Friday, March 30

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Can Wine Become an American Habit?

One man’s dream to turn America into a post-prohibition wine utopia.

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Dallas DA Craig Watkins on Witnessing His First Execution

An interview:
Watkins: And then, all of a sudden, you notice that it appears that he is falling asleep and gasping for air—like he is snoring, basically. You could classify it as snoring or as gasping for air. You see his chest moving, and then I guess very quickly—maybe two minutes in—his chest stops moving. And we stand there, I guess, for another 10 minutes, and everybody is just kind of standing there. D Magazine: In total silence? Watkins: No one’s talking. No one’s saying anything. And then you notice that the condemned, he starts to turn this bluish color. So I guess that’s when all his functions have stopped. And then a doctor walks in and takes his vital signs and announces that the person is—he looks at the clock and announces, “The person died at 6:22.” And then they open the door and we all walk out.
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I Was a Teenage Gramlich

On competing in the High School Fed Challenge Championship as "Ed Gramlich":
A team of five students prepares and presents a 15-minute analysis of the US economy, recommends a course of action with respect to interest rates, and then withstands a 10-minute question-and-answer period from a panel of Federal Reserve economists. To prepare for the competition, students look at the same economic indicators and the same forces influencing the economy that our nation's economic leaders examine. And to lend extra verisimilitude to the whole proceeding, competitors are also advised, as we were, to act out the parts of real members of the Federal Open Market Committee.

Thursday, March 29

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Kurt Vonnegut: The Art of Fiction No. 64

This interview with Kurt Vonnegut was originally a composite of four interviews done with the author over the past decade. The composite has gone through an extensive working over by the subject himself, who looks upon his own spoken words on the page with considerable misgivings . . . indeed, what follows can be considered an interview conducted with himself, by himself.
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Odd Blood: Serodiscordancy, or, Life With an HIV-Positive Partner

I've grown, over the last few months, the beginnings of concerned; he's started to suffer bouts of malaise. Nothing too regular, or too terrible: mild stomach aches, sore joints, general lethargy. In anyone else, it could be anything, etc. In Chad, I grow attuned to the slightest variation in temperature, to the distracted look behind his eyes when food isn't sitting with him.
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A Hole in the Ground

Is a serial killer on the loose in Wellfleet? An investigation.

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Flathead

Matt Taibbi on Thomas Friedman.

Wednesday, March 28

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Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth's Hazing Abuses

"I was a member of a fraternity that asked pledges, in order to become a brother, to: swim in a kiddie pool of vomit, urine, fecal matter, semen and rotten food products; eat omelets made of vomit; chug cups of vinegar, which in one case caused a pledge to vomit blood; drink beer poured down fellow pledges' ass cracks... among other abuses."
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Paintballing with Hezbollah

A clandestine meeting between Western journalists and Hezbollah fighters in a Beirut strip mall.

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Obama vs. Boehner: Who Killed the Debt Deal?

Lessons learned about Washington from investigating how the “grand bargain” fell apart.

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Insane in the Membrane

The breathable outerwear industry is at war with Bob Gore—the inventor of Gore-Tex.