Unputdownable Stories

A collection of some of the best links from around the web, manually curated.

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The lunacy of the long-distance runner

Every year, a growing number of runners meet in Athens to run all the way down to Sparta. 245 kilometers, almost 6 consecutive marathons, give or take nonstop running, to be completed in under 36 hours (the winner clocks at a cool 26 hours). The Economist has a nice read on the Spartathlon, centered around a British amateur runner who completed the race for the third time last year. Next time, he vows, we’ll come back, but not to run from Athens to Sparta again. But to run from Athens to Sparta – and back.

From Weekly Filet #100, in January 2013.

Do No Harm

A gut-wrenching story about a man with Body Integrity Identity Disorder. He felt the urgent need to have his (sane) right leg amputated, until…he found a doctor willing to do so.

From Weekly Filet #92, in November 2012.

Can You Die From A Nightmare?

A man is found dead in his apartment, having hanged himself. The creepy part: It might have been an «accidental suicide», committed while sleepwalking and experiencing a special form of nightmare called night terrors. In a brilliant and captivating article, Doree Shafrir, who herself has had night terrors for quite some time, explores what night terrors are, why people have them and what can be done about them – always driven by the looming question whether dreams can really kill you.

From Weekly Filet #85, in September 2012.

When Illness Makes a Spouse a Stranger

I don’t even know where to start describing this article. Maybe by just saying that it moved me. And that is probably the best journalism can achieve. This is the story of Mr and Mrs French whose lives changed when he started to behave in very strange ways and changed again when they found out why. He was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, “a little-known, poorly understood and frequently misdiagnosed group of brain diseases that eat away at personality and language.” Very touching, never tear-jerking.

From Weekly Filet #70, in June 2012.

Kim Noble: The woman with 100 personalities

This story made my mind spin. A compelling profile of a woman with what is apparently called dissociative identity disorder. 50-year-old Kim Noble lives the lives of many, many different people. People that live in the same body, yet don’t know each others passwords, can’t remember what the other have been doing. Some are young, some are old, some are male. And all of them are a parent to her daughter.

From Weekly Filet #38, in October 2011.

My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant

In an impressive essay, 30-year-old, award-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas confesses to being an undocumented immigrant to the USA. A very personal account, touching and thought-provoking, of a life in constant fear of being uncovered while putting himself more and more into the spotlight as a standout journalist. “I decided that if I was to succeed in a profession that is all about truth-telling, I couldn’t tell the truth about myself.”

From Weekly Filet #26, in July 2011.

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