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What Ever Happened to the Russian Revolution?
"The pattern had been set. The secret police would kill whom they chose, Bolshevik power would be absolute, and violence would be used not just for strategic purposes but to terrify. The murder of the Romanovs upped the ante for the new government; now there could be no return. The ghastly way forward led through the grain requisi­tions of the next few years, and the bloody suppression of the sailors’ rebellion at the Kronstadt naval base in 1921, and the war on the peasants, and the forced mass starvations, and the rise of Stalin’s terror in the ’30s, and the one million who died in the labor camps in 1937-38 alone. Historians estimate that before the end of the Soviet Union the Bolshevik revolution resulted in the deaths of perhaps 60 million people."
a:Ian-Frzazier  p:Smithsonian-Magazine★  d:2017.10  w:16500  history  Russia  government  violence  from instapaper
14 days ago
Can Special Effects Be Special Again?
"Franklin and Lambert furthered that process on Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, which also mostly avoided using green screens. This time, instead of using projectors to throw images on a screen, they built a massive wraparound high-definition LED screen outside of the set, so that performers could act against images that otherwise would have been added months later in post. The intensely beautiful X-15 experimental flight sequence that opens the film was shot this way, and the realism achieved also meant that the camera captured little offhand details that would have taken VFX artists weeks to do with computers. 'Because you had the content on the screen, when you see Ryan [Gosling] bursting through the atmosphere, you can then see the beautiful chromatic shift on the horizon,' recalls Lambert. 'That shot is in camera; Ryan is actually looking at the horizon. It’s reflected in his visor, and *it’s reflected in his eye*. I used to do that work myself. I used to be a compositor. I know how tricky it is to do that in post.'"
a:Bilge-Ebiri  p:Vulture★★  d:2018.12.10  w:3500  film  technology  acting  from instapaper
17 days ago
Why Does Mount Rushmore Exist?
"Funding for Mount Rushmore was touch-and-go, as was political and public support. But Borglum would not give up. The project took far longer, and cost far more money, than anyone could have imagined. Logistics were murderously complex. Men were lowered over the rock face on sling chairs; carving was done mainly with dynamite and jackhammers. At one point, a crack running through the stone threatened to break Thomas Jefferson’s nose, so his face was blown off the mountain and started again in a different spot."
a:Sam-Anderson★★  p:The-New-York-Times-Magazine★★  d:2017.03.22  w:3500  USA  nature  from instapaper
17 days ago
Behind the Cellar Door
"I took a sip, then another. I felt something. What? Did anyone else feel it? I looked around. The adults were talking about what they always talked about—how the wine tasted (notes of peach, white pepper, and chocolate), where the grapes were grown, and how it had rained at the right time on the 1959 crop. They talked about everything but the most basic fact about the wine: the feeling it gave you. It felt as though my good spirits had emerged from a cave in my lower jaw where they usually hid away, like Puff the Magic Dragon breathing flaming 151-proof rum. It was a revelation, but no one at the table spoke a word about it, and I quickly learned to conceal the feeling. That was my first lesson."
a:John-Seabrook  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2017.01.23  w:6000  process  alcohol  wine  family  from instapaper
17 days ago
Dear Santa: An NBA wish list for 2019, including KD in the Bay and a Great White North Christmas
"Picture this for next Christmas: Kevin Durant and Kristaps Porzingis are lacing up their holiday sneakers as they prepare to play their first Christmas game together as Knicks teammates at Madison Square Garden. Across the Brooklyn Bridge, the Nets are a few hours away from their turn on the Christmas Day national stage now that they have Kyrie Irving, Khris Middleton and No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson. It's possible for New York basketball to be back, following an Empire State-sized blockbuster summer, when both teams lure stars to NYC with their ample salary-cap space and the Nets get some lottery luck. KD, Kyrie, Unicorn and Zion all in New York -- it's a Broadway ending that not even Spike Lee could dream up."
a:Malika-Andrews  a:Kevin-Arnovitz★  a:Ian-Begley  a:Tim-Bontemps  a:Nick-DePaula  a:Nick-Friedell  a:Chris-Herring  a:Jackie-MacMullan  a:Bobby-Marks  a:Kevin-Pelton  a:Mike-Schmitz  a:Andre-Snellings  a:Michael-C-Wright  a:Royce-Young  a:Ohm-Youngmisuk  p:ESPN★★  d:2018.12.25  w:2500  NBA  future  NYC  Kevin-Durant  from instapaper
18 days ago
How the '4-point line' and other court markings are changing the NBA
"'I would always try to extend my range farther and farther because I wasn't getting much taller,' says Young, who is listed at 6-foot-2. 'The farther I shoot, people weren't expecting that.' Lloyd not only wants Young to shoot from the 4-point line but to make plays from there, too. Expanding the floor outward, in turn, creates space in the paint for big men such as second-year breakout John Collins. If a guard like Young can initiate a play from behind the 4-point line, defenses are forced to cover more ground and, eventually, make difficult choices and compromises."
a:Malika-Andrews  p:ESPN★★  d:2018.12.18  w:2500  NBA  basketball  visualization  from instapaper
23 days ago
Gridlock in the sky
"The two industries say they are now working closely together to help find a solution. And they agree that the FAA closes off more airspace than it should. What’s more, the agency relies on an antiquated system that can see only airplanes in real time and does not have the ability to track rockets and spacecraft as they move through the atmosphere. Instead, the controllers have to manually enter the flight path data of a rocket in the airspace — a system that can be prone to error and that some derisively call 'sneaker net', meaning someone has to run that data across the room to the controllers. 'The FAA does not use the resources that are out there and available to effectively manage control of the airspace,' said Eric Stallmer, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. 'There’s a great deal of innovation and technology that could help alleviate a great number of these problems.' As a result, the FAA often shuts down the airspace for hours, even though the rockets streak through it in a matter of minutes, or even seconds."
