I thinned out my Instapaper queue quite a bit over spring break. Which means I’m way past due in sharing some of my favorites (along with a few I’ve added in the past week).

First, a couple pieces about the situation in Ukraine. As with any fast-moving current event, these are already a little out-of-date. I think they are still compelling reads.

20 Days in Mariupol: The Team That Documented City’s Agony
The Last Cell Tower in Mariupol

There is a greater-than-zero chance that the war in Ukraine could lead us down a path that we haven’t had to consider in over 30 years: the use of nuclear weapons.

Here is a story I’ve never heard before from the Cuban Missile Crisis, and how the Soviet’s plan to send a probe to Mars was temporarily sidetracked so a missile aimed at New York City could be put on alert.

“I received the order to open an envelope that has been stored in a special safe and to act in accordance with its contents,” Kirillov told Chertok confidentially. “According to the order, I must immediately prepare the duty combat missile at the engineering facility and mate the warhead located in a special depot, roll the missile out to the launch site, position it, test it, fuel it, aim it, and wait for a special launch command.”

That time when Soviet rocket scientists nearly nuked New York City

Two summers ago, during a Reds-Royals game in Kansas City, Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman uttered a gay slur that viewers heard. I missed that, but about an hour later I heard his bizarre apology and exit from the broadcast (bizarre because he called a Nick Castellanos home run in the midst of his apology, a moment that launched a million memes).

This article, from Out Sports, examines the path that Brennaman has taken since then and the debate, within both the broadcast and gay communities, on whether Brennaman deserves another chance on air.

With all that, Brennaman knows that mostly straight male decision-makers may never give him an opportunity to work in major sports broadcasting again. He says he hasn’t engaged in all of this work to prove himself to them.

Instead, he’s done it to undo the harm he now realizes he caused the LGBTQ community with his language that fateful night.

Who is the real Thom Brennaman, and does he deserve a second chance?

This is a fascinating look at the world of MBS, Mohammed Bin Salman, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia and man most believe responsible for the death of Saudi-American journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It’s one of the best pieces of international affairs writing I’ve read in some time.

Absolute Power

I don’t know that this song necessarily “defined the ‘80s,” but it was pretty damn big. And I didn’t realize how much it has stuck around. A terrific read about a Gen X classic.

‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ Defined the 1980s. And Then It Wouldn’t Let Go

The Crocodile Hunter debuted 25 years ago this year. That seems crazy. An oral history of its development and early days.

Photography and Camera Operator, Steve Elkins The Crocodile Hunter:John [Stainton] was coming to visit L.A. and said, “Would you mind looking at this video? There’s this crazy guy in Australia who goes out and captures crocodiles and relocates them.

Crikey! The wet, wild first season of The Crocodile Hunter

Finally, my wife found this to be very funny.

QUIZ: Is He Cute or Is He Just Tall and White?

2 – Your friends would probably describe him as:
a.) Charming, interesting, and funny
b.) Good at reaching the good cereal on the top shelf in your kitchen