Good News: Music. Bad News: Oil

Of course you should read everything on the Atlantic's site, plus the magazine. You can easily do that, plus hold a day job, as long as you don't sleep. But even if you're sleepy here are two items not to miss.

Let's get to the bad news first. Lisa Margonelli makes a powerful case today that we have not begun to face the truth about the BP disaster: namely, that perhaps no one has any idea how to control the leak, and it could get much worse and go on for years. This is not welcome reading, but please read it.

On the other hand: You will feel better after reading Benjamin Carlson's* ongoing series -- in three parts so far, here, here, and here -- about how to listen to classical music and like it. To me this illustrates the best of the "old media" and new media journalistic styles combined. It's explanatory in a way that is comfortable in its authority while being easily accessible to non-experts, just as articles in good magazines have always tried to be. But it also uses embedded videos and images to enrich the explanation in a way that wouldn't have been possible even a few years ago. Funny and enlightening. Please check this series out -- after you read about oil.

*One-time only disclosure: I should say this "in public" once, for the record, so I'll do it now. Although no one at Atlantic HQ knew this this before he became a mainstay here, Ben Carlson and I are related. His mother is my cousin Holly. Naturally I consider him a credit to the magazine and the family, but I would like this series whoever its writer was. FYI.