Battle Lines is an essay by academics Robyn Creswell and Bernard Haykel in The New Yorker on the poetry of jihadis, especially those who follow the Islamic State. They argue that the way to understand them is to study their cultural products, especially poetry, which is part of their daily socialization, as discussed in this video. Poetry has a special status in the Arab world. Elisabeth Kendall explores that context in her essay Yemen’s al-Qa'ida and Poetry as a Weapon of Jihad. Jihadi poetry is closely linked to the nasheed tradition of songs which are usually sung a capella. Behnam Said traces their history in the essay Hymns ( Nasheeds): A Contribution to the Study of the Jihadist Culture.
It has been said in half-jest that Pepsi was the official soda of the Cold War. Vice President Richard Nixon shared a Pepsi with Soviet Russia's Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, at the opening of the "American National Exhibition" in Moscow on July 24, 1959, after the famous "Kitchen Debate" (CBS newscast on Archive.org; transcript with two photos from the day). But how was it that Pepsi was the only Western soda-pop available there that day? Look to Donald Kendall, a long-time pal of Richard Nixon, who starting out in 1947 selling fountain syrup in New York, and rose through the ranks to be President of Pepsi Cola International by 1957. [more inside]
Whatever Happened to Kendall Hailey? At age 16, Kendall Hailey decided she'd had enough of formal schooling, and became an autodidact. She wrote about her experience in her charming memoir entitled The Day I Became an Autodidact and the Advice, Adventures, and Acrimonies that Befell Me Thereafter. After that, she pretty much fell out of the public eye. In December 2012, Jennifer Paull of BookRiot tracked her down and asked her about her past, present, and future, and whether she'd recommend her own child follow her path (and whatever became of Matthew). Part 1. Part 2. [more inside]