Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.
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1. Manhunting in the Hindu Kush
Ryan Devereaux | The Intercept | Oct. 15, 2015 | 20 minutes (5,230 words)
The Intercept examines secret documents on drone strikes. “During a five-month stretch of the campaign, nearly nine out of 10 people who died in airstrikes were not the Americans’ direct targets. By February 2013, Haymaker airstrikes had resulted in no more than 35 ‘jackpots,’ a term used to signal the neutralization of a specific targeted individual, while more than 200 people were declared EKIA — ‘enemy killed in action.’”
2. From Jamaica to Minnesota to Myself
Marlon James | The New York Times | March 10, 2015 | 8 minutes (2,181 words)
A personal essay by Marlon James, published by The New York Times earlier this year. James has just won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for his novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings.
3. ‘I Was Killed When I Was 27’: The Curious Afterlife of Terence Trent D’Arby
Kate Mossman | New Statesman | Oct. 9, 2015 | 18 minutes (4,697 words)
In 1987, Terence Trent D’Arby’s debut album sold a million copies in just three days, and the music press went crazy for him. There was nowhere to go but down.
4. Rocket Men
Kris Newby | Stanford Medicine Magazine | Oct. 9, 2015 | 17 minutes (4,490 words)
Three rocket scientists set out to create a breath analyzer that detects high ammonia levels—which can cause serious brain damage—in a person’s body.
5. Pond Scum
Kathryn Schulz | The New Yorker | Oct. 13, 2015 | 22 minutes (5,660 words)
Kathryn Schulz takes down Henry David Thoreau: “It is true that Thoreau was an excellent naturalist and an eloquent and prescient voice for the preservation of wild places. But ‘Walden’ is less a cornerstone work of environmental literature than the original cabin porn: a fantasy about rustic life divorced from the reality of living in the woods, and, especially, a fantasy about escaping the entanglements and responsibilities of living among other people.”