A Piece of Chalk →
by G. K. Chesterton White is a color. It is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black.
Long Day's Journey →
by Elizabeth Gilbert The way another woman might, on a first date, suddenly picture herself having a baby with the guy across the table, what I pictured was this: me and him, eating a duck’s liver together in a ditch.
The Unspeakable Odyssey of the Motionless Boy →
by Joshua Foer Erik can’t move. He can’t blink his eyes. And he hasn’t said a word since 1999. But now, thanks to an electrode that was surgically implanted in his brain and linked to a computer, his nine-year silence is about to end.
The Masterpiece that Killed Orwell →
by Robert McCrum (via katiecar) The circumstances surrounding the writing of Nineteen Eighty-Four make a haunting narrative that helps to explain the bleakness of Orwell’s dystopia.
The Man Who Mistook His Hat for a Meal →
by David Sedaris My father has always had some questionable eating habits, but this is getting ridiculous.
What Defines a Meme? →
by James Gleick Most of the biosphere cannot see the infosphere; it is invisible, a parallel universe humming with ghostly inhabitants. But they are not ghosts to us - not anymore. We humans, alone among the earth’s organic creatures, live in both worlds at once.
Creation Myth →
by Malcolm Gladwell How the mouse was conceived by the computer scientist Douglas Engelbart, developed by Xerox, and made marketable by Apple.
Morocco's Extraordinary Donkeys →
By Susan Orlean The donkey I couldn’t forget was coming around a corner in the city of Fez, Morocco, with six color televisions strapped to his back.
In the Club →
by Devin Friedman A fearless (fence-hopping) journey into the (unbelievably white) world of America’s oldest (i.e., snootiest), WASPiest (gin and tonic, anyone?), most exclusive (read: you’ll never get in!) country clubs.
Phoning It In →
by Stanley Bing Landry called for maybe the fourth time that day. Landry is a good operator. She gives a big fig about everything, even stuff that isn’t worth a fig. She gave me this long and involved story about a huge slight that was inflicted on her operation by some other entity someplace, and I was looking out the window and thinking, whoa, look at that BMW Z8.
How Wall St. Copies the Mob →
by Matt Taibbi How America’s biggest banks took part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy - until they were caught on tape.
The Last Wailer →
by John Jeremiah Sullivan Even the name is legend. Bunny Wailer. He grew up in the same house as Bob Marley, and together with Peter Tosh, they created not just The Wailers but a new template for sound.
The Crayola-fication of the World →
Aatish Bhatia (via @ifyouonly) In Japan, people often refer to traffic lights as being blue in color. And this is a bit odd, because the traffic signal indicating ‘go’ in Japan is just as green as it is anywhere else in the world. So why is the color getting lost in translation?
Living With Geese →
by Paul Theroux Animal lovers often tend to be misanthropes or loners, and so they transfer their affection to the creature in their control.
The Truth About Lions →
By Abigail Tucker The world’s foremost lion expert reveals the brutal, secret world of the king of beasts.
The Ticking Is the Bomb →
by Nick Flynn Inspired in part by the Abu Ghraib detainees, several of whom he met, the author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City writes a painfully beautiful memoir of torture.
Forty Years of the Internet →
by Oliver Burkeman A few weeks after the moon landings, a few days after Woodstock, and a month before the first broadcast of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a large grey metal box was delivered to the University of California in Los Angeles…
How Your Creepy Ex-Co-Workers Will Kill Facebook →
by Cory Doctorow By making it easy for you to be found by people you’d rather avoid, Facebook and other social networks are destined to self-destruct.
10 Great Reads About The Senses →
A Tetw reading list The Blind Man Who Learned To See by Michael Finkel - A fascinating profile of a man who is helping other blind people to see using echolocation. Mixed Feelings by Sunny Bains - How researchers can tap the plasticity of the brain to hack our 5 senses, and build new ones. Sense and Sensitivity by Andrea Bartz - Is it possible that some people are wired to take in more...
How the Eggheads Cracked →
by Michael Lewis How Long-Term Capital Management fell apart.
Song of the Sausage Creature →
by Hunter S. Thompson There are some things nobody needs in this world, and a bright-red, hunch-back, warp-speed 900cc cafe racer is one of them - but I want one anyway, and on some days I actually believe I need one. That is why they are dangerous.
The Moral Instinct →
by Steven Pinker Which of the following people would you say is the most admirable: Mother Teresa, Bill Gates or Norman Borlaug?
Black Like Them →
by Malcolm Gladwell My cousins, Rosie and Noel, are from Jamaica. They don’t consider themselves black at all.
What I Did on My Summer Vacation →
by Scott Anderson In which three American journalists try to get a little R&R in Bosnia, accidentally almost capture the world’s most-wanted war criminal, are hassled by the CIA, and discover why our government doesn’t really want to catch the bad guys after all.
