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Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

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

Image: Welcome to Las Vegas Sign via Shutterstock

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. History of a killer
Patrick Radden Keefe delves into the past of mass murderer Amy Bishop, and wonders whether people who knew her past should have been able to predict her future. (The New Yorker)

In 2001, Amy had a baby boy. She named him Seth. Few of her friends were aware of the significance of the name. “I knew her when she was pregnant,” her friend Gail Doktor recalled. “Imagine having a whole conversation about baby names with someone who is sidestepping the fact that she’s going to name her baby after her brother – who she killed.” Amy’s son was born on what would have been her brother’s thirty-third birthday.

2. How Beats beat a Monster
Sam Biddle looks into the story behind the now ubiquitous Beats headphones and how they came into being. (Gizmodo)

You might know this; you might own a pair of beats that still has Monster’s tiny, subjugated logo printed on them. But what you don’t know is how, in inking the deal, Monster screwed itself out of a fortune. It’s the classic David vs Goliath story—with one minor edit: David gets his ass kicked and is laughed out of the arena. This is the inside story of one of the all time worst deals in tech.

3. Leaving hate behind
Jeff Chu meets up with Megan Phelps-Roper, and asks her why she left her grandfathers infamous church.  (Medium magazine)

For nearly all of her twenty-seven years, Megan believed it: believed what her grandfather Fred Phelps preached from the pulpit; believed what her dad Brent and her mom Shirley taught during the family’s daily Bible studies; believed (mostly) what it said on those signs that have made Westboro disproportionately influential in American life – “God hates fags”; “God hates your idols”; “God hates America.”

4. Taking the pain away
Greg Beato meets the man who wants to make Las Vegas a hangover-free zone, one drip at a time. (Buzzfeed)

Van Ryan, 30, works in the Las Vegas nightlife industry, producing events, providing concierge services, and generally helping to create the sort of Vegas magic that happens on dance floors rather than showroom stages. Burke, 42, works in the Las Vegas nightlife industry too, except that he keeps daylight hours. On his website, he describes himself as “the first physician in the United States to formally dedicate his career to the study and treatment of veisalgia.” In nonmedical parlance: He is our eminent hangover specialist.

5. Success is never accidental
Alexis C Madrigal looks at the story of Intel co-founder Bob Noyce. Was he always destined for greatness, or just very, very lucky? (The Atlantic)

People always seem to find stories about men like this from their youth that seem to mark them with greatness and serve as a metaphor for their genius. With Jobs, perhaps it’s his time wandering in India developing his intuition. Edison had his newspaper business. Zuckerberg has his run-in with the Harvard’s administration over hacking. Bill Gates has his own run-in with authorities over sneaking access to computers. Stories proliferate; usually you have a few to choose from. But with Noyce, the choicest anecdote is clear. It’s the story of the airplane he and his friends built when he was 12.

6. The brother vs Larry Flint
Dave Ghose looks at the fractured relationship between the purveyors of porn. (Cincinnati magazine)

For nearly 40 years, Jimmy was his famous brother’s sidekick. They worked hand-in-hand as their business grew from a string of Ohio go-go bars into a worldwide empire that includes magazines, skin flicks, websites, boutiques, strip clubs, and a casino. Larry drew all the attention with his bizarre antics and outlandish personality, while Jimmy worked quietly behind the scenes to keep the company moving forward. As one old Hustler hand told me: “Larry is the show, and Jimmy makes it go.”

… AND A CLASSIC READ FROM THE ARCHIVES…

In 2010 Ivan Solotaroff interviewed Mike Tyson in Details magazine and found a man who didn’t recognise himself.

I had no business being in that ring. A year out of prison, 16 months out of prison, already with two belts to defend? I had no business with those belts. I was already done. They put you, a writer, in prison, for three years, hands tied behind your back. Then they put you up against some hack, and you outwrite him, and they give you two awards. And then I put you up against a Nobel Prize winner? Absurd.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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

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About the author:

Paul Hyland

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