Mechanical Reproduction →
by Paul Ford When it comes to IVF, in-vitro fertilization, nothing is normal. Your world is upside-down. Your doctor compliments your wife on her monkeys. Then, when every dollar and exertion has gone toward a single hour of hope, it begins to snow.
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.
Short Guys Finish Last →
by Jonathan Rauch The bias against short men hurts them. It is unfair. It is irrational. So why is it not taken seriously? A serious question: especially if you happen to be short.
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.”
Taming the Wild →
by Evan Ratliff Only a handful of wild animal species have been successfully bred to get along with humans. The reason, scientists say, is found in their genes.
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.
The Atlantic's Guide to Womanhood →
A Slate reading list The Slate DoubleX crew have put together a pretty special flowchart showing all the best articles about 21st century womanhood that have appeared in The Atlantic over the last decade. Click through for a full-size version of the chart which links to 12 great reads.
How Cities Work →
A Tetw reading list Downtown is for People by Jane Jacobs - This classic 1958 article about the follies of large-scale urban planning reads like it was written yesterday. A Physicist Solves the City by Jonah Lehrer - “We spend all this time thinking about cities in terms of their local details, their restaurants and museums and weather. I had this hunch that there was something more, that...
The Metropolis →
A Tetw reading list Here is New York by E. B. White Venture Kapital (Berlin) by Gary Wolf The Megacity (Lagos) by George Packer Dubai on Empty By A. A. Gill Hutong Karma (Bejing) by Peter Hessler City of Fear (São Paulo) By William Langewiesche Mistakes Were Made, Errors Happened (Tokyo) by Karl Taro Greenfeld Hope and Squalor at Chungking Mansion (Hong Kong) by Karl Taro Greenfeld ...
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.
The Me Decade →
by Tom Wolfe “The new alchemical dream is: changing one’s personality—remaking, remodeling, elevating, and polishing one’s very self … and observing, studying, and doting on it. (Me!)”
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.
Who Was Milton Friedman? →
by Paul Krugman A number of economists played important roles in the great revival of classical economics between 1950 and 2000, but none was as influential as Milton Friedman.
Pop. Snort. Parachute. →
by David Amsden To many teenagers, all the world’s a pharmacy. Their distinction between pills for medication and for recreation is vanishing, and the much-touted risk of suicide misses the point.
In Search Of Serendipity →
by Ian Leslie The history of scientific discovery is peppered with breakthroughs that came about by accident. The most momentous was the discovery of penicillin in 1928…
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.
One Curvy Word at a Time →
by Guy Gugliotta Instead of making Captchas out of random words printed in a woozy way, why not ask Web users to translate problem words from archival texts?
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.
America is Bull →
by Jeanne Marie Laskas “Bull riding? Okay, bull riding is 90 percent mental. Anybody tells you any different, they’re lying. Because when you get on your bull, you have to, just, be on your bull.
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.”
A Tetw reading list On Tipping in Cuba by Chris Turner - A writer discovers the uncomfortable socio-macroeconomics of the cheap beach vacation In Purusit of the Wild Cohiba by Ginger Strand and James Wallenstein - The world’s best cigars straight from the source. Recruiting for the Big Parade by Terry Southern - ”How I signed Up for $250 a Day for the Big Parade Through Havana Bla...
10 Excellent Essays about Race →
A Tetw reading list Probably going to piss off a lotta white people with this one! by Matt Langer - Are the ‘culture wars’ driven by fear of black America? Paper Tigers by Wesley Yang - What happens to all the Asian-American overachievers when the test-taking ends? No Man’s Land by Eula Bliss Fear, racism, and the troubling attitude of American pioneers, historical and...
A History of Violence →
by Steven Pinker Believe it or not—and I know most people do not—violence has been in decline over long stretches of time, and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence.
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 exist.
6 Guys in a Capsule →
by Bill Donahue To crack the mysteries of interplanetary space travel, you first consult with the old woman in the shack…
Burkas and Birkins →
by Lindy West I watched 146 minutes of Sex and the City 2, and all I got was this religious fundamentalism.
The Shadow of Death →
by Tim Cahill Rolling Stone’s 1979 story piecing together what happened after the Jonestown Massacre.
The World in its Extreme →
by William Langewiesche The Sahara is a desert so vast that no airplane can diminish it. Certainly this one couldn’t. I sat behind the pilots in the cockpit of an Air Algeria turboprop lumbering at 18,000 feet across southern Algeria. The airplane was a Dutch-built Fokker 27, a stodgy forty-passenger twin, doing 220 miles an hour; it had come from the capital city, Algiers, on a roundabout...
If You See It, Is It Real? →
by Chuck Klosterman I have always wondered this: Why am I able to see any random television program, often for less than ten seconds, and immediately recognize which network the show is airing on?
The Long Tail →
By Chris Anderson Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.
