Things we like: August 2014

Our monthly round-up of stories that have got the Mosaic team thinking.

The many poses of Marcel Marceau (the Paris Review)

An interesting portrait with a good narrative and lots of lovely turn of phrase. The piece uses the historic present tense throughout, which led to us having a discussion about the use of different tenses in writing.

You’re 16. You’re a pedophile. You don’t want to hurt anyone. What do you do now? (Matter)

An attention-grabbing headline and a story about a subject written from the perspective of the potential abuser. This piece is great, but includes a quite graphic description of child pornography. Matter have published a blog post explaining their reason for including it here.

The best-selling, billion-dollar pills tested on homeless people (Matter)

A great investigative piece but does it take too long to get going? Some of the team felt it included a few too many case studies, which made some parts feel a bit repetitive.

A first-time skydiving experience, a fall to Earth and a terrible accident (Sports Illustrated)

A well-written story about what seems a straightforward, albeit nasty, experience. We spoke about how it is simply structured but composed in a way that makes it compelling.

The chameleon (The New Yorker)

An almost unbelievable story. Beautiful prose, though the ending left some of the team feeling a little unsatisfied. Were there perhaps too many threads to the story?

Connecting prisons with nature (Aeon film)

A short (7 min) film about a prison whose inmates are working with scientists.

Cathedrals (Aeon film)

A beautifully filmed short (15 min) piece about an abandoned city in China, though some of the the team debated whether the narration worked.

What stories have caught your eye recently? Do share in the comments.