Travel and Adventure
The Old Man at Burning Man by Wells Tower
Excuse Us While We Kiss The Sky by Matthew Power
A Long Ride by Nathaniel Rich
An interview with Chris Hadfield by Emma Brockes
Thanksgiving in Mongolia by Ariel Levy
First Australians by Michael Finkel
Stranded on the Roof of the World by Michael Finkel
Learning About Humanity on Public Transportation
by Chris Gethard
Now We Are Five by David Sedaris
Why You Truly Never Leave High School
by Jennifer Senior
Our Kind of Ridiculous by Kiese Laymon
37 Conversation Rules for Gents
by Brett & Kate McKay
A Million First Dates by Dan Slater
All My Exes Live in Texts by Maureen O’Connor
Farting in love by Tracy Clark-Flory
If Your Boyfriend Tells You Your Vagina Is Repulsive, BREAK UP WITH HIM by Lindy West
The End of the Hangup by Ian Bogost
Silent War by Michael Joseph Gross
Desert Bus by Simon Parkin
#Manhunt by James Gleick
I Am An Object Of Internet Ridicule by C. D. Hermelin
All Can Be Lost by Nicholas Carr
Restless Genes by David Dobbs
The Social Life of Genes by David Dobbs
We Aren’t the World by Ethan Watters
Complexity and the Ten-Thousand-Hour Rule
by Malcolm Gladwell
Schizophrenic. Killer. My Cousin. by Mac McClelland
A Tale of Two Londons by Nicholas Shaxson
A Practical Utopian’s Guide to the Coming Collapse
by David Graeber
Too Big to Jail by Matt Taibbi
Secrets and Lies of the Bailout by Matt Taibbi
Everything Is Rigged by Matt Taibbi
Crime and Punishment
The Dangers of Stash by Brendan I. Koerner
The Body in Room 348 by Mark Bowden
Goldman Sachs’ Golden Handshake by Michael Lewis
America’s Real Criminal Element by Kevin Drum
Oops, You Just Hired the Wrong Hitman
by Jeanne Marie Laskas
Cruel and Unusual Punishment by Matt Taibbi
The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved - “I got off the plane around midnight and no one spoke as I crossed the dark runway to the terminal. The air was thick and hot, like wandering into a steam bath…”
Freak Power in the Rockies - “On the Weird Mechanics of Running a Takeover Bid on a Small Town… and a Vulgar Argument for Seizing Political Power and Using It like a Gun Ripped Away from a Cop… with Jangled Comments on the Uncertain Role of the Head and the Awful Stupor Factor”
Doomed Love at the Taco Stand - “Going to Hollywood is a dangerous high-pressure gig for most people, under any circumstances. It is like pumping hot steam into thousands of different-size boilers…”
The Hippies - “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…” (Scroll to the bottom for the HST text).
The Curse of Lono - “We were about 40 minutes out of San Francisco when the crew finally decided to take action on the problem in lavatory 1B…”
The Motorcycle Gangs - “Ever since World War II, California has been strangely plagued by wild men on motorcycles. They usually travel in groups of ten to thirty, booming along the highways and stopping here are there to get drunk and raise hell…”
Strange Rumblings in Aztlan - “Aztlan - the “conquered territories” that came under the yoke of Gringo occupation troops more than 100 years ago, when “vendito politicians in Mexico City sold out to the US” in order to call off the invasion that Gringo history books refer to as the Mexican American War.”
The Professional Voice of Law Enforcement - “Weapons are my business. You name it and I know it: guns, bombs, gas, fire, knives and everything else. Damn few people in the world know more about weaponry than I do…”
Fear and Loathing in las Vegas - “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold…” (Scroll down for links to each chapter.)
The Song of the Sausage Creature - “There are some things nobody needs in this world, and a bright-red, hunch-back, warp- speed 900cc cafe racer is one of them…”
Fear and Loathing in America - The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now — with somebody — and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.
Violence of the Lambs - “Elephants on the African savanna have been raping rhinoceroses. Evidently this is just as startling to science as it to the layperson.”
Leaving Reality - “Where do you go after you leave the cast of The Real World? To a universe where your only job is to be young and famous and keep the party jumpin’. Or to a tiny hell of endless exploitation.”
Feet in Smoke - “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 electrocuted.”
You Blow My Mind. Hey, Mickey! -“Do you Disney?” One goes to Disneyland and has a great time there, but one Disneys at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. There’s an implication of surrender to something enormous.”
Peyton’s Place - “Practically every day, cars stop in front of our house and people get out to take pictures of it, and of us—me and my wife and daughter—if we happen to be outside…”
My Debt to Ireland - “He was, I thought, one of the most authentically Irish-seeming guys I’d ever met, apart from his being Ukrainian.”
