Links — April 29, 2009, 8:54 am

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For several years, rights activists have recognised that closing Guantánamo is only half the battle. The next question is: where will the 241 remaining detainees go? One option is to send them home. However, more than 40% of the detainees are Yemeni, and negotiations between the US and Yemen to repatriate those prisoners have reached a ‘complete impasse.’ Yemen is combating an extremist insurgency already, and it is not keen to accept dozens more men who have been described as ‘jihadist foot soldiers.’ Moreover, approximately 60 detainees from various nations have said that they fear torture or abuse if sent home. In short, repatriation is no panacea.”

Shin Lim Kim alleges the leader of a church service on Aug. 11, 2008 asked her to catch another congregant ‘who was going to be “blessed” or who would be “slain in the spirit.”’ The leader then laid hands on Hyun Joo Yoon, who ‘fell backwards and began flailing, falling on and injuring plaintiff.’ The church was negligent, the complaint says, in not providing multiple catchers; failing to discuss ‘safe catching strategy’ with congregants; selecting Kim– ‘a small and not particularly strong person’– as a catcher; and failing to instruct congregants on ‘the correct procedures to fall, so that they would not injure themselves and injure the person assisting and/or catching them.’”

Most centenarians attribute their great age to some magic elixir or other. The longevity of Dr Levi-Montalcini, the Italian scientist who last week became the first Nobel Prize-winner to reach the age of 100, might be the result of a potion that is a little out of the ordinary: Professor Levi-Montalcini puts her mental vigour down to regular doses of nerve growth factor (NGF)– the discovery that made her famous.” (via)

When she received the invitation to attend her 10-year [high school] reunion… she hired Amy Bernadette “Cricket” Russell, whom she met at a Los Angeles strip club, to impersonate her. Cricket showed up in a slinky dress, fishnet hose and spike heels. As the drinks flowed, Cricket’s clothes came off, and Wachner watched from a hotel room above the event, linked to her impersonator via wireless radio, TV cameras and a monitor. Wachner coached Cricket through the night, telling her the names of people she met and providing her with little secrets that only Wachner and her former classmates would know. (via)

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Helen Ouyang on the cost of crowd-sourcing drugs, Paul Wood on Trump's supporters, Walter Kirn on political predictions, Sonia Faleiro on a man's search for his kidnapped children, and Rivka Galchen on The People v. O. J. Simpson.

The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

Photograph (detail) © Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos
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"All our friends are saying, load up with plenty of ammunition, because after the stores don’t have no food they’re gonna be hitting houses. They’re going to take over America, put their flag on the Capitol.” “Who?” I asked. “ISIS. Oh yeah.”
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He made them groom and feed the half-dozen horses used to transport the raw bricks to the furnace. Like the horses, the children were beaten with whips.
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The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

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With its lens shifting from the courtroom to the newsroom to people’s back yards, the series evokes the way in which, for a brief, delusory moment, the O. J. verdict seemed to deliver justice for all black men.
Still from The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story © FX Networks

Amount an auditor estimated last year that Oregon could save each year by feeding prisoners less food:

$62,000

Kentucky is the saddest state.

An Italian economist was questioned on suspicion of terrorism after a fellow passenger on an American Airlines flight witnessed him writing differential equations on a pad of paper.

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