Mandy Brown: The Cut

“What montage cinema has taught me is that it’s not just the cut that makes an edit work, it’s also the join. The join is kind of the response to the cut. It’s the other side of it. You don’t just cut something when you edit it, you also have to join it with something else and the join is actually where the meaning emerges in that exchange. It’s not the pulling away or the leaving out, it’s the bringing together that actually marks an edit.”

The Cut Mandy Brown on editing

Guantánamo must be closed

President Obama on Tuesday recommitted to his years-old vow to close the Guantánamo Bay prison following the arrival of “medical reinforcements” of nearly 40 Navy nurses, corpsmen and specialists amid a mass hunger strike by inmates who have been held for over a decade without trial…

Citing the high expense and the foreign policy costs of continuing to operate the prison, Mr. Obama said he would try again to persuade Congress to lift restrictions on transferring inmates to the federal court system. Mr. Obama was ambiguous, however, about the most difficult issue raised by the prospect of closing the prison: what to do with detainees who are deemed dangerous but could not be feasibly prosecuted.

Obama to Seek Closing Amid Hunger Strike at Guantánamo by Charlie Savage, The New York Times

Regardless of war crimes committed against the US, every accused person deserves their day in court. The US’ hypocrisy in chastising other countries’ human rights records is farcical given this decade-long human rights abuse they call Guantánamo. Do the right thing, President Obama. Close the prison and give the prisoners their day in court.

The children of the forests

Though the men of the Seven Kingdoms might call them the children of the forest, Leaf and her people were far from childlike. Little wise men of the forest would have been closer. They were small compared to men, as a wolf is smaller than a direwolf. That does not mean it is a pup. They had nut-brown skin, dappled like a deer’s with paler spots, and large ears that could hear things that no man could hear. Their eyes were big too, great golden cat’s eyes that could see down passages where a boy’s eyes saw only blackness. Their hands had only three fingers and a thumb, with sharp black claws instead of nails.

And they did sing. They sang in True Tongue, so Bran could not understand the words, but their voices were as pure as winter air. “Where are the rest of you?” Bran asked Leaf, once.

“Gone down into the earth,” she answered. “Into the stones, into the trees. Before the First Men came all this land that you call Westeros was home to us, yet even in those days we were few. The gods gave us long lives but not great numbers, lest we overrun the world as deer will overrun a wood where there are no wolves to hunt them. That was in the dawn of days, when our sun was rising. Now it sinks, and this is our long dwindling. The giants are almost gone as well, they who were our bane and our brothers. The great lions of the western hills have been slain, the unicorns are all but gone, the mammoths down to a few hundred. The direwolves will outlast us all, but their time will come as well. In the world that men have made, there is no room for them, or us.”

A Dance With Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones Book 5 by George R. R. Martin

Fuck this week

And with all those fucks out of the way, let’s take a second to remember that people are amazing. People help. People do way more astounding, selfless, compassionate things than they do terrible, violent destructive things. Most people are good, and we also saw that this week.

Fuck this week by Lindy West

The metrics of humane slaughter

Today, Dr. Grandin is a best-selling author, and her Animal Welfare Audit is the standard in the industry. Half of the cattle in the United States and Canada are now handled by equipment Grandin designed. Some of the nation’s largest beef servers and suppliers— McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Cargill, Tyson— pass the points of her audit: at least 95 percent of animals stunned on the first shot (usually with a captive-bolt gun that shoots a steel bolt into the head). No more than 1 percent falling. No more than 3 percent mooing. No more than 25 percent being hit with an electric prod. At this point, she says, “You can take someone right to the stunner line at one of the biggest slaughterhouses in the world,” and they’ll approve of what they see.

This Is What Humane Slaughter Looks Like. Is It Good Enough?

Jim Giles on being acquired by Medium

We just took our first article [“Do No Harm”], which was published in November, and brought it out from behind the paywall and put it up on Medium, and then we commissioned a bunch of commentaries on the piece itself. Medium’s really nicely suited to that because all the articles are arranged in collections. So you’ve got this one piece that anchors the collection [“Amputees & Wannabes”], which is our original longform piece, and then you’ve got a bunch of follow-ups, in this case mainly from scientists talking about issues in the piece.

Matter Co-Founder Jim Giles on Being Acquired by Medium and the Future of Longform Journalism by Hamish McKenzie

Matter, Medium and the Future of Immersive Content

Matter more importantly now has access to some of the best designers and technologists in Silicon Valley, and as a result should be able to produce ever more gorgeous, immersive, and interactive journalism.

Matter, Medium and the Future of Immersive Content by Felix Salmon

Do No Harm

It’s difficult for most of us to relate to a notion like this. Your sense of self, like mine, is probably tied to a body that has its entire complement of limbs. I can’t bear the thought of someone taking a scalpel to my thigh. It’s my thigh. I take that sense of ownership for granted. This isn’t the case for BIID sufferers, and it wasn’t the case for David. When I asked him to describe how his leg felt, he said, “It feels like my soul doesn’t extend into it.”


What did you learn today?

What did you learn today? What’s most fine about that question is that it assumes that this was a day unlike the one before, a novel day, a day of signal. By asking it you imply that there was something going on today besides rote and ritual. By asking it every single day at dinner you create a formal system, a policy, and yet in response to this very predictable question you can expect news, novelty, fresh information, mysteries, secrets exposed.

Mostly Summer Rolls by Paul Ford