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Sitdown Sunday: Doctors told her she was 'just fat' - she actually had cancer

Grab a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads.

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. Doctors told her she was fat – she had cancer

shutterstock_720600880 Source: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

Women have been reporting on how their medical treatment has been affected by their weight, with doctors presuming it’s their size that’s the matter and not an illness.

(Cosmopolitan, approx 12 mins reading time)

By 23, the cough got so bad that Hiles began to have trouble controlling her bladder during coughing spasms and finally had to rely on adult diapers. The fits sometimes made her throw up. She spent many nights curled around a bucket in a hot shower, coughing and vomiting, hoping the steam would make it easier to breathe. When blood tests kept coming back normal, her doctors would say, “We don’t know what to tell you — it’s clearly just weight-related.”

2. Gay sex for rent

Buzzfeed covers the issue of people looking for young men to stay in their house – in exchange for sex. One young man tells of how his inability to find a home led to him going from house to house, and getting involved in dangerous situations.

(Buzzfeed, approx 20 mins reading time)

In multiple interviews with the men exchanging sex for rent and groups trying to deal with the crisis, BuzzFeed News also uncovered a spectrum of experiences that goes far beyond what has so far been documented, with social media, hook-up apps, and chemsex parties facilitating everything.

3. Meek Mill’s incarceration

Meek Mill Supporters Protest On Day Of Status Hearing Rihmeek Papi Chulo Williams attends a rally protesting the imprisonment of Meek Mill outside the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center during the rapper's status hearing on April 16, 2018 Source: Brian Stukes

This is the secret story behind the incarceration of the rapper Meek Mill.

(In Justice Today, approx 26 mins reading time)

It is not apparent from from either Graham and Jones’s initial arrest report or an investigation report, completed months later, exactly when the officers identified the 5 feet 8 inch black male engaged in a drug deal as Williams. Meek’s attorneys told In Justice Today that on January 23 he was not in the vicinity of 2204 South Hemberger but was instead in court with a cousin.

4. Lord of the flies

In 1953, a psychologist named Muzafer Sherif decided to bring a group of boys together at a US summer camp, to see if if he could make them fight each other. Did he manage to create a Lord of the Flies experience for them? And why would he do such a thing?

(The Guardian, approx 12 mins reading time)

Sherif’s cover story was that he was running a summer camp in Middle Grove. His plan was to bring a group of boys together, allow them to make friends, then separate them into two factions to compete for a prize. At this point, he believed, they would forget their friendships and start demonising one another. The pièce de résistance was to come at the end: Sherif planned to set a forest fire in the vicinity of the camp. Facing a shared threat, they would be forced to work as one team again.

5. Teen jobs

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shutterstock_562275061 Source: Shutterstock/nullplus

In the US, a labour shortage has seen some companies hiring teenagers – but is this a good practice?

(Wall Street Journal, signup required, approx 10 mins reading time)

Jerry Stooksbury, the president of Avionics Specialists LLC, needed to produce an airplane instrument panel last fall, but had only two employees able to complete the task quickly. One was out sick. The other was in high school.

6. Oliver Jeffers

Source: Bas Berkhout/Vimeo

The artist Oliver Jeffers is interviewed in this fascinating short documentary film – he talks about growing up in Northern Ireland, becoming a parent, and his art.

(Director’s Notes, approx 15 mins viewing time)

We all concluded that it wouldn’t be a good idea to proceed and make this film. Like Knows Like is all about personal stories. After that, Oliver and I kept running into each other in front of The Invisible Dog in Brooklyn. We were both working out of there. Last year, out of the blue, he asked: “Is your film offer still on?” So, I asked: “Why now?” And he said: “I only trust you to make a film about me in this moment of life.” I think that had to do with the film I had made about his best friend, Mac. We had also both just become fathers.


Barbara Bush died this week. Here’s a profile of her from 1992.

(Vanity Fair, approx 46 mins reading time)

At a time when George Bush has slid almost fifty points in most polls in a little more than a year, Barbara Bush stands as close to universal popularity as any figure in American life. Her approval rating is forty, even fifty points higher than her husband’s, and she gets as many as eight thousand letters a month. Aides call her “the National Treasure”—“the treasure” for short—in sly tribute to the qualities that make her an awesome asset to her husband.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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