The jury room was a gray-green, institutional rectangle: coat hooks on the wall, two small bathrooms off to one side, a long, scarred table surrounded by wooden armchairs, wastebaskets, and a floor superficially clean, deeply filthy. We entered this room on a Friday at noon, most of us expecting to be gone from it by four or five that same day. We did not see the last of it until a full twelve hours had elapsed, by which time the grimy oppressiveness of the place had become, for me at least, inextricably bound up with psychological defeat.
Wednesday, July 6
Tuesday, July 5
Before the viewing ends at 4 p.m., 975 people pass through the evidence rooms, many of them former students, survivors, and friends and relatives of the dead. Absent, as they have consistently been in the five years since the massacre, are Wayne and Kathy Harris, Eric's parents, and Tom and Sue Klebold, who raised Dylan. Although they live in the same Littleton-area homes they occupied on April 20, 1999, they have contributed virtually nothing to the public's understanding of who their sons were and why they killed.
Next is "culture training," in which trainees memorize colloquialisms and state capitals, study clips of Seinfeld and photos of Walmarts, and eat in cafeterias serving paneer burgers and pizza topped with lamb pepperoni. Trainers aim to impart something they call "international culture"—which is, of course, no culture at all, but a garbled hybrid of Indian and Western signifiers designed to be recognizable to everyone and familiar to no one. The result is a comically botched translation—a multibillion dollar game of telephone. "The most marketable skill in India today," the Guardian wrote in 2003, "is the ability to abandon your identity and slip into someone else's."
A Denver businessman’s revolutionary green energy company turned out to be nothing but a Ponzi scheme built to fund a lifestyle of booze-soaked hotel orgies with flown-in prostitutes.
Boris Yeltsin’s right-hand man tells the inside story of the 1991 coup that killed glasnost:
"That scum!" Boris Yeltsin fumed. "It's a coup. We can't let them get away with it."
Monday, July 4
A primer on competitive eating’s premier event, the Hot Dog Eating Contest, which airs today at noon EST:
1: During the allotted period of time, contestants eat as many hot dogs and buns (called "HDBs") as they can. 2: They're allowed to use a beverage of their choice to wash things down. 3: They must stay in full view of their own, personal "Bunnette" scorekeeper. 4: Condiments may be used, but are not required. 5: HDBs that are still in the mouth at the end of the contest only count if they are eventually swallowed. 6: Puking up the hot dogs before the end of the contest (called "a reversal") will result in a disqualification, unless you do something horrific to make up for it (more on this later.)
On Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and the gender dynamics of Silicon Valley.
A profile of 17-year-old Teresa Scanlan, the newly crowned Miss America.
Sunday, July 3
A trip to the Cannabis Cup serves as a backdrop for the story of how the War on Drugs revolutionized the way marijuana is cultivated in America.
David Headley helped plot the Mumbai terror attacks. Now his best friend is on trial for conspiring with him. The prosecution’s key witness: David Headley. The story of an informant trying to save his own life from the witness stand.
Tom Wolfe on the development of ”New Journalism,” an unconventional reporting style which he helped to pioneer.
I had the feeling, rightly or wrongly, that I was doing things no one had ever done before in journalism. I used to try to imagine the feeling readers must have had upon finding all this carrying on and cutting up in a Sunday supplement. I liked that idea. I had no sense of being a part of any normal journalistic or literary environment.
Saturday, July 2
Uncovering Southern California’s country music roots.