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This week, we’re sharing stories from Drew Magary, Amy Wallace, Leif Reigstad, Pam Houston, and Ziya Tong.

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1. The Night the Lights Went Out

Drew Magary | Deadspin | May 16, 2019 | 28 minutes (7,130 words)

“I can also tell you that it can be unpleasant to be the freakshow guy whose brain spontaneously detonated. You don’t want doctors looking at your CAT scans incredulously and being like, ‘Hoo boy! You really did a number on your noggin there!’”

2. Walking Time Bomb

Amy Wallace | Vulture | May 14, 2019 | 27 minutes (6,840 words)

“I thought, Is trying to direct a movie really what you want? Don’t you want to just rest? Or be with your family? And Stacy has said to me, ‘Why should I stop doing what I love? What am I going to do? Just sit in this chair and die?’”

3. Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild

Leif Reigstad | Texas Monthly | May 9, 2019 | 31 minutes (7,897 words)

Joe Schreibvogel AKA Joe Exotic AKA the Tiger King collected exotic animals and very young husbands at his private Oklahoma zoo. He’s now in jail, found guilty of hiring people to kill an outspoken critic of his who owns of a big cat sanctuary in Florida.

4. He Trots the Air

Pam Houston | Outside | May 14, 2019 | 9 minutes (2,489 words)

“The end was coming for Roany, a strong and beautiful horse who’d been at the center of Pam Houston’s life for 25 years. What she wanted for him was simple: a peaceful exit, lifted by the touch of human hands.”

5. The Curious History of Crap — From Space Junk to Actual Poop

Ziya Tong | Backchannel | May 14, 2019 | 17 minutes (4,374 words)

Ziya Tong writes a brief history of human waste — from “night soil” to space junk — in an excerpt from her new book, The Reality Bubble.