Welcome to this week’s [evening] edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.
Every Friday, the folks at Longreads send out a newsletter of their top 5 story recommendations. In this blog post, they’ve collected a “list of every story that was chosen as No. 1” from that newsletter in 2016. Some are brutal to read — in some cases, even graphically violent or otherwise very NSFW — while others are simply fascinating.
Luke Harding | The Guardian | Jan. 16, 2016 | 27 minutes (6,875 words)
Alexander Litvinenko—a former Russian spy—was poisoned with a cup of tea at a London hotel. Harding recounts how Litvinenko worked with Scotland Yard during his final days to solve his own murder.
We featured the next one in our Quality Linkage column back in February:
Elspeth Reeve | The New Republic | Feb. 17, 2016 | 39 minutes (9,765 words)
A fascinating look at the rise and fall of teen empires on Tumblr, the blogging platform and social network favored by young people who view themselves as outcasts.
Here’s one more:
Nick Paumgarten | The New Yorker | Sept. 13, 2016 | 35 minutes (8,672 words)
Nick Paumgarten’s profile of Yvon Chouinard, the eco-conscious and anti-corporate co-founder of Patagonia. Chouinard was a close friend of, and co-adventurer with, Doug Tompkins, the late founder of the North Face.
This summer I took my 4-year-old nephew to the swimming pool. He told me he wanted to go off the diving board, so I strapped on his life jacket and swam out to help catch him. From the look on his face, I thought “there is no way this kid is going to jump. No way.” But he did. I helped him swim to the edge of the pool and was certain that would be the end of it. He got out, and climbed back on the diving board. Again, he had a look of pure terror. Again, he jumped. Over and over, this kid looked fear in the face, and he jumped anyway. It was a good reminder to me that courage looks different on everyone.
A couple days ago, Federico Viticci of MacStories published a story about his experience of using an iPad Pro as his primary computer for a year:
My first year with the iPad Pro has been a success. By embracing new ways to work and manage my time, I was able to optimize my workflow on a computer that can transform into a laptop, a book, a videogame console, and a focused writing machine. I’ve had fun working on the iPad Pro, but, more importantly, I’ve accomplished more thanks to the power of modern iOS apps. What I do on the iPad Pro today can’t be done on a Mac.
This is one of those epic, dozen-page pieces he sometimes does, sporting a contextual table of contents, a custom design, and of course, an eBook version for Club MacStories members.
Alan Taylor, The Atlantic:
Recently, Reuters photographer Sergei Karpukhin spent time in Russia’s far north, visiting reindeer herders as they brought their herds into the settlement of Krasnoye— the only settlement connected by road to the regional capital. Karpukhin reports that each winter the herders “corral their reindeer into open-air pens before selecting weak animals to be culled.” and that more than 3,000 reindeer would be culled this season. “The cull helps to preserve the region’s fragile tundra by keeping herd sizes down, while local people sell reindeer meat, hide and antlers to make a living.”
The Great Animal Orchestra is a beautiful website made by the Paris-based Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain (translation: Cartier Contemporary Art Foundation) as an extension of their exhibition of the same name, which itself was inspired by the soundscape work of musician and “bioacoustician” Bernie Krause.
As summarized by Matt Muir in his latest Web Curios dispatch, the site “lets you listen to the sounds of animals around the world, with soothing commentary about the area they’re from.” It’s pretty great.
This list by The New York Times Book Review includes a bunch of great books they’ve reviewed since last December. If you’ve been looking for some fantastic new fiction, nonfiction, or poetry to read, look no further.
Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.