Roy Cohn, Goethe, Kenya, Olympics, Roger Scruton


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Don’t Mess With Roy Cohn

Ken Auletta | Esquire | 13th July 2016

Classic profile of the New York powerhouse lawyer who made his name as “arrogant, red-baiting counsel” to Joe McCarthy; his later clients included Carmine ‘Lilo’ Galante, ‘Fat Tony’ Salerno, and Donald Trump. “Prospective clients who want to kill their husband, torture a business partner, break the government’s legs, hire Roy Cohn. He is a legal executioner—the toughest, meanest, loyalest, vilest, and one of the most brilliant lawyers in America. He is not a very nice man” (12,800 words)

Many Aspects Of Goethe

Osman Durani | Times Literary Supplement | 13th July 2016

Goethe, yes — but which Goethe? The 143 volumes of his collected works contain multitudes. “He was active, over a lifespan of eighty-two years, as a poet, novelist, dramatist, essayist, librettist, translator, biographer, diarist, critic, theatre director, collector, painter, sculptor and in many other capacities. He was no less committed to the sciences, extending the frontiers of knowledge in botany, optics, colour theory, climatology, and in all aspects of human and animal biology” (2,600 words)

The Lunatic Express

Daniel Knowles | 1843 | 14th July 2016

“It is 3am in Nairobi’s central railway station and the staff on the night train to Mombasa are beginning to serve dinner. The train was due to leave seven hours ago. Packed into the red-leather-lined first-class dining car, its ancient bakelite fans hanging idle from the ceiling, my travel companion and I pick at the early breakfast of beef stew, boiled greens and rice, served on plates embossed with the logo of the East African Railways and Harbours Corporation, which was wound up in 1977” (1,880 words)

The Oxford Olympics Study 2016

Bent Flyvbjerg et al | Oxford University | 14th July 2016

To stage an Olympic Games is to “take on one of the most costly and financially most risky type of mega-project that exists”. The Olympics “have the highest average cost overrun of any type of mega-project”. Cost overrun “is found in all Games, without exception; for no other type of mega-project is this the case”. The largest cost overrun for a Summer Games was 720% at Montreal 1976. This year’s 51% overrun at Rio “is the same as the median cost overrun for other Games since 1999” (495 words)

Who Are We?

Roger Scruton | Prospect | 14th July 2016

Reflections on the Brexit vote. Economic growth is vital to the stability and well-being of a country, but so is social trust. Social trust comes from “shared language, shared customs, and the ability of the people to change their own government by a process that is transparent to them all”. The founders of the European Union believed they could build a new form of identity and new level of social trust; but they succeeded only partially, among urban elites — and partial trust is not enough (2,600 words)

Video of the day: Images Of Fukushima

What to expect:

Beautiful, haunting, sad. Images by Rebecca Lilith Bathory. Video by Chris Lavelle. Music by Rosie Doonan (1’50”)

Thought for the day

There is no error in science so gross that it will not one day appear prophetic
Jean Rostand

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