Must Reads #longreads Edition: Obama’s Brother, Animal Consciousness, Damien Echols in Salem

What were the best, most fascinating, exciting, puzzling, or inspiring things I read or watched this week? Some will be about technology, photography, or education. Some will not. Catch up on some things you missed. Maybe I dug up a few obscure gems that are totally new to you. Check out the brief ones now and save the more lengthy ones for later. Share and share alike…here’s the Must Read list:


Being a sandpiper

Animals have thoughts, feelings and personality. Why have we taken so long to catch up with animal consciousness?

by Brandon Keim via Aeon Magazine

An enjoyable exploration of animal consciousness and our relationship to the natural world. Keim writes from both a scientific and an ethical perspective.


Black and Blue

by Alyssa Giacobbe via Boston Magazine

“Damien Echols was famous long before he moved to Salem last year. Convicted of murdering three young boys in Arkansas, Echols spent 18 years on death row until a series of documentaries and articles destroyed the case against him. He’s free now, but as he attempts to rebuild his life on the North Shore, will a city best known for its witch hunts ever let him?”

An fascinating, well-written narrative.


The Audacity of Bro

Barack Obama’s Brother, Malik Obama

by Marshall Sella via GQ

“His only choices are to bask in his younger brother’s glow or to languish in his shadow. So he takes a middle way, offering himself as a leader on his side of the planet—the non-Western Obama franchise. He simultaneously argues that Barack is the source of his power and that Barack is irrelevant to it.”

“Imagine the absurd symmetry of it: In the States, Barack Obama is mistrusted by a few last jungle-soldier-like holdouts as a virtual Kenyan. Malik’s identity as an actual Kenyan has been tainted by too many years in the States. That’s right: Malik’s got a Birther problem. This family just can’t catch a break.”


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