Archive for July 2015
Sometimes a small, specific unexpected detail can pull you into a piece. Here are the first few sentences of a piece by Steve Coll in this week’s New Yorker about the deal recently reached between Iran and various world powers.
In the late nineteen-eighties, in Switzerland, Iranian officials met with collaborators of A. Q. Khan, the scientist who fathered Pakistan’s nuclear-bomb program. The parties may also have met in Dubai, where Khan maintained a secret office above a children’s store called Mummy & Me. In 1987, the Iranians received a one-page document that included the offer of a disassembled centrifuge, along with diagrams of the machine. They reportedly ended up paying as much as ten million dollars for information and materials that helped Iran advance its nuclear program during the nineteen-nineties.
I’ve boldfaced the part that made it impossible for me not to read the whole article. Illicit nuclear negotiations atop a children’s store! With a great name! Who wouldn’t want to see where this article goes?
(While writing the following for work, I realized that a few moments in the accompanying video are NSFW in most workplaces, so I figured I’d post it here instead.)
I was just sharing with a colleague an example of a useful, entertaining brief animated video and thought I’d share it here, too.
This three-minute-long clip, in which musician and comedian Carrie Brownstein searches for a mythical good afterparty, has all the elements you want in a brief animation: a taut, compelling story (complete with surprises and reversals), images that reinforce and comment upon what’s being said (often with humor), and a design that fits well with the topic. It also features my favorite song from her White Flag project. Enjoy!