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Nature's Perfect Killing Machine Can Be Killed With Soap

Ebola is nightmare fuel: a biological doomsday device conspiring with our bodies to murder us in uniquely gruesome fashion. It’s also killed fewer than 2,000 people. How has a virus with such a modest body count so fiercely captured the darkest corners of our imagination? - Leigh Cowart for Haziltt.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 8, 2014 - 56 comments

The New Essayists

"A talented writer such as John Jeremiah Sullivan might, fifty years ago, have tried to explore his complicated feelings about the South, and about race and class in America, by writing fiction, following in the footsteps of Walker Percy and Eudora Welty. Instead he produced a book of essays, called Pulphead, on the same themes; and the book was received with the kind of serious attention and critical acclaim that were once reserved for novels. But all is not as it seems. You do not have to read very far in the work of the new essayists to realize that the resurrection of the essay is in large measure a mirage." (via) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Feb 22, 2013 - 13 comments

Reader, have you ever seen a fight?

On 10 December 1821 the radical essayist and journalist William Hazlitt set out on a journey from London to Hungerford where, the next day, he witnessed a bare-knuckle boxing match between Bill Neate, a butcher from Bristol, and Tom 'The Gas-man' Hickman. Hazlitt's account of the event – 'The Fight' – was published in 1822, and is regarded as a pioneering work of sports journalism and an insightful study of popular culture.
posted by mattn on Dec 10, 2011 - 6 comments

Economics in One Lesson

The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.
Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt, is available online for all to peruse, and makes sobering reading for anyone who's ever fretted over the United States' $8.7tn national debt. Or if you prefer action to theory, you can always help your fellow citizens out by making a check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water on Jan 25, 2007 - 39 comments

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