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Writing Worth Reading
Why Amazon Caved
Ethan Zuckerman | CJR | 3 December 2010
Harvard researcher discusses Amazon's decision to boot Wikileaks. Highlights
contradiction that, whereas we think of internet as public space, it's owned
by private companies, who can do what they like
China's Past On Kenya's Coast
Virginia Postrel | WSJ | 4 December 2010
China funds research in Kenya, to find evidence of African-Chinese trade in
15th century. As China gains stature, it wants new historical narrative
showing that it has always been an advanced global power
Suhaag Raat: Then And Now
Subhangi Swarup | Open | 4 December 2010
How Indian newly-weds spend their wedding night. "Shobha wasn’t aware that
the groom’s friends had bugged the room with audio recorders. She happily
criticised her husband’s family while removing her jewellery"
Obituary: Frank Lewis
Anonymous | Telegraph | 3 December 2010
American, codebreaker at NSA, wrote cryptic crosswords for "The Nation" for
60 years. "When he clued 'Doth thith make the heart grow fonder?', the
solution—'Absinthe'—brought groans from coast to coast"
Arsenic And Old Life
Sam Kean | Slate | 3 December 2010
Short, clear backgrounder on recent discovery of bacteria which thrives on
arsenic, where other known life-forms on Earth need phosphorous. Implies
that planets which appear toxic to us might yet support life
Elaine Kaufman, Who Fed the Famous, Dies
Enid Nemy | NYT | 3 December 2010
Obituary for owner of New York literary bar, Elaine's, beloved of Woody
Allen. "Once, when a newcomer asked directions to the men’s room, Ms.
Kaufman replied, 'Take a right at Michael Caine'."
Afghan Graft Starts At Top
Scott Shane et al | NYT | 2 December 2010
Depressing account of ubiquitous criminality in Afghan government, sourced
from Wikileaks cables. US diplomats wonder plaintively "how to fight
corruption when the key government officials are themselves corrupt"
Farmers Flock To Manure
Gene Logsdon | Atlantic | 2 December 2010
Chemical fertiliser prices are rising. Supplies of potash from Canada are
dwindling. Farmers may be forced back to using "something so repugnant that
the word itself was scrubbed from polite conversation"
How did Qatar get the World Cup? Why do we root for underdogs? Is it OK to
cheat? How can we make... Continue reading...
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