Rocket Car: Urban Legend? →
by Anonymous Once upon a time, in some out-of-the-way part of the country (take your pick of locations), a maniac took a rocket of some sort and mounted it on the back of a car (make and model depend on the automotive trends when the story is told). The maniac then sped down a deserted stretch of highway, and when he reached an appropriate spot and lit the rocket…
The Blind Man Who Learned To See →
by Michael Finkel Daniel Kish has been sightless since he was a year old. Yet he can mountain bike. And navigate the wilderness alone. And recognize a building as far away as 1,000 feet.
An Interview with Marshall McLuhan →
from Playboy Perhaps because the Q. and A. format serves to pin him down by counteracting his habit of mercurially changing the subject in mid-stream of consciousness, this interview has considerably more lucidity and clarity than McLuhan’s readers are accustomed to…
The Lost City of Z →
by David Grann Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett, a British explorer, disappeared in 1925 while trying to uncover a lost civilization hidden in the Amazon, which he had named, simply, the City of Z. In the next seven decades, scores of explorers had tried and failed to retrace Fawcett’s path. Some nearly died of starvation, while others retreated in the face of tribes that attacked with poisoned...
by David Foster Wallace Pendent in front of John Ziegler’s face, attached to the same type of hinged, flexible stand as certain student desk lamps, is a Shure-brand broadcast microphone that is sheathed in a gray foam filtration sock to soften popped p’s and hissed sibilants. It is into this microphone that the host speaks…
Undecided Voters →
by David Sedaris To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”
The Mutants →
A Tetw reading list Usain Bolt, Mutant by Luke Dittrich - What would happen if the fastest man on earth started making an effort? Jordan’s Moment by David Halberstam - A great profile piece exploring a quintessential moment from the legendary career of basketball’s biggest star. The Fast Life of Oscar Pistorius by Michael Sokolove - Should a double amputee be allowed to race...
Vaginas, Wombs and Menstruation →
A Tetw reading list The New Full-Frontal by Ashley Fetters - Has Pubic Hair in America Gone Extinct? Snip, stitch, kerching! by Marie Myung-Ok Lee - A look at designer vagina surgeries and the questionable motives of the doctors who perform them. We Do Abortions Here by Sallie Tisdale - A nurse at an abortion clinic describes her work. The Sanguine Sex by Caitlin Flanagan - “Abortion...
The Benjamin Franklin Effect →
by David McRaney The Misconception: You do nice things for the people you like and bad things to the people you hate. The Truth: You grow to like people for whom you do nice things and hate people you harm.
The Hippies →
by Hunter S. Thompson The best year to be a hippie was 1965, but then there was not much to write about, because not much was happening in public and most of what was happening in private was illegal. The real year of the hippie was 1966, despite the lack of publicity, which in 1967 gave way to a nationwide avalanche - in Look, Life, Time, Newsweek, the Atlantic, the New York Times, the...
How Target Knows Your Secrets →
by Charles Duhigg “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that? ”
That Crafty Feeling →
by Zadie Smith What I have to say about craft extends no further than my own experience, which is what it is - 12 years and three novels. Although this lecture will be divided into ten short sections meant to mark the various stages in the writing of a novel, what they most accurately describe, in truth, is the writing of my novels.
The First 3,650 Days →
by Charles P. Pierce The most enduring lesson is the one that is forgotten, over and over, as our technology gets more advanced and an age already accelerated begins to pick up even more speed. The most enduring lesson is our apparently limitless capacity to be caught unaware.
What the Bagel Man Saw →
by Stephen J. Dubner “I’d go to the office Christmas party, and people would introduce me to their wives or husbands as the guy who brings in the bagels,” he says. “‘Oh! You’re the guy who brings in the bagels!’ Nobody ever said, ‘This is the guy in charge of the public research group.’”
Inside the Reunification →
by Klaus Wiegrefe When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, nobody expected Germany to be reunified less than a year later. New documents released by the Foreign Ministry in Berlin shed light on the dramatic negotiations that led to East and West Germany becoming one.
Silver or Lead →
by William Finnegan The Mexican drug cartel La Familia gives local officials a choice: Take a bribe or a bullet.
The Death Ray: A History →
by Becky Ferreira What if I said the Death Star’s most deadly feature — yes, the one that rebel leader Admiral Ackbar said was “not yet operational” — was first envisioned by our planet’s very own scientist and inventor Archimedes over 2,200 years ago?
Real Property →
by Sara Davidson Living in Venice is like living in a camp for semi-demented adults. At every hour, day and night, there are people playing volleyball, running, rolling on skates, riding bikes, skateboards, surfboards, flying kites, drinking milk, eating quiche lorraine. Old people sit under umbrellas playing checkers. Body builders work out in a sandy pen, and crowds line up three deep to...
by Charles C. Mann Before it became the New World, the Western Hemisphere was vastly more populous and sophisticated than has been thought. New evidence of both the extent of the population and its agricultural advancement leads to a remarkable conjecture: the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact.
The Coldest War →
by Kevin Fedarko High in the Karakoram, the stubborn armies of India and Pakistan have faced off for 19 years on the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battleground and perhaps it’s most futile conflict.