, but they fall even faster (1,880 words)

US Defence And The F-35

Gary Brecher | Pando | 18th January 2015

How to waste a trillion dollars. Ferocious attack on the F-35 fighter jet program. "One of the creepy, weird features of the US defense procurement business is that programs that don’t work make much more money for the big contractors than the ones that do. There’s money in those fixes, and re-fixes, and fixing the last fix. The USAF loves the F-35 more than any other project in history. You can guess why: Because it’s a disaster" (3,200 words)

Video of the day: The Gap, By Ira Glass

What to expect: Remarks on creativity by radio host Ira Glass, with animations by Daniel Sax (2'30")

Thought for the day

On the other hand, you have different fingers
Steven Wright

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