Long Reads: Jesus wife, NGO’s, the real Lolita and the Underground Home

We’re generally a charitable bunch, right? Then read, Rich Jackson’s #fivestar Long Read of the week which calls into question NGO’s and how to fix the issues with them.


The curious case of Jesus’s wife – Joel Baden and Candida Moss (The Atlantic)

I find this sort of material incredibly interesting. Title says it all really; the writers discuss a recently discovered papyrus fragment called the Gospel of Jesus’s wife, then draw on information from the New Testament, the Coptic Gospels, and then contemporary and traditional thinking. It also touches upon how the media report this sort of story and sensationalise it. I found the discussion on the nature of forgeries particularly illuminating, seeing as I run a business forging papyrus fragments. Turns out using a biro and five dollar notes won’t pass the radiocarbon tests.


The problem with international development – and a plan to fix it – Michael Hobbes (The New Republic)

Great read. *****. Five stars there. The writer, Michael Hobbes, works in NGO’s, organisations that do or attempt to do noble things for poorer countries. Hobbes discusses the problems with NGO’s, the boondoggles and how the industry can better spend money, and therefore better help people. In a way it’s a frustrating read because I am selfish and want to think that when I donate money it is helping the situation – like when I tip, I need the staff to know that I gave them money. But that is all the more reason to read the article about NGO’s, to understand philanthropy and the economics of poverty and to use this knowledge to give your money to better causes, ones that you want to help – and not to become incapacitated by a cynicism of charity.


The real Lolita – Sarah Weinman (Hazlitt Magazine)

An influence or inspiration behind Nabokov’s Lolita. The article covers the kidnap and exploitation of 11-year-old Sally Horner by Frank La Salle over the course of the two years he trapped her through manipulation.


EDITOR’S PICK from narrative.ly

Is it down there – Nicholas Hirshon

The 1964 World’s Fair coincided with the 300th anniversary of the establishment of NYC and was an international global phenomenon and attraction to the city. Among the hundreds of exhibits was Jay Swayze’s “Underground Home” – essentially, as it sounds, an underground home similar to a bunker. When the Fair was over, the home was buried over and still sits below the surface of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the largest park in Queens. Lori Walters wants to dig it up. I hope she does as clearly this is a relic of the Cold War deserving of repatriation and preservation.

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