Sitdown Sunday Why are hundreds of refugee children falling into comas in

first_imgSitdown Sunday: Why are hundreds of refugee children falling into comas in Sweden? Grab a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads Short URL Apr 2nd 2017, 9:00 AM 4. The hedge fund tycoon and Trump Robert Mercer is a reclusive hedge-fund manager – and he happens to have become a major force behind Donald Trump’s presidency. Here’s a juicy longread about the man.(The New Yorker, approx 52 mins reading time)During the past decade, Mercer, who is seventy, has funded an array of political projects that helped pave the way for Trump’s rise. Among these efforts was public-opinion research, conducted by Caddell, showing that political conditions in America were increasingly ripe for an outsider candidate to take the White House. Caddell told me that Mercer “is a libertarian—he despises the Republican establishment,” and added, “He thinks that the leaders are corrupt crooks, and that they’ve ruined the country.”5. The myth of the ‘lone wolf’ terrorist Police officers hold flowers on Westminster Bridge during a vigil to remember the victims of last week’s Westminster terrorist attack. Source: SIPA USA/PA ImagesWe have heard much about ‘lone wolf’ terrorists in recent years, thanks to terrifying attacks across the world. But Jason Burke argues that describing them as such is a lazy way of obscuring “the real nature of the threat against us”.(The Guardian, approx 23 mins reading time)The modern concept of lone-wolf terrorism was developed by rightwing extremists in the US. In 1983, at a time when far-right organisations were coming under immense pressure from the FBI, a white nationalist named Louis Beampublished a manifesto that called for “leaderless resistance” to the US government. Beam, who was a member of both the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nations group, was not the first extremist to elaborate the strategy, but he is one of the best known. He told his followers that only a movement based on “very small or even one-man cells of resistance … could combat the most powerful government on earth”.6. Horseshoe hellYou’re probably reading this at home, somewhere safe and comfortable – so why not have a read about people who rock climb in a place called ‘Horseshoe hell’ for a bit of escapism?(Outside, approx 22 mins reading time)From 10 a.m. today to 10 a.m. tomorrow, two-person teams will climb nonstop—or as close to nonstop as they can manage—­racking up points for each route they complete. To be considered official finishers, each climber will have to send at least one route per hour; to automatically qualify for next year, each will have to do 100. Some teams will climb hundreds of pitches.… AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES… Source: PA Archive/PA ImagesThe Anarchist Cookbook, written by William Powell at the age of 19, was born from his frustration towards the US. But with its bomb-making instructions, it led to some dangerous situations.(Harpers, approx 24 mins reading time) What he didn’t know he borrowed from underground publications like the Berkeley Barb, passing on tips that hadn’t been fact-checked. As it turns out, one cannot get high by eating banana peels that have been boiled and baked, or smoking crushed peanut shells. (Powell was right, however, about nutmeg’s hallucinogenic potential.) Nor had the city’s sewer system been taken over by “New York white,” the giant marijuana plants said to be the result of people flushing seeds to avoid arrest. “The sewer plants usually reach a height of between 12 and 15 feet and are bleached white because of the lack of sunlight,” Powell wrote, in the authoritative voice that permeates the book.More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday> 27,120 Views 8 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlecenter_img Sunday 2 Apr 2017, 9:00 AM Share4 Tweet Email4 IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.1. Uppgivenhetssyndrom Source: Shutterstock/GongToHundreds of refugee children in Sweden have fallen into comas after being told their families have to leave the country. Trauma is believed to be behind their illness, which is being termed Uppgivenhetssyndrom, or ‘Resignation Syndrome’.(The New Yorker, approx 35 mins reading time)Georgi read the letter silently, dropped it on the floor, went upstairs to his room, and lay down on the bed. He said that his body began to feel as if it were entirely liquid. His limbs felt soft and porous. All he wanted to do was close his eyes. Even swallowing required an effort that he didn’t feel he could muster. He felt a deep pressure in his brain and in his ears. He turned toward the wall and pounded his fist against it. In the morning, he refused to get out of bed or to eat. Savl poured Coca-Cola into a teaspoon and fed Georgi small sips. The soda dribbled down his chin.2. ‘I adored him’Bill Hayes was the partner of the late Oliver Sacks during the last years of his life. Here, he writes about how they fell in love, and the last months of Sacks’ remarkable life.(The Guardian, approx 33 mins reading time)For me, this was part of the fascination with him. I was seeing a few other men during my first summer in New York, but dates with O were completely different. We didn’t go to movies or to MoMA or to new restaurants or Broadway shows. We took long walks in the botanical garden in the Bronx, where he could expatiate on every species of fern. We visited the Museum of Natural History – not for the dinosaurs or special exhibitions but to spend time in the often empty, chapel-like room of gems, minerals, and, especially, the elements – O knew the stories behind the discoveries of every single one.3. Elon Musk and the future Elon Musk Source: DPA/PA ImagesElon Musk is one fascinating guy – so here’s a nice longread about his work, his fears about artificial intelligence and the world of Silicon Valley.(Vanity Fair, approx 40 mins reading time)In a startling public reproach to his friends and fellow techies, Musk warned that they could be creating the means of their own destruction. He told Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance, the author of the biography Elon Musk, that he was afraid that his friend Larry Page, a co-founder of Google and now the C.E.O. of its parent company, Alphabet, could have perfectly good intentions but still “produce something evil by accident”—including, possibly, “a fleet of artificial intelligence-enhanced robots capable of destroying mankind.” By Aoife Barrylast_img

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