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Weekend reading

March 30, 2012 - Ben Klein
This man smuggled himself into Syria to set up a makeshift hospital.

The New York Times has an interview with a man who made headlines in 1984 when he escaped Communist Czechoslovakia in a plane and now resides in a airport hangar in Utah. "If I get lonely, I can turn on my big TV, or I get in my plane or go see people. Usually it is more the other way, I am in civilization and looking very much forward to escaping here."

A company in Sweden will crack the security code on your iphone when law enforcement can't.

Last week the Erie Times-News called for councilman Ebert Beeman who "opposes the function of government at every level" to step down. He still hasn't.

I spent two days in the Amazon on the Rio Negro in 2007, you can go there for free with Google Amazon Street View.

Columbia Journalism Review takes a look at This American Life piece with Mike Daisey and his I didn't really go to China, but bad stuff is happening there anyways aspect of his monologue that wasn't true. "In fact, by their own admission, This American Life's producers never spoke to anyone Daisey allegedly interviewed or the Chinese translator who accompanied him."

A teacher in South Carolina was suspended for failing to follow procedure in reading Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" in the classroom.

A Pakistani parliamentary committee recently called on the U.S. to stop drone strikes in the country. Four suspected militants were then killed Friday by a drone strike near the Afghan border.

Columbia Journalism Review also looks into claims by Rick Santorum about being punished for his conservative views.

Do you know the name Victor Bout? You should. "If he wasn't doing arms and all the vile stuff, he would be a damn good businessman," Andreas Morgner, a sanctions expert at the Treasury Department, said.

The Paris Review has posted an interview with Kurt Vonnegut compiled over a number years wherein he describes among things, sitting in a ditch with some 50 troops and fixed bayonets during the Battle of the Bulge before being taken captive and surviving the firebombing of Dresden in a meat locker two stories below the ground. "VONNEGUT: One thing everybody learned is how fast you can rebuild a city. The engineers said it would take five hundred years to rebuild Germany. Actually it took about eighteen weeks."


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