a:Christian-Davenport  a:John-Muyskens  a:Youjin-Shin  a:Monica-Ulmanu  p:The-Washington-Post★★  d:2018.12  w:2500  future  aviation  SpaceX  regulation  from instapaper
25 days ago
Meet the Safecracker of Last Resort
"I spent more than six months shadowing Santore because I wanted to know what the city looks like through the eyes of a safecracker, a person for whom no vault is an actual barrier and no safe is truly secure. There are a lot of safecrackers, I learned, but the good ones, like Santore, live in a state of magical realism, suspended somewhere between technology and superstition. The safecracker sees what everyone else has been hiding—the stashed cash and jewels, the embarrassing photographs. He is a kind of human X-ray revealing the true, naked secrets of a city."
a:Geoff-Manaugh★★  p:The-Atlantic★★  d:2018.12.13  w:3500  Los-Angeles  privacy  security  from instapaper
25 days ago
Apple’s New Map
"Traditional maps are half shapes, half labels—but satellite and AR maps drop the shapes, and keep just the labels. And this spells trouble for Apple. Nor does Apple appear to be making labels out of its shapes. Unless they’re already listed on Yelp, none of the shapes Apple has added appear in its search results or are labeled on its map. And this is a problem for Apple because AR is all about labels—but Apple’s new map is all about shapes. So is Apple making the right map?"
a:Justin-O'Beirne★★  p:Justin-O'Beirne★★  d:2018.11  w:4000  analysis  maps  Apple-Maps  Google-Maps  future  self-driving-cars  from instapaper
26 days ago
Critics of a Student Debt Jubilee Are Right (and Wrong)
"This is what the debate over a student debt jubilee feels like to many on the left. As indicated above, such progressives have a simple response to arguments like Leonhardt’s: Yes, when framed as an alternative to increasing aid to the poor, forgiving all student debt is regressive — but why on earth should we frame it that way? Why suggest that any public funds spent on the middle class will have to come out of the pockets of the poor, when there’s so much fat to be trimmed from the Pentagon’s budget and the one percent’s trust funds? Leonhardt would likely respond with an appeal to political realism: In 2021, there aren’t going to be congressional majorities for expropriating the one percent’s wealth, or massively reducing the military-industrial complex’s allowance. And yet, appealing to political realism cuts both ways. If the legislative process is inevitably going to moderate progressive policy ideas, then why should figures like Ocasio-Cortez begin that process by negotiating with themselves? It is easier to mobilize movements around simple, maximalist proposals like 'cancel all student debt' and 'free college (or vocational training)' then to do around carefully calibrated, technocratic ones — and mobilizing a movement for student-debt relief is probably a prerequisite for passing the smaller-bore reforms that Leonhardt endorses."
a:Eric-Levitz  p:New-York-Magazine/Daily-Intelligencer★  d:2018.11.20  w:2000  class  taxes  politics  from instapaper
28 days ago
Why can’t we cure the common cold?
"Over the next decade, as the techniques for isolating cold viruses were refined, it became clear that there were many more rhinoviruses than first predicted. Researchers realised it would not be possible to make a vaccine in the traditional way. Producing dozens of single-serotype vaccines, each one targeting a different strain, would be impractical. The consensus that a rhinovirus vaccine was not possible deepened. The last human clinical trial took place in 1975. Then, in January last year, an editorial appeared in the Expert Review of Vaccines that once again raised the prospect of a vaccine. The article was co-authored by a group of the world’s leading respiratory disease specialists based at Imperial College London. It was worded cautiously, yet the claim it made was striking. 'Perhaps the quest for an RV [rhinovirus] vaccine has been dismissed as too difficult or even impossible,' it said, 'but new developments suggest that it may be feasible to generate a significant breadth of immune protection.' The scientists were claiming to be on the way to solving a riddle that has stumped virologists for decades. One virologist told me it was as if a door that had been closed for many, many years had been re-opened."
a:Nicola-Davidson  p:The-Guardian★★  d:2017.10.06  w:4500  medicine  pharmaceuticals  from instapaper
29 days ago
This Is 40: How Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter Prepare for NBA Games
"In eight minutes on Sunday night against Sacramento, Nowitzki contributed three points and four rebounds. He kissed a gorgeous, trademark banker off the glass during his six-minute debut the prior contest. Those 14 minutes literally required over five hours of cumulative preparation. 'That’s what it takes these days, unfortunately,' Nowitzki says."
a:Jake-Fischer  p:Sports-Illustrated/The-Crossover★★  d:2018.12.17  w:2000  NBA  health  fitness  from instapaper
29 days ago
How Are D.C.'s Fast Casuals Doing a Decade Into the Boom That Changed How We Eat?
"A decade into D.C.’s fast casual boom, the city is starting to see a shake up due to increased competition, labor challenges, and rising rents. In the past 14 months, hoagie slinger Taylor Gourmet closed all of its stores; sushi burrito company Buredo consolidated from five restaurants to two; Philly import honeygrow shuttered its D.C. proper location; TaKorean closed on U Street NW; and futuristic fast casual restaurant eatsa, which had outlets on K Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, shut down its D.C. and New York restaurants."
a:Laura-Hayes  p:Washington-City-Paper/Young&Hungry★★  d:2018.11.29  w:2000  DC  restaurants  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
How This All Happened
"If you fell asleep in 1945 and woke up in 2018 you would not recognize the world around you. The amount of growth that took place during that period is virtually unprecedented. If you learned that there have been no nuclear attacks since 1945, you’d be shocked. If you saw the level of wealth in New York and San Francisco, you’d be shocked. If you compared it to the poverty of Detroit, you’d be shocked. If you saw the price of homes, college tuition, and health care, you’d be shocked. Our politics would blow your mind. And if you tried to think of a reasonable narrative of how it all happened, my guess is you’d be totally wrong. Because it isn’t intuitive, and it wasn’t foreseeable 73 years ago."
a:Morgan-Housel  p:Collaborative-Fund  d:2018.11.14  w:5000  USA  history  economics  World-War-II  Great-Recession  personal-finance  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Edmund White on Writing About Gay Sex
"The sexiest thing to me was the trucks at the Chelsea piers. All the trucks would be parked over there and people would go into the trucks and have sex late at night. Men would stand between the trucks, waiting to be serviced. Guys would come over from Jersey wanting their dicks sucked. Fags like us would get under the truck, and suck them off like an assembly line, one after another. That was the best. Very romantic. [laughs]"
a:T-Cole-Rachel  a:Edmund-White  p:The-Creative-Independent  d:2016.11.03  w:2500  interview  writing  gay  sex  NYC  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Lunch with M.
