The Secrets of The World’s Greatest Freediver

With only a single breath, Alexey Molchanov, history’s most daring freediver, is reaching improbable depths—and discovering a new kind of enlightenment as he conquers one of the world’s wildest sports.

Link: https://www.gq.com/story/freediver-alexey-molchanov-profile
This is the point of freediving. At least the competitive point. And here in the Bahamas, 42 divers from around the world have gathered, like filings to a magnet, at a geological marvel called a blue hole, in this case a 660-foot elevator shaft of ocean water, to see how many stories they can plunge themselves down.

Truth and Consequences

Documentaries and the Art of Manipulation

Link: https://www.thedriftmag.com/truth-and-consequences/
The filmmakers had turned over the raw production audio, and the full transcript revealed that the smoking-gun quote did not really exist. The filmmakers had re-ordered his words and removed other sentences in between, splicing together what had potentially been two disparate thoughts. Amid twenty rambling sentences on a hot mic, Durst may have made some kind of confession, but it was certainly not nearly as clear as the show had made it seem. Critics viewed this as a grave transgression, and journalists saw an engineered quote meant to gin up drama and deceive viewers. (The New York Times headline read, “As Durst Murder Case Goes Forward, HBO’s Film Will Also Be on Trial.”) For filmmakers, radical audio edits like this one are routine, even though the ramifications for their subjects tend to be less severe. It was a clear breach of journalistic ethics, but none of the men behind the film were journalists. The two camps were not really speaking the same language.

What if You’d Known We Were All So Crazy?

A diary of 2016—the year of Trump, Brexit, and Carol the fox.

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/personal-history/what-if-youd-known-we-were-all-so-crazy
A number of people responded to the post, including this guy: “OK, I am a little confused. A planet ‘behind’ the sun? One that people who lived 6,000 years ago knew about even though they hadn’t yet figured out that the earth was round? I think it’s time to get some Science up in this bitch!” He then listed a number of reasons the hidden planet was bullshit. Later, Jeff told me about an American musician named Bill Callahan who once released an album called “Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle.” God, I wish I’d thought of that.

The Ship That Became a Bomb

Stranded in Yemen’s war zone, a decaying supertanker has more than a million barrels of oil aboard. If—or when—it explodes or sinks, thousands may die.

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/10/11/the-ship-that-became-a-bomb
A vessel without power is known as a dead ship. The Safer died in 2017, when its steam boilers ran out of fuel. A boiler is a tanker’s heart, because it generates the power and the steam needed to run vital systems. Two diesel generators on deck now provide electricity for basic needs, such as laptop charging. But crucial processes driven by the boiler system have ceased—most notably, “inerting,” in which inert gases are pumped into the tanks where the crude is stored, to neutralize flammable hydrocarbons that rise off the oil. Before inerting became a commonplace safety measure, in the nineteen-seventies, tankers blew up surprisingly often, and with lethal consequences: in December, 1969, three of them exploded within seventeen days, killing four men. Since the boilers on the Safer stopped working, the ship has been a tinderbox, vulnerable to a static-electric spark, a discharged weapon, a tossed cigarette butt.

[Essay] "Put on the Diamonds", By Vivian Gornick | Harper's Magazine

Notes on humiliation

Link: https://harpers.org/archive/2021/10/put-on-the-diamonds-notes-on-humiliation-vivian-gornick/
Anton Chekhov once observed that the worst thing life can do to human beings is to inflict humiliation. Nothing, nothing, nothing in the world can destroy the soul as much as outright humiliation. Every other infliction can eventually be withstood or overcome, but not humiliation. Humiliation lingers in the mind, the heart, the veins, the arteries forever. It allows people to brood for decades on end, often deforming their inner lives.

What We Lost When Gannett Came to Town

We don’t often talk about how a paper’s collapse makes people feel: less connected, more alone.

