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Writing Worth Reading
Sharing The Dakota With John Lennon
Christine Haughney | NYT | 6 December 2010
He and Yoko weren't terribly popular, as neighbours. "In addition to two
seventh-floor apartments, they bought three other apartments, to use for
storage, a work studio for Ms. Ono, and an apartment for guests"
Wikileaks, Secrecy, And East Timor
Aaron Bady | zunguzungu | 7 December 2010
Outstanding essay on diplomatic secrecy. "If anyone has examples of a time
when government secrecy was used for something other than exerting force in
support of self-interest, I'd like to hear them"
Just Hold Me
Dave Johns | Slate | 7 December 2010
Do real men like to cuddle? Tactile reporter investigates, trying out a
"cuddle party" and tangling with the "When Harry Met Sally" question of
whether sex always gets in the way. Enjoyable stuff
Make Something Happen!
Julian Bell | LRB | 2 December 2010
Essay on 17th-century Italian art. Clever, funny, thrilling in its
irreverence. Posits Salvator Rosa, Reni and Caravaggio as forerunners of the
modern artist, in their sensibility and in their business methods
How I Killed Pluto
Mike Brown | Atlantic | 7 December 2010
Astronomer tell of discovering new orbiting body, Xena, thereby igniting
year-long scientific debate about how to define a planet. Upshot was that
Xena didn't get planetary status, and Pluto was demoted
Charlie Stross | Charlie's Diary | 5 December 2010
Short, enjoyable blog post. "To a conservative, the first priority is not to
lose track of what's good about the past". But that creates a bias against
change. We need more utopian visions, to spur innovation
End Burma's Isolation
Thant Myint-U | Guernica | 6 December 2010
Historian argues for more pragmatic Western policies towards post-election
Burma. Lift sanctions. End local wars. Nurture more complex economy, more
outward-looking society. Let democracy grow out of that
Don Blankenship, Dark Lord of Coal Country
Jeff Goodell | Rolling Stone | 29 November 2010
"He buys judges like cheap hookers, treats workers like dogs, blasts
mountains to get at a few inches of coal, and he earns $18 million a year."
One week after this profile was published, Blankenship quit
Why Are There No Great Women Chefs?
Charlotte Druckman | Gastronomica | 1 December 2010
Of course there are, but Americans class women as cooks. Food Network full
of them. To be called a great chef, you need business acumen, celebrity,
marketability, which are male-skewed qualities
Wikileaks And The Long Haul
Clay Shirky | 6 December 2010
"Over the long haul, we will need new checks and balances for newly
increased transparency". But the way to introduce them is through democratic
process. Not by hustling ISPs into booting Wikileaks offline
Evan Kohlmann, Terrorist Search Engine
Wesley Yang | New York | 5 December 2010
Profile of US government's top expert witness in Islamic terrorist cases. He
doesn't speak Arabic. He's never been to Iraq or Pakistan. He gets it all
from the internet. Is he a genius, or a stooge?
On Climate Change
Roger Pielke | Five Books | 7 December 2010
Professor of environmental studies talks about the climate-change debate,
recommends books illuminating it. Interesting throughout, especially on the
limitations of top-down thinking, or "policy-wonk hubris"
My Zombie, Myself
Chuck Klosterman | NYT | 3 December 2010
Zombies have captured America's imagination. "Walking Dead" TV show gets
almost twice the viewers of "Mad Men". Goes down well, because killing
zombies is mindless, repetitive. Like killing time in modern life
Tony Judt, A.L. Kennedy, David Sedaris, Tim Judah, Graeme Wood on the
reality and romance of trains... Continue reading...
Today on FiveBooks: Dan Cruickshank on Architectural History
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