"'Excellent,' Maxime said. I asked her what she liked about it. 'It’s not really a "like" and a "not like",' she said. 'It’s an *analysis*. You’re eating it and you’re looking for the quality of the products. At this level, they have to be top quality. You’re looking at "Was every single element prepared exactly perfectly, technically correct?" And then you’re looking at the creativity. Did it work? Did the balance of ingredients work? Was there good texture? Did everything come together? Did something overpower something else? Did something not work with something else? The pistachios—everything was perfect.' When her second appetizer arrived, she dipped the tines of her fork into a thick line of dark-green sauce that bisected the narrow rectangle of crab toast, and touched it to her tongue. Her eyes grew wide. 'This sauce is really good,' she said. 'It’s so Jean-Georges. He does this French-and-Asian thing.' She warned me that she would need a few seconds to figure out its precise ingredients. (She refused to divulge them, on the ground that Vongerichten would consider the recipe 'a trade secret'.) 'It’s so complex,' she said. 'It makes me smile.'"
a:John-Colapinto  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2009.11.23  w:5500  restaurants  France  NYC  food  analysis  process  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
‘Yeah, I’m Not for Everyone.’
"An incomplete list of things Dunham has been asked to apologize for: the nondiverse casting on Girls; casting Donald Glover as a black Republican boyfriend the season after she got in trouble for having an all-white cast; saying in an interview, 'No one would be calling me a racist if they knew how badly I wanted to fuck Drake'; declaring herself 'thin for, like, Detroit'; writing a New Yorker essay called 'Dog or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz'; constantly being naked; tweeting a photo of herself wearing a scarf around her head like a hijab; accusing a Spanish magazine of airbrushing her photos (it did not); comparing Bill Cosby to the Holocaust; giving Horvath a brown baby at the end of Girls (and casting a baby that was Puerto Rican and Haitian, not half-Pakistani, as the script dictated); comparing the reading of negative Jezebel coverage to getting beaten in the face by an abusive husband; accusing NFL player Odell Beckham Jr. of not wanting to sleep with her; saying she disliked India because of the visible poverty; apologizing but never learning."
a:Allison-P-Davis  p:New-York-Magazine/The-Cut★  d:2018.11.25  w:7000  Lena-Dunham  race  celebrities  health  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
No coups occurred in 2018. Will next year be so stable?
"Coups can create a vicious cycle of political instability. Of the 12 African nations that have seen coup attempts since 2007, half – including Guinea Bissau and Burkina Faso – have had multiple coups. A long national history of military ousters makes nondemocratic transfers of power seem normal, leading to more coups."
a:Clayton-Besaw  p:The-Conversation  d:2018.12.13  w:1000  visualization  government  Africa  history  future  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
In The Courts: The State of NBA Betting
"Spillane believes it’s hard to imagine the NBA expands its injury-reporting policy to include injuries that might affect performance without 'hundreds of reports being filed constantly' by NBA teams. 'While it’s a fair question to raise, it’s not obvious how you would construct a rule that would require disclosure of that kind of thing without becoming all-encompassing and requiring a much more burdensome, intrusive and wide-range of disclosures than we have today,' Spillane says."
a:Tom-Haberstroh★  p:NBC-Sports  d:2018.12.13  w:3000  NBA  gambling  law  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Is Science Slowing Down?
"I’m not saying that no trendline has ever changed. Moore’s Law seems to be legitimately slowing down these days. The Dark Ages shifted every macrohistorical indicator for the worse, and the Industrial Revolution shifted every macrohistorical indicator for the better. Any of these sorts of things could happen again, easily. I’m just saying that 'Oh, that exponential trend can’t possibly continue' has a really bad track record. I do not understand the Gods Of Straight Lines, and honestly they creep me out. But I would not want to bet against them."
a:Scott-Alexander★★★  p:Slate-Star-Codex★★★  d:2018.11.26  w:2500  science  history  future  artificial-intelligence  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
A day in the life of Lloyd Squires, Vermont's 'best' bagel maker
"There were three main jobs at St-Viateur, he says: bagging, rolling and baking. Myer had told Lloyd that as he worked his way up, he'd make more money. Lloyd retold this story, laughing, because he learned that the increased pay didn't come from a better hourly rate, but from the longer hours required: baggers worked 20, rollers worked 40 and bakers worked 75."
a:Evan-Weiss  p:Burlington-Free-Press  d:2018.11.19  w:2500  food  work  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Three-point revolution? LeBron's noticed
"During James' last four seasons in Cleveland, multiple Cavs sources put James' deep 3s in one of two categories: Either it was a sign of him being in a great groove, looking to land a dagger and light up the crowd, or it was just the opposite, LeBron launching from out there almost out of protest by how his teammates were approaching the game, as if to say, 'OK, you want to play that way? Fine, I'll just keep bombing from 30.' The result, according to one source: 'When he's pissed off, when he makes it, it's a great shot. When he misses it, he's mad anyway, so he doesn't care.'"
a:Dave-McMenamin★  p:ESPN★★  d:2018.12.13  w:2000  LeBron-James  Cavs  basketball  NBA  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Divided We Stand
"Interstate compacts have rarely been applied to controversial topics. Yet to a paralyzed Congress, and a president without any deeply held views about state-federal relations, they could prove an appealing vehicle to restless factions on both the left and the right. It may be time to take the country apart and put it back together, into a shape that better aligns with the divergent, and increasingly irreconcilable, political preferences of its people — or at least to consider what such a future might look like, if for no other reason than to test our own resolve. An imagined trial separation, if you will. Or perhaps in contemplating a future apart we might stumble upon a few ideas for some new way to live together after all."
