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Dublin: 3°C Sunday 5 December 2021

Sitdown Sunday: The fascinating story of the sign language interpreter for rappers

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. He died in an airstrike

Afghanistan Bombed Hospital The charred remains of the Doctors Without Borders hospital is seen after being hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan Source: AP/Press Association Images

Andrew Quilty tells – through words and photographs – the story of Baynazar Mohammad Nazar, a dad and husband who was killed during the attack on the MSF hospital in Kunduz.

Some may find images in this article disturbing.

(Foreign Policy, approx 16 mins reading time)

A man’s body, arms and legs outstretched, lay supine on the operating table with a cannula inserted in his left forearm. Blotches of rust-colored antiseptic stained his torso; there was a steel bracket fixed to his right thigh. A surgical curtain had collapsed across his chest and shoulders above where a ceiling panel lay across his abdomen. On the cushioned head support, the patient’s bearded jaw was all that remained of his head — the rest appeared to have been sheared off by shrapnel or a large ammunition round.

2. The London skyline

City Views from The Shard - London Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

This interactive story takes us through a cluster of skyscrapers that dominate the London skyline. A fascinating read for architecture or design fans, but also for those who just want to get to know London’s city better.

(The Guardian, approx 15 mins reading time)

Looming 160m above Fenchurch Street, towering over several conservation areas and butting into the background of most views of London, the Walkie-Talkie is perhaps the most egregious example of such incoherence. Built in 2010, the overbearing tower is widely regarded to have destroyed any semblance of planning logic the City ever had . It makes a mockery of trying to control tall buildings in the City, says one conservation campaigner: “It’s like trying to pour water in a neat pile, then being surprised when it spreads.”

3. Meet the sign language interpreter for rappers

Source: Alexis Anderson/YouTube

This is a fascinating look at the life of Amber Galloway Gallego, who is the sign language interpreter for big rap and hip hop artists.

(Priceonomics approx 12 mins reading time)

One Friday night, Sir Mix A Lot’s Baby Got Back came on, and Gallego decided, on a whim, to get up and start signing the lyrics. “My deaf friend said, ‘Wow, they play stuff that dirty on the radio?’ She couldn’t believe it,” says Gallego. “But then she laughed and said, ‘You’re really good at this — we’ve never seen an interpreter do anything like it.’”

4. Living with schizophrenia

shutterstock_247764778 Source: Shutterstock/igor.stevanovic

Buzzfeed has been running a series this week which has done huge work to shed light on what it’s like living with various mental health conditions. If you ever had questions about schizophrenia, this article is a fascinating read.

(Buzzfeed, approx 16 mins reading time)

I became catatonic. I wouldn’t move — literally sitting in my chair, or laying in my bed for hours at a time, days on end, and I lost a lot of weight. I was under 100 pounds at one time. They had to keep me hydrated via IV; they gave me protein shakes to drink to gain my weight back. It was a process. I was in group therapy but didn’t really participate because I thought it was beneath me, and then I realized I had this diagnosis, and that I needed to be there.

5. The man who would be king

France Climate Countdown Source: AP/Press Association Images

Could new prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, usher in a new era for the country? This article tracks his first weeks in the job, and the transition into the big role.

(New York Times, approx 24 mins reading time)

‘‘People in the street will either call me ‘Prime Minister’ or ‘Justin,’ ’’ Trudeau said. ‘‘We’ll see how that goes. But when I’m working, when I’m with my staff in public, I’m ‘Prime Minister.’ I say that if we’re drinking beer out of a bottle, and you can see my tattoos, you should be comfortable calling me ‘Justin.’ ’’

6. Ireland’s dishonoured dead

5/6/2014 Tuam Single Mothers and Babies Homes Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Laureate for Irish Fiction Anne Enright looks at the ‘dishonoured dead’ in Ireland, taking in everything from the funeral of Thomas Kent, to the babies buried in Tuam, to Mary Raftery’s States of Fear.

(London Review of Books, approx 30 mins reading time)

There were ten of these laundries in Ireland. They are styled, by the nuns who ran them, as refuges for marginalised women where they endured, along with their keepers, an enclosed, monastic life of work and prayer. The women were described as ‘penitents’, and the act of washing was seen as symbolic. The laundries were run as active concerns, washing dirty linen for hotels, hospitals and the army, and they undercut their rivals in the trade by the fact that their penitential workforce was not paid.


ny mag chimp Source: New York Magazine

In 2011, Dan P Lee wrote about a chimp called Travis, who was found by Sandy Herold at a rodeo in the 1970s.

(New York Magazine, approx 24 mins reading time)

Travis was the son of Coco, who’d been snatched from the jungles of equatorial Africa in the early seventies and purchased for $12,000, and an 11-year-old retired zoo chimp named Suzy. A day earlier, the Caseys had shot a tranquilizer in Suzy and removed Travis from her cage. Travis peered up at Sandy. Black hair covered all but the interior of his face, which was pink, and the two tiny Dumbo ears that jutted from the top of his head. Sandy cried as his hands and feet grasped at her. She paid the Caseys $50,000 in cash, and a few days later, with Travis wrapped in baby blankets, the two of them boarded a flight home.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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