Journal 122 — a diplomatic incident in the demilitarised zone on the Korean Peninsula, a murder at an infamous tower block in Italy, the story of an American citizen detained by North Korea, a parasitic fungus with psychedelic properties, and the McDonald’s Monopoly scam
This week — a diplomatic incident in the demilitarised zone on the Korean Peninsula, a murder at an infamous tower block in Italy, the story of an American citizen detained by North Korea, and a parasitic fungus with psychedelic properties.
If you only read one thing — The Daily Beast on the McDonald’s Monopoly scam is worth the time.
How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions | The Daily Beast | Crime
This story of how an inside man perpetrated a huge fraud on McDonald’s multi-million dollar Monopoly sweepstake is made for cinema. It in fact appears likely to make it to the big screen, as Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are reported to have started work on a film version.
This Parasite Drugs Its Hosts With the Psychedelic Chemical in Shrooms | The Atlantic | Science
A look at an unflinchingly brutal fungal parasite that invades the abdomens of cicadas, turning them into “flying saltshakers of death” when they then fly around releasing spores from the fungus on to their brethren on the ground. The cicadas’ obliviousness to the catastrophic loss of their bottoms is perhaps explained by the fact that the fungus has been found to contain psychedelics and amphetamines.
Axes of Evil | The Atavist | Politics
This story examines an international diplomatic incident that erupted in 1976 when an overgrown poplar tree led to murder in the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea.
An unsolved murder at Italy’s most notorious tower block | The Guardian | Society
The story of a murder at an apartment block marketed as a luxury development when it opened in 1968, but now “like an inverse of Dante’s layers of hell”. The building is disintegrating, but houses a large and diverse population, including an estimated 50 drug dealers. This is a story about the changes in fortune in the Italian economy, urban development, immigration, integration, and failing public infrastructure.
The Untold Story of Otto Warmbier, American Hostage | GQ | Politics
A piece diving deep into the tragic story of an American student, arrested after a guided tour of North Korea, sentenced to 15 years hard labour, and released after diplomatic intervention only to die a few days after his return.
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