a:Sasha-Issenberg  p:New-York-Magazine/Daily-Intelligencer★  d:2018.11.14  w:6500  USA  geography  politics  government  2004-election  2016-election  future  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
On the road with an NBA spy: The grinding work and lifestyle of an advance scout
"People have a finite amount of attention and this is certainly the case for our scout. He needs to prioritize, taking exactly what he needs in the moment and leaving everything else. When you’re, say, spying on both coaches in one game, basic game details slip away. 'Often, I can’t tell you if one team is up by 40 or down by 40,' he says. Our scout is only fixated on what teams are running, a focus on process that fully eclipses results. In the end, our scout lives inside this riddle: He watches games but does not see the score and he prepares for games he does not see at all. Such is life in the alternate time space."
a:Ethan-Strauss  p:The-Athletic  d:2018.12.12  w:5000  NBA  intelligence-gathering  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Welcomed spies: Tales from advance scouts around the NBA
"When you ask scouts about the toughest coach to observe, one name keeps popping up: Utah coach Quin Snyder. 'With all that twitching it’s tough to see what’s even a play call,' a Western Conference scout says. There is a recognized scout-favorite Synder gesture, though it was initially confusing to decode. The Jazz coach has a play called, 'Bourré', named for the card game popular among players. Snyder signals the call with an elaborate throw of imaginary dice. Initially, it was hard to know what the hell Snyder was doing. Once the play name was overheard, its gambling context clarified the gesture."
a:Ethan-Strauss  p:The-Athletic  d:2018.09.12  w:2000  NBA  intelligence-gathering  from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Good dogs
"At the outset of the American Kennel Club (AKC), the breed registry began to separate dogs into the Sporting and Non-Sporting categories. The show circuit used to separate simply by size, but as the number of dogs grew and breeds became more diverse, additional groups were created to codify similar dogs. The Terriers and the Hounds broke off from the Sporting dogs, while the Working group and Toy group emerged from Non-Sporting. Eventually, the Herding group grew out of the Working group at which point the AKC arrived at the current number of seven."
a:Travis-Hartman  p:Reuters  d:2018.02.11  w:1500  visualization  dogs  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
The Great Brazilian Sat-Hack Crackdown
"Much of this country's geography is remote, and beyond the reach of cellphone coverage, making American satellites an ideal, if illegal, communications option. The problem goes back more than a decade, to the mid-1990s, when Brazilian radio technicians discovered they could jump on the UHF frequencies dedicated to satellites in the Navy's Fleet Satellite Communication system, or FLTSATCOM. They've been at it ever since. Truck drivers love the birds because they provide better range and sound than ham radios. Rogue loggers in the Amazon use the satellites to transmit coded warnings when authorities threaten to close in. Drug dealers and organized criminal factions use them to coordinate operations. Today, the satellites, which pirates called 'Bolinha' or 'little ball', are a national phenomenon."
p:Wired★★  d:2009.04.20  w:1000  space  military  crime  communication  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
How the Bulls narrowly avoided a full-blown mutiny in Jim Boylen’s first week as head coach
"Friday was a feel-good day for the Bulls, Boylen’s first career victory and the first in eight games for Chicago. Boylen celebrated at home with his family, eating cereal on the couch and watching re-runs of Family Feud. Over the weekend, all hell broke loose."
a:Darnell-Mayberry  p:The-Athletic  d:2018.12.09  w:2000  NBA  leadership  culture  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
Salary cap analysis: How the Wizards got into this cap cataclysm ‒ and how they can get out of it
"Bradley Beal’s place in potential negotiations is interesting because he fits well on many teams and carries a much more manageable price tag. That combination also likely makes him the most likely to be moved by a (theoretical) pragmatic front office because they could play general managers off of each other, particularly because shooting guards are still scarce around the league. Beal trades could take a variety of different forms depending on what Washington wants and who is most enamored with him but it could involve a mix of young talent, draft assets and financial savings."
a:Danny-Leroux  p:The-Athletic  d:2018.12.10  w:1500  NBA  Wizards  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
On writing as work
"Interviews are not conversations: We learn early on to avoid friction and awkwardness and to pretend to understand, even when we don’t, in our interactions with strangers. As we should! But friction and awkwardness tend to be pretty revealing. You don’t need a lifelong friend at the end of an interview. You just need good answers.
Never go off the record: Are you solving the assassination of JFK? No? Then there is no reason to ever do this. 99% of the time they’ll just go on to tell you whatever it is on the record anyway."
a:Brandon-Stosuy  a:Zach-Baron★★  p:The-Creative-Independent  d:2018.11.29  w:3000  interview  writing  journalism  celebrities  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
The Inside Story of Mike Isabella's Fallen Empire
"The business was growing—Isabella had opened the Greek eatery Kapnos just north of U Street, and its sister sandwich bar, G. Yet as the company continued to grow, instead of adopting a corporate structure with a CEO and a human-resources department, Isabella 'kept everything in the family', as he put it. He promoted from within, doling out shares of the company among loyal employees turned friends. Four of them would later be accused of sexual harassment alongside him."
a:Jessica-Sidman★★  a:Anna-Spiegel  p:Washingtonian★★  d:2018.11.26  w:6000  restaurants  DC  gender  management  alcohol  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
The Economic Perspective On Moral Standards
"I think of society setting the targets for 'good person' a lot like a CEO setting the targets for 'good vacuum salesman'. If they’re attainable and linked to incentives – like praise, honor, and the right to feel proud of yourself – then they’ll make people put in an extra effort so they can end up in the 'good person' category. If they’re totally unattainable and nobody can ever be a good person no matter how hard they try, then nobody will bother trying. This doesn’t mean nobody will be good – some people are naturally good without hope for reward, just like some people will slave away for the vacuum company even when they’re underpaid and underappreciated. It just means you’ll lose the extra effort you would get from having a good incentive structure."
a:Scott-Alexander★★★  p:Slate-Star-Codex★★★  d:2018.11.16  w:3000  ethics  charity  incentives  economics  vegetarianism  pricing  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
The Mystery of the Havana Syndrome
"The request became a crucial sticking point in the negotiations. Much of the wrangling fell to Roberta Jacobson, the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. 'In nonpermissive environments, you have to be able to send a container that they won’t be able to look inside,' she explained. 'When we built our new Embassy in China, they gave us an unlimited quota for secure containers.' The Cubans argued that history had left them apprehensive, she recalled: 'They said to us, "You used your secure containers in the past to bring in materials for counter-revolutionary groups." Which is true—but we hadn’t really been doing that for some time. The thing is, you’d give a fax machine to a dissident and it would be seized the next day, so it was kind of pointless anyway.' After six months of negotiations, the Cubans grudgingly agreed to allow one container into the country without an inspection."
