Monday, March 26

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How a hit Rihanna single gets made.

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The inside story of the Affordable Care Act.

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A profile of 25-year-old Lena Dunham, showrunner and star of HBO’s Girls.

Sunday, March 25

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An obituary for Richard Nixon.

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Death on America's racetracks:

At 2:11 p.m., as two ambulances waited with motors running, 10 horses burst from the starting gate at Ruidoso Downs Race Track 6,900 feet up in New Mexico’s Sacramento Mountains.

Nineteen seconds later, under a brilliant blue sky, a national champion jockey named Jacky Martin lay sprawled in the furrowed dirt just past the finish line, paralyzed, his neck broken in three places. On the ground next to him, his frightened horse, leg broken and chest heaving, was minutes away from being euthanized on the track. For finishing fourth on this early September day last year, Jacky Martin got about $60 and possibly a lifetime tethered to a respirator.
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Eighteen-year-old Justin Gaines disappears after a night at a bar.

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A profile.

When we're introduced, I spend a long moment trying to conjugate the reality of James Brown's face, one I've contemplated as an album-cover totem since I was thirteen or fourteen: that impossible slant of jaw and cheekbone, that Pop Art slash of teeth, the unmistakable rage of impatience lurking in the eyes. It's a face drawn by Jack Kirby or Milton Caniff, that's for sure, a visage engineered for maximum impact at great distances, from back rows of auditoriums.

Saturday, March 24

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The architect of the Occupy movement on the state of “anti-globalization” activism at the turn of the twentieth century.

Over the past decade, activists in North America have been putting enormous creative energy into reinventing their groups’ own internal processes, to create viable models of what functioning direct democracy could actually look like. In this we’ve drawn particularly, as I’ve noted, on examples from outside the Western tradition, which almost invariably rely on some process of consensus finding, rather than majority vote. The result is a rich and growing panoply of organizational instruments—spokescouncils, affinity groups, facilitation tools, break-outs, fishbowls, blocking concerns, vibe-watchers and so on—all aimed at creating forms of democratic process that allow initiatives to rise from below and attain maximum effective solidarity, without stifling dissenting voices, creating leadership positions or compelling anyone to do anything which they have not freely agreed to do.

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“My name is Jackie and I am addicted to waitressing.” An essay on waiting tables.

The Longform Guide to Obituaries



Richard Nixon, Elizabeth Taylor, Idi Amin: a collection of our favorite obits ever written. At Slate.

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On Abbey Road studios, the Beatles, and modern record production.

Friday, March 23

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A decorated Iraq war veteran with PTSD kills his brother and himself after a high-speed chase near the Grand Canyon.