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Sitdown Sunday: The doctor, the dentist, and the killer

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

Image: Shutterstock/kmfdm1

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. 100 women against Harvey Weinstein

Weinstein’s trial began in New York this week. In this article, The Cut details the experiences of those who have stood up to tell their stories.

(The Cut, approx 10 mins reading time)

With no other recourse, Gutierrez decided that accepting payment from Weinstein ($1 million, she has said) in exchange for her silence was the least-worst option. She couldn’t have known at the time how many other women had faced the same decision. Two years later, in 2017, Gutierrez chose to break her NDA, playing the Weinstein recording for The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow. “I hope the other girls get justice,” she told him. 

2. Hearing music

The actress Mary Steenburgen had an operation on her arm… and woke up hearing music everywhere. This piece is about how that led to her writing an Oscar-nominated original song for the film Wild Rose.

(IndieWire, approx 11 mins reading time)

“I felt strange as soon as the anesthesia started to wear off,” Steenburgen said. “The best way I can describe it is that it just felt like my brain was only music, and that everything anybody said to me became musical. All of my thoughts became musical. Every street sign became musical. I couldn’t get my mind into any other mode.”

3. Almond milk and dying bees

The headline on this piece doesn’t really indicate how comprehensive it is – it looks into exactly how almond milk and the death of bees is linked. It might not be why you think.

(The Guardian, approx 10 mins reading time)

Commercial honeybees are considered livestock by the US Department of Agriculture because of the creature’s vital role in food production. But no other class of livestock comes close to the scorched-earth circumstances that commercial honey bees face. More bees die every year in the US than all other fish and animals raised for slaughter combined.

4. The doctor who hid a Jewish girl

The story of a doctor in a small Alpine resort who saved the life of a young girl – a story that local people are reluctant to remember.

(BBC, approx 10 mins reading time)

In the winter of 1943, though, the mountains were also a risky place to hide. German soldiers recently relocated from the Russian front were based in Val d’Isère’s Hotel des Glaciers. They pillaged hotels and restaurants and burned chalets to the ground if they found someone who’d been drafted to work in a German factory and failed to go. Locals still refer to the occupation as la terreur.

5. The doctor, the dentist, and the killer

The story of a couple, a breakup, and a murder.

(Texas Monthly, approx 30 mins reading time)

The killing sent shock waves through Uptown. Young women were hesitant to stroll the neighborhood’s sidewalks or linger over cocktails at night with their friends. Kendra’s coworkers at Smile Zone, the Irving practice where she worked, gathered one evening outside the entrance to the Gables Park 17 garage. They held flowers, candles, and posters with Kendra’s picture on them, and they told reporters that Kendra was kind and congenial, with a smile always on her face. They could not imagine who would want to kill her.

6. A million-dollar riddle

The curious case of the stolen gospel at Oxford College.

(The Guardian, approx 27 mins reading time)

In total, the EES has now discovered that 120 fragments have gone missing from the Oxyrhynchus collection over the past 10 years. Since the appearance, in June 2019, of that fateful purchase agreement and invoice bearing Obbink’s name, the scale of the scandal has taken time to sink in. What kind of a person – what kind of an academic – would steal, sell, and profit from artefacts in their care? Such an act would be “the most staggering betrayal of the values and ethics of our profession”, according to the Manchester University papyrologist Roberta Mazza.

…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES…

Earlier this week, Elizabeth Wurtzel died aged 52 of cancer. In 2009, the Prozac Nation author wrote about what happens when your beauty fades.

(Elle, approx 13 mins reading time)

My imagination, my ability to understand the way love and people grow over time, how passion can surprise and renew, utterly failed me. I was temporarily credentialed with this delicate, yummy thing—youth, beauty, whatever—and my window of opportunity for making the most of it was so small, so brief. I wanted to smash through that glass pane and enjoy it, make it last, feel released.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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