a:Adam-Entous  a:Jon-Lee-Anderson  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2018.11.19  w:10500  diplomacy  intelligence-gathering  Cuba  Barack-Obama  Donald-Trump  Russia  China  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
The 10 Guilty Pleasures of the 2018-19 NBA Season
"McGee's off-court work might lead the league. So far he’s doubled-down on his Twitter feud with Shaq, freestyled over Mexican food, and somehow simultaneously promoted 'the yeezy fanny pack, some speakers, and a sous vide cooker.' (His unrepentant and undying love of fanny packs is maybe my favorite thing about him or anyone else in the NBA.) He also recently threw on a Bo Jackson jersey and labeled himself a 'low-key Bo Jackson' because 'Bo Jackson do everything.' But dressing up as Bo wasn’t even his best costume to date. For Halloween, he went to the arena in a full, custom-made Grinch getup. Complete with a fanny pack, of course. He is 7 feet tall. That is a lot of fuzzy green fur. To really sell the bit, he also did his postgame interview in the outfit."
a:John-Gonzalez  p:The-Ringer★★  d:2018.12.04  w:3000  list  NBA  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
Housing Can’t Be Both Affordable and a Good Investment
"This sort of wealth building is predicated on a never-ending stream of new people who are willing and able to pay current home owners increasingly absurd amounts of money for their homes. It is, in other words, a massive up-front transfer of wealth from younger people to older people, on the implicit promise that when those young people become old, there will be new young people willing to give them even more money. And of course, as prices rise, the only young people able to buy into this Ponzi scheme are quite well-to-do themselves. And because we’re not talking about stocks, but homes, 'buying into this Ponzi scheme' means 'able to live in San Francisco'."
a:Daniel-Hertz  p:The-Atlantic/CityLab★★  d:2018.11.19  w:1000  housing  investing  San-Francisco  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
What if the Placebo Effect Isn’t a Trick?
"Like Franklin’s commission, the F.D.A. had determined that the only way to sort out the real from the fake in medicine was to isolate the imagination. It also echoed the royal panel by taking note of the placebo effect only long enough to dismiss it, giving it a strange dual nature: It’s included in clinical trials because it is recognized as an important part of every treatment, but it is treated as if it were not important in itself. As a result, although virtually every clinical trial is a study of the placebo effect, it remains underexplored — an outcome that reflects the fact that there is no money in sugar pills and thus no industry interest in the topic as anything other than a hurdle it needs to overcome."
a:Gary-Greenberg  p:The-New-York-Times-Magazine★★  d:2018.11.07  w:6000  medicine  pharmaceuticals  regulation  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
Field of dreams: heartbreak and heroics at the World Ploughing Championships
"In Cherry’s vision, all farmers would switch to no-till and the plough itself would become a relic. 'Our whole civilisation depends on us having healthy soil. We can’t afford to treat it with disdain,' he told me. His mission meets plenty of resistance: many farmers don’t want to change methods on which they’ve always relied. Nor is no-till perfect. As the plough no longer buries the weeds, no-till farmers still have to spray pesticides. You therefore can’t be both an organic farmer and no-till, as you still have to use chemicals. (To be both is the holy grail, as one ecologically minded farmer put it to me). But to the conservationists, spraying glyphosate is a minor interference compared with the aggressive upheaval caused by ploughing. Cherry likes to quote Franklin D Roosevelt’s 1937 letter to state governors after dust storms and floods had caused irreparable harm across rural America: 'The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself.'"
a:Sophie-Elmhirst  p:The-Guardian★★  d:2018.11.23  w:5500  agriculture  UK  sustainability  from instapaper
7 weeks ago
Our Friendship is Transitioning to a Paid Subscription Model
"Starting today, I am rolling out a number of new features — and a few old favorites — that will make Friendship Plus more fulfilling than any of its predecessors."
a:Chandler-Dean  p:McSweeney's★★★  d:2018.11.19  w:1000  satire  friendship  from instapaper
7 weeks ago
The Best Article Ever Written About Bragging
"Over the ensuing days, I reflected about how unpleasant I had found the exchange. Was I justified in feeling so repulsed by this guy or was I just being a sensitive snowflake? There was also a deeper question mulling around my mind, a psychological puzzle: It’s more-or-less common knowledge that everyone hates bragging, so why do people keep on doing it? One final riddle riddled me: Why was I repulsed by some people’s bragging behaviors, yet could tolerate — heck, in some special cases, was even riveted by — other’s? What was it that distinguished a repellent brag from a palatable one?"
a:Anonymous  p:Less-Penguiny  d:2018  w:9500  list  conversation  social-interaction  from instapaper
7 weeks ago
Space Harrier – Developer Interview Collection
"The thing with Nakayama was, if he saw that the graphics were complete in your game, he would tell you it was done and it was time to release it. Nevertheless, we couldn’t just hide the game from him and show him nothing when he came by. So I rigged up a little switch underneath my desk... (laughs) When I pressed that switch it would wipe the color RAM. You could wipe the color RAM, and it wouldn’t affect the rest of the game—everything would keep running, just the colors would get all glitched. To a layperson, it would look like the game wasn’t complete yet. Well, one time we did this, and randomly, the colors of the sky looked extremely striking. Then I used our development tool ICE to stop the CPU and extract the color RAM data, and those became the colors we used for Space Harrier."
a:Blackoak  p:shmuplations  w:3500  games  color  from instapaper
7 weeks ago
FiveThirtyEight Forecasts the National Dog Show
"This resulted in the following infographic. As is clear, each breed is represented by a circle. The size of the dot represents how many dogs there are of each breed, divided by how many contestants there were in the qualifying dog shows for that breed. The color of the dot indicates how big the dog is, times the country of origin of the breed. The Y-axis is the sum of a dog’s size (in cubic inches) and weight (in kilograms). The X-axis represents time, and also space. The Z-axis is invisible, but it’s incredibly important."
