Posts Tagged "compelling read"

The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist

Man enters bank. Man robs bank. Man leaves bank with money… and with a bomb still locked around his neck. When captured by police a short while later, Brian Wells claimed he was assaulted, fixed with the bomb, and forced to rob the bank. Was this pizza deliveryman an innocent, caught in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or…

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The High Is Always the Pain and the Pain Is Always the High

Jay Caspian Kang writes an incredibly open and stark account of the gambling life in his essay entitled The High Is Always the Pain and the Pain Is Always the High. He talks about his gambling friends, poker celebrities like Mike Matusow and Phil Hellmuth, and what it feels like to lose $18,000 in 36 hours. Playing poker, after all,…

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The Convicts and Cats Inside the Indiana State Prison

Located in Michigan City, IN, the Indiana State prison is a maximum security detention facility, where approximate 70% of the inmates are there for murder. What started as a chance encounter with a litter of kittens has since transformed into an officially sponsored program. I have never once seen an offender kill his own cat. We screen them to be…

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The Mystery of the Tainted Cocaine

There is something strange going on with the cocaine coming in to the United States. Typically, additional ingredients like sugar, baking powder or laxatives are added to pure cocaine, to dilute the potency and increase quantity. Known as “cutting agents,” it’s filler – stuff to make it appear as though there’s more drug than is actually there. Recently, amounts of…

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GQ Interviews the Cast of Goodfellas, 20 Years Later

GQ has a fascinating article about the classic gangster movie Goodfellas. Looking back on the film, it’s hard to believe it was made 20 years ago. The article features a mind-boggling number of brief interviews, with many (many) of the actors and folks behind the scenes. In addition to commentary from Scorsese, De Niro, Pesci and Liotta… there are brief…

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Writing the Right Stuff: NASA’s Elite Coders

Near the Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake, Texas, a group of programmers enter line after line of near-perfect code for NASA. Known as the “on-board shuttle group,” these coders make the software that handles over $4 billion in equipment – where a miscalculation that’s 2/3 of a second off can put the space shuttle 3 miles off course. Charles…

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Ant Invasion

In his Esquire article Invasion, Tom Junod writers a harrowing account of how Argentine ants invaded (and infested) his home. I’m a fan of ants, and am really awed at how they work as a collective. That said, there were still some cringe-worthy moments that had me shaking my head in disbelief. The sheer number of ants in general, compared…

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Japan’s Hikikomori: Teens Who Have Withdrawn From the World

The Japanese term hikikomori roughly translates to “withdrawal,” and refers to a person who has shut themselves in their rooms for six months or longer, with little to no social contact. More than just a phase or typical teenage brooding, the length and depth of withdrawal is incredibly alarming, particularly for those young men who feel there is no place…

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The Turn: Elegant, Mysterious and Deceptive

The Turn is an incredibly compelling article about a procedure that seems routine to anyone who’s traveled by plane. But there is a great deal more that happens when a pilot executes a banked turn. Pilot and writer William Langewiesche tackles a complex topic, but does so in a way that makes it easily understandable by the layman. There’s a…

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Can IBM’s Watson Beat Humans in a Game of Jeopardy?

In 1997, IBM created a computer named Deep Blue, and set up a chess match with the then world champion Garry Kasparov. After a mistake by Kasparov in the opening of the sixth game, Deep Blue became the first computer to ever beat a chess grand master. The latest computer to emerge from IBM is nicknamed Watson, and boasts the…

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The Price Is Perfect

Terry Kniess did whaat no one else has done, in the thirty-eight years that the Price is Right gameshow has been on television: he came up with the perfect number. In the final event on the show (the Showcase Showdown), two contestants are shown different sets of items. They sometimes include vacation packages, cars, a mixture of items. Each contestant…

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Reality Trip: Slaterspeed’s Urban Exploration Blog

Wow. Stop what you’re doing, and head over to Reality Trip, the blog of urban explorer that documents his findings in both images and words. There are some breathtaking shots on there, and entry after entry is incredibly compelling. You know how you just can get sucked in to a website – the more you see, the more there is?…

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Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

According to Mario Vittone, the normal images we associate with drowning come from the movies and television… and they’re all wrong. His article, entitled Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning is definitely a must-read, if you’re going to be anywhere near the water. There’s a difference between aquatic distress and actual drowning: a person in aquatic distress can yell or signal…

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The Thriller Diaries

The Thriller Diaries is a nice look back on the seminal 1983 music video by Michael Jackson – a 14 minute horror spoof that changed the way everyone saw music videos ever after. There’s a lot of behind the scenes stories in the article, and it very much feels like you’re able to glimpse the inner workings of how the…

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William Wesley: The Most Powerful Man in Sports?

I’m not a big sports person but I found this GQ article about William Wesley, entitled Is This the Most Powerful Man in Sports? pretty fascinating to read. Wesley seems like the ultimate person who knows everybody, able to ring up Michael Jordan or Jay-Z on a whim. He seems to be ever present, in the most unlikely of places….

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