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Need a 10-minute break? Step into the Reading Room…

Why bats spread Ebola, remembering Robin Williams, and inside the Islamic State.

LOOKING FOR SOME articles and videos to help break up the afternoon, but only have 10 minutes to spare?

Try these nuggets for size – all take 10 minutes or less to enjoy.

1. Life in the Islamic State

Vice has produced a series of videos about the Islamic State, and embedded a reporter with them to show what really goes on inside the group. Here’s part one [VICE - 9 mins]

VICE News / YouTube

2. RIP Robin

Robin Williams death PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

It was tragic to hear on Monday evening that Robin Williams had died. In a remarkably frank interview in 2010, he spoke to Decca Aitkenhead about his struggles with drugs and alcohol. [The Guardian - 10 mins]

3. Bats and disease

Why do bats transmit so many diseases like Ebola? This informative video is very timely. It’s not all bats’ fault, it appears… [YouTube - 3mins]

MinuteEarth / YouTube

4. Family history

Ron Butlin left home at 16, followed a few years later by his sister, who was pregnant and aged 16. Later in life, he was told his mother’s tragic story of finding herself pregnant after a relationship with a married man, at a time when her choices were few. [The Guardian - 7 mins]

The little we had been told by our mother about our past was illustrated by the occasional curled-up photograph that served merely to confuse. “This was when I went to Canada,” she once announced, showing us a photo of herself, wrapped up in a coat and scarf, on board a large ocean liner. Had she had been travelling alone? No further details were offered. Then there was the snap of me held by a nurse, in a large sunlit garden with a children’s slide in the background. Again no details.

5. Lessons from Robin


You don’t mind another Robin Williams post, do you? We didn’t think so. Here are lessons learned from the characters he played over the years. [Buzzfeed - 3 mins]

Looking for longreads? You’ll find more here>

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