The soft underbelly of the right’s hard abs, by Amanda Marcotte for The Guardian, May 2011.

The anti gay-rights American right’s worship of hypermasculinty is immune to camp.

For all the posturing about toughness, the most salient aspect of this rightwing, over-the-top masculinity is how fragile it really is. The list of subversive threats that will topple redblooded American masculinity is mind-bogglingly long – and grows longer every day.

Somali Pirates’ Rich Returns, by Robert Young Pelton for Bloomberg Businessweek, May 2011.

The men who are earning ever more millions tax-free, now that the world’s attention is elsewhere.

he was merely a fisherman, enlisted to repel poachers. What money he earned, he shared with friends. This is a common refrain among Somali pirates: that they’re just poor fishermen taking up arms to defend the seas from the predatory practices of foreign poachers—the real piracy, in their view. Some …[claim] they go to sea to prevent toxic dumping, too, à la Greenpeace.

Paper Tigers, by By Wesley Yang for New York, May 2011.

What happens to overachieving Asian-Americans when they leave the grade-meritocracy of college?

She was trying to help him. ‘C’mon, smile, smile, and he was like …” And here Tran mimes the unbearable tension of a face trying to contort itself into a simulacrum of mirth.

Facebook Busted in Clumsy Smear on Google, by Dan Lyons for The Daily Beast, May 2011.

The escalating PR war between Facebook and Google over privacy issues and Google’s hunger for Facebook’s social networking territory.

Here were two guys from one of the biggest PR agencies in the world, blustering around Silicon Valley like a pair of Keystone Kops.

Nailing Osama: The media’s delight, by Danny Schechter for AlJazeera, May 2011.

The Emmy Award winning journalist and author of When News Lies: Media Complicity and the Iraq War dissects the role media-image management had on deciding how Osama Bin Laden was liquidated.

Even as the raid inspires mass euphoria and self-righteous blood lust, the full meaning of it is missing in a media that is much better at the how than the why.

The Information Sage, by Joshua Yaffa for Washington Monthly, May 2011.

Introducing Edward Tufte, trusted adviser to the Washington power elite who is revolutionizing how we visualise data.

good design … is not about making dull numbers somehow become magically exhilarating, it is about picking the right numbers in the first place.

Drinks at the Ritz – a tale of two cities, by Michael White for The Guardian, May 2011.

A conversation over Piccadilly appetizers with billionaire publisher Steve Forbes discussing cuts, the economy and the poor.

Needless to say Forbes’s own name does not appear in Forbes magazine’s list of the super-rich, any more than Rupert Murdoch’s appeared in this week’s Sunday Times 2011 Rich List. On Forbes estimate Rupe should be in there at No 11, worth £4.7bn, incidentally a lot more than Forbes.

The Immortal Horizon, by Leslie Jamison for The Believer, May 2011.

A race retracing the prison break of Martin Luther King’s killer, escaping Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary he only managed to cover eight miles of the daunting terrain in fifty-four hours.

The runners’ bibs say something different each year: SUFFERING WITHOUT A POINT; NOT ALL PAIN IS GAIN. Only eight men have ever finished. The event is considered extreme even by those who specialize in extremity.

Honourable mention also for this fantastic interactive infographic from informationisbeautiful’s David McCandless and Andy Perkins, weighing up the scientific evidence, or lack of, for popular health supplements.

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