Hillary Clinton, Nigeria, Furniture, Wildenstein, Van Gogh

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Understanding Hillary

Ezra Klein | Vox | 11th July 2016

To say Hillary Clinton is a better listener than she is a talker sounds like a gendered cliché, but it is the key to understanding how she captured the Democratic nomination. “The Democratic primary pitted an unusually pure male leadership style against an unusually pure female leadership style. Sanders is a great talker and a poor relationship builder. Clinton is a great relationship builder and a poor talker. In this case — the first time at the presidential level — the female leadership style won” (6,600 words)

The Value Of A Black (Nigerian) Life

Elnathan John | Dark Corner | 10th July 2016

“A black life capable of a British or American accent is worth a lot. Maybe not to white police officers. But to us Nigerians, it means a lot. In calculating the value of a Nigerian life, however, we must never apply the same rules. We do not want to spoil people by showing them too much empathy. It is important especially if they are not from our ethnic group or religion. It is not your fault if a person goes and chooses to come from the wrong ethnic group” (1,050 words)

A-Z Of Furniture

Christies | 7th July 2016

Offered here as “terminology to know when buying at auction”, but also good for generally showing off in other people’s houses. Back splat: “The vertical piece of wood running from the frame of a chair to the base of the backrest.” Escutcheon: “The plate of metal that surrounds a keyhole, often decorative. From scutum, the Latin for shield.” Hassock: “An upholstered footstool or short bench.” Shoe: “The horizontal section of the back seat rail of a chair that supports the bottom of the splat” (4,300 words)

The Wildenstein Art Empire

James Tarmy & Vernon Silver | Bloomberg | 11th July 2016

“Over recent weeks in New York dining rooms and Parisian salons, Guy Wildenstein has been a walking object lesson in how billionaire dynasties decline: surrounded by lawyers, pitied, selling off paintings — yet still fabulously rich. This is how it goes when you’re facing an inheritance-tax case that could cost your clan half a billion dollars. His brother, father, and stepmother are dead. It falls to Wildenstein, 70, to ensure the family’s fifth-generation art-dealing fortune makes it to the sixth” (3,400 words)

Doctors Examine Vincent Van Gogh

J.S. Marcus | Wall Street Journal | 8th July 2016

What, medically speaking, was wrong with Vincent Van Gogh, apart from alcoholism and syphilis? He “exhibited a range of symptoms, from hallucinations to memory lapses, behaving erratically with friends, family and strangers”. He was diagnosed with epilepsy, but that term was used loosely in 19C France for any mental disorder. Speculative posthumous diagnoses have included bipolar disorder, Ménière’s disease, and acute intermittent porphyria, which also caused the madness of King George III (670 words)

Video of the day: This Is Bananas

What to expect:

Bright, poppy, surreal. Twenty ways to think about a banana. By FutureDeluxe (1’11”)

Thought for the day

To be free in an age like ours, one must be in a position of authority
Ernest Renan

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