Best of the Moment
Jesse Hirsch | Modern Farmer | 25th April 2013
Feral pigs are over-running America. Radioactive feral pigs are threatening Europe. Destroying crops, spreading diseases. "Once a wild pig is full-grown, it is invulnerable to almost all forms of predators — angry alligators being one possible exception". Boars are smart, fast, hard to hunt. “We’re not going to shoot or trap our way out of this. Lethal removal just doesn’t take the numbers that you need to control the population”
Mark Perry | Foreign Policy | 29th April 2013
On the life and death of Imad Mughniye, "the violent mastermind of Hezbollah ... the most dangerous man you never heard of". Made his mark with the Beirut embassy bombing in 1983. Hijacked TWA flight 847 in 1985. Plotted 1994 Buenos Aires synagogue bombing. Right-hand man of Hezbollah boss Hassan Nasrallah for two decades. Blown to bits by a car bomb in 2008. Set by whom? Probably Syria, at Israel's request
Erica Grieder | Dallas News | 26th April 2013
"After spending much of its history as little more than a resource colony — America’s leading provider of cotton and cattle, soldiers and oil — Texas has emerged as an economic and intellectual powerhouse, a place capable of leading the country". Worrying news for progressives: Texas champions small government. Republicans are right to defend the Texas model. Democrats are right to say it could use some tweaks
Bill Hayes | Virginia Quarterly Review | 26th April 2013
Fourteen reasons, if reasons were needed, for spending more time in this small, clean, modest, beautiful, progressive, peaceful country. "Finally, this is a little hard to describe, but that there is a soft, wordless gasp built into their language — haaa! — which often comes in response to something another person says. It is as if the sound of wonder is central to being Icelandic. The sound of breath being taken away"
Jonathan Rauch | The Atlantic | 24th April 2013
Humbling, enlightening essay on end-of-life care. "Unwanted treatment is American medicine’s dark continent. No one knows its extent, and few people want to talk about it. The US medical system was built to treat anything that might be treatable, at any stage of life — even near the end, when there is no hope of a cure, and when the patient, if fully informed, might prefer quality time and relative normalcy to all-out intervention"
Brian Phillips | Grantland | 24th April 2013
Huge read, practically a book, about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska. Big, lyrical writing style. A hymn to the mushers and the terrain. "We were stranded out there for three hours. It was the first time I ever understood why freezing to death is sometimes described as peaceful or soothing or just like falling asleep. It was like certain parts of your body just accrued this strange hush. Like you were disappearing piece by piece"
Thought for the day:
"Saying that cultural objects have value is like saying that telephones have conversations"— Brian Eno