a:Matthew-Disler  p:McSweeney's★★★  d:2018.11.20  w:1000  satire  dogs  analysis  from instapaper
7 weeks ago
Markelle Fultz's Latest Shoulder Saga Could Have Legal Implications
"If Fultz believes his health problem could prove career-altering, there may be contractual considerations. In addition to his guaranteed 3-year, $25.1 million contract with the 76ers, Fultz has signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar endorsement deal with Nike. He may also have purchased insurance in the case of a career-ending injury. The obligation of Nike and an insurance company to pay Fultz could be impacted by the nature of his injury and whether there is agreement as to it precluding him from playing."
a:Michael-McCann★  p:Sports-Illustrated/The-Crossover★★  d:2018.11.20  w:2000  law  NBA  Sixers  contracts  from instapaper
7 weeks ago
The Sunburnt Country
"The White Australia Policy didn’t last. Over my grandfather’s lifetime, the policies meant to vouchsafe the British character of Australia were gradually dismantled. Waves of Southern European migrants arrived after World War Two. Another wave of Asian migration began around the time of the Vietnam War. By the time Australia reached the 1980s, the country was patting itself on the back for its multiculturalism, its inclusivity, and its friendliness. But Australia is not inclusive, and the thing it calls friendliness is a more insidious, unpredictable creature than it would lead you to believe."
a:Madeleine-Watts  p:Believer  d:2018.10.17  w:7500  Australia  history  race  health  from instapaper
8 weeks ago
Microsoft’s problem isn’t how often it updates Windows—it’s how it develops it
"The ad server is a critical Google service—it's how the company makes money, after all—and a bad change could easily cost millions of dollars. The testing and automation that Google has built into its development process means that a developer that's only just started at the company can work on this service and have their changes deployed in production within hours, and do so with confidence. The development mindset is fundamentally different. A new feature might be unstable during its development, but before that feature can be merged into the production code, it has to meet a very high quality bar. Rather than Microsoft's approach of 'merge the bugs now, we'll fix them later,' the approach is to ensure that code is as bug-free as possible *before* it gets merged."
a:Peter-Bright  p:Ars-Technica★★  d:2018.10.20  w:4500  Microsoft  software-development  process  Windows  Chrome  infrastructure  from instapaper
8 weeks ago
'Britney Spears wanted to be a star': An oral history of '...Baby One More Time'
"The public perception is that this is all created, that the record company created this — the artist, the music, the image. I have to tell you, if the record company could have created more than one Britney Spears, they would have done it, and they tried! And people, Mandy Moore is an actress."
a:Jessica-M-Goldstein  p:Entertainment-Weekly  d:2018.10.23  w:3500  oral-history  music  pop-culture  teens  from instapaper
8 weeks ago
The map we need if we want to think about how global living conditions are changing
"The USA – the third most populous country in the world – is by far the most populous country on the American continent. Its population is roughly as large as the population of the two runner-ups – Brazil and Mexico – combined.
Canada has a population density of just 4 people per km² – in the cartogram the second largest country in world (by area) is reduced to not much more than a slim line of squares."
a:Max-Roser  p:Our-World-in-Data  d:2018.09.12  w:1500  map  cartograms  geography  from instapaper
8 weeks ago
The Super-Quick Rise and Even Faster Fall of Groupon
"When I first met you, one of the things that everybody said was I had to read your 'I got fired' letter."
"I would watch these CEOs resign in tumult, when everybody knew they were fired, and yet they still felt the need to put up this façade, as if it was their own choice. I just didn’t want to live with that for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to have to introduce myself to someone and have them know that they’re thinking that I’m this liar."
a:Alex-Blumberg  a:Andrew-Mason  p:New-York-Magazine/Daily-Intelligencer★  d:2018.10.10  w:5500  interview  startups  business  leadership  from instapaper
8 weeks ago
All In: The Hidden History of Poker and Crypto
"As you might imagine, most of these licenses are going to well-established organizations. In fact, many professional poker players I talked to think the whole point of the UIGEA was to bulldoze the industry, kicking out the first wave of innovators so that the big boys could eventually make their entry—the Caesars, the Harrahs, the MGMs. These powerhouses missed their opportunity in during the initial rise of online poker, and they are the ones who stood to gain the most with a hard regulatory reset."
a:Morgen-Peck  p:Breaker  d:2018.10.04  w:3500  Bitcoin  gambling  regulation  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
Eight Days
"Geithner told me, 'It seems unjust. But look what happened to the global economy after Lehman failed. Unemployment in the U.S. went to 9.5 per cent. It’s not Wall Street that suffers when you "teach people a lesson." The tragedy of financial populism is that you do terrible things to innocent people.' Barney Frank used the analogy of de-Baathification, pointing out that U.S. efforts to purge Iraq of supporters of Saddam Hussein were a disaster. 'You can’t go out and shoot the bankers,' he said. 'You can’t have an economy without a functioning credit system. People are angry. They’re furious. But you have no option but to live with these people.'"
a:James-B-Stewart  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2009.09.21  w:19500  finance  regulation  disaster  Great-Recession  George-W-Bush  banks  UK  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
Lessons from the Last Swiss Finishing School
"The instructors at I.V.P. tended to present the outside world as a place of unrelenting menace, of career-ruining faux pas and ego-bruising mistakes. To believe them is to see life, like the surrounding high-altitude landscape, as precipitous. Pastry is 'deadly' for carpets. Lilies, with their impolitely strong fragrance and orange pollen ('worse than saffron'), are to be avoided, as are, at cocktail parties, candles, which Neri described with a pained reverie suggesting personal experience with dozens of Savonnerie carpets disfigured by hot wax. 'Unless,' she added, 'you’re at the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.' Her students dutifully recorded the comment, failing to recognize it as a joke and interpreting it instead as useful advice for the type of person who might plausibly host drinks at a UNESCO World Heritage Site."
a:Alice-Gregory★  p:The-New-Yorker★  d:2018.10.08  w:4500  etiquette  conversation  social-interaction  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
Sperm Count Zero
"At the welcome dinner, I met Hagai Levine, the Israeli co-author of the Hebrew University/Mount Sinai meta-analysis. Levine, who is 40, told me we had reasons to worry. 'I'm saying that we should hope for the best and prepare for the worst,' he said. 'And that is the possibility that we will become extinct. That's a possibility we must seriously consider. I'm not saying it's going to happen. I'm not saying it's likely to happen. I'm not saying that's the prediction. I'm just saying we should be prepared for such a possibility. That's all. And we are not.'"
a:Daniel-Noah-Halpern  p:GQ★★  d:2018.09.04  w:3500  sex  biology  children  environment  future  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
What if everything we know about dark matter is totally wrong?
