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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 20 April, 2018

Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

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

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. My secret life

Jon Kelly tells the fascinating and dramatic story of Nicky Crane – feared far-right streetfighter and gay man, who kept his sexuality a secret.

(BBC, approx 33 minutes reading time, 6669 words)

In May 1978, following a BM meeting, he took part in an assault on a black family at a bus stop in Bishopsgate, east London, using broken bottles and shouting racist slogans. An Old Bailey judge described Crane as “worse than an animal”.

2. Fraternities, uncovered

Caitlin Flanagan investigates fraternities – not something we have here in Ireland, but fascinating nonetheless – and discovers the darkness that lies beneath them.

(The Atlantic, approx 77 minutes reading time, 15525 words)

Lawsuits against fraternities are becoming a growing matter of public interest, in part because they record such lurid events, some of them ludicrous, many more of them horrendous. For every butt bomb, there’s a complaint of manslaughter, rape, sexual torture, psychological trauma.


3. True Detective

Kate Arthur interviews Nic Pizzolatto, the creator of True Detective, about Rust, Marty, the Yellow King, and the huge buzz around the series. SPOILERS abound, so perhaps leave this for after you’ve seen the finale (or episode 7 at the very least).

(Buzzfeed, approx 16 minutes reading time, 3367 words)

Each week, creator Nic Pizzolatto’s grim, literary time-jumping crime story — in which McConaughey plays the haunted, philosophizing Rust Cohle, and Harrelson plays the gone-to-seed good ol’ boy Marty Hart (who is smarter than he looks, to his chagrin) — is picked through and expanded upon by a vigilant audience of 11 million.

4. Aeropress love

Zachary Crockett brings coffee lovers the story of their beloved Aeropress… and its connection to the frisbee. Confused? Read on.

(Priceonomics, approx 19 minutes reading time, 3954 words)

It struck Adler that he could use air pressure to shorten this process. After a few weeks in his garage, he’d already created a prototype: a plastic tube that used plunger-like action to compress the flavors quickly out of the grounds. He brewed his first cup with the invention, and knew he’d made something special. Immediately, he called his business manager Alex Tennant.


Chvrches. Pic: Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment

5. Music, repeat

Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis looks at repetition in music, and why we love it so much. It’s not just because it sounds good – it’s because repeated sounds work magic in our brains.

(Aeon, approx 14 minutes reading time, 2890 words)

People seem to misattribute their increased perceptual fluency – their improved ability to process the triangle or the picture or the melody – not to the prior experience, but to some quality of the object itself. Instead of thinking: ‘I’ve seen that triangle before, that’s why I know it,’ they seem to think: ‘Gee, I like that triangle. It makes me feel clever.’

6. Boys in the Bunkhouse

Dan Barry writes about a group of intellectually disabled workers at a turkey processing plant who were paid just $65 dollars per month. The case ended up in court.

(New York Times, approx 40 minutes reading time, 8151 words)

From the squalid building’s shadows emerged its residents, all men, extending hands in welcome, their long fingernails caked with dried blood. A few hands looked almost forked. “From pulling crop,” they explained, a term that she soon learned referred to the yanking of craws from freshly killed turkeys.



File: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

In 1987, Steve Bogira wrote about what happened when a woman who ‘talked to herself and cursed strangers on the street’ called 911 to report someone coming through her medicine cabinet. Was she hallucinating?

(Chicago Reader, approx 50 minutes reading time, 10103 words)

The dispatcher wasn’t certain what McCoy had been trying to report—what could she have meant by “they throwed the cabinet down” and “they want to come through the bathroom”? Nevertheless, he closed the phone call in order to send a beat car on its way. He assigned a 12th District car to answer a “disturbance with a neighbor” complaint at 1440 W. 13th St., apartment 1109.

Interested in longreads during the week? Look out for Catch-Up Wednesday every Wednesday evening.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by >

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