Life on Matinicus Island: "Matinicus lies 23 miles out to sea, the most remote inhabited island on the Atlantic seaboard... one of a vast necklace of islands, more than 3,000 in all, spread out along the Maine coast as far north as the Bay of Fundy. A century ago, 200 or more of them were fishermen's communities; today, only 14 are inhabited year-round... Today, two years after putting a bullet into the neck of another lobsterman, in defense, he says, of his daughter, Vance Bunker is a pariah on the island: legally acquitted but privately unforgiven, widely but quietly reviled." (via longform)
Share a Story collects powerful personal stories from around the world. Some are inspiring, such as the story of a young woman with fibromyalgia, others are just intense such as a knife robbery in the streets of Dublin. [more inside]
If I Die Young: Struggling with Addiction and Recovery. "Last year, 249 people died of prescription drug overdoses in Pinellas County, FL. Just about everybody who knew Stacy Nicholson figured she was next. Then an empathetic judge gave her a choice: recovery, or the coffin." [more inside]
For the past three years, 28-year-old Sydney man James West has been receiving personal emails about the Thanksgiving dinner of the Tran family of Somewhere, USA. This year, he decided he wanted an invite to dinner and started a YouTube channel about his quest to track down the Trans and obtain an invite to dinner. Fortunately, his mission has been successful, and West will be attending Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow with the Trans in Florida.
An amendment to the Defense Authorization Act currently under consideration in congress would force the notorious School of the Americas (currently known as "WHINSEC") to "release to the public the names, ranks, countries of origin, courses taken and dates of attendance of all the students and instructors at the institute." [more inside]
"India on Wednesday became the sixth nation to launch a moon mission when indigenously built PSLV-C11 rocket blasted off from the spaceport here carrying with it Chandrayaan-I, which will map the lunar surface." For India, The Future Is Here. [more inside]
"I am standing at the traffic lights when the woman next to me, lost in her thoughts, suddenly bursts out laughing. Then she immediately covers her mouth with her hand and glances around, embarrassed. This gives me an idea. I phone the photographer Stephen Gill. 'Let's walk around looking for people who are laughing to themselves because of something they've just thought of,' I say. 'When we find them, you take their photograph and I'll ask them what they were thinking about that was so funny.'" Jon Ronson sets out to discover the secret source of joy.
"All he has left now to remember the grandson he once carried on his back is a stack of workbooks -- trigonometry, politics, history. Mr. Zheng does not recognize enough Chinese characters to read them. But he keeps the books as memorials." The best human interest story of the year, and a look into the lives of China's rural poor.
Half century in an iron lung. Actually, its not really, but there's still plenty in this story to make you wince.
Ailing teen gets her dream: meeting Queensryche singer. It wasn't a funded Make-a-Wish Foundation event, just a hospice worker making some phone calls. Geoff Tate didn't just show up at the hospital to say hi to Brittany... he, his wife, and the band went to great lengths to show her the time of her life.
A Hong Kong student has written her thesis about the world's oldest profession, and found that the ten 'subjects' she chose to follow are real people too, and ultimately befriended them, offering financial and legal assistance. Apart from the actual story, of interest in the tone of the writing of the piece which underlines that the 'class' structure still exists almost everywhere . . .