Friday links: the seven top stories this week

This was a good week for those who enjoy good content on the Internet. I've collected seven pieces that struck me in particular below, but, in general, I found myself spending an unusual amount of time this week reading. Enjoy

Philadelphia's Battle with Graffiti
Thanks to my Masonic brother Todd Agostini for this one. Philadelphia has a long, complicated history with graffiti (and we can thank it for the current Mural Arts Program), and this piece explores it latest uptick. Me, personally? After watching this documentary, I say let it stay up when tasteful. One of my favorite Philly stencils is in the header.

We could have stopped Ebola
The world has completely blown the response to the Ebola crises. I can't help but think there's a subtext of racism and colonialism to it; if this terrible disease were in a place other than Africa, I don't think we'd have such an easy time ignoring it. The sad part is that it's an easy disease to control, we're just not devoting the capital to doing it.

LOST: 10 years hence
I completely missed LOST when it was on the air. Right after my divorce I needed to lose myself in something, and I watched the entire series in three weeks. It was incredible. I've mentioned how music can speak to a time in your life, and LOST had a similar impact on me. It's still one of my favorite shows, and while it's been surpassed on cable, nothing on network TV has come close.

The beauty of Raiders of the Lost Ark
Most of Steven Speilberg's movies are sentimental crap. But I have to admit, I often conflate his technical skill with the weak stories his films tell. Steven Soderbergh edited Raiders of the Lost Ark by converting it to black and white (something I like, in case this site's design wasn't clear) and removing all the dialogue. The result is a chance to focus on mise-en-scène, and I'll be damned if I didn't watch the whole thing.

Rich L.A. families vaccinate at the same rate as South Sudan
In the spirit of avoiding a liberal, Hollywood-bashing rant here, I'll just let this article stand on its own.

Innovators Hate MBA's
Dropping out of college to start a business was the best decision of my life. There's a place for MBA's (and other professional degrees): the people who earn them are smarter than I am and bring skills to the table I do not. In my experience, though, these bright people all learn to think identically. I happen to value people who are contrarian and disruptive. 

Twenty years as a secret prisoner in China
Young CIA operative John Downey was taken prisoner by Communist China during the Korean War. He wasn't released until the Nixon administration. This a story of a true American hero which had been untold until this article. I take inspiration from his strength, commitment to public service, and patriotism. You should, too.