Icelandic Food, Abortion, Flu, Paul McCartney, IPO


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Fermented Shark

Edward Lucas | 1843 | 19th January 2018

Introduction to Icelandic cuisine, beginning with hákarl, or fermented shark. “The headless corpse is buried in gravel for up to 12 weeks while the poisons (trimethylamine oxide and uric acid) leak away. Then it is hung for several months until a brown crust forms. The taste recalls the strongest cheese you have ever eaten, left on a rubbish dump for several days in hot sun and doused in sea-water. The neophyte’s tastebuds are begging for mercy even before the gag reflex kicks in” (730 words)

Pro-Science And Pro-Life

Emma Green | Atlantic | 18th January 2018

The more that prospective parents see of fetal development, the more they decide against abortion. “The pro-life message has been for the last 40 years that the fetus is a life, a human life worthy of all the rights the rest of us have. That’s been more of an abstract concept until the last decade or so. But when you’re seeing a baby sucking its thumb at 18 weeks, smiling, clapping, it becomes harder to square the idea that the 20-week-old, the unborn baby or fetus, is discardable” (3,400 words)

The Untreatable

Gavin Francis | LRB | 19th January 2018

We think of influenza nowadays as an inconvenience. Death is rare. But the Spanish flu of 1918 killed up to 100 million people. “The flu resculpted human populations more radically than anything since the Black Death. It influenced the course of the First World War and, arguably, contributed to the second. It pushed India closer to independence, South Africa closer to apartheid, and Switzerland to the brink of civil war. It ushered in our love of fresh air and our passion for sport” (3,150 words)

Paul McCartney On Life As A Bassist

Tony Bacon | Reverb | 11th January 2018

Interview, focused mainly on the early days of the Beatles, when McCartney switched from guitarist to the relatively unglamorous role of bass-player after Stu Sutcliffe left the band. “We were in Hamburg and Stu had fallen in love with this girl Astrid. Eventually he said, Well, I’m gonna stay here with Astrid. So it was like oh-oh, we haven’t got a bass player. And everyone sort of turned round and looked at me. I was a bit lumbered with it, really. It was like, well, it better be you then” (8,060 words)

Diary Of An IPO Roadshow

Glenn Kelman | Redfin | 16th January 2018

What it’s like when you hire Goldman Sachs to run your IPO. A CEO’s tale. “I learned that seeking approval from one person after another will tear your heart out. I learned to see everything I loved from an appraising distance, so I could stop nit-picking it or promoting it or defending the way it is now, and instead reimagine it at its full potential. I learned that sometimes you should just tell people the ugliest things about you because those are the things that people trust the most” (4,700 words)

Video of the day Paper Meal Ramen

What to expect:

A dish of noodles made from paper cuts. Rare case of a video which ends too soon (0’40”)

Thought for the day

The height of cleverness is to be able to conceal it
François de La Rochefoucauld

Podcast of the day The Beigies | NPR

Stacey Vanek Smith and Cardiff Garcia discuss the Fed’s six-weekly survey of business conditions
(9'20")

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