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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: The world's greatest spy fell to his death from a balcony - but who killed him?

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. This is my life

shutterstock_252124384 Source: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

By now you’ve probably read your fill of hard-hitting first-person essays – and you’ve probably noticed that the more harrowing they are, the more they are shared. This article looks at how there can be a price to pay for sharing your secrets online.

(Slate, approx 18 mins reading time)

So many of these new iterations, by contrast, feel like one-offs—solo acts of sensational disclosure that bubble up and just as quickly vaporize. Rather than feats of self-branding, they seem to be—like, say, the gruesome recent viral sensation “My Gynecologist Found a Ball of Cat Hair in My Vagina”— professional dead ends, journalistically speaking.

2. I want to freeze my brain

new york times kim s Source: New York Times

Kim Suozzi died at just 23 due to cancer, but she wanted to make sure that she had her brain cryogenically frozen before she was buried. Here’s the story behind her life and death.

(New York Times, approx 36 mins reading time)

Might her actual brain be repaired so she could “wake up” one day, the dominant dream of cryonics for the last half-century? She did not rule it out. But they also imagined a different outcome, that she might rejoin the world in an artificial body or a computer-simulated environment, or perhaps both, feeling and sensing through a silicon chip rather than a brain.

3. Our first day outside

shutterstock_291941315 Source: Shutterstock/Ronnachai Palas

All of these men were imprisoned for years before they were exonerated for their crimes. Here, they describe their first day of freedom, and the results are incredibly human and moving.

(New York Magazine, approx 22 mins reading time)

I couldn’t relate to the people in the house. I felt out of place. Not just in her house but out in the world, period. At times I wasn’t quite sure whether I really was out and free. I felt like a finger was tapping me on the back and saying, “What are you doing? They belong out here, but you don’t. They don’t really realize that you don’t.”

4. ‘He’s one of the best around’

Film Michael Fassbender Source: Associated Press

A profile of Irish actor Michael Fassbender, and his rise to fame in the US. With some lovely photos, if you’re into that sort of thing.

(New York Times, approx 13 mins reading time)

Now that he’s thought about it, he also has a thing for lucky sevens. He had a lucky feeling about 2007, a sense that it might be an important year. ‘‘Maybe because I was born in 1977,’’ he said. ‘‘I know that sounds ridiculous. I’m not saying I knew things would work out. I just felt that I had a chance coming my way, and I wanted to be ready for it.’’

5. Inside the mind of Terrence 

People Terrence Howard Source: Associated Press

This slightly bizarre Terrence Howard interview has been doing the rounds because of some of the out-there things he said, like 1 times 1 should equal 2…

(Rolling Stone, approx 26 mins reading time)

“Today, for me, has been about searching out who I am,” he says. “We’ve got all these different faces that want to come out — there’s at least four just in this moment, with a possible expansion to 432 — but which one do you let out? Is it the person who’s cool that you’ve mastered? Is it the excited little boy?”

6. Who killed the world’s greatest spy?

shutterstock_246706546 Source: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov

Ashraf Marwan fell from the fifth floor balcony of his London flat in 200, dying from a ruptured aorta. There were four witnesses, but questions hang over whether he took his own life. Marwan had worked as a spy for many years – and his nearly-completed memoirs, which were in his flat, were stolen.

(The Guardian, approx 34 mins reading time)

But while Marwan may not have intended to take his life, he certainly feared for it. The last time he was alone in his apartment with his wife, he told her that he “might be killed”. He added, portentously: “I have a lot of different enemies.” In the months leading up to his death, Nasser recalled that her husband checked the door and locks every night before bed, a new habit unseen during their 38 previous years of marriage.


kony-2012-anniversary-390x285 Source: Invisible Children

Remember KONY 2012? The documentary became a phenomenon, then its leader went viral for all the wrong reasons. Last year, a journalist spoke to him about what the hell happened.

(Buzzfeed, approx 36 mins reading time)

“Every day for two minutes, I will think, Oh my god, I had a naked meltdown,” Russell says, stretching and snapping a rubber band between his fingers on his glass desk. “I will think that and be like, how did that happen? How in the world is that a part of my story and history forever?”

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

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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