Dazzling skies, UFO sightings and real monsters: the week in commented articles

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This weekend, listen to a collection of narrated articles from The New York Times, read aloud by the journalists who made the story.


Written and narrated by Brooke Jarvis

Around 9 a.m. on the night of March 25, the sky over Brooke Jarvis’ Seattle home lit up with an astonishing spectacle. “It looked like the biggest and longest lasting fireworks display in the world, or a huge shower of comets hitting all at once,” Brooke wrote.

People across the Pacific Northwest were posting videos of the Fantastic Brightness on Twitter. For a few dazzling moments, they had no idea what they were witnessing, but they shared a once common human emotion: awe of the wonder of the heavens.

Written and narrated by Sarah Maslin Nir

In 2020, New Yorkers reported nearly twice as many sightings of mysterious objects in the sky. But according to ufologists (those who study UFOs), the trend is not necessarily the result of an alien invasion. On the contrary, it was most likely caused in part by another invader: the coronavirus.

Written and narrated by Austin Considine

Want to hear a scary story? Here’s one: A family grappling with a senseless, pervasive horror flees home to what they hope will be a place of safety and prosperity, only to find themselves pursued by that same demented presence.

In the 10-part Amazon series “Them”, the victims are a middle-class black family in the 1950s; the senseless horror is the racism of their white neighbors, who want them out. The series “uses conventions of the horror genre as an allegorical octane for racist machinery that is all too real,” writes Austin Considine in his review.

What’s in a name? Apparently a lot for members of the Sackler family. For years, their company Purdue Pharma had been in the headlines for creating OxyContin – the potent pain reliever that ushered in a new era of pain management and opioid addiction – while the Sackler name has remained best known for the drug. philanthropy.

In “Empire of Pain,” author Patrick Radden Keefe “recounts how the Sackler family became a decisive force in a national tragedy,” writes Jennifer Szalai in her book review.

Written and narrated by Edmond Lee

In an era when America’s population is increasingly racially diverse, older white males still make up the bulk of the Wall Street Journal readership, followed closely by retirees. Some newsroom workers say the change is crucial for the newspaper’s survival, but the company’s senior executives are not yet convinced.



The Times narrated articles are written by Parin Behrooz, Carson Leigh Brown, Anna Diamond, Aaron Esposito, Elena Hecht, Emma Kehlbeck, Marion Lozano, Anna Martin, Tracy Mumford, Tanya Perez, Margaret Willison, Kate Winslett and John Woo. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Ryan Wegner, Julia Simon and Desiree Ibekwe.

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