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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019
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Sitdown Sunday: A tale of the disappeared children of Israel

Settle back in a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads.

Image: Shutterstock/FABRIZIO CONTE

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. Recapping the 1999 Oscars Ceremony, When Shakespeare Beat Spielberg

The upcoming Oscars is in a sort of disarray this year, as there is currently no host planned for the event after Kevin Hart pulled out, so the night will run slightly different than in recent years. 20 years ago, the 1999 Oscars ceremony was the first to air on a Sunday. How did the show go down? 

(Vanity Fair, approx 25 mins reading time)

Doing these “Oscars 20 years” recaps is fun, but it’s also a little melancholy, looking back at a not-so-distant past and realizing how many things occurred that would never again. I don’t even recognize some of the names and faces! Like, who is this person who was apparently nominated for an Oscar that year??

2. The latest Instagram influencer frontier? Medical promotions.

Pharmaceutical companies have begun partnering with influencers across social media to sell new drugs and medical devices. What impact is it having? 

(Vox, approx 23 mins reading time)

By enlisting influencers to market their health care products amid a stream of Facetuned photos, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies co-opt narratives that give social media users a sense of how healthy they can be, if only they had this product. 

3. The Disappeared Children of Israel

In the state of Israel’s early years, a number of parents in immigrant transit camps were told that their babies had died. However, their families believed they had actually been abducted by Israeli authorities in the 1950s. Now, a younger generation is demanding answers. 

(The New York Times, approx 12 mins reading time)

“Until the day she died, my mother didn’t forget this boy. She always said, ‘They took a child from me, they took a child from me.’” - Bracha Nadav

4. ‘Don’t feed the monster!’ The people who have stopped buying new clothes

A growing movement is avoiding fast fashion in favour of secondhand clothing. Is this the biggest personal change that can be made for the environment? 

(The Guardian, approx 11 mins reading time)

“A lot of people are getting really sick of fast fashion,” Fewell says. “People used to watch hauls [mass trying-on sessions of newly purchased clothing] on YouTube and be like: ‘Yeah, great.’ Now if you click on a haul and read the comments, everyone’s like: ‘Oh, there’s so much stuff, it looks really bad quality.’ People are a lot more aware.”

5. Inside the London tech scene’s frantic plan to stop Brexit

There’s just over a month until 29 March, which is the date by which the UK must legally leave the EU. In the UK, London’s tech scene is scrambling to build tools to bring Brexit crashing down before it’s too late. 

(Wired, approx 8 mins reading time)

They have seen how VCs stopped liking the UK; they are fretting about European innovation grants drying up, or European tech workers talking about moving somewhere else; some of them are European citizens themselves. Dismayed by the fatalistic comportment of official trade organisations, these people congealed into an unofficial pro-Remain guerrilla operation, determined to use their skills to make the Brexit train stall before it goes flying over the white cliffs of Dover. 

6. How the world got hooked on palm oil

It’s an ingredient in hundreds of items from biscuits to shampoo. However, our dependence on palm oil is having a major impact on the environment. Is it too late to break the habit? 

(The Guardian, approx 23 mins reading time)

If things continue, the forests and their creatures will be gone, and the cost of labour will increase as some workers move up the economic ladder and realise there are better things they could be doing than picking fruit. Palm oil producers and consumers will be left with nothing.

…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES…

German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld died on Tuesday. On that note, in 2006 New York Magazine published a long read profile of the fashion icon. 

(New York Magazine, approx 23 mins reading time)

Before he ruled the world of fashion, Lagerfeld was a pampered little prince. The heir to a German condensed-milk fortune, he was raised on a 12,000-acre estate near the Danish border. At 4, he insisted on having his own valet because he liked to change clothes several times a day. The family remained on the estate during World War II, suffering no casualties or hardships; Lagerfeld insists that he barely even knew there was a war.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday

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