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In the News 10.04.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets


In the News 10.04.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets


1. The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison

“In 1984, Morrison was a single mother and a novelist with four books to her name, three of which — “The Bluest Eye,” “Sula” and “Song of Solomon” — are now considered classics. She had recently stopped working as an editor at Random House and published the essay “Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation” in an anthology. The essay in many ways articulated the terms that would define her writing. She noted that the novel “has always functioned for the class or the group that wrote it.” The novel that concerned itself with black Americans was remarkable and needed, she wrote, because it accomplished “certain very strong functions,” now that “we don’t live in places where we can hear those stories anymore” and “parents don’t sit around and tell their children those classical, mythological archetypal stories that we heard years ago.” The black novel was important because it could “suggest what the conflicts are, what the problems are,” not necessarily as a means of solving them but as a way of recording and reflecting them.”

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times





2. After Tambora

“Mount Tambora (pictured), a volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, was once similar in stature to Mont Blanc or Mount Rainier. But in April 1815 it blew its top off in spectacular fashion. On the 10th and 11th it sent molten rock more than 40 kilometres into the sky in the most powerful eruption of the past 500 years. The umbrella of ash spread out over a million square kilometres; in its shadow day was as night. Billions of tonnes of dust, gas, rock and ash scoured the mountain’s flanks in pyroclastic flows, hitting the surrounding sea hard enough to set off deadly tsunamis; the wave that hit eastern Java, 500km away, two hours later was still two metres high when it did so. The dying mountain’s roar was heard 2,000km away. Ships saw floating islands of pumice in the surrounding seas for years.”

Read the rest of this article at The Economist





3. The Price of a Life

As teen-agers on Long Island, John Restivo and Marge Neidecker spent hours in her blue Road Runner, cruising around the towns where Queens gives way to Nassau County. “We did a lot of drag racing,” Neidecker remembered. “I owned a souped-up car—so did everybody back in the seventies.” She had long, straight blond hair parted down the middle, like Joni Mitchell’s. Restivo was a tall, gangly guy; his nickname in the neighborhood was Wimpy. Sometimes they cut class at Lynbrook High School and rode around together, smoking cigarettes and listening to Bob Dylan. They loved his song “Hurricane,” and sang along as they drove: “Here comes the story of the Hurricane / the man the authorities came to blame / for something that he never done.” It seemed like a metaphor for all the injustices of adolescence.

Read the rest of this article at The New Yorker




4. The Motorcycle Gangs

“Ever since World War II, California has been strangely plagued by wild men on motorcycles. They usually travel in groups of ten to thirty, booming along the highways and stopping here are there to get drunk and raise hell. In 1947, hundreds of them ran amok in the town of Hollister, an hour’s fast drive south of San Francisco, and got enough press to inspire a film called The Wild One, starring Marlon Brando. The film had a massive effect on thousands of young California motorcycle buffs; in many ways, it was their version of The Sun Also Rises.”

Read the rest of this article at The Nation





5. Devil’s Bargain: A Former Medellin Cartel Official Has Been A DEA Informant For 27 Years. Now He Wants Out.‏

“You’re lying to me,” the man said. Carlos Toro took a gulp of wine and tried to maintain his composure. For years, he had dreaded hearing those words.‏”

Read the rest of this article at The Huffington Post



P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.



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