Where Is Cuba Going? - “On the plane, something odd but also vaguely magical-seeming happened: nobody knew what time it was…”
Back In The Day - “Before the weirdness claimed his legacy, Michael Jackson understood his talent better than we ever have…”
Upon This Rock - “Rock music used to be a safe haven for degenerates and rebels. Until it found Jesus.”
The Last 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 Final Comeback of Axl Rose - “The doors had opened at seven o’clock. The opening act had been off by eight thirty. It was now after eleven o’clock. It didn’t feel like the room could get any tenser…”
A Brief History of the Corporation - The Age of Corporations is coming to an end.
Welcome to the Future Nauseous - Somehow, the future always seems like something that is going to happen rather than something that is happening.
The Return of the Barbarian - Why the influence of nomads on the course of human history is grossly underestimated.
Eternal Hypochondria of the Expanding Mind - It is not enough to ask, what is the plot? and what were the archetypes of the day? We must also ask, what were they smoking?
The Abundances of Ages - The next big thing is almost certainly not going to be a thing at all.
Hacking the Non-Disposable Planet - We’re reaching a technological complexity threshold where hacking is going to be the main mechanism for the further evolution of civilization.
Waste, Creativity and Technology - On a 10-point scale where good vs. evil is a 4 in terms of difficulty, I’d rate scarcity versus abundance at 8.5.
The Gollum Effect - Gollum is both employee and consumer. A prosumer locked in a death embrace with a product. He is a raving fan.
The Gervais Principle - The Office is not a random series of cynical gags aimed at momentarily alleviating the existential despair of low-level grunts. It is a fully realized theory of management.
Ubiquity Illusions & the Chicken-Egg Problem - You need relevant experience to get a good job, you need a good job to get relevant experience. Or just fake it till you make it.
The Slash Effect - The most visible symptom of the effect is the professional who uses a slash to describe herself…
The American Male at Age Ten - “If Colin Duffy and I were to get married, ee would sleep in our clothes and eat pizza and candy for all of our meals. We wouldn’t have sex, but we would have crushes on each other…”
The Place to Disapear - “All languages are welcome on Bangkok’s Khao San Road, including Drunkard…”
Life’s Swell - “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…”
The Origami Lab - For centuries, origami patterns had at most thirty steps; now they can have hundreds and scientists have started applying its techniques to medical, electrical, optical, and nano-technical problems…”
Shoot the Moon - “White men in suits follow Felipe Lopez everywhere he goes. They are ubiquitous. They rarely miss one of Felipe’s games or tournaments…”
Do We Transcend Before or After We Purchase the Commemorative Eel Cakes? - “Climbing Mount Fuji, where nature, religion, sport, and schlock form the most holy of alliances.”
The Congo Sound - “Hervé Halfon owns a record store on the Rue des Plantes, in Montparnasse, just a few Métro stops from the Eiffel Tower but spiritually closer to Avenue Gambela, in Congo…”
La Matadora Revisa Su Maquillaje (The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup) - “People think that because I kill bulls I have to be really brave, but I’m not. I’m a sensitive person, and I can get super-terrified. I’m afraid of staying home by myself, and I get hysterical if I see a spider.”
Meet The Shaggs - “Depending on whom you ask, the Shaggs were either the best band of all time or the worst…”
Orchid Fever - “Generally speaking, orchids seem to drive people crazy. The people who love orchids love them madly, but the passion for orchids is not necessarily a passion for beauty…”
Economics, Work & Society
Suds for Drugs by Ben Paynter
Are coders worth it? by James Somers
Home Economics by Stephen Marche
The Secret World of the Shipping Industry by Rose George
The American Cloud by Venkatesh Rao
Meet The Dread Pirate Roberts by Andy Greenberg
Technology & the Internet
Emoticon, Emoji, Text by Tom McCormack
Inside the fall of BlackBerry by Sean Silcoff, Jacquie McNish and Steve Ladurantaye
I Am An Object Of Internet Ridicule, Ask Me Anything by C. D. Hermelin
Two-Hit Wonder by D. T. Max
Scrubbed by Graeme Wood
What’s wrong with the modern world by Jonathan Franzen
The Poorest Rich Kids in the World by Danielle Levitt
The Ghost Rapes of Bolivia by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky
Carjack victim recounts his harrowing night by Eric Moskowitz
Murder By Craigslist by Hanna Rosin
A Loaded Gun by Patrick Radden Keefe
Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail? - “Financial crooks brought down the world’s economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them.”
The Great American Bubble Machine - “The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money…”
How Wall St. Copies the Mob - “How America’s biggest banks took part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy - until they were caught on tape.”
How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform - “How the banks strangled the Dodd-Frank law — with a big assist from Congress and the White House.”
The Big Takeover - “How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution”
The Real Housewives of Wall Street - “Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?”
Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle - “Goldman Sachs and other big banks aren’t just pocketing the trillions we gave them to rescue the economy — they’re re-creating the conditions for another crash.”
Looting Main Street - “How the nation’s biggest banks are ripping off American cities with the same predatory deals that brought down Greece.”
