Signifying Rappers →
by David Foster Wallace and Mark Costello Rjam Productions, headquartered in a mixed black/Hispanic section of North Dorchester, is as follows: * One (1) four-car garage fitted with dubbing and remastering gear worth more than most of the rest of the real estate on the block; * One (1) touch-tone telephone (leased); * Two (2) Chevy Blazers, vanity-plated RJAM1 and RJAM2, each equipped with...
The Language of the Future →
by Henry Hitchings As English takes over the world, it’s splintering and changing - and soon, we may not recognize it at all.
Loch Ness Memoir →
by Tom Bissell It has been described as “one of the most enduring, and controversial, images of the twentieth century.” Well, no—but it remains, after seven decades, the best photo ever taken of Loch Ness’s most putative inhabitant.
The Best of Freakonomics →
by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt Before Freakonomics was an international marketing juggernaut it was a book, and before it was a book it was a column in the New York Times - and the best of those columns are here: Why Vote? - A Swiss Turnout-Boosting Experiment A Star Is Made - The Birth-Month Soccer Anomaly Not-So-Free Ride - The Trouble With Negative Externalities Disceting the...
My Outsourced Life →
by A.J. Jacobs Why should Fortune 500 firms have all the fun? Why can’t I join in on the biggest business trend of the new century? Why can’t I outsource my low-end tasks? Why can’t I outsource my life?
Up and Then Down →
by Nick Paumgarten The longest smoke break of Nicholas White’s life began at around eleven o’clock on a Friday night in October, 1999.
Sister Act →
by Evan Wright Sorority members say that their organizations make strong female role models and promote ideals of service, sisterhood and leadership. Their success at teaching these values can be judged during OSU’s Greek week…
Real Genius →
by Chuck Klosterman An introduction to the highly advanced theory of Advancement, an entirely new way to appreciate Sting, Val Kilmer, C-Murder, and other profound artists.
by Annie Dillard A fog that won’t burn away drifts and flows across my field of vision. When you see fog move against a backdrop of deep pines, you don’t see the fog itself, but streaks of clearness floating across the air in dark shreds.
On Keeping a Notebook →
by Joan Didion Why did I write it down? In order to remember, of course, but exactly what was it I wanted to remember? How much of it actually happened? Did any of it? Why do I keep a notebook at all? It is easy to deceive oneself on all those scores.
Where They Love Americans… →
by Sean Flynn (The Global Sex Trade, Part 3 of 3) Costa Rica is fast becoming a top sex-tourism destination where prostitution is not only legal, it’s embraced.
The Great Sex Migration →
by Sean Flynn (The Global Sex Trade, Part 2 of 3) Every day, countless women and girls from poor countries are funneled into the global sex industry.
Pleasure, At Any Price →
by Sean Flynn (The Global Sex Trade, Part 1 of 3) Sean Flynn explores the labyrinth of Philippine sex clubs - a paradise for adventurers where the girls are plentiful, cheap, and have no other choice.
High in Hell →
by Kevin Fedarko If you ever find yourself skimming through the troposphere high above the Horn of Africa, the engines of your cargo jet clawing at the currents of sub-Saharan air rolling off the lip of the Ethiopian plateau and down toward the Red Sea, there will come a moment when you’ll have to admit that the cockpit of an aging DC-8 offers a damn fine view of the most wretched place...
Is Humanity Suicidal? →
by Edward O. Wilson Are we racing to the brink of an abyss, or are we just gathering speed for a take off to a wonderful future?
We Do Abortions Here →
by Sallie Tisdale “How can you stand it?” Even the client asks. They see the machine, the strange instruments, the blood, the final stroke that wipes away the promise of pregnancy. But all it takes for me to catch my breath is another story that sounds so much like the last one.
The Female Body →
by Margaret Atwood The basic Female body comes with the following accessories: garter belt, panty-girdle, crinoline, camisole, bustle, brassiere, stomacher, chemise, virgin zone, spike heels, nose ring, veil, kid gloves, fishnet stockings, fichu, bandeau, Merry Widow, weepers, chokers, barrettes, bangles, beads, lorgnette, feather boa, basic black, compact, Lycra stretch one-piece with modesty...
Laughing With Kafka →
by David Foster Wallace (via fwriction) For me, a signal frustration in trying to read Kafka with college students is that it is next to impossible to get them to see that Kafka is funny…
There Are Distances Between Us →
by Roxane Gay (via fwriction) I have counted the miles, yards, feet, and inches between us. There are too many.
Risky Writing →
by Gina Frangello (via fwriction) There is a story I like to gloss over but rarely really tell. The short version goes like this…
Tennis, Trigonometry, Tornadoes →
by David Foster Wallace (via fwriction) I grew up inside vectors, lines and lines athwart lines, grids - and, on the scale of horizons, broad curving lines of geographic force.
Scenes From My Life in Porn →
by Evan Wright But porn is a crude business. Even the fantasies it sells have the feel of cheap disillusionment. What seduced me was the reality.
Feet in Smoke →
by John Jeremiah Sullivan On the morning of April 21, 1995, my elder brother, Worth (short for Elsworth), put his mouth to a microphone in a garage in Lexington, Kentucky, and was - in the strict sense of having been “shocked to death” - electrocuted.
My Bird Problem →
by Jonathan Franzen On a trip to London, I mentioned to a friend there, a book editor who is a very stylish dresser, that I’d seen a green woodpecker eating ants in Hyde Park, and he made a horrible face and said, “Oh, Christ, don’t tell me you’re a twitcher.”
36 Tattoos →
by David Shields A tattoo is ink stored in scar tissue.
Oh, the Trouble I've Heard →
by David Rakoff Young Woman’s face suddenly got sad. She put her hands on my shoulders and leaned her face into mine. I thought she was going to kiss me, but her lips bypassed my cheek until I felt her mouth, hot against my ear. “Don’t tell anyone,” she whispered, “but I had an abortion last winter.”
The Nicaraguan Coconut Salesman →
by David Baez The coconut salesman appears every morning in front of the tourist hotel in Jinotepe, Nicaragua. He stands there with his cart full of coconuts, his machete to hack the tops off and his bag of straws. He is in his 50s, with a pronounced belly that strains the fabric of the old T-shirts he wears, and dark, wet eyes.
The Suicide Catcher →
by Michael Paterniti In the rapidly modernizing, constantly churning city of Nanjing, China, there is a legendary bridge, four miles long, where day after day, week after week, the desperate and melancholy and tormented come to end their lives. Most end up in the Yangtze River, 130 feet below. But some do not meet their maker. They meet someone else. They are pulled back from...
Sailing by Ear →
by Michael Chabon I slid the first record from its sleeve, touching only the label, and eased it like a pan of nitro onto the black rubber turntable pad. I pushed the chunky button, and the gears engaged with a whirr, and like a sentient thing the tonearm lowered the stylus right into the outermost groove of the record.
Caring for Your Introvert →
by Jonathan Rauch Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk?
Designs For Working →
by Malcolm Gladwell When employees sit at their desks, quietly and industriously going about their business, an office is not functioning as it should.
There and Back Again →
by Nick Paumgarten People who feel they have smooth, manageable commutes tend to evangelize. Those who hate the commute think of it as a core affliction, like a chronic illness. Once you raise the subject, the testimonies pour out.
Spontaneous Effusions of the Electric Spider →
by William T. Vollman “American men prefer to be choked or beaten,” the dominatrix said. “European men like to be ridden like horses. Japanese men want to be treated as girls.”