Link: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/10/gannett-local-newspaper-hawk-eye-iowa/619847/
Alison started shouting out assignments. Matt Gallo should head to the hospital; Susan Fisher and Mike Sweet should drive downtown for man-on-the-street interviews; Steve Delaney, Tony Miller, and the photographers should go straight to the scene. Within the hour, firefighters evacuated the newsroom (train cars containing anhydrous ammonia were parked perilously close) and everyone regrouped at a nearby dive bar. Reporters made calls from the payphone and scrawled their stories on reams of paper someone had nabbed from an old typewriter shop. Photographers developed their film in a bathtub at someone’s house on the northwest side of town.

Who Is the Bad Art Friend?

Art often draws inspiration from life — but what happens when it’s your life? Inside the curious case of Dawn Dorland v. Sonya Larson.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/05/magazine/dorland-v-larson.html
This had become Sonya Larson’s summer of hell. What had started with her reaching heights she’d never dreamed of — an entire major American city as her audience, reading a story she wrote, one with an important message about racial dynamics — was ending with her under siege, her entire career in jeopardy, and all for what she considered no reason at all: turning life into art, the way she thought that any writer does.

Into Oblivion

How news outlets are handling the right to be forgotten

Link: https://www.cjr.org/special_report/right-to-be-forgotten.php/
After reading through the Le Soir case, she wrote a blog post issuing a warning to US newspaper editors: “In America I hear lots of people scoff and say, ‘The First Amendment will never let that happen here.’ After five years of researching this topic, I have to say I’m not quite as optimistic that the American media are as protected as they may think.” She added: “If nothing else, we need to stay on top of the facts and consider how both the EU’s existing law might be more broadly interpreted—and how a U.S. version might unfold. It can’t hurt to be ready.”

Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin on the Mysterious Alchemy of Sketch Comedy

A conversation with the two friends behind the cult hit “I Think You Should Leave.”

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/tim-robinson-and-zach-kanin-on-the-mysterious-alchemy-of-sketch-comedy
t.r.: And I got sick that morning, and so I told my wife, Heather, “Just go. Take the kids.” They had a car come for them, and drove them to Madison Square Garden. And she showed up and they said, “Well, if the person from ‘S.N.L.’ ’s not here . . . then you’re not allowed to come in.” They turned my wife away. My kids had to leave, and they’re crying. And then the car was gone, too, so they had to hail a cab to get back home. They turned away my crying kids.

The Cinematic Shock of “Titane” Arrives in New York

The transgressive Cannes winner opens this week, but a viewer may get a more lasting jolt from the uncut version of Andrzej Żuławski’s “Possession.”

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-cinematic-shock-of-titane-arrives-in-new-york
To have sex with an automobile, if this film is to be trusted, all you need is a clean driving license and a dirty mind. Alexia takes plum position inside the vehicle, bang in the middle, and holds on tight to a couple of scarlet seat belts, for better purchase. Not to be outdone, the Caddy bounces up and down of its own free will and lurches from side to side. I haven’t seen a car enjoying itself so much since “Herbie Goes Bananas” (1980).

How Miami Seduced Silicon Valley

Awash in coders, crypto, and capital, the city is loving — and beginning to shape — its newest industry.

Link: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/09/how-miami-seduced-silicon-valley.html
It took a tweet, though, to ignite what Suarez calls “the Miami movement.” On December 4, Delian Asparouhov, a venture capitalist in San Francisco, posted, “ok guys hear me out, what if we move silicon valley to Miami,” and Suarez, lying in bed at home in Coconut Grove, replied, “How can I help?” Those four words got more than 2.7 million impressions. Ever since, Suarez has been on a mission to rebrand Miami — long a place to spend money, rather than earn it — as a haven for founders who feel underappreciated in more calcified urban climes. He bought (with money from a venture capitalist) billboards in San Francisco featuring his Twitter handle and an invitation to “DM me.” As he put it, “I saw the tsunami coming, got out my surfboard, and started paddling.”
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