The dogged old man of the badlands

A visit to Argentina’s loneliest man wasn’t the thrilling encounter Chris Haslam expected

“What about the pumas? I ask. Yesterday, a German explorer told me how he’d found one of Don Roberto’s elderly neighbours – he lives just 55 miles (88km) down the road – bedridden with a broken hip, half-starved and dangerously dehydrated, while a pair of mountain lions waited patiently on his doorstep for him to expire.” Image Credit

Chris Haslam | BBC News Magazine

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The exhibitionist

On what happened when Daryl Richardson tried to add the world’s rarest sloth to his menagerie

“The island’s interior is an impenetrable tangle teeming with deadly snakes, but the pygmy sloths had mostly been observed in coastal mangrove swamps, a niche that no other sloth species was known to occupy. Richardson’s posse motored in and out of the turquoise shallows, scanning the canopy. The sloths were easy to catch once spotted…” Image Credit

Ben Crair | The New Republic

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Lessons from the Lusitania

On the sinking of the ship that even during the Great War had the power to shock

“If the almost willful ignorance of passengers could be excused, the same doesn’t hold true for those in charge of the ship, especially the British Admiralty, which controlled Lusitania, and her captain, William Turner…Nothing was done to alter the ship’s usual route, even though the waters off Ireland were the known hunting ground of German submarines.” Image Credit

Greg King | The History Reader

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This is what it’s like to go to prison for trolling

Talking to the two people convicted in Britain’s most high-profile online abuse case

“Both Nimmo and Sorley say they offended for the same reason: because they enjoyed the attention…Sorley says she got carried away, encouraged by the retweets and favourites she was getting. Then, three months later, seven police officers turned up at her parents’ house with a warrant for her arrest.” Image Credit

Patrick Smith | BuzzFeed

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Travels with my censor

Peter Hessler discovers the best method for understanding Chinese censorship

“But for an editor like Zhang, who is not a Party member, there is no ideology and no absolute list of banned subjects. His censorship is defensive: rather than promoting an agenda or covering up some specific truth, he tries to avoid catching the eye of a higher authority. In fact, his goal—to have a book translated and published as accurately as possible—may run counter to the goals of the Party.” Image Credit

Peter Hessler | The New Yorker

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The killers of Swaziland

A tale of two very different serial killers, both hard at work in Swaziland 15 years ago

“South African police officers were brought in, including specialists in forensics, investigative psychology, and profiling. “As part of our effort to solve this historic mystery and to bring to book these heartless killer maniacs we have solicited assistance and support from our neighboring force,” said the Swazi police commissioner.” Image Credit

Shaun Raviv | The Big Roundtable

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The hardest job in Afghanistan

Azam Ahmed spends a week on the frontlines with the Afghan National Police

“In a district shadowed by constant violence, it was seemingly left to Qasim, and to him alone, to prevent a slide into anarchy. A week earlier, masked men dragged the district judge, Ghulam Hassan, from his car and pummeled him unconscious, leaving him on the side of a dirt road…he no longer felt safe working in Baraki Barak.” Image Credit

Azam Ahmed | The New York Times Magazine

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Life after Minecraft

Inside the post-Minecraft life of billionaire gamer god Markus Persson

“The results so far are unimpressive, as he’s mostly acted like a dog chasing cars. When Persson decided to buy a house in Beverly Hills, he went for a $70 million, 23,000-square-foot megamansion, the most expensive home ever in an enclave known for them. He’s become known for spending upwards of $180,000 a night at Las Vegas nightclubs.” Image Credit

Ryan Mac, David M. Ewalt and Max Jedeur-Palmgren | Forbes

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The fisherman’s dilemma

On a radical conservation experiment off the coast of California

“It was the sea otters with all their wet-suit-shredding ferocity that were the first piece to be removed. The otter’s dense fur made it the state’s first export product, cloaking Chinese royalty for nearly a century. By 1850, the otters were all but exterminated. With the otters gone, the urchin and abalone population exploded and started devouring the kelp forest. This caused another California fishing boom and bust.” Image Credit

Paul Greenberg | The California Sunday Magazine

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Anatomy of a hack

The story of an ‘overnight heist’ that shows just how hard it is to be secure in the digital age

“In the early morning hours of October 21st, 2014, Partap Davis lost $3,000. He had gone to sleep just after 2AM in his Albuquerque, New Mexico, home after a late night playing World of Tanks. While he slept, an attacker undid every online security protection he set up. By the time he woke up, most of his online life had been compromised…” Image Credit

Russell Brandom | The Verge

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