The Mock Funerals of Santa Marta
“The majors are baseball’s height, but the minors are its depth,” writes one essayist in this new book.
—Twenty-five years after Bull Durham introduced the world to the minor league world of Crash Davis, Annie Savoy, and Nuke LaLoosh, a group of writers and photographers descended on Durham, North Carolina, to document life with the hometown team. The result is Bull City Summer: A Season at the Ballpark, a rich photo book interspersed with smart, poignant essays about the game’s rhythm, its injustice, and its occasional grace.
—The essayists introduce us to a familiar cast of characters: the elderly couple who’ve missed just 50 games in 30-plus years; the aging veteran playing out the string in Triple-A, four years removed from a World Series appearance with the Yankees; the Duke philosophy professor who, before succumbing to colon cancer in 2013, would “adopt” a player every year, bringing him cookies and the occasional CD filled with classical music; the Cuban first baseman whose league MVP award will get him no closer to the big leagues; the general manager who helped revitalize the club in 1980 and who claims at the start of one essay, “I’m a gifted salesman. I hate it, but I am.”
In a world of more than 6 Billion, there are sure to be some incredible variations in sexuality, anatomy, and sexual ability. The following is a compilation of 20 of the most unusual, outrageous, or unbelievable sexual “records.” Enjoy!
Nothing beats a tattoo
—The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System. By David Skarbek. Oxford University Press; 240 pages; $99 and £64. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
—IN 2009 Edward John Schaefer drunkenly swerved his motorbike over a pavement in the town of Marin, California. He hit a father and his daughter. The girl died. Schaefer was jailed for life. Some ten days after arriving at San Quentin State Prison, Frank Souza, another inmate, stabbed Schaefer to death with a “bone-crusher”, a seven-inch homemade metal spear.
—The murder was not a random act of violence. Nor was it an example of the haphazard terrors of prison life. Mr Souza was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, a prison gang. When asked why he did it, Mr Souza replied: “All I got to say, nine-year-old girl.” The killing was justice, determined and meted out by the gang. It was one demonstration of myriad ways in which gangs provide governance in prisons. In “The Social Order of the Underworld” David Skarbek, an American political economist at King’s College London, shows how gangs have spread through the prison system in the United States. He argues, convincingly, that gangs offer protection and governance in places where established institutions fail, and that it makes sense for prisoners to join them.
A Pacific Island Created An Ocean Sanctuary Nearly The Size Of France And Tourists Are Flocking To It
Moorish Idols are seen swimming in large schools to spawn in the Ulong Channel, in the small Pacific island nation of Palau, August 27, 2014
—Koror (Palau) (AFP) – In many places swimmers might prefer to avoid sharks, but wetsuit-clad tourists in Palau clamour to dive among the predators thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative that has made them one of the country’s main visitor attractions.
—Palau created the world’s first shark sanctuary in 2009 and the move has been so successful that plans are now underway to completely ban commercial fishing in the island nation’s vast ocean territory by 2018.
From circa 1958, a Kodachrome taken by my mother, who could handle a 35mm camera in a pinch. My parents had friends with a summer place in Seal Beach, California, a coastal community on the border of Orange and Los Angeles counties. In the foreground are my parents’ bosom pals who owned or rented the place behind the Ford station wagon. That’s me at the bottom of the slide; the boy making his precarious way up is the son of the aforementioned couple. Dad (with the cap) appears to be zoning out, judging by the beer cans by his side. I wonder if any of these beachside homes exist today…. via.
In our high school history classes, teachers might have mentioned Verdun or the Battle of the Somme, but it’s unlikely they got around to the Brusilov Offensive, the Siege of Przemysl or the battles of the Masurian Lakes. Though World War I was the first truly global conflict, and the first to employ the technologies that now dominate warfare, most Americans’ knowledge of the fighting that began 100 years ago this summer is limited.
—One of the objectives of the anthology “No Man’s Land: Fiction From a World at War 1914-1918,” edited by Pete Ayrton, the British publisher of a press, Serpent’s Tail, that specializes in literature in translation, is to fill gaps like that. The book’s subtitle is a bit misleading, since the 47 authors sampled here include memoirists and journalists, but Mr. Ayrton has captured the global sweep of the conflict by not awarding undue emphasis to the Western Front already so familiar to us from films and books.
Today’s picture shows a playground in 1941 in Florida. We can see the much loved playground slide. This is a pretty cool one in that it has a little hump in the slide to make the ride down a little more exciting. Do school playgrounds still have slides, for the most part?… via.
Naked mole rats have it all figured out. Not only are they among the most well-adapted, finely-tuned creatures on Earth, they’ve also figured out (in an evolutionary sense) how to ditch aging. Or, rather, naked mole rats have figured out how to ditch one of aging’s central mechanisms, the steady accumulation of junk protein material that grows and festers in the body like the rising tide of bags and stench following a New York City garbage strike.
—Our naked mole rat friends have devised a way of disposing of all of that uncollected waste, with the effect of vastly longer lives, at least relative to other rodents. This is according to a new study in the journal BBA: Molecular Basis of Disease describing a cellular factor that guards and guides the activity of the protein complex proteasome, whose job involves the chemical breaking down of leftover proteins. Proteasome is the garbage collector, the garbage truck, and the incinerator, in other words.