I Sing of Fizzy Fluid Retention →
by P. J. O’Rourke The decline of spinsters? Smoke-free Living? Drawing on a vast new statistical compendium, our commentator unearths, examines, and extrapolates the hidden challenges to America.
Baseball for Life →
by Sara Corbett Jarrod is 5-foot-3 and weighs 110 pounds. He is a recent graduate of the sixth grade at Apopka Memorial Middle School in suburban Orlando, and arguably as close to being a professional baseball player as a 12-year-old can be.
by John Sack One, two, three at the most weeks and they would give M company its orders — they being those dim Olympian entities who reputedly threw cards into an IBM machine or into a hat to determine where each soldier in M would go next, which ones to stay there in the United States, which to live softly in Europe, and which to fight and to die in Vietnam.
How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy →
by Kathleen McAuliffe Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?
The Megacity →
by George Packer Isale Eko is the oldest and densest part of Lagos, the world’s sixth largest city. Every square foot is claimed by someone - for selling, for washing, even for sleeping - there is almost no privacy.
The Splitting Image of Pot →
by Mark Jacobson On the one hand, marijuana is more mainstream than ever before, practically legal. On the other, kids are getting busted in the city in record numbers. Guess which kids.
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, neuroscience.
My Brain on Chantix →
by Derek de Koff I’d heard it was the most effective stop-smoking drug yet. So I took it. Then those reports of suicidal ideation began washing in.
No Man's Land →
by Eula Bliss Fear, racism, and the troubling attitude of American pioneers, historical and contemporary.
10 Great Essays About Words →
A Tetw reading list How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read by Pierre Bayard - Not reading is our main way of relating to most literature, find out how to make the most of your ignorance. Tense Present by David Foster Wallace - In one of his finest essays, DFW reviews a dictionary of English usage, thereby tackling everything from democracy and free will to racism in academia. The Rise of...
What Makes Us Happy? →
by Joshua Wolf Shenk Is there a formula — some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation — for a good life?
David Lynch Keeps His Head →
by David Foster Wallace The first time I lay actual eyes on the real David Lynch on the set of his movie, he’s peeing on a tree. Mr. David Lynch, a prodigious coffee drinker, apparently pees hard and often.
The Real Work →
by Adam Gopnik Modern magic and the meaning of life.
Unhappy Meals →
by Michael Pollan Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy.
Raiders of the Lost Backyard →
by Jim Windolf When 10-year-old Chris Strompolos and 11-year-old Eric Zala decided to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark, shot for shot, in the summer of 1982, they never imagined it would take 7 years—and emerge, two decades later, as a minor cult phenomenon.
Top Ten State Fair Joys →
by Garrison Keillor The big wheel whirls and the girls squeal and the bratwursts cook on the little steel rollers and the boys slouch around and check their hair. Be hypnotized! Gawk at cows! Indulge in fried Coca-Cola!
It’s the Adultery, Stupid →
by Michael Wolff The private follies of middle-aged male politicians are treated as weakness, perversion, corruption — anything but the real issue: human desire.
Start-Up City →
by Edward L. Glaeser Entrepreneurship - along with January temperature and education - is one of the three great predictors of urban success. But nowhere is that more the case than in Gotham.
Why Are We So Fat? →
by Elizabeth Kolbert Men are now on average seventeen pounds heavier than they were in the late seventies, and for women that figure is even higher: nineteen pounds. Why?
Opium Made Easy →
by Michael Pollan Whether or not the opium poppies in your garden are illicit depends not on what you do, or even intend to do, with them but very simply on what you know about them. So, if you have any desire to grow opium poppies, you would be wise to stop reading now.
Men Playing A Child's Game →
by Gilbert Rogin The bearded man laughing at his daughter is Bill Russell, the most remarkable basketball player of our time. Sport, however, is one of his lesser interests. Here are his trenchant, often angry observations on today’s Negro-white crisis and his role in it.
The Physical Elite →
by John Van Doorn Their emblems - terry toweling, running shoes, skis - signal their existence to one another and their exclusivity to all of us.
The Female Body: A User's Guide →
A Tetw reading list A graphic collection of outstanding articles and essays about the female body. Click thorugh for classics from Margaret Atwood, Lucy Grealy, Lindy West, Jennifer Egan and many others.
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.
Mirrors Don’t Lie →
by Natalie Angier Mirrors are like pieces of dreams, their images hyper-real and profoundly fake. Mirrors reveal truths you may not want to see. Give them a little smoke and a house to call their own, and mirrors will tell you nothing but lies.
Letting Go →
by David Sedaris When I was in fourth grade, my class took a field trip to the American Tobacco plant in nearby Durham, North Carolina. There we witnessed the making of cigarettes and were given free packs to take home to our parents.