"In April, ADMX delivered its latest results – null results, that is. For Rybka, they are important though, because it shows that the detector actually has the correct sensitivity to find the axion. 'If we end up with a null result after having swept over all the plausible masses, it would become important in a different way: axions are important to explain some phenomena in nuclear physics, so we expect axions to exist,' he says. 'If we don't find axion dark matter, then we're faced with the problem that either we don't understand our nuclear physics, or we don't understand how the early universe works well enough. So a null result would cause our questions to multiply.'"
a:Katie-Moskvitch  p:Wired★★  d:2018.09.28  w:5000  space  science  experiment  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
Drink Up
"Bronco’s offices consist of several large construction trailers that were hauled onto the lot thirty years ago and never improved upon. The walls of the conference room, a drafty connector linking Fred’s office to John’s, are lined with shelves containing wine bottles, examples of the scores of labels that Bronco has on the market at any given time: Forest Glen, Salmon Creek, Quail Ridge, Crane Lake. The brands, like the names of subdivisions, invoke an invented or, in some cases, an obliterated past: Franzia frequently buys labels and trademarks out of bankruptcy—saving himself the cost of development—and repurposes them when he sees an opening in the market. Usually, he doesn’t bother to change the packaging or design—just the wine inside and, of course, the price. (At the moment, he has some twenty brands waiting to be deployed.) Controlling an array of brands allows him to be flexible, opportunistically exploiting supplies of certain varietals as they become available, and temporarily discontinuing a brand should the price of its component wine get too high. Tony Cartlidge, who owns a midsized winery in the Napa Valley and has done business with Franzia over the years, finds the bottles on the shelf unnerving, a kind of warning of the possible future awaiting the vintner who can’t make his business thrive. 'They’re like ghouls staring down at you,' he told me."
a:Dana-Goodyear  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2009.05.18  w:6000  wine  pricing  business  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Perfume
"The clear glass vial contains a mixture of ambergris and alcohol that includes just 5 percent whale matter. In its pure form, this substance is a waxy gray ball of animal secretion, a floating fat-berg that is 'more expensive than gold'. Unlike jasmine absolute, which plays a role in many of her perfumes, real ambergris is simply too expensive to use in a commercial product. 'It’s considered the miracle ingredient for perfumes,' she says. 'It makes everything better.'"
a:Katy-Kelleher  p:Longreads★★  d:2018.09.10  w:4000  history  scent  death  animals  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
Above It All: How the Court Got So Supreme
"Even when the justices travel in style, there can be squabbles. Some years back, Stephen Breyer flew privately to Paris for a speaking engagement. Like other justices, he sometimes stayed at the U.S. Embassy. For the first night, he and his wife got the best suite, because he was the highest-ranking American dignitary in town. But Anthony Kennedy, more senior on the Court, arrived the next day — and nobody had told the Breyers. They were forced to move to lesser quarters and were less than thrilled. For some reason, it was Kennedy who was more annoyed at the whole thing, even though he and Breyer were close. At the event for which they were both in town, Kennedy gave his remarks first. Breyer was next, speaking in fluent French, at which point Kennedy murmured to another guest, 'He thinks he knows French, but I don’t think anybody understands a single word he’s saying!' (These days, Breyer is learning Spanish.)"
a:David-A-Kaplan  p:Longreads★★  d:2018.09.06  w:5000  law  politics  history  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
How Viagra Went from a Medical Mistake to a $3-Billion-Dollar-a-Year Industry
"Discreetly, the team refined this strategy in thousands of focus groups. They narrowed it down to three possible ways—or 'product profiles'—to present Viagra to the world. The first option was the most direct: It’s a drug that can cause erections and enable men who have lost their ability to have sex. The second was more scientific: Viagra can treat a disease called erectile dysfunction and allow men to return to normal physiological capacity. The third took a different approach completely, skirting the details of the drug and focusing instead on its delivery system: For the first time, there’s a pill that can be used to treat a condition that has always been treated by invasive surgeries. After thousands of focus groups, they arrived at the answer: option number three. Viagra is a *pill*—safe, cheap, and easy. A guy would merely get a sample, pop it into his mouth, and see how it worked. This was the perfect way to get men to look at the drug. As Nelson puts it, 'I’ll try it! And if it doesn’t work, who gives a fuck?'"
a:David-Kushner  p:Esquire★★  d:2018.08.21  w:4500  pharmaceuticals  medicine  sex  marketing  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong
"You see this in so much of the research: The most effective health interventions aren't actually health interventions—they are policies that ease the hardship of poverty and free up time for movement and play and parenting. Developing countries with higher wages for women have lower obesity rates, and lives are transformed when healthy food is made cheaper. A pilot program in Massachusetts that gave food stamp recipients an extra 30 cents for every $1 they spent on healthy food increased fruit and vegetable consumption by 26 percent. Policies like this are unlikely to affect our weight. They are almost certain, however, to significantly improve our health."
a:Michael-Hobbes★★  p:HuffPost/HighLine  d:2018.09.19  w:7500  health  nutrition  medicine  class  race  mental-health  food  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
Why Aren’t We Building Middle Income Housing?
