Give Me Something To Read Best of 2010
November 23, 2010 3:11 PM   Subscribe

Give Me Something To Read Best of 2010

What Makes a Great Teacher?
Amanda Ripley, The Atlantic
For years, the secrets to great teaching have seemed more like alchemy than science, a mix of motivational mumbo jumbo and misty-eyed tales of inspiration and dedication. But for more than a decade, one organization has been tracking hundreds of thousands of kids, and looking at why some teachers can move them three grade levels ahead in a year and others can’t. Now, as the Obama administration offers states more than $4 billion to identify and cultivate effective teachers, Teach for America is ready to release its data.
Can You Disappear in Surveillance Britain?
Jean-Paul Flintoff, The Times
David Bond wanted to see if it’s possible to vanish so one day he packed his bag, got into his car and kissed his wife goodbye. (previously)
No Angel, No Devil
Brantley Hargrove, Nashville Scene
Once a wife and mother in a deceptively perfect home, Gaile Owens is now the first woman sentenced to die in Tennessee in nearly 200 years.
What Happened When I Went Undercover at a Christian Gay-to-Straight Conversion Camp
Ted Cox, Alternet
What I saw and experienced at JiM both enraged and disturbed me. I had trouble staying in character as I watched one man, as part of his therapy, act out beating his father to death with a baseball bat — just one of several “Are you kidding?” moments. How anyone could believe that a JiM weekend could turn a man straight still baffles me. (previously)
The Wrong Man
David Freed, The Atlantic
In the fall of 2001, a nation reeling from the horror of 9/11 was rocked by a series of deadly anthrax attacks. As the pressure to find a culprit mounted, the FBI, abetted by the media, found one. The wrong one. This is the story of how federal authorities blew the biggest anti-terror investigation of the past decade.
Jon Ronson, The Guardian
Criminal profilers were once the heroes of police work, nailing offenders with their astonishing psychological insights. So why did it all fall apart?
Secret of AA: After 75 Years, We Don’t Know How It Works
Brendan I. Koerner, Wired
AA and its steps have become ubiquitous despite the fact that no one is quite sure how—or, for that matter, how well—they work. The organization is notoriously difficult to study, thanks to its insistence on anonymity and its fluid membership. And AA’s method, which requires “surrender” to a vaguely defined “higher power,” involves the kind of spiritual revelations that neuroscientists have only begun to explore. (previously)
Sean Flynn, GQ
Lost in the catastrophic aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is the gripping tale of the rig workers and the Coast Guard crewmen who rescued them.
The High Is Always the Pain and the Pain Is Always the High
Jay Caspian Kang, The Morning News
Gambling addiction is a simple disease. Living the addiction is a bit more complicated. A chronicle of dependency in seven parts, by Jay Caspian King, about poker, Lolita, and how to lose $18,000 in 36 hours.
Dog Beat Dog
Keegan Hamilton, Phoenix New Times
To pull off the biggest pit bull fighting bust in U.S. history, investigators and their dogs went undercover.
Washington, We Have a Problem
Todd Purdum, Vanity Fair
A day in the life of the president reveals that Barack Obama’s job would be almost unrecognizable to most of his predecessors—thanks to the enormous bureaucracy, congressional paralysis, systemic corruption (with lobbyists spending $3.5 billion last year), and disintegrating media.
The Deadly Corruption of Clinical Trials
Carl Elliott, Mother Jones
When you risk life and limb to help test a drug, are you helping science—or Big Pharma? One patient’s tragic, and telling, story.
The Brain That Changed Everything
Luke Dittrich, Esquire
When a surgeon cut into Henry Molaison’s skull to treat him for epilepsy, he inadvertently created the most important brain-research subject of our time — a man who could no longer remember, who taught us everything we know about memory. Six decades later, another daring researcher is cutting into Henry’s brain. Another revolution in brain science is about to begin. (previously)
What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?
Charlie LeDuff, Mother Jones
A nighttime raid. A reality TV crew. A sleeping seven-year-old. What one tragedy can teach us about the unraveling of America’s middle class.
Note: Article descriptions taken directly from main link.
posted by AceRock (17 comments total) 111 users marked this as a favorite
Would comment, but I'm still RTFAs.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:24 PM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

