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 Line - The Wager
What The Bagel Man Saw - Why We Steal
The Gift Card Economy - Best Buy’s $16 Million Windfall
The Seatbelt Solution - A Car-Seat Crash Test
Selling Soap - The Petri-Dish Screen Saver
Click the names below for collections of our favourite reads:
Atlas Obsucra ‘showcases places in our world that prove there’s plenty left to discover, if you only start looking at things differently’. We asked Sarah Brumble, the brains behind the site’s tumblr to pick her all-time favourite articles for us. This is what she chose:
The Honor System by Chris Jones - An exposition of stolen magic tricks that blooms into a rumination on the intersection of beauty, mystery, crushing reality, and human nature.
Around Alone by Maggie Shipstead - I love this history of mad men at sea and the temporal coincidence of the moon landing, tied together by the question of why we bother undertaking such endeavors at all. A portrait of human eccentricity and curiosity…
Mister Lytle by John Jeremiah Sullivan - I return to this piece when I’m feeling listless in my life, whether it be professional or geographical in nature, for its ability to reinforce that extraordinary meaning can be found in ordinary circumstance, even by people who (mis)take themselves for average.
Green Screen: The Lack of Female Road Narratives and Why It Matters by Venessa Veselka - The “quest is elemental to the human experience,” yet women are received differently than men when out in the world. This explanation of the cause and proposed solution to this serious issue is fascinating.
The Squid Hunter by David Grann - (Submitted by Dylan Thuras, co-founder of Atlas Obscura). This hunt for a quasi-mythical creature is a must-read for those of us hellbent on curiosity, wonder, and discovery.
What’s the Most Delicious Thing You’ve Eaten? by Bill Buford - A haunting (yet strangely appealing?), visceral description of slaughtering a pig in France before drinking its blood… as part of making blood sausage, guys… we’re not satanists!
As Freezing Persons Recollect the Snow—First Chill—Then Stupor—Then the Letting Go by Peter Stark - I live in Minneapolis; Stark provided me with very important information here. It also put into perspective the conditions surrounding all the attempts at summiting Everest, reaching the South Pole, etc.
The Marineland Dreamland by Craig Davidson - Inside the seedier portions of the theme parks and attractions that help to shape our young brains. A poignant rumination on memory, storytelling, and how we internalize dubious events in our lives.
You Should Date An Illiterate Girl by Charles Warnke - This resonated because it deals with the power of reading to expand one’s conception and expectations of life.
Oil of Dog by Ambrose Bierce - Ambrose Bierce is the king of ranging far and wide, mysterious endings, and black humor. This is my favorite of his pieces for its darkly funny take on society’s interaction with early medical history.
I See A Little Silhouetto of a Man (Scaramouche, Scaramouche Will You Do the Fandango?) by Ian Frazier - The first time I read this I laughed so hard I cried and had to stop mid-sentence until I’d wiped the tears from my eyes to see enough to finish…
The Ice Palace by F. Scott Fitzgerald - An overlooked gem about the wide variety of cultures within the United States. Fitzgerald’s writing is always brilliant.
Plus a bonus book recommendation:
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard - A nonfiction classic that teaches you how to really see the world around you.
If you believe that there’s ‘something new under the sun, every day, and it’s probably surprising as hell.’ Or if you’re looking for ‘flaming holes in the ground, glass flowers, homes built entirely out of paper, books bound in human skin, miniature cities…’ make sure your check out Atlas Obscura!