Monday, December 19

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On the “horrible weirdness” of Kim Jung Il’s Korea.

Sunday, December 18

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A portrait of Czech President Václav Havel as he left office.

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Why little has changed in popular American style in the last 20 years.

Why is this happening? In some large measure, I think, it’s an unconscious collective reaction to all the profound nonstop newness we’re experiencing on the tech and geopolitical and economic fronts. People have a limited capacity to embrace flux and strangeness and dissatisfaction, and right now we’re maxed out.

Saturday, December 17

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A year in the life of an oxycodone addict.

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How a Texas woman pushed for autopsy reform.

Clinical autopsies, once commonplace in American hospitals, have become an increasing rarity and are conducted in just 5 percent of hospital deaths. Grief-stricken families like the Carswells desperately want the answers that an autopsy can provide. But they often do not know their rights in dealing with either coroners or medical examiners, who investigate unnatural deaths, or health-care providers, who delve into natural ones.

Friday, December 16

The Best Crime Writing of 2011



Our picks for the top 10 tech stories of the year, including work by Ashlee Vance (Businessweek), Alex Blumberg and Laura Sydell (Planet Money), and Maciej Ceglowski (Pinboard).

See the full list.

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After decades of failed revitalization strategies, a town of 10,000 tries another.

Thursday, December 15

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On the recovery of snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who suffered a massive brain injury five days before the 2010 Olympics.

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James Wood on Saul Bellow:

One realizes, with a shock, that Bellow has taught one how to see and how to hear, has opened the senses. Until this moment one had not really thought of the looseness of a lightbulb filament, one had not heard the saliva bubbling in the harmonica, one had not seen well enough the nose pitted with black pores, and the demolition ball’s slow, heavy selection of its victims. A dozen good writers–Updike, DeLillo, others–can render you the window of a fish shop, and do it very well; but it is Bellow’s genius to see the lobsters “crowded to the glass” and their “feelers bent” by that glass–to see the riot of life in the dead peace of things.

Wednesday, December 14

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After the United States demanded the extradition of a drug lord, a bloodletting ensued.

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An attempt to recruit black students at Virginia’s most famous “segregation academy.”