If you think you’re a genius, you’re crazy

On the people who pay attention to what others ignore

“When John Forbes Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician, schizophrenic, and paranoid delusional, was asked how he could believe that space aliens had recruited him to save the world, he gave a simple response. “Because the ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.”” Image Credit

Dean Keith Simonton | Nautilus

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The body electric

What exactly happens after someone gets struck by lightning?

“For most victims, it is not the unforgettable horror of an agonizing ordeal that haunts them—many can’t even recall the incident itself; it’s the mysterious physical and psychological symptoms that emerge, often long after their immediate wounds have healed and doctors have cleared them to return to their normal routines.” Image Credit

Ferris Jabr | Outside

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Life of pie

A short history of the pie

“During the middle ages and into the early modern period, mystery pies were sought rather than shunned…When in 1626 the diminutive Jeffrey Hudson burst from a pie before Charles I and his wife Henrietta Maria, he so delighted the royal couple that they made him a permanent member of their household.” Image Credit

Christine Baumgarthuber | The New Inquiry

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The channel that’s spiced up French TV

How an upstart broadcaster disrupted a French media ‘notoriously set in its ways’

“The journalists are young, and they pride themselves on doing things differently. “For too long in France we have had elites who looked on ordinary people with condescension, not to say contempt,” says 34-year-old Apolline de Malherbe who provides political commentary on BFMTV.” Image Credit

Hugh Schofield | BBC News Magazine

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The foodbank dilemma

What does the rise of the foodbank tell us about Britain today?

“There have always been people in Britain who are hungry. And for centuries there have been attempts to feed them. The soup kitchens of the late 18th Century, which sprung up as a response to the ruptures caused by the industrial revolution, were replaced by the workhouses of the 19th century.” Image Credit

James Harrison | New Statesman

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No guarantee of safety

Inside Serbia’s bitter football rivalry, the ‘Eternal Derby’

“But the tension I felt outside Partizan Stadium was nothing like adrenaline and everything like fear. I’d heard the stories. In 2001, in the very park we’d walked through, opposing fans had clashed, almost like two armies coming together at the front lines. There were injuries on all sides…” Image Credit

Kirsten Schlewitz | SB Nation

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Whose side is Turkey on?

The battle for Kobani, and the miscalculations of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

“The PKK, like Isis, emphasises martyrdom: fallen fighters are buried in carefully tended cemeteries full of rose bushes high in the mountains, with elaborate tombstones over the graves. Pictures of Ocalan are everywhere: six or seven years ago, I visited a hamlet in Qandil occupied by the PKK; overlooking it was an enormous picture of Ocalan…” Image Credit

Patrick Cockburn | The London Review of Books

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The Pistorius trial is a parable about celebrity, not South Africa

Fascinating take on the Pistorius trial in the context of South African society

“Terrified, Boshoff raced to his gun safe, took up his weapon and levelled it at the closed bedroom door. When the handle turned, he pulled the trigger – only to discover that he’d put a bullet in the head of his eight-year-old daughter. What distinguished this from the Pistorius shooting? Mostly that Oscar and his victim were rich and famous…” Image Credit

Rian Malan | Newsweek

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My captivity

Theo Padnos on being kidnapped, tortured and released in Syria

“His feet bicycled through the air. “You must let me down, for the sake of God! For the sake of Muhammad and God!” he screamed. “This is our music!” Kawa yelled at me. “Do you hear it?” That night, Kawa tortured me and told me that if I didn’t confess to being a C.I.A. operative, he would kill me. I confessed to stop the pain.” Image Credit

Theo Padnos | The New York Times Magazine

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