Lewis Hine, [Worker pressing rubber bodies, Paragon Rubber Company and American Character Doll, Easthampton, Massachusetts, December 1936 (778.1975)
via Fans in a Flashbulb.
Invertebrate numbers have decreased by 45% on average over a 35 year period in which the human population doubled, reports a study on the impact of humans on declining animal numbers.
—This decline matters because of the enormous benefits invertebrates such as insects, spiders, crustaceans, slugs and worms bring to our day-to-day lives, including pollination and pest control for crops, decomposition for nutrient cycling, water filtration and human health.
thereminsoul:…Christmas 1944, Mytilene. All masses on the waterfront and in the blocks.[translated]… viα.
W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939
That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.
In 1948 Bert Hardy was sent on assignment by the Picture Post to photograph the slum area of Glasgow known as the Gorbals. He photographed two little boys running arm in arm to the shops to pick up the family entitlement of cod liver oil, orange juice and dried milk. (imgur.com)
Image: Minnesota Press)While we may tend to romanticize universities as bastions of free thought and intellectual rigor, Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira’s new book, The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent, demonstrates their subjection to the same ideological underpinnings as the general body politic.
—The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent, Edited by Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira University of Minnesota Press, 400 pages, $29.95.
—For the past 10 years, I’ve taught English at a large, public community college in Brooklyn, New York. Most of my students are the first in their families to attend a university – and while some are disaffected, the majority are engaged and eager, hopeful that the promise of a higher education will open doors and provide them with a stable future. They’re also largely immigrants, and it is not uncommon for 28 students from 20 countries to find themselves sitting side-by-side in a classroom, arguing and debating about the meaning of a particular text.
The advent of cutting-edge forensic technology and DNA analysis techniques has shed new light on many of the world’s most famous—and infamous—disappearances. Still, some of the most puzzling cases remain unsolved—and some of them intersect with prominent figures and significant events in American history. From Jimmy Hoffa to the settlers of the doomed Lost Colony, these chillingly inexplicable disappearances continue to befuddle scholars and pique the public’s curiosity.
1. Jimmy Hoffa
An engraving found at a cave in Gibraltar may be the most compelling evidence yet for Neanderthal art.
The pattern, which bears a passing resemblance to the grid for a game of noughts and crosses, was inscribed on a rock at the back of Gorham’s Cave.
Bayou expected to disappear in the next 50 years
By: Hannah Weinberger
—An investigation by ProPublica and the Lens found that coastal Louisiana, which in the past 80 years has lost 2,000 miles of land to the Gulf of Mexico, stands to lose much more than wetlands and at a much faster rate than previously thought. The drowning of this coastline—at a rate of 16 square miles per year—will not only erase species, environments, and a rich Louisiana culture from the map, but also affect those well beyond the bayous.
Longform: The Most Popular Articles of the Week by Ted C. Fishman, Michael Kruse, David Wolman, Frank Bures, Douglas Hill, Jeff Weingrad
The collapse of Motorola, the Italian scientists held criminally responsible for an earthquake and the bumpy rise of Chevy Chase during SNL’s first season — the week’s top stories on Longform…. READ
Examining the Religious, Economic, Architectural, and Cultural Facets of Gentrification: A Reading List
early 75 years ago, at the outset of World War Two, stranded between official borderlines, right on the edge of things, the German Jewish philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin slipped out of life. His passing barely registered beyond a small circle of friends and fellow travelers—habitués, like himself, of severe literary journals, fringe politics, esoteric philosophies. Like that of Benjamin’s own literary heroes, Franz Kafka and Marcel Proust, his posthumous career was to prove far more lively. These days, anyone tilling the stony fields of literary or political theory would soon find himself persona non grata if he didn’t pay due obeisance to Benjamin—at least, the version of him now favored: the presiding angel over all that is left-leaning, interdisciplinary, and media-studious.
Reddit user wootkatiee spotted this garage door painted like a giant bookcase in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Hollywood Hills…. via.
Moving away from “Just Say No” and towards a more nuanced understanding of drug education
—I grew up in the 1990s, the era of mandatory D.A.R.E. and Just Say No. Local law enforcement stepped inside the classroom to instruct us kids, their message clear: “All drugs are bad.”
—My dad, Dr. Charles Grob, one of the country’s leading clinical researchers studying the potential benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy, didn’t agree. As the director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and with the approval of the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration, he’s led several investigative studies of drugs branded by D.A.R.E. in my youth as “bad,” including MDMA (“Ecstasy” or “Molly”), psilocybin (“shrooms”), and ayahuasca.
—His colleagues—many of whom I’ve known since I was very young—have added marijuana, ketamine, ibogaine, and even LSD to their impressive roster of studies as well. Investigation of these substances had previously been shuttered, thanks in large part to Timothy Leary’s Pied Piperism during the 1960s, but the 90s initiated a renaissance of government-sanctioned psychedelic research that continues to this day.
