Donald Trump is not going anywhere

Mark Leibovich meets Donald Trump

“I have seen many press scrums, but never like this. It was scary. People were tripping, falling and being shoved out of the way. Cameras were dropped. What I saw was polite routines and traditions breaking down as the American political order reoriented itself around a new center of gravity. As the shouts and cries intensified, I found myself being drawn toward the bedlam.”

Mark Leibovich | The New York Times Magazine

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Branding Guyana

On press ‘junkets’ and the rise and fall of travel writing

“It was near midnight when our plane landed at the airport outside Guyana’s capital city, Georgetown. A light rain fell. We spotted each other easily outside the arrival lounge: four writers, two birding guides, and two travel agents, all feeling slightly awkward and looking bewildered.”

Frank Bures | Nowhere Mag

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Two slayings in Ikea

A story of migrants, murder and fear of refugees in Sweden

“Kerstin Söderström was considering which frying pan to purchase when she heard the screams. Söderström and her next-door neighbor, Eivy Albinsson, had just finished eating lunch in the cafeteria of an Ikea in Västerås, Sweden, when they headed downstairs to shop.”

Michael E. Miller | The Washington Post

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The gladiators of Ancient Rome

On the reality of life for Rome’s arena-warriors

“With the tombstones were the skeletal remains of the fighters themselves, many of which bore the marks of healed wounds as well as the injuries that caused their deaths. Perhaps the most spectacular find was a skull pierced with three neat, evenly spaced holes. This man had been slain with the barbed trident …”

Tony Wilmott | History Extra

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Suharto’s purge, Indonesia’s silence

The legacy of mass slaughter in Indonesia 50 years ago

“I did not know if it was safe to approach the killers, but when I did, I found them open. They offered boastful accounts of the killings, often with smiles on their faces and in front of their grandchildren. I felt I had wandered into Germany 40 years after the Holocaust, only to find the Nazis still in power.”

Joshua Oppenheimer | The New York Times

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The amazing inner lives of animals

On the cultural lives and behaviours of intelligent creatures

“The last common ancestor of these creatures was a primitive, small-brained, nocturnal, shrew-sized mammal that lived around 100 million years ago. The brains, bodies, and societies of these “animal intelligentsia,” as we might call them, are each very different, making it hard to understand their lives.”

Tim Flannery | The New York Review of Books

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The fall of King Coal

Don Blankenship’s influence and money changed politics in America’s ‘coal country’, now he hopes it will keep him out of prison

“Heavyset and balding, with a slug of a mustache and anthracite eyes, he was a harsh taskmaster whose cutthroat management style transformed what was once a modest family business into the region’s largest coal producer. In the process, he rose from a small-town accountant to a political heavyweight who dined at the White House …”

Tim Murphy | Mother Jones

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A criminal mind

On a psychiatrist turned drug dealer, and the thin line between brain disorder and criminality

“People who have the illness can develop sociopathic and disinhibited behavior. The dementia sometimes manifests in sexual compulsions. Unlike most Alzheimer’s patients, who develop symptoms later in life, individuals with frontotemporal dementia begin to decline as early as their 50s.”

Erika Hayasaki | The California Sunday Magazine

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How ‘Kid A’ kicked off the streaming revolution

On the Capitol Records executive who helped Radiohead pioneer streaming on the Internet

“Given how commonplace pre-release album streams are in 2015, it might be difficult to fathom how incredible this idea seemed 15 years ago, particularly for a potential blockbuster like Kid A. But in 2000, the record industry was still grappling with new realities. For most record labels, the world was still flat …”

Steven Hyden | Grantland

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On mercy

Reconciling a death sentence, from a pediatric cancer ward to death row

“Ultimately, Davis’s execution doesn’t fill the hole left by her son’s murder, and now MacPhail is blamed for the execution of an innocent man. She receives hate mail from Davis’s supporters, who also continue to call her house. “I didn’t sentence him to die,” MacPhail says. “He was found guilty and that was the state—not me.””

Lacy M. Johnson | Guernica

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Me Inc.

Ann Friedman goes on a quest to build a personal brand

“The conference organizers had asked me to speak about how journalists can create a “personal brand,” and tantalized by a subsidized vacation in the Alaskan wilderness, I quickly agreed. On the flight to Anchorage, I perused the local headlines … Reading these articles, I knew I was in trouble.”

Ann Friedman | The New Republic

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Sneaker wars

Inside the battle between Nike and Adidas

“Nike calls its headquarters a “campus,” and the place—with its man-made lake and undulating running trail and blossoming cherry trees—is undeniably beautiful, in a sleekly corporate way. Still, it’s hard to shake the Area 51 vibe: Tight-lipped guards in trim red Nike shirts and sleek black Nike caps roam the grounds in pairs.”

Matthew Shaer | GQ

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