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Swan Song

Cyril the Swan was the mascot for a low-level soccer club in the UK. He was known for fighting with other mascots. And refs. And opposing coaches. He also saved the club’s financial fortunes. Then the nine-foot-tall bird became the prime suspect in a serious assault.

Sheelah Kolhatkar is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street.

“Suddenly the financial crisis happened and all this stuff that had been hidden from view came out into the open. It was like, ‘Oh, this was actually all kind of a big façade.’ And there was all this fraud and stealing and manipulation and corruption, and all these other things going on underneath the whole shiny rock star surface. And that really also demonstrated to people how connected business stories, or anything to do with money, are to everything else going on. I mean, really almost everything that happens in our world, if you trace it back to its source, it’s money at the root of it.”

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Meet the Shaggs

From 1968-1973, the three teenage Wiggin sisters, guided by a domineering father, played their strange music at New Hampshire ballrooms and recorded a single album. The Philosophy of the World LP goes for over $500 today, but the intervening decades have not been kind to the Wiggins.