Long Reads: Anzac, uranium, genetics and the supernatural

In this week’s #LongReads, Rich Jackson brings us Douglas Grant the Aboriginal Anzac, introduces some #SCIENCE in “Do genetics determine your life?” and PB gets app kooky with “the other side”…


What lies beneath – Scott C. Johnson (Foreign Policy)

This is going to look really lazy but I thought I would just use the tagline from the article rather than give any opinion and potentially spoil the story. “In the 1960s, hundreds of pounds of uranium went missing in Pennsylvania. Is it buried in the ground, poisoning locals—or did Israel steal it to build the bomb?”


Black Anzac: The life and death of an aboriginal man who fought for king and country – Paul Daley (The Guardian)

In the run up to Anzac day it is important to remember the people who fought in military conflicts, and the conflicts themselves, in order to know what drives nations to war – we must learn not to celebrate conflict but mourn it. I wanted to highlight this essay because focuses on an Indigenous person fighting for this country. It rectifies a myth that it was white Australia fighting in First and Second World Wars and later conflicts. “By conservative estimate, 400 to 1,000 Indigenous men joined the 1st Australian Imperial Force between 1914 and 1918. They did so contrary to rules stipulating that volunteers must prove that they were of ‘substantially European descent’.” That is what makes this Anzac article interesting for me. What would drive an Aboriginal man like Douglas Grant, the focus of the article, to fight for Australia, a country that had beaten them down and didn’t regard them worthy of citizenship?


Do your genes determine your entire life – Julian Baggini (The Guardian)

I thought it would be good to include this article to provide more on science, which I sort of think I have failed to do previously. But, it does deserve to be included on its own merits, as it is fascinating. Essentially this is the question of personhood and how we are formed, the old the nurture versus nature question, but the essay is cool because it morphs into a discussion about the concept of free will and choice.


Editor’s pick from narrative.ly

The ghost in the machine – Robert W Fieseler

Modern-day ghostbuster Daniel Roberge mixes tech with terror, having developed an app to connect to the “other side.” Yes, it sounds kooky (OK, let’s face it, it is) or at least like some dodgy way of making money from the vulnerable, but Roberge’s back-story adds a sense of non-dodginess to what he is doing. I was so drawn into it, that I almost downloaded his app, Spirit Vox…and still might…


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