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Dublin: 0 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

The very best of the week’s writing from around the web.

Michael Freeman

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.

1. On the trail of a killer grizzly
Jessica Grose on what happened after a 59-year-old librarian was eaten by a bear (Slate).

Now Wallace’s body was lying in the long grass next to a downed log and facing up—a sign that he’d seen his attacker and fought back. His face and arm were covered with dirt and a long-sleeved shirt. His other scratched-up arm was sticking out from under a pile of dirt, branches, and grass.

2. Hyper-addictive stupid games
Sam Anderson on how games like Angry Birds, Farmville and the rest – once the preserve of nerds and teenagers – have conquered all of us (New York Times).

It has also inspired a disturbingly robust merchandising empire: films, T-shirts, novelty slippers, even plans for Angry Birds “activity parks” featuring play equipment for kids. For months, a sign outside my local auto-repair shop promised, “Free Angry Birds pen with service.”

3. Confessions of a frat boy
Janet Reitman on the frat-house party boy who blew the whistle on disturbing and sometimes dangerous practices at the world’s richest colleges (Rolling Stone).

Ritualized vomiting was simply part of brotherly life. SAE has a “boot room,” which is essentially a bathroom where brothers in the midst of a rigorous game of pong can stick their finger down their throat – the term is “pulling the trigger” – and then resume the game. At some houses, pledges are not allowed to pull their own triggers, but must get a friend to do it for them.

4. Inside the new Vegas
Evan Osnos on how Macau, China is taking over as the world’s gambling capital (New Yorker).

Tom Smock, the casino’s general counsel at the time, watched as the building’s tall metal front doors began to give way from the pressure of the crowd. “Every time a hinge broke, the crowd roared with approval,” Smock said. “They ripped every door off the hinges at that front entrance. That’s how the casino opened, and they poured in.”

5. Living with a lover with HIV
John Fram on what life was like after his partner tested positive (Atlantic).

The lab tech comments on the veins in my arm with the same enthusiasm as Chad when I first met him. She prods them a few times with two gloved fingers with what seems like almost admiration, ardor. The needle slides in clean. In my mind, I remember it piercing the skin with a slick hiss, like a nail gun firing, a bullet punching through a plywood wall.

6. A daughter’s revenge
Robert Kolker on the story of Brigitte Harris, who cut off her father’s penis – saying he had sexually abused her for years – and accidentally killed him (New York Magazine).

“Everyone always focuses on Lorena Bobbitt because it’s the most popular. But each and every case I researched, no one died.” She read about cases in China and in Europe. “And I start seeing how to do it without actually killing him.” On June 26, she bought a package of 50 scalpels on eBay for $6.83, including shipping.


In April 2007, Joshua Foer wrote for Outside magazine about the discovery of incredible ancient pyramids that sparked a global sensation… only there weren’t any pyramids.

He and a crew of locals uncovered what Osmanagic claimed were stone terraces encircling the pyramids, rectangular megaliths that sheathed them, and a network of tunnels leading right into the heart of the Pyramid of the Sun. The excavation has turned the little town of 17,000 into a tourist pilgrimage site and an archaeological carnival.

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Michael Freeman

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