Crikey long reads

Josh Taylor, journalist

Kellyanne Conway is a star” by Olivia Nuzzi in New York

“As a child, Conway picked berries in southern New Jersey, where the acidic soil once served as a lab for botanists attempting to tame the wild bushes. In 1984, when she was 16, she was crowned Miss New Jersey Blueberry Princess (the girl who was crowned Miss New Jersey Honey Queen told a local paper she planned to grow a ‘bee beard’ by sitting a queen bee on her chin and waiting patiently while the rest of the hive, who gravitate to the queen, crowded around on her face).”

Emily Watkins, media reporter

Inside the identity crisis at the Independent Journal Review, the outlet that has become a powerhouse in the Trump era” by Oliver Darcy in Business Insider

“The upstart, millennial-focused news website, which has emerged as a favourite of President Donald Trump’s administration for its conservative bent, was the only media organisation granted access to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as he travelled abroad for his first trip as the nation’s top diplomat.”

Sally Whyte, deputy editor

All the ways TV has tackled time travel, from Doctor Who to Outlander” by Tolly Wright in Vulture

“Like any good trip through time, there are a few rules. One, visiting parallel universes that look like the future or past don’t count as time travel. Two, the characters need to physically travel through time; it doesn’t count if they can see the past or future with some sort of third eye or a mysterious newspaper. Three, time travel must be part of the show from the get-go — if a series decides halfway through its run to explain confusing story arcs or give itself a do-over (looking at you, Lost), then it didn’t make the cut.”

Charlie Lewis, journalist 

“‘Paging Dr. Fraud’: the fake publishers that are ruining science” by Alan Burdick in The New Yorker

“As the number of [open-access] journals grew, the potential for abuse became evident. By midway through the decade, researchers were assaulted by spam from journals of questionable legitimacy asking them to submit a paper or to be an editor, even in areas of research where they had no expertise. In exchange for a hefty fee, these journals — with names such as Journal of Clinical Toxicology and Enzyme Engineering — offered quick peer review, which often meant no review whatsoever.”

Dan Wood, subeditor

The CIA uses board games to train officers — and I got to play them” by Sam Machkovech in ARS Technica

“The two groups of South By Southwest attendees split up in this conference room hesitate to get up. They were testing out the weirdest training exercise the CIA has ever publicly revealed: board games. These aren’t off-the-shelf games; instead, CIA officers designed and assembled these elaborate tabletop games to reflect the realities of the CIA’s day-to-day operations.”

Bernard Keane, politics editor

The end of the universe as we know it” by Lawrence M. Krauss in The New Yorker

“Why is the universe like it is? Physicists increasingly see ‘inflation’ as a key period in the development of the universe as we know it — but the theory creates further troubling questions about the continued existence of the universe. From the perspective of humankind, that’s a critical issue; from the perspective of physics, it’s neither here nor there.”

Helen Razer, contributor

The culture industry: enlightenment as mass deception” by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer from Dialectic of Enlightenment

“Under monopoly all mass culture is identical, and the lines of its artificial framework begin to show through. The people at the top are no longer so interested in concealing monopoly: as its violence becomes more open, so its power grows. Movies and radio need no longer pretend to be art. The truth that they are just business is made into an ideology in order to justify the rubbish they deliberately produce.”

Peter Fray

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