Bill Clinton in BubbaLand

On the place where they still believe the former president is capable of miracles

“Pretty much everyone here, even many of the Democrats, can’t stand Obama. Romney beat the President here by 24 points, and his approval ratings out in the countryside can hit single digits. The most staggering thing is that people will tell you straight up it’s because he’s black. Most often, this comes with a qualifier—“You know the history of the South,”…” Image Credit

Lisa DePaulo | Bloomberg Politics

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Why Instagram worked

Co-founder Mike Krieger describes the change of course that led to incredible success

“At first, we were building an app called Burbn, a location-based social network written in HTML5. Burbn was well-liked and had a few passionate daily actives, but it wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire. Our attempts at explaining what we were building was often met with blank stares, and we peaked at around 1,000 users. For those early adopters, though, it was a new way of sharing what they were doing out in the world.” Image Credit

Mike Krieger | Backchannel

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Forty years on from the Rumble in the Jungle, Kinshasa is a city of chaos

On Kinshasha in the aftermath of the showdown between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman

“A huge image of President Mobutu, who had offered an extraordinary $10m to bring the fight to Kinshasa and put the country he had renamed Zaire on the map, joined the stadium’s four distinctive banks of lights in towering over the crowd. Mobutu had left little to chance. He allegedly rounded up 1,000 of Kinshasa’s leading criminals before the fight and held them in rooms under the stadium before executing 100 of them to make his point.” Image Credit

Thomas Yocum | The Guardian

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Freddy lives

An oral history of A Nightmare on Elm Street

“I’d read an article in the L.A. Times about a family who had escaped the Killing Fields in Cambodia and managed to get to the U.S. Things were fine, and then suddenly the young son was having very disturbing nightmares. He told his parents he was afraid that if he slept, the thing chasing him would get him, so he tried to stay awake for days at a time. When he finally fell asleep, his parents thought this crisis was over. Then they heard screams…” Image Credit

Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum | Vulture

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This is what developing acute schizophrenia feels like

Why schizophrenia is not a ‘death sentence’

“Again, I don’t really remember this properly, but apparently when the paramedics arrived I thought they were both taking pictures of me. I got really angry and tried to punch them. I screamed at one of them, telling him it was against the law to take my photo and that I had rights, all while seated in a pair of soaking wet boxer shorts with blood all over my leg.” Image Credit

Daniel Smith | Vice

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The real cyborgs

The ‘pioneers’ implanting technology in to their bodies and brains

“Kevin Warwick can justifiably claim to be the world’s first cyborg. In the 1990s, Reading University’s visiting professor of cybernetics started implanting RFID chips into himself. In 2002, he underwent pioneering surgery to have an array of electrodes attached to the nerve fibres in his arm. This was the first time a human nervous system had been connected to a computer.” Image Credit

Arthur House | The Telegraph

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Life inside a Taliban stronghold

A BBC film crew are given access to a Taliban stronghold just an hour from Kabul

“Having reported from Afghanistan for 10 years and been kidnapped by another group of Taliban fighters in Helmand, I was all too aware that this was a dangerous place, especially for Western journalists. I had arranged to meet Said Rahman, the Taliban’s self-appointed leader in the area, popularly known as Governor Badri. Now aged 27, he started fighting as a teenager against the American-led forces that swept the Taliban from power in 2001.” Image Credit

Nagieb Khaja | BBC

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The spy who scammed us?

A clandestine intelligence operative, government contracts, and a story that doesn’t add up

“On July 3, 2009, he rappelled into the sanctuary of a Virginia megachurch as flags unfurled and “The Stars and Stripes Forever” played. He hit the ground with a crisp salute, was introduced as a former Navy Seal, and told a Christian Broadcasting Network reporter that a stunt like his “really energizes the congregation and emphasizes the risks being taken by servicemen and women around the world.”” Image Credit

Ace Atkins and Michael Fechter | Outside

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In the Syria we don’t know

On the other side of the war against the Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian regime

“People in the city refuse to see and hear the violence in their suburbs, much as Beverly Hills ignored riots in Watts in 1965 and 1992. It becomes easy to pretend there is no war, unless a bomb falls too close or kills someone you know. One morning as I was driving through the upscale Abu Rummaneh quarter, a rebel mortar shell whistled overhead, hit a fuel storage tank, and sent black smoke soaring into the sky.” Image Credit

Charles Glass | The New York Review of Books

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The Wikipedia story

Excerpt from Walter Isaacson’s new book, The Innovators

“That was when Wales and Sanger discovered Ward Cunningham’s wiki software. Like many digital-age innovations, the application of wiki software to Nupedia in order to create Wikipedia—combining two ideas to create an innovation—was a collaborative process in­volving thoughts that were already in the air. But in this case a very non-wiki-like dispute erupted over who deserved the most credit.” Image Credit

Walter Isaacson | The Daily Beast

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