The Demon in the Freezer →
by Richard Preston How smallpox, a disease of officially eradicated twenty years ago, became the biggest bioterrorist threat we now face.
Music is My Bag →
by Meghan Daum The boy in the piano-key scarf definitely has music as his bag. He may not yet have the actual tote bag, but the hat, the Billy Joel, the tacit euphoria brought on by a sexual awakening that, for him, centers entirely around band, is all he needs to be delivered into the unmistakable realm that is Music Is My Bagdom.
The Autumn of the Multitaskers →
by Walter Kirn It was interesting to me - after having done some reading about the frenzied activity of the multitasking brain - how late in the process my prefrontal cortex changed its focus from the phone to the steel fence post sliding spear-like across my hood…
The Secret Vice →
by Tom Wolfe Real buttonholes. That’s it! A man can take his thumb and forefinger and unbutton his sleeve at the wrist because this kind of suit has real buttonholes there. Tom, boy, it’s terrible. Once you know about it, you start seeing it. All the time!
High Times →
by Kevin Fedarko In addition to presenting a rather grotesque perversion of pretty much everything that alpinism is supposed to represent, Everest Base Camp, an experimental theater for the sort of behavior that any self-respecting mountaineer finds repugnant, also happens to be, and I’m afraid there’s just no other way to put this, an absolute fricking blast.
Let’s Die Together →
by David Samuels From 2003 through 2005, 180 people died in 61 reported cases of Internet-assisted group suicide in Japan. The victims meet online, using anonymous screen names, and then take sleeping pills and use briquettes, charcoal burners, and tape to turn a car or van into a mobile gas chamber.
What We've Learned, If Anything →
by Tony Judt In the West we have made haste to dispense whenever possible with the economic, intellectual, and institutional baggage of the twentieth century and encouraged others to do likewise.
Burkas and Birkins →
by Lindy West I watched 146 minutes of Sex and the City 2, and all I got was this religious fundamentalism.
This is Emo →
by Chuck Klosterman I once loved a girl who almost loved me, but not as much as she loved John Cusack. Under certain circumstances, this would have been fine - if Cusack and I were competing for the same woman, I could easily accept losing. However, her relationship to Cusack was confined to watching him as a two-dimensional projection, pretending to be characters who don’t actually...
Liking Is for Cowards →
by Jonathan Franzen Do I need to point out that - absent some wild, anthropomorphizing projection in which my BlackBerry felt sad about the waning of my love for it - our relationship was entirely one-sided? Let me point it out anyway.
The Real Housewives of Wall Street →
by Matt Taibbi Neither Christy Mack nor Susan Karches has any serious history in business, but the Federal Reserve handed them both low-interest loans of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. The federal aid they received falls under a broad category of bailout initiatives called “giving already stinking rich people gobs of money for no fucking reason at all.”
Pop. Snort. Parachute. →
by David Amsden To many teenagers, all the world’s a pharmacy. There distinction between pills for medication and for recreation is vanishing, and the much-touted risk of suicide misses the point.
Farewell, My Lovely →
by E. B. White (from 1936) The last Model T was built in 1927, and the car is fading from what scholars call the American scene - which is an understatement, because to a few million people who grew up with it, the old Ford practically was the American scene.
Short but Sweet →
Two tasty little op-eds by Calvin Trillin Half an Oaf There was a discussion at my house recently about whether or not I am an uncultured oaf. It’s not the first time the subject has come up. Wall Street Smarts “The financial system nearly collapsed,” he said, “because smart guys had started working on Wall Street.”
The Greatest Chef In The World →
By Michael Paterniti The true tale of the alchemical miracles and transcendental gastronomy of Ferran Adriá, the world’s greatest chef.
The Rumor →
by John Updike When Sharon first heard the rumor that Frank had left her she had to laugh, for, far from having left her, there he was, right in the lamplit study with her, ripping pages out of ARTnews.
The Life →
by Walter Kirn A body in motion tends to stay in motion. And though these guys are always swearing, like shell-shocked combatants in a Hemingway novel, that they see themselves settling down in a couple of years (it’s always “a couple,” for some reason, never “a few”; two is the magic number of denial), and though they’re constantly singing the praises of...
Learning to Lie →
By Po Bronson Kids lie early, often, and for all sorts of reasons—to avoid punishment, to bond with friends, to gain a sense of control. But now there’s a singular theory for one way this habit develops: They are just copying their parents.
The Happiest Man in Cuba →
by Rebecca Barry My father has spotted some train tracks and is trying to drive and look at them at the same time. “Those look like narrow gauge,” he says. “I’ll be damned.” A man carrying a chicken pedals slowly by on his bicycle, staring into the car. Dad, busy scanning the cane fields for black smoke, swerves and honks the horn by accident.
Inside the Dragon →
by Peter Hessler “I’m a Chinese, but I feel it difficult to see my country clearly,” wrote a woman named Airane. “I believe there are many young people are as confused as I’m.”
by Tom Junod What’s it like to be kidnapped and held for ransom, not as a political prisoner but as an economic one? What’s it like to live in the Ecuadoran jungle for 141 days? What’s it like not to sleep, to be bound in chains, to have your body invaded by living things, to waste away to the point of death? This is what it’s like.
Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died →
by Tom Wolfe Brain imaging was invented for medical diagnosis. But its far greater importance is that it may very well confirm, in ways too precise to be disputed, certain theories about “the mind,” “the self,” “the soul,” and “free will” that are already devoutly believed in by scholars in what is now the hottest field in the academic world,...
Federer as Religious Experience →
by David Foster Wallace It was impossible. It was like something out of “The Matrix.” I don’t know what-all sounds were involved, but my spouse says she hurried in and there was popcorn all over the couch and I was down on one knee and my eyeballs looked like novelty-shop eyeballs.
Kid Cannabis →
by Mark Binelli The Idea had more legs than your typical pot-inspired idea. It did not involve a second Twinkie inside the first one. It was, in fact, based on a practical application of global economic theory. That, and cheap weed in Canada.
Say Everything →
by Emily Nussbaum Kids today. They have no sense of shame. They have no sense of privacy. They’re show-offs, fame whores, pornographic little loons who post their diaries, their phone numbers, their stupid poetry - for God’s sake, their dirty photos! - online.
The Wall →
by Michael Finkel Wall builders will tell you that a stone, professionally speaking, is not always a stone.
Recruiting for the Big Parade →
by Terry Southern How I signed Up for $250 a Day for the Big Parade Through Havana Bla Bla Bla and Wound Up Working for the CIA in Guatemala.
Life's Swell →
by Susan Orlean To be a surfer girl in Maui is to be the luckiest of creatures. It means you’re beautiful and tan and ready to rip. It means you’ve caught the perfect dappled wave and are on a ride that can’t possibly end.