The writing on the web: What the M&G is reading

The Mail & Guardian writers and reporters have picked up some great pieces – long and short and in between – around the internet in the past few days. Our weekly roundup of some favourites.

1. It seems inadequate to call Adam Shatz’s review of Congo: The Epic History of a People by David Van Reybrouck a review, even if that’s what Ça va un peu, in the London Review of Books, is. But what you get out of it is a rollicking ride through the tumultuous history of what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 5 032 words. It’s an outstanding long read that’s well worth the time, whether you are a Congo-watcher or not.

2. The science of human decay by Joseph Stromberg ran on Vox. It takes a look at Freeman Ranch, one of the world’s few (apparently there are five in, you guessed it, the United States) body farms. Located at the Forensic Anthropology Centre at Texas State University, the centre’s mission is to find out what happens to bodies in various states of decomposition. If you ever needed a reason to decide on cremation when you die, watch the video.

3. @benedictkelly recommends this from Wired for all the geeks out there: Wrinkles in spacetime by Adam Rogers. It’s about a famous astrophysicist, simulated black holes, wormholes and the movie Interstellar. Also on Wired, I found a fascinating piece for your, err, entrepreneurial (read: criminal) friends on online drug dealers who are using darkcoin, “bitcoin’s stealthier cousin”.

4. @zoddies loved Zadie Smith’s 10 rules of writing from @brainpicker which ends with equally inspiring links to Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 rules for a great story, David Ogilvy’s 10 no-bullshit tips, Henry Miller’s 11 commandments, Jack Kerouac’s 30 beliefs and techniques, John Steinbeck’s 6 pointers, and Susan Sontag’s synthesised learnings.


5. @nikistarfish liked Of gamers, gates, and disco demolition by Arthur Chu on The Daily Beast, taking on #gamergate, haters in history and the bad old days of disco.

6. On Foreign Policy, @shaundewaal picked up Why is Bahrain outsourcing extremism by Ala’a Shehabi who takes a look into the country’s Isis problem. Also on FP, he found The gangs of Iraq, where Tirana Hassan writes about how pro-government militias are using ISIS as a “pretext to destroy Sunni Arab communities”.

@tanyapampalone is the executive editor of the Mail & Guardian.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Tanya Pampalone
Guest Author

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Marcia Mayaba —Driven to open doors for women

Marcia Mayaba has been in the motor industry for 24 years, donning hats that include receptionist, driver, fuel attendant, dealer principal and now chief...

The war on women in video game culture

Women and girls make up almost half of the gaming community but are hardly represented and face abuse in the industry

More top stories

First sanitary pad vending machine in Africa aims to end...

A new invention by the MENstruation Foundation addresses the difficulty many schoolgirls face every month — not being able to afford sanitary products

A new era of vaccine sovereignty in Africa beckons

COMMENT: The AU has laid out a clear path for the continent to produce its own vaccines

Hlophe cries ‘politics’ as he contests the misconduct finding against...

The Western Cape judge president has rejected the report by a judicial tribunal that lays the groundwork for his impeachment

Insecurity and Covid-19: Threats to electoral democracy in Africa

Restrictions to battle the pandemic offer ideal cover for authoritarian regimes to undermine and clamp down on opposition parties
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…