My Instapaper and my upcoming jury duty thank you for this post.
posted by immlass at 3:48 PM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

David Samuels, A Reporter at Large, “The Pink Panthers,” The New Yorker, April 12, 2010, p. 42

David Samuels investigates a gang of Balkan jewel thieves.
posted by daniel_ at 4:19 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Jay Caspian Kang's awesome essay was also featured (previously) on the blue.
posted by takeyourmedicine at 4:28 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Great post. Lots of reading to do. Thanks.
posted by Splunge at 4:41 PM on November 23, 2010

Excellent post. Also, my interest was piqued and so I did a bit of digging - how the site works.
posted by unliteral at 4:57 PM on November 23, 2010

Don't want to come in just to shit, but you don't need to paste the whole TOC. That's what the site is for, imo. There's really no more inside, and now I'm disappointed.

The disappearing one looks interesting, for, um, no reason. Thanks.

(How many of these articles have been linked to on MF before? just curious ... or to put a more positive spin on it, what would a MeFi Best Reading of 2010 look like?
posted by mrgrimm at 5:24 PM on November 23, 2010

I love Give Me Something To Read, and the similar(same?) longform, but I always have a little nagging feeling when a single link from one of those sites show up on metafilter. Yeah, people can talk about whatever article here, but the "via" seems underused from these sites, I don't know why that is.
posted by rainbaby at 5:44 PM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Big fan of Give Me Something to Read (and long form journalism in general).
But not so much of Ripley and her ideological education reform pieces masquerading as social science reporting.
Here's a good example of a reaction:
Here's another.
posted by cogpsychprof at 7:03 PM on November 23, 2010

but you don't need to paste the whole TOC.

I found it helpful and I probably wouldn't have clicked anything if the excerpts hadn't caught my eye.
posted by Nattie at 7:26 PM on November 23, 2010 [4 favorites]

Don't want to come in just to shit, but you don't need to paste the whole TOC. That's what the site is for, imo. There's really no more inside, and now I'm disappointed.

Well, if you clicked the site, you could read the mostly daily entries, not just the "best of." There's still plenty of great stuff there that didn't make the cut.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 8:09 PM on November 23, 2010

How many of these articles have been linked to on MF before?

The High is Always the Pain and the Pain is Always the High was linked a couple of days ago.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:15 AM on November 24, 2010

I quite like most of them. But has anyone ever noticed (at the bottom of the page, in this case) how anything mildly highbrow is no longer chosen or picked...rather it's curated.

I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the editors at Fleshbot start calling themselves curators.
posted by rhymer at 1:20 AM on November 24, 2010

The second part of the Angel or Devil article is here.

And, re Whodunnit? about profilers, the apology at the article's beginning about not mentioning Malcolm Gladwell's 2007 piece in the New Yorker is a bit hypocritical. Gladwell's article was substantially better than this one and showed profiling to be a scam from the get-go. It has been subject of a similar best-of list (except all crime stories, IIRC-- I should search MeFi, maybe, this is where I found it) previously.
posted by CCBC at 2:00 AM on November 24, 2010

Never heard of this before. Thank you. And you can always go straight to the full archive (just keep scrolling down).
posted by adamvasco at 2:14 AM on November 24, 2010

Yes, I recall seeing a few of these posted previously here. But I am re-enjoying reading them again. This is a great post, IMO. Thanks.
posted by sundrop at 5:36 AM on November 24, 2010

I've never heard about give me something to read, but I'm pretty sure I've skimmed at least half of these—and all their comments—on the blue.

Thanks again mefi.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:37 AM on November 24, 2010

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