Seymour Hersh, 911, Hospital, Nullification, Telephones

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Don’t Tell Congress

Seymour Hersh | TLS | 29th May 2018

Extreme Reporting 101. Seymour Hersh shares teachable moments from his life in journalism. “I began by asking what was up with Hariri. The issue was money, Assad said. Syria was going into the cellphone business, and everyone wanted in. Hariri’s proposal was especially onerous, because he was insisting on controlling 70 per cent of the profit. The issue had been resolved, he said, and Hariri had returned to Beirut”. While Hersh and Assad were talking, Hariri, back in Beirut, was killed by a bomb (3,080 words)

First Person: A 911 Dispatcher

Rachael Herron | Vox | 31st May 2018

“People should call 911 if it’s an actual emergency. But think before you call the cops to handle your feelings about a barbecue, or where someone is parked, or if they’re playing music on a Saturday afternoon. I’ve answered at least a quarter of a million 911 calls in my career. Amid the meaningless, racially charged calls, I’ve gotten many by concerned citizens who genuinely want to help someone in danger. Good typically wins over evil. But it’s awfully damn close” (1,400 words)

Somewhere Under My Left Ribs

Christie Watson | Longreads | 31st May 2018

Reading a hospital operating theatre from a nurse’s perspective. “There is a radio on a shelf high up behind the surgeon’s head, although it is silent. The reassuring sound of music when the operation is going well is absent. The words ‘Turn the music down’ in theater mean that things are not going well — an artery has been nicked, there is a bleed, a drop in blood pressure or a cardiac arrest”. “If the patient ever sees an experienced nurse looking worried, it means they are likely dead already” (4,500 words)

How To Get On A Jury

Mark Bennett | Reason | 31st May 2018

A lawyer explains how jury selection operates. It is easy to get rejected for jury service, if that is what you want, by saying that you think the law in question — possession of marijuana, for example — is unjust. But what if you want to be selected for jury service in order to find the accused innocent, regardless of the evidence? That’s much trickier, unless you are willing to commit perjury. “Say as little as possible, with your words, your body language, and your appearance” (2,600 words)

No One Answers Their Phone Any More

Alexis Madrigal | Atlantic | 31st May 2018

Telephone culture is coming to an end, a century after it began. For our parents and grandparents, if the phone rang, you answered it. “The expectation of pickup made phones a synchronous medium. No one picks up the phone anymore. Businesses do everything they can to avoid picking up the phone. Of the 50 or so calls I received in the last month, I might have picked up four or five times. The reflex of answering — built so deeply into 20th-century telephonic culture — is gone” (1,160 words)

Video of the day The Golden Ratio

What to expect:

Visualising the properties of irrational numbers, including the golden ratio (15’12”)

Thought for the day

All models are wrong, but some are useful
George Box

Podcast A Polite Word For Liar | Revisionist History

Malcolm Gladwell delves into the fantastical life of the world’s greatest harmonica player, Larry Adler
(40m 10s)

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