Welcome to November! Lean into the coziness. These stories are a great way to occupy the cold darkness. (Also, light some candles. Or a fire. That helps.)
I didn’t sort today’s stories into sections. They read really well into each other and defy categorization. *shrug*
Pair Seven Days of Heroin Epidemic with A Prayer for Healing to get both a big-picture and very personal look at addiction.
The Sorrow and Shame of an Accidental Killer — How do you move past killing someone?
From Prison to PhD — Michelle Jones used her 20+ years in prison to become a respected scholar. Applying to graduate schools upon release, she’s sparked controversy at top universities. How should a person’s crimes affect public perception of them after they’ve served time? Is society unfairly prolonging their punishment?
The Newspaper That Bought a Bar — a great story of undercover journalism. Also an example of the type of shenanigans that I doubt would be successful in today’s tech-heavy world.
Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food — Many underdeveloped nations have gone from underweight to malnourished as food giants aggressively market unhealthy foods. How do you begin to fix a problem like this?
Pair The Scientists Persuading Terrorists to Spill Their Secrets with CIA Torture Black Sites for a look at changing opinions on interrogation techniques. Psychology tells us the first method is more likely to be effective, but it’s tough to change established patterns. The articles also deal with a fascinating aspect of interrogation–it’s extremely difficult for the interviewer. Traditional interrogation techniques are heavy on actions that make the imprisoning party feel good, but that’s effective for getting good information.
Golden State Warriors Revolution Starts with a Charcuterie Board — For something a bit lighter, the story of how Steve Kerr revolutionized the Warriors’ offense. I haven’t watched a single Warriors game and somehow I know more about them than any other basketball team.
Mattress Wars — You may not find this as interesting as I do, but it’s an intriguing business story. Are you inundated with podcast ads for Casper or Leesa? Behind the scenes is more complicated than you could imagine. (Also a good read if you’re interested in how bloggers/Internet influencers legally and successfully build brand relationships. It’s a changing world.)
How the Elderly Lose Their Rights — This is one of the scariest stories I’ve read in awhile. I’ll let this excerpt speak to why:
Parks drove a Pontiac G-6 convertible with a license plate that read “crtgrdn,” for “court guardian.” In the past twelve years, she had been a guardian for some four hundred wards of the court. Owing to age or disability, they had been deemed incompetent, a legal term that describes those who are unable to make reasoned choices about their lives or their property. As their guardian, Parks had the authority to manage their assets, and to choose where they lived, whom they associated with, and what medical treatment they received. They lost nearly all their civil rights.
The Paradise that Shouldn’t Exist — Cape Coral was built on lies. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. And it’s also one of the fastest-growing towns in America.
I felt oddly guilty reading this, because we moved to Florida this year. We’re smack-dab in the middle of a top-risk flood zone. But honestly, I’d think long and hard about leaving. People aren’t motivated by flood risks and ecological concerns. They’re drawn by this:
Literally just my local park. There are half a dozen like it in 10 miles.
The Mother of Forensic Science — Finally, the woman who introduced forensic science to police officers in the 1940s.
What’s your favorite story? Do you disagree with any of them? Tell me in the comments.