IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair. We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour this Sunday.
I was writing a guidebook to a country that no longer exists; a country where busloads of Italian tourists gathered around hotel buffets; where billboards advertised the Qaddafi brand [...] The guidebook I researched was a guidebook to the past.
“All right, I’m ready to Tweet!” It’s the president of the United States, clapping his hands and walking down a hallway in the White House. A group of Twitter staffers receive him in the green room outside the West Wing.
The following day, the broadcast resumed as if nothing had happened. For the rest of June and July, UVB-76 behaved more or less as it always had. There were some short-lived perturbations—including bits of what sounded like Morse code—but nothing dramatic. In mid-August, the buzzing stopped again.
When he wants to cross three lanes of fast traffic he doesn’t so much as glance over his shoulder but just sticks out his hand and follows it, assuming that whatever is behind him will stop. His bike has at least 10 speeds, but he has just 2: zero and pedaling as fast as he can. Inside half a mile he’s moving fast enough that wind-induced tears course down his cheeks.
Thanks to an eccentric New York lawyer in the 1930s, this college in a corner of the Catskills inherited a thousand-year trust that would not mature until the year 2936: a gift whose accumulated compound interest, the New York Times reported in 1961, “could ultimately shatter the nation’s financial structure.”
“In a very real sense, Democrats running for office in North Carolina are always running against Art Pope. The Republican agenda in North Carolina is really Art Pope’s agenda. He sets it, he funds it, and he directs the efforts to achieve it. The candidates are just fronting for him.”
… AND A CLASSIC READ FROM THE ARCHIVES…
Murder accused Amanda Knox was freed on appeal this week. Earlier this year, Nathaniel Rich wrote about her ordeal for Rolling Stone.
Her killer did a bad job. It was amateur work: There were bloody fingerprints and footprints all over the apartment, and the killer even defecated in the toilet and forgot to flush. But that wasn’t the worst of it. Whoever murdered Meredith Kercher didn’t know how to use a knife.