Secrets and Lies of the Bailout - The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come…
The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever - How and why there’s no price the big banks can’t fix
Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail - How HSBC hooked up with drug traffickers and terrorists. And got away with it
How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests - “Much more than a movement against big banks, they’re a rejection of what our society has become.”
Why Sports Are for Losers - “There is a dirty truth that professional sports keeps hidden from fans, i.e., guys like you and me who spend winter after winter wondering, What if? And that truth is: Watching sports sucks.
You Can’t Kill the Rooster - “Use the word y’all and, before you knew it, you’d find yourself in a haystack French-kissing an underage goat.”
Three - A trio of the best Sedaris stories including The Youth in Asia, Jesus Shaves and Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities
Old Lady Down the Hall - Her name was Rocky. She was my neighbor. I hated her guts. She was my best friend.
Undecided Voters -“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 Man Upstairs - “What religious people call fate, I call luck, and what they call God’s will, I call bad luck.”
Journey Into Night - “That’s Business Elite for you. Spend eight thousand dollars on a ticket and, if you want an extra thirteen cents’ worth of ice cream, all you have to do is ask.”
The Man Who Mistook His Hat for a Meal - “My father has always had some questionable eating habits, but this is getting ridiculous.”
Laugh, Kookaburra -“One burner represents your family, one is your friends, the third is your health, and the fourth is your work. In order to be successful you have to cut off one of your burners.”
Guy Walks into a Bar Car - “We’ll kiss … now, I kept thinking. Then, O.K… . now. And on it went, more torturous by the second.”
Six to Eight Black Men - “The words silly and unrealistic were redefined when I learned that, in Holland, Saint Nicholas travels with what was consistently described as “six to eight black men.”
Never Forget - “In 1975, in Cambodia, there was a regime so evil that it created an antisociety where torture was currency and music, books, and love were abolished… ”
A Voyage to the Sun - “In a sealed chamber in the desert Southwest lies the heart of a machine that could change the world. A machine called Z.”
The Suicide Catcher - “In the rapidly modernizing, constantly churning city of Nanjing, China, there is a bridge where many come to end their lives. Most end up in the Yangtze River, but some are pulled back from the brink by an odd and unlikely angel.”
The Flight Of the Fluttering Swallows - “It is estimated that unaccompanied child refugees from North Korea number nearly 10,000 in China, but only about 100 of them have made it to the Promised Land, South Korea, in the last five years.”
The Man Who Wouldn’t Die - “Olympic hero Rulon Gardner has fallen off trucks, tumbled off tractors, and gotten stuck in a baler. He has been impaled on an arrow, broken his neck, and gashed his knee clean to the bone…”
The Man Who Sailed His House - “Two days after the Japanese tsunami, after the waves had left their destruction, as rescue workers searched the ruins, news came of an almost surreal survival: Miles out at sea, a man was found, alone, riding on nothing but the roof of his house.”
The Fast Track to Dharma - “60 Degrees Straight Down, Mind the Boulders and Avalanches. A postcard from La Grave, France - alpinism’s new lost horizon.”
The World’s Luckiest Village by Michael Paterniti - It was a tiny town of farmers, a village where everyone knew everyone and nearly all struggled to make ends meet. But then, a few days before Christmas, they won the largest lottery in the history of Spain. The entire town. All of them.
The Last Meal - “A two-ounce songbird. A lemon-sized tumor. An imperial appetite for death, flesh, and the immortal gesture. It was time for dinner.”
The Greatest Chef In The World - The true tale of the alchemical miracles and transcendental gastronomy of Ferran Adriá, the world’s greatest chef.
The End - The era that defined Wall Street is finally, officially over. What went wrong?
The Man Who Crashed the World - How one man (almost) single-handedly destroyed the world’s biggest insurance company.
Betting on the Blind Side - How one investor spotted the huge bubble in the subprime-mortgage bond market, in 2004, and created a way to bet against it.
The Trading Desk - For the past four years, working with one of the lowest payrolls in the game, the Oakland A’s have won as many regular-season games as almost any other team. How on earth did they do it?
The Ballad of Big Mike - Every other high-school football player in America was dying for Lemming to invite him to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Michael Oher had left his invitation on the table…
The No-Stats All-Star - His greatness is not marked in box scores or at slam-dunk contests, but on the court Shane Battier makes his team better, often much better, and his opponents worse, often much worse.
Jonathan Lebed’s Extracurricular Activities - On Sept. 20, 2000, the SEC settled its case against a 15-year-old high-school student named Jonathan Lebed, the first minor ever to face proceedings for stock-market fraud.
Faking It - In a fast changing economy, children enjoy one big advantage over adults: they haven’t decided who they are.
The Subversive - McCain wanted to change the way politicians paid for their campaigns. Private money, he said, was corrupting public life.
J-School Confidential - What do they teach at the Columbia Journalism School?