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In Print: Culture Bubble Quiz, Civil War Photos and Wanderlust

March 21, 2012

What I’ve been reading lately:

– “His first memory is an execution” – the story of one man’s survival in and escape from a North Korean prison camp.

– QUIZ: Do you live in a cultural bubble? How connected to ‘mainstream America’ are you? (Full disclosure: I got an 8. I blame my parents for never taking me fishing or buying me a pickup truck.)

– Why studying journalism is still a good idea.

– How does creativity work, where does it come from and what should you do when you get stuck?

– Two teenagers’ year as Colombian hostages.

– One chart that shows why affordable housing is a myth. (In DC, a minimum wage worker would have to work 140 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom unit at Fair Market Rent.)

– Gorgeous photo essay the Civil War — battlefields, hospitals, small towns and DC in construction.

– James Erwin was bored at work one day and clicked over to Reddit. His response to a query has turned into a big-budget action movie.

David Carr on the Mike Daisey/This American Life scandal:

It is worth mentioning that professional credentials are not insurance against journalistic scandal…. There is nothing in the journalism playbook to prevent a determined liar from getting one over now and again. It is partly because seekers of truth expect the same from others.

– Why finish books?

To put a novel down before the end, then, is simply to acknowledge that for me its shape, its aesthetic quality, is in the weave of the plot and, with the best novels, in the meshing of the writing style with that weave. Style and plot, overall vision and local detail, fascinate together, in a perfect tangle. Once the structure has been set up and the narrative ball is rolling, the need for an end is just an unfortunate burden, an embarrassment, a deplorable closure of so much possibility

– I think The Hunger Games soundtrack may end up being better than the movies itself. Come on, two tracks with The Civil Wars?!

– Living with your wanderlust — what do you do when the urge to go comes on strong and won’t go away?

– Reexamining My Lai after the Afghanistan massacre.

– Huffington Post’s coverage of the Trayvon Martin killing has been exemplary this past week. If you’re not hearing about it from other sources, keep checking back with HuffPost for the latest on this controversial case.

– 100 years after Titanic’s sinking, eerie underwater photographs show us what’s still lying on the sea floor.

What have you read recently?

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