Posts Tagged "compelling read"

The Incredible Buddha Boy

“The Hyatt lobby is empty except for rows of Buddha statues: a maze with no guests. The Business Center manageress not only has heard of the boy but is also of the opinion that he is being fed by snakes. Their venom, she says, is actually milk to him.”

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The Flying Tomato Would Rather You Not Call Him That Anymore

“When White was 15, he flew to Sapporo for the Toyota Big Air contest. Some of the other riders gathered before the event to discuss dividing the purse – including the winner’s $50,000 and a Japanese car – regardless of how they placed. White refused to go along and won. The promoters gave him an extra $15,000 cash instead of the car. White kept the $65,000 for himself.”

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Tom Rasberry, Mike the Hog-a-Nator, and the Crazy Ants That Are Slowly Taking Over Texas

“Entomologists report that the crazy ants, like other ants, seem drawn to electronic devices – car stereos, circuit boxes, machinery. But with crazy ants, so many will stream inside a device that they form a single, squirming mass that completes a circuit and shorts it. Crazy ants have ruined laptops this way and, according to one exterminator, have also temporarily shut down chemical plants.”

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An Introvert’s Guide to Better Presentations

“The next step is to realize that those hundreds of pairs of eyes aren’t there to kill you, but to learn from you. They’re not lions and you’re not a zebra separated from the pack, they’re all monkeys and you’re the prettiest monkey and they desperately want you to tell them where the best bananas are located that will turn them into pretty monkeys as well.”

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The Allure of Automation in an Imperfect World

“Automation has become so sophisticated that on a typical passenger flight, a human pilot holds the controls for a grand total of just three minutes. What pilots spend a lot of time doing is monitoring screens and keying in data. They’ve become, it’s not much of an exaggeration to say, computer operators.”

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One Strap or Two: The Gradual Shift in Backpack Wearing As Determined by Time, Pop Culture, and Some Dude Named Tom Ferguson

For many, the idea of one-strapping was silly or uncool, or never even occurred to them. “I wore my backpack with both straps, as did most people,” wrote one 2010 graduate. “I don’t remember ever having a conversation about how to wear a backpack in high school; no one seemed to notice.” “I think one-strapping, even temporarily, is unnecessary and unhelpful,” wrote one 13-year-old. A former college classmate of mine even told me, “I now teach sixth grade and it’s all about the backpacks with the extra straps and clasps. All straps on, all clasps closed.”

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Thomas Lynch: The Undertaking

Today, I was reminded of Thomas Lynch’s excellent book The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade. Lynch is an undertaking by profession, but an excellent, excellent essayist. I first came across his writing while in graduate school, and I found them incredibly moving. I find myself going back to this book at least once a year, and always find great joy in reading his words.

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Chuck Feeney: The Billionaire Who Is Trying To Go Broke

“Chuck Feeney is the James Bond of philanthropy. Over the last 30 years he’s crisscrossed the globe conducting a clandestine operation to give away a $7.5 billion fortune derived from hawking cognac, perfume and cigarettes in his empire of duty-free shops. […] Few living people have given away more, and no one at his wealth level has ever given their fortune away so completely during their lifetime.”

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Huey Lewis’s Old, Weird America

While Liz and I were driving to Michigan for her birthday roadtrip, I remember seeing a sign along the highway advertising an upcoming show by Huey Lewis and the News. I was surprised to see that the band was still around, and still playing venues (though the venues seemed to be smaller ones). Even after all this time, after all…

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David Lee Roth Will Not Go Quietly

For years [Roth] went on ambulance calls all over New York City, and found that a life in the music business was good preparation for rushing to the aid of grievously injured people in the less picturesque corners of the city. “My skills were serious,” he says. “Verbal judo, staying calm in the face of hyper-accelerated emotion. Same bizarre hours. Same keening velocity.”

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