Thursday, October 13

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The Man Who Sailed His House

Two days after the Japanese tsunami, after the waves had left their destruction, as rescue workers searched the ruins, news came of an almost surreal survival: Miles out at sea, a man was found, alone, riding on nothing but the roof of his house.
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Inside Obama's War Room

Why the US intervened in Libya.

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Begging Your Pardon, President Obama!

Why has the White House ignored clemency petitions?

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Hemingway Reports Spain

THEY SAY YOU never hear the one that hits you. That's true of bullets, because, if you hear them, they are already past. But your correspondent heard the last shell that hit this hotel. He heard it start from the battery, then come with a whistling incommg roar like a subway train to crash against the cornice and shower the room with broken glass and plaster. And while the glass still tinkled down and you listened for the next one to start, you realized that now finally you were back in Madrid.

Wednesday, October 12

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The Mysterious Death of Sammy Wanjiru

He rose from poverty to fame as a marathon champion at only 23. But was his fall from a balcony outside of Nairobi murder, accident, or suicide?

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The Prison-Industrial Complex

The prison-industrial complex is not only a set of interest groups and institutions. It is also a state of mind. The lure of big money is corrupting the nation's criminal-justice system, replacing notions of public service with a drive for higher profits. The eagerness of elected officials to pass "tough-on-crime" legislation — combined with their unwillingness to disclose the true costs of these laws — has encouraged all sorts of financial improprieties. The inner workings of the prison-industrial complex can be observed in the state of New York, where the prison boom started, transforming the economy of an entire region; in Texas and Tennessee, where private prison companies have thrived; and in California, where the correctional trends of the past two decades have converged and reached extremes.
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Inside the collapse

On the Red Sox’s historic implosion:

Drinking beer in the Sox clubhouse is permissible. So is ordering take-out chicken and biscuits. Playing video games on one of the clubhouse’s flat-screen televisions is OK, too. But for the Sox pitching trio to do all three during games, rather than show solidarity with their teammates in the dugout, violated an unwritten rule that players support each other, especially in times of crisis.

Tuesday, October 11

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Willem de Kooning Still Dazzles

From his arrival in New York as a penniless 22-year-old Dutch stowaway through years of obscurity until emerging as a major artist in his 50s.

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Thought Experiments: When the Singularity is More Than a Literary Device

An interview with futurist Ray Kurzweil on the “Singularity” and the overlap between technology and spiritualism.

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Mysterious Circumstances

The world’s foremost Sherlock Holmes expert found dead in a locked room, leaving no note.

There was something else, he said, something critical. On the eve of his death, he reminded me, Green had spoken to his friend Keen about an "American" who was trying to ruin him. The following day, Gibson said, he had called Green's house and heard a strange greeting on the answering machine. "Instead of getting Richard's voice in this sort of Oxford accent, which had been on the machine for a decade," Gibson recalled, "I got an American voice that said, 'Sorry, not available.

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How could this young woman lie dead and undiscovered for almost three years?

The body of a 38-year-old woman lay on her couch with the TV continuously running BBC for three years. Who was she, and why did it take three years for her to be discovered?

Monday, October 10

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Planet of the Retired Apes

Retirement for chimps is, in its way, a perversely natural outcome, which is to say, one that only we, the most cranially endowed of the primates, could have possibly concocted. It's the final manifestation of the irrepressible and ultimately vain human impulse to bring inside the very walls that we erect against the wilderness its most inspiring representatives -- the chimps, our closest biological kin, the animal whose startling resemblance to us, both outward and inward, has long made it a ''can't miss'' for movies and Super Bowl commercials and a ''must have'' in our laboratories. Retirement homes are, in a sense, where we've been trying to get chimps all along: right next door.