Saturday, August 17

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Raiders of the Congo

Two white security contractors set off into the remote interior. Within a week, a seemingly innocent man who crossed their path lay dead on the side of the road. The manhunt began.

Friday, August 16

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Against the Law

A profile of lawyer Jacques Vergès, who died yesterday after decades spent defending war criminals, terrorists and dictators.

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The Tedium Is the Message

A history of spam on the internet.

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Bit

“Joe’s hand began to tingle, and he called the group together. The toxins would leave his system in 48 hours, he said. He’d be conscious the whole time.”

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Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal

“The dirty secret of American higher education is that student-loan interest rates are almost irrelevant. It’s not the cost of the loan that’s the problem, it’s the principal – the appallingly high tuition costs that have been soaring at two to three times the rate of inflation, an irrational upward trajectory eerily reminiscent of skyrocketing housing prices in the years before 2008.”

Thursday, August 15

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Body and Soul

On disability, adolescence and friendship after a paralyzing accident.

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Shadow of a Nation

Basketball on a Crow reservation and a player named Jonathan Takes Enemy trying to escape.

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Murder by Craigslist

How a serial killer and his teenage accomplice used listings for “the job of a lifetime” to lure their victims, all down-and-out single men, to the backwoods of Ohio.

Wednesday, August 14

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The Case of the Bank-Robbing Prostitutes

How a struggling comedian became a pimp who eventually started sending teenage hookers on bank robbery missions that earned them notoriety as the “Starlet Bandits.”

Longform Podcast #55: Amy Harmon

Amy Harmon, a Pulitzer Prize winner, covers the intersection of science and society for the New York Times.

"I'm not looking to expose science as problematic and I'm not looking to celebrate it. But it can be double edged. Genetic knowledge can certainly be double edged. Often the science outpaces where our culture is in terms of grappling with it, with the implications of it. Part of the reason for this widespread fear about GMOs is people don't understand what it is. I'm looking for an emotional way or a vehicle through which to get people to read about it. It's an excuse to talk about the science, not just explain it. … My contribution, what I can do, is try to tell a story that will engage people in the story and then they'll realize at the end that they learned a little bit about the science."

Thanks to TinyLetter and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show Notes »