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Bradley Manning, still effectively a boy, had few friends, and his family had all but fallen apart. In a time before Facebook and sustained long-distance friendships, he was leaving his two best friends for what could easily have been the last time (for Shanée Watson, it was). He didn’t need to tell them he was gay in order to confess a hidden affection, to explain a behavior or even to allow his friends to know him better–in a short time he would be gone. And yet, presumably for no other reason than that he was who he was and wanted to live honestly in his own skin, he felt compelled, in a conservative, religious town, to confide in his friends that he was a homosexual. Not only must it have taken tremendous courage for such a young man, it displays a crucial aspect of Brad’s personality. As his Facebook profile still says today, “Take me for who I am, or face the consequences!” –“Private Manning and the Making of Wikileaks,” Denver Nicks, This Land Press
The first thing you need to know: I don’t like breaking stories or the pressure that accompanies it. Sweating out those last few minutes before the moment of truth. Hoping you’re right even though you’re thinking, “I know I’m right. I have to be right. This is right. (Pause.) Am I right?” Wondering deep down, “I hope my source isn’t betraying me,” then rehashing every interaction you’ve ever had with that person. My stomach just isn’t built for it. If I had Marc Stein’s job, I’d be chain-smoking Lucky Strikes like Don Draper. At the same time, I know a few Guys Who Know Things at this point. Whenever I stumble into relevant information — it doesn’t happen that often — my first goal is always to assimilate that material into my column (as long as it’s not time-sensitive). Sometimes I redirect the information to an ESPN colleague. Sometimes I keep it in my back pocket and wait for more details. It’s a delicate balance. I have never totally figured out what to do. –“The case of the accidental tweeter,” Bill Simmons, ESPN, The Magazine
If missing women are silenced women, Hamilton has made it her mission to be fully present and accounted for. An aboriginal, transsexual sex worker from one of the country’s poorest neighbourhoods, she’s a kind of activist polyglot, able to speak with whatever voice best suits the situation. She presents as insistently at ease, adding “dear” and “honey” to her sentences like dollops of crème fraîche. Still, mention her name, and journalists, politicos, and armchair commentators turtle in their heads with alternating fear and exasperation: she’s infamous for her public and embarrassing arguments with anyone who crosses her. (Even one of her fiercest supporters told me, “You’d be safer writing a profile of a Mafia don.”) –“The Unrepentant Whore,” Michael Harris, The Walrus
Sing Divabot, sing!
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More from TedRoss:
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”