“What is it about art theft we can’t resist?” is just one question posed by host and art critic Alastair Sooke in this BBC documentary about some of the most notable high-stakes art robberies on record. Sooke strives to learn more about those who commit art theft, their motivations, and how it is that so few pieces are ever returned to their rightful owners.
—Though several cases are discussed, the most focus is placed on a robbery from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum over twenty-five years ago. Known as the biggest art crime in history, the theft was carried out by two men posing as police officers. They managed to steal thirteen pieces total, from invaluable masterworks to a dubious piece of ornamentation. To this day no one has ever been caught, nor have any of the stolen works been found. The crime is largely suspected to have been the act of a slick connoisseur a la The Thomas Crown Affair.
Zionsville’s Jeff and Tiernae Buttars surrendered their son William to the most radical procedure in neurosurgery. The grim choice to remove a portion of his brain left everyone changed.
—Inhale. Exhale. Jeff Buttars looked around the tiny pre-surgical room and reminded himself to keep breathing. As his chest rose and fell, so did his spirits. His wife, Tiernae, appeared calm, confirmation that this decision was the right one. His infant son, William, stirred and beamed, a soft expression that landed hard. I’m leading a lamb to slaughter, Jeff thought. Inhale. Exhale. The sound of his measured breaths drowned out the room’s ambient beeping and buzzing but could not hush the ripple of doubt.
Just when you thought you were immune to new Snowden revelations about the National Security Agency’s privacy-shattering shenanigans, word dropped this week that the NSA has built a search engine with “Google-like” capacities. Its sole purpose? Share data about you with law enforcement agencies like the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and others. And the net cast by ICREACh, as the search engine is named, is nothing short of incredible: Reports state that it can access more than 850 billion records—e-mail messages, chats, even phone locations.
Native New Yorkers are zoning in on a budding little beach community that’s re-awakening over at Rockaway Beach, gateway to Queens and home to the legendary old amusement park, Playland, which closed in the 1980s following the neighbourhood’s downturn during the 1960s. Since the beginning of the new millennium however, surfers have been bringing life back to Rockaway, shacking up along the beach to spend their summers riding the waves. And slowly but surely, curious city slickers have taken notice of the seasonal beach getaway right on their doorstep …
Extremely low levels of THC compound, a chemical found in marijuana, may slow down or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, US neuroscientists have found, thus laying the ground for the development of effective treatment in the future.
—In recent research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, scientists from University of South Florida revealed their findings, that may shed light on controversial therapeutic qualities of marijuana.
—Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common dementia types in people over 65. It develops alongside malfunctioning or death of nerve cells in the brain, which usually results in changes in one’s memory, behavior, and ability to think clearly. Its history dates back to over a century, but its origins remain largely unknown. Alzheimer’s disease tends to progress from mild forms to moderate and severe cases at different rates, eventually leading to death.
Cinema a century ago was a new, exciting and highly democratic form of entertainment. Picture houses nationwide offered a sociable, lively environment in which to relax and escape from the daily grind. With feature films still rare, the programme was an entertaining, ever-changing roster of short items with live musical accompaniment. Here’s a collection of 38 pictures that show how British cinemas have changed in the past 100 years.
Hey China, you’re welcome. When you think about your future multi-million dollar shipping moguls, innovative tech giants, and up-and-coming diplomats, please remember a small handful of them probably received their Ivy League degrees thanks to me.
—I’m a black market college admissions essay writer, and over the last three years I’ve written over 350 fraudulent essays for wealthy Chinese exchange students. Although my clients have varied from earnest do-gooders to factory tycoon’s daughters who communicate primarily through emojis, they all have one thing in common: They’re unable to write meaningful sentences.
Credit “Derek Jeter Bows Out,” by Mark Ulriksen
—We know Derek Jeter by heart, so why all this memorizing? The between-pitches bat tucked up in his armpit. The fingertip helmet-twiddle. The left front foot wide open, out of the box until the last moment, and the cop-at-a-crossing right hand ritually lifted astern until the foot swings shut. That look of expectation, a little night-light gleam, under the helmet. The pitch—this one a slow breaking ball, a fraction low and outside—taken but inspected with a bending bow in its passage. More. Jeter’s celebrity extends beyond his swing, of course, but can perhaps be summarized by an excited e-mail once received by a Brearley School teacher from one of her seventh graders: “Guess what! I just Googled ‘Derek’s butt!’ ”
—This is Derek Jeter’s twentieth and final September: twenty-seven more games and perhaps another hundred at-bats remain to be added to his franchise record, at this writing, of 2,720 and 11,094. He’s not having a great year, but then neither are the Yanks, who trail the Orioles by seven games in the American League East and are three games short of qualifying for that tacky, tacked-on new second wild-card spot in the post-season. It’s been a blah baseball year almost everywhere, and, come to think of it, watching Derek finish might be the best thing around.
Victory Tischler-Blue: Of Beauty and Ruin explores the darker side of life in the American Southwest (PHOTOS).
December 1942. “Chicago, Illinois. Workman grinding out a small part at the Chicago & North Western repair shops.”… via.