True Crime, Bob Dylan, Hedgehogs, Immortality, Wetsuitmen


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Relentless: The Sheriff Of Putnam County

Joe Kovac | Atlanta | 6th May 2015

EDITOR'S FAVOURITE OF 2015. True-crime read with a hero worthy of the finest southern fiction: Howard Sills, sheriff of Putnam County, Georgia, a "whiskey cask of a man" with a weakness for cigars, shotguns, and Oxford American. Murders don't happen in Putnam County — until one does, and it's a doozy. "On the floor was a man’s body. The man’s age was hard to guess, because the body had no head. It had been cut off. And it was gone" (5,400 words)

Bob Dylan’s Grammy Speech

Bob Dylan | LA Times | 7th February 2015

EDITOR'S FAVOURITE OF 2015. Probably the best short account ever of rock music's golden age, delivered with modesty and incomparable authority. Dylan also reflects on his own songwriting: "I learned lyrics and how to write them from listening to folk songs. They gave me the code for everything that's fair game. All these songs are connected. Don't be fooled. I just opened up a different door in a different kind of way" (5,900 words)

The History Of The Hedgehog

Rory Stewart | House Of Commons | 10th November 2015

EDITOR'S FAVOURITE OF 2015. Rory Stewart opens a parliamentary debate about hedgehogs. "The legislation introduced in this House, to my great despair, in 1566, which led to the bounty of a tuppence on a hedgehog, was based on a misunderstanding: the idea that the hedgehog fed on the teats of a recumbent cow in order to feed itself on milk. This led to the death of between half a million and two million hedgehogs" (1,600 words)

Death Is Optional

Daniel Kahneman & Yuval Noah Harari | Edge | 4th March 2015

EDITOR'S FAVOURITE OF 2015. Enthralling conversation about the future between Harari, an historian of human life, and Kahneman, the father of behavioural economics. "The basic process is the decoupling of intelligence from consciousness. The military and economic and political system doesn't really need consciousness. It needs intelligence. And intelligence is a far easier thing than consciousness" (5,950 words)

The Wetsuitman

Anders Fjellberg | Dagbladet | 15th June 2015

EDITOR'S FAVOURITE OF 2015. The reporting achievement is remarkable. The writing, presumably in translation, is all the more powerful for its calm and measured voice. Two corpses are found in identical wetsuits, one on the coast of Norway, the other on the Dutch island of Texel. An RFID tag leads to Calais, and into the camps of migrants and refugees struggling to reach England. All human life is here (7,900 words)

Video of the day: My Blackberry Is Not Working

What to expect: Classic comedy sketch. Enjoy it while the joke lasts. Future generations will be baffled (2'30")

Thought for the day

And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been
Rainer Maria Rilke

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