For almost a century, Kuttiyamma’s daily routine had been much the same. Rising early at home in the village of Thiruvanchoor in Kerala, the 104-year-old would begin her day’s work of cooking, cleaning and feeding the cows and chickens. But now, every morning, there’s something new to get up for. She eagerly awaits the paperboy to deliver Malayala Manorama, the local newspaper.
The passports—which had either expired over the years or been completely filled with stamps—showed Miller had visited about 100 countries, but Carpenter says agents didn’t find any evidence that Miller was ever permitted to dig. The FBI also examined the items with the more extraordinary backstories. Carpenter says the atomic bomb detonator Miller told people about was in fact a radio communications system, which wasn’t seized and has been cleared by the government. But Carpenter added that it appeared to be the same radio unit seen with Miller in photos at Los Alamos. The agents analyzed skulls pierced with arrowheads and determined that Miller hammered in those arrowheads himself. The skeleton Miller said was Crazy Horse was actually several people. Miller had taken pieces from other skulls, a different mandible, someone else’s teeth and bones, and glued it all together, Frankenstein-like. Miller, it turns out, was a stager. He thought less like an archaeologist and more like a storyteller. “Just like he created his entire persona,” Archer said.
“I went too far,” he said. “It’s my fault, after all! I recognise that.” He had not met 77 serial killers, he acknowledged, but rather about 30, and some of them only briefly. Still, 30 struck him as a reasonably impressive total, all things considered. “My accomplishments might have been enough on their own, without my additions,” he reflected. He had had himself psychoanalysed; the trouble was, of course, with his parents. He had also begun a census of all known French serial killers, and was in the midst of expanding his book on Kemper. “I love to write!” he told me.
If you were on the internet in the 2010s, you’re probably aware of Calloway’s work, even if you can’t quite remember the specifics. Her writing appeared on websites like Thought Catalog and Vice, which were dedicated to archiving the feelings of upwardly mobile white millennials. Then in 2012 came the story that brought her both notoriety and ridicule; “Adrien Brody” was published online by Muumuu House, a small press founded by alt-lit writer Tao Lin in 2008. (The actor Adrien Brody has no apparent link to the piece.) In it, Calloway describes meeting a man online and sleeping with him. He’s significantly older than her, has more power in their dynamic, and has a girlfriend. “I know you said you don’t want me to say this,” “Brody” — a pseudonym seemingly selected because of the absurdity of naming him after someone so famous — tells her at the end of their encounter, “but you will connect with someone one day. It’s just not going to be me.” Amidst the female personal essay boom of the 2010s, the lengthy piece went viral.
Though Ted has become an enduring favorite, Variety recognized Reeves’ charm, but wasn’t entirely sold when the film opened in 1989. “Not since Sean Penn’s send-up of an airhead California high-schooler in ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ has the screen seen young characters as witlessly appealing as this pic’s Bill and Ted,” Variety’s reviewer wrote. “Keanu Reeves, with his beguilingly blank face and loose-limbed, happy-go-lucky physical vocabulary, and Alex Winter, with his golden curls, gleefully good vibes and ‘bodacious’ vocabulary, propel this adventure as far as they can.”
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter came of age during that digital revolution, and knowing how to navigate that dissonance is part of her artistic superpower. She has built her company, Parkwood Entertainment, into a media conglomerate that includes a fashion line, IVY PARK. She is now a mother of three, to nine-year-old Blue Ivy and four-year-old twins Rumi and Sir, with husband JAY-Z. The iconic couple has just been named the new faces of Tiffany & Co., which was acquired earlier this year by LVMH and is relaunching under its auspices. And she is working on new music along with an array of other projects that promise to obliterate old boundaries and vault her further into uncharted territory.
On social-media criticism:
Girl, I learned how to deal with that in a year or so [into my career]. Now I’ve been a public person for most of my life — it comes with brickbats and bouquets. You make that deal with the devil, the fact that I’m going to do this job, and I’m for consumption, news about me is for consumption — I made peace with that 20 years ago. So it doesn’t bother me unless it affects my work or my family. But my job is tangible. I go to a set, I create a movie, a TV show. This is what my work is. The freedom and beauty of social media is to create a medium for conversations. I have a tremendous amount of love and support on my social media from people who are interested or curious. At the same time, my relationship with social media changed after large, obscure “scandals” or chatter online that were baffling to me. I’m not as free, open, or vulnerable as I used to be. I monitor my relationship with the internet. I consume it for the positives.
But the technically unparalleled Messi has never been as beloved as Diego. Messi is a genius who makes his teammates better, but Maradona’s gift was more precious: he made everyone believe they were great and could be greater. Maradona was at his best when representing the underdogs: the Argentine national team, of course, beating England and Germany en route to win the 1986 World Cup. Even more famously, though, at Napoli, where Maradona led a group of mostly average players (like the inconspicuous Careca and Alemão) to triumphs unprecedented for the small team: two Italian leagues, one Italian Cup, one Italian Super Cup, and one UEFA Cup.
My best-case scenario for what’s going on now is—assuming that within the next half year, we do deal successfully with the COVID crisis—that it will become a model for people all around the world recognizing common problems, rallying together to deal with a common problem. My best-case scenario is that, having defeated COVID, we will go on to attempt to defeat and succeed in defeating climate change. For that reason, I see a potential silver lining, and that’s my best-case scenario for what’s going on now.
In 1947, a 16-year-old David Cornwell left the British boarding school system where he’d spent many unhappy years and ended up in Switzerland, where he studied German at the University of Bern—and caught the attention of British intelligence. As the restless child of an estranged mother and a con-man father, and a precocious student of modern languages to boot, the young wayfarer was a natural recruitment target for the security services, which scooped him up in the late 1940s to be “a teenaged errand boy of British Intelligence,” as he put it in his 2016 memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel. Over the next 15 years, those little errands would continue and grow, furnishing Cornwell with the material that would fill the whopping 25 spy novels he wrote under the pen name John le Carré.