Monday, January 9

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The Ballad of Johnny France

A Montana sheriff and a manhunt in the mountains.

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How to Get a Nuclear Bomb

Looking for holes in the world’s nuclear security.

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The Mystery Woman Behind the Murdoch Mess

A profile of Rebekah Brooks, who started as a secretary at News of the World and became CEO of News International by 41, developing an incredibly close relationship with Rupert Murdoch along the way.

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Streaming Dreams

On YouTube’s shift towards professionally created content.

Sunday, January 8

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The Writearound: Louis C.K.

A conversation with the comedian.
JW: You’ve talked about how you’ve had to explain moral lessons to your daughters, but do it in an inarticulate, catchy way. It’s almost as though you’re writing material for them. What’s the place of morality and ethics in your comedy? I think those are questions people live with all the time, and I think there’s a lazy not answering of them now, everyone sheepishly goes, “Oh, I’m just not doing it, I’m not doing the right thing.” There are people that really live by doing the right thing, but I don’t know what that is, I’m really curious about that. I’m really curious about what people think they’re doing when they’re doing something evil, casually.
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Barry Minkow: All-American Con Man

Con man turned pastor turned con man; a profile of a serial scammer and the movie he tried to make about himself.

Saturday, January 7

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The Shot That Nearly Killed Me

War photographers tell the stories behind their most harrowing images.

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Pvt. Danny Chen, 1992–2011

A glimpse into the life and death of a soldier who committed suicide while on duty in Afghanistan:

The Army recently announced that it was charging eight soldiers — an officer and seven enlisted men — in connection with Danny Chen’s death. Five of the eight have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide, and the coming court-martial promises a fuller picture of the harrowing abuse Chen endured. But even the basic details are enough to terrify: What could be worse than being stuck at a remote outpost, in the middle of a combat zone, tormented by your superiors, the very same people who are supposed to be looking out for you? And why did a nice, smart kid from Chinatown, who’d always shied from conflict and confrontation, seek out an environment ruled by the laws of aggression?

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Every Thing In It

Inside the Shel Silverstein archive.

One of the things you learn is that “polymath” doesn’t even begin to describe Silverstein. His creativity extended in so many directions that his archivists must be versed not just in turn-of-the-century world children’s literature, but Waylon Jennings’s deep cuts; not just in reel-to-reel tape preservation, but how to keep an old restaurant napkin scribbled with lyrics from falling apart.

Friday, January 6

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In Gold We Trust

On switching to the gold standard and a trip to the Yukon to witness the modern gold rush.

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A Missouri Town's Sweet Dreams Turn Sour

How the town of Moberly, population 14,000, got conned.

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Stalking Her Killer

The author tracks down a former Peace Corps volunteer who murdered a fellow worker in 1976.