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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 21 October, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: Life after killing Michael Brown

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. Making music

Source: ParamountmoviesUK/YouTube

Skip Lievsay creates audioscapes – like the sounds of cars, or sizzling bacon – for some of the world’s best directors. Here’s how does his incredible work. There’s also an audio version available here.

(The Guardian, approx 30 mins reading time)

It is a central principle of sound editing that people hear what they are conditioned to hear, not what they are actually hearing. The sound of rain in movies? Frying bacon. Car engines revving in a chase scene? It’s partly engines, but what gives it that visceral, gut-level grist is lion roars mixed in. To be excellent, a sound editor needs not just a sharp, trained ear, but also a gift for imagining what a sound could do, what someone else might hear.

2. Life after killing Michael Brown

Ferguson Source: Associated Press

A new profile of Darren Wilson, the cop who shot unarmed black teen Michael Brown. Today, he lives in a dead-end street, leading a quiet life but knowing that he is a hated man.

(The New Yorker, approx 54 mins reading time)

Wilson, who is twenty-nine, started receiving death threats not long after the incident, in which Brown was killed in the street shortly after robbing a convenience store. Although Wilson recently bought the house, his name is not on the deed, and only a few friends know where he lives. He and his wife, Barb, who is thirty-seven, and also a former Ferguson cop, rarely linger in the front yard.


3. Should we all get genetic screening?

HealthBeat Cancer Ovaries Source: Associated Press

Genetic testing can point out if you are a carrier genes like BRCA1 (which is linked to breast cancer) or other markers. But if it’s so good, why don’t more people use it?

(Arstechnica, approx 22 mins reading time)

Women who carry these faulty genes can take preventative measures—things like regular breast screening, risk-reducing surgery, and the use of cancer-preventing drugs. Perhaps most famously, actor Angelina Jolie, who has a BRCA1 mutation, highlighted risk-reducing surgery when she revealed that she had a preventative double mastectomy and more recently had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.

4. Drinking the Kool Aid

JONESTOWN MASS SUICIDE Bodies are strewn around the Jonestown Commune in Jonestown, Guyana Source: Associated Press

Jim Jones was a cult leader who, in 1978, led his followers to drink cyanide-laced Kool Aid in an act of mass suicide. He was also a follower of Father Divine – here are both their stories.

(Believer Magazine, approx 33 mins reading time)

His followers shared the house communally, donating back to the Mission 100 percent of the earnings they received from the clerical and domestic-service jobs that Divine arranged for them. Divine used the money to build additions to the Sayville house, known as “heaven.” Mission coffers also provided lavish Sunday banquets, free of charge, for all of his adherents and their visitors.

5. Unmasking the eavesdroppers

England Bruce Page and Duncan Campbell Bruce Page, Editor of the New Statesman, and Duncan Campbell, right, in the offices of the paper in London, England on Feb. 14, 1980, after Campbell's story of alleged telephone tapping was published in the newspaper. Source: Harris

Duncan Campbell has been reporting on mass surveillance for 40 years. In that time, he’s been jailed, had his house raided and tapes seized, and his phone tapped.

(First Look, approx 26 mins reading time)

And why do I keep going? Because from the beginning, my investigations revealed a once-unimaginable scope of governmental surveillance, collusion, and concealment by the British and U.S. governments — practices that were always as much about domestic spying during times of peace as they were about keeping citizens safe from supposed foreign enemies, thus giving the British government the potential power to become, as our source that night had put it, a virtual “police state.”

6. Tinder and the end of dating

India Social Dating Apps Source: Associated Press

Tinder has totally changed dating, but is it for the worse rather than the better? Nancy Jo Sales goes to the dating frontlines.

(Vanity Fair, approx 32 mins reading time)

It’s a balmy night in Manhattan’s financial district, and at a sports bar called Stout, everyone is Tindering. The tables are filled with young women and men who’ve been chasing money and deals on Wall Street all day, and now they’re out looking for hookups. Everyone is drinking, peering into their screens and swiping on the faces of strangers they may have sex with later that evening. Or not.


AP Was There Atomic Bomb Source: Associated Press

Back in 1946, John Hershey wrote about Hiroshima. This week marked the event’s 70-year anniversary, and the New Yorker shared the epic piece online.

(The New Yorker, approx 150 mins reading time)

In the street, the first thing he saw was a squad of soldiers who had been burrowing into the hillside opposite, making one of the thousands of dugouts in which the Japanese apparently intended to resist invasion, hill by hill, life for life; the soldiers were coming out of the hole, where they should have been safe, and blood was running from their heads, chests, and backs. They were silent and dazed.

The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by TheScore.ieMore: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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