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From the archive: Liquid assets: how the business of bottled water went mad – podcast

We are raiding the Audio Long Reads archives and bringing you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors.This week, from 2016: How did a substance that falls from the air, springs from the earth and comes out of your tap become a hyperactive multibillion-dollar business? By Sophie Elmhirst Continue reading...

The knacker: the toughest job in British farming

Between accidents, disease and bad weather, farm animals are prey to so many disasters that dedicated professionals are called out to dispose of the casualties. It’s a grim task, and one that’s only getting more difficultOne bright morning in the middle of May, Ian Carswell’s tipper lorry came sliding to a halt in a Tenbury car park. It was a smallish...

How to have better arguments online – podcast

The troubled times we live in, and the rise of social media, have created an age of endless conflict. Rather than fearing or avoiding disagreement, we need to learn to do it well. By Ian Leslie Continue reading...

Why we need to take bad sex more seriously – podcast

Consent has been portrayed as the cure for all the ills of our sexual culture. But what if the injunction to ‘know what you want’ is another form of coercion? By Katherine Angel Continue reading...

Among the Covid sceptics: ‘We are being manipulated, without a shadow of a doubt’

Who are the people who have come to follow wild conspiracy theories about Covid-19? When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Anna, a young woman from Bradford, was waiting for surgery for endometriosis. The surgery was cancelled, leaving her in excruciating pain. She was forced to close her business, a small tattoo studio that she had opened two years earlier,...

From the archives: Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand – podcast

We are raiding the Audio Long Reads archives and bringing you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors.This week, from 2018: How an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific....

Letting go: my battle to help my parents die a good death

My parents were determined to avoid heroic medical interventions in their dying days, even before the pandemic. Why wasn’t anybody listening?Almost as soon as the word Covid is coined, my parents update their “advance decision” documents. They’re constantly adjusting them, fine-tuning their wishes for future medical treatment. “Like a dowager with an...

The student and the algorithm: how the exam results fiasco threatened one pupil’s future – podcast

Josiah Elleston-Burrell had done everything to make his dream of studying architecture a reality. But, suddenly, in the summer of 2020, he found his fate was no longer in his hand. By Tom Lamont Continue reading...

Damage: the silent forms of violence against women – podcast

The most insidious kinds of violence are those that cannot be seen, because those with the power to inflict harm are blind to the consequences of their actions. By Jacqueline Rose Continue reading...

The death truck: how a solution to Mexico's morgue crisis created a new horror

How did a lorry carrying 273 dead bodies end up stranded on the outskirts of Guadalajara?On the southern outskirts of Guadalajara, early in the morning of 15 September 2018, a large container, the type normally attached to a lorry, sank into the soupy ground beside a rutted country road. The refrigerated container could store up to 18 tonnes of material,...

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