Monday, September 26

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The case for coaches in professions other than music and sports. Like medicine, for example:

Since I have taken on a coach, my complication rate has gone down. It’s too soon to know for sure whether that’s not random, but it seems real. I know that I’m learning again. I can’t say that every surgeon needs a coach to do his or her best work, but I’ve discovered that I do.

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Abdul Raziq, a 33-year-old warlord, is an increasingly powerful player in Afghanistan and the recipient of substantial U.S. support. He may also be the perpetrator of a civilian massacre.

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An oral history of the Upright Citizens Brigade.

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How a town of 29,000 on the Hudson River came to be “one of the most dangerous four-mile stretches in the northeastern United States.”

Sunday, September 25

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The Haqqani family, an organized crime militia dubbed the “Sopranos of the Afghanistan war,” will almost surely outlast the U.S. occupation and thus seize tremendous power after the U.S. exits.

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In 1959, a social psychologist in Michigan brought together three institutionalized patients for an experiment:

[W]hat would happen, he wondered, if he made three men meet and live closely side by side over a period of time, each of whom believed himself to be the one and only Jesus Christ?

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A visit to Walt Disney World.
The first thing I did at Walt Disney World was to take an oath not to make any smart-aleck remarks. A Disney public-relations man had told me that attitude was everything. So I placed my left hand on a seven-Adventure book of tickets to the Magic Kingdom and raised my right hand and promised that there would be no sarcasm on my lips or in my heart.

Saturday, September 24

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How an Italian thug looted MGM, brought Credit Lyonnais to its knees, and made the Pope cry.
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On the life of a small-town druggist in Colorado.

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Portrait of a Chinese-American family living in New York.

Friday, September 23

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From the Econo-Lodge to the Porcupine Freedom Festival, on the campaign trail with former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, the fringe candidate who doesn’t really seem he should be a fringe candidate.

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How mitigation specialists are changing the application of the death penalty:

In Texas, the most prominent mitigation strategist is a lawyer named Danalynn Recer, the executive director of the Gulf Region Advocacy Center. Based in Houston, GRACE has represented defendants in death-penalty cases since 2002. “The idea was to improve the way capital trials were done in Texas, to start an office that would bring the best practices from other places and put them to work here,” Recer said recently. “This is not some unknowable thing. This is not curing cancer. We know how to do this. It is possible to persuade a jury to value someone’s life.”