"Of course developers are motivated by profit, but I don’t think there is any reason to believe that real estate developers are any more (or less) greedy than producers in any other industry. Yet when you look at most other consumer goods, the market provides options at a range of price, and quality, points. In the auto market, working class and middle-income people don’t all drive 40-year-old BMWs and Mercedes, many buy brand new Ford Focuses and Honda Civics. While some of the most profitable cars on the road are luxury cars, the Ford F-150 pickup truck and the Toyota Camry are also at the top of the list, and it’s not hard to see why. In 2016, Toyota sold almost 400,000 new Camrys and nearly as many new Corollas. Their best selling luxury car, the Lexus EX, sold only 50,000 units. Even assuming they earn a much higher margin per car, luxury models are not better investments because the volume is so much lower."
a:Rick-Jacobus  p:Shelterforce  d:2017.02.22  w:3000  housing  development  incentives  class  business  regulation  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
In Cyberwar, There Are Some (Unspoken) Rules
"Countries that have invested significant resources in cyberspace don’t lack the ability to act more effectively within this domain. They are making a conscious decision to rely on less sophisticated operations based on their strategic calculus—the same calculus that leads a government such as North Korea’s to employ violent rhetoric and limited military operations to signal its displeasure without risking direct confrontation. If critical industrial control systems are so easily compromised, one would expect governments to target these vulnerable systems more frequently rather than resort to mere disruption. While reports do suggest that North Korea has the capability to disrupt critical infrastructure such as power grids, acting on this is another matter altogether—much in the same way that having significant conventional military power does not merit its immediate use. There would be grave consequences."
a:Miguel-Alberto-N-Gomez  p:Foreign-Policy★  d:2018.11.06  w:2000  cyberwarfare  weapons  international-relations  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
Next-gen Nukes
"Lowering these barriers would be cheaper than letting the government pick one promising idea and coddle it like a privileged child, which is the way we’ve treated conventional nuclear in the past, said Jessica Lovering, who studies nuclear power at the Breakthrough Institute, a pro-technology environmental think tank. 'We could pick one idea, spend a lot of money helping it become commercial, and then subsidize every project for even more money,' Lovering said. 'Or, we could invest a much smaller amount of money across the entire innovation system.'"
a:Nathanael-Johnson  p:Grist  d:2018.07.18  w:2500  nuclear-energy  future  energy  from instapaper
10 weeks ago
The Angel Who Keeps Citi Bike Working for New York
"There’s something more profound going on with Miller. 'I feel an almost perverse sense of satisfaction when I see that I’ve helped someone—that I’ve directly supplied a bike to a person, so they can immediately start their day, he says. It’s that curious dopamine hit you get when you relinquish a parking space to a waiting driver. Miller’s Bike Angel code prevents him from taking the last bike from a station or putting a bike into the last dock space. 'Unless,' he clarifies, 'it’s a five-point or more takeout from the trip I’m doing.' He routinely redocks bikes that desperate users have abandoned for want of a space and returns objects left in bike baskets to their owners. 'That’s when I start to feel,' he says, 'the purest form of Bike Angel.' Maybe there’s more than altruism at work here. He has wondered whether he’s 'semiconsciously trying to avoid having to think about my own personal adult responsibilities' or just drowning out the crushingly depressive news cycle. 'Things seem like they’re globally out of control,' he says. 'Humanitarian and refugee crises, nationalism is spiking again.' Against that backdrop, 'there’s something about grabbing a bike from over here and moving it to there. I’ve effected change. It’s very simple.'"
a:Tom-Vanderbilt★★  p:Outside★★  d:2018.08.07  w:4500  bicycling  NYC  games  efficiency  algorithms  from instapaper
10 weeks ago
An Oral History of Apple's Infinite Loop
"Here’s the kind of pressure we were under just before the iPhone launch. Somewhere before Christmas, we were in the lockdown, and a program manager got on this guy about fixing bugs. It started out with stern talking and then escalated to yelling at each other about who had spent less time with their kids. The argument ended and she was just livid, ran to her office, and slammed the door so hard that the lock broke and she couldn’t get out. We called the Apple locksmith, and he was going to be an hour and a half to get there. Forstall comes by, he’s got an aluminum bat and we took turns swinging, and ultimately forced it open. It was really cathartic."
a:Steven-Levy  p:Wired★★  d:2018.09.16  w:7500  oral-history  Apple  Steve-Jobs  iPhone  from instapaper
10 weeks ago
The Great Chinese Art Heist
"Eliassen believed that the best thing for the museum to do was to protect the art that remained. The pieces were probably never coming back. 'The government in China doesn't think they're stolen objects,' he said. 'They think they belong to them. They won't take it seriously, won't follow the trail. That's the biggest problem.' Even art-crime experts, though, are quick to acknowledge that the situation might look different from China's perspective. Noah Charney, a professor of art history and founder of the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art, says that when it comes to winning back their lost art, the Chinese can't imagine how such a thing would be wrong. 'It's almost like there's a fog around it from a criminological perspective,' he said. 'It's like another planet, in terms of the way people think about what art is, what authenticity is, what is socially unacceptable to do.'"
a:Alex-W-Palmer  p:GQ★★  d:2018.08.16  w:5000  art  China  history  from instapaper
10 weeks ago
NASA’s Dawn Mission to the Asteroid Belt Says Good Night
"Spacecraft carry microbial hitchhikers from Earth that can contaminate the worlds where they land. NASA tries to minimize that risk when a mission ends; engineers flew the Cassini probe, for example, into Saturn’s atmosphere last year. For the last part of its mission, Dawn was sent on an elliptical orbit that swooped to within 22 miles of the surface, making one orbit every 27 hours. That provided the sharpest images yet of features like Occator crater. Though out of power, the spacecraft will continue in that orbit for at least 20 years, possibly decades longer, at which point it could crash into Ceres. That is not long enough for all of the Earth microbes on Dawn to die, but NASA officials hope that 20 years would be long enough for the space agency to make another visit there to study whether Ceres ever had conditions amenable for life before Dawn crashes and contaminates it."
a:Kenneth-Chang  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2018.11.01  w:1500  space  from instapaper
10 weeks ago
You Can’t Stop NBA Offenses—and Now, You Can’t Even Hope to Contain Them
"Some players may no longer have a place. 'It’s definitely gonna eliminate a lot of defenders who get physical,' Spurs forward Dante Cunningham told The Ringer after a recent win over the Lakers in Los Angeles. 'I’m thinking of one in particular: Tony Allen. Back in the day, he was just a physical presence at all times. He wanted to put his hands on you at every moment. If you moved, he moved with you and grabbed you just to let you know he’s there. I’ve learned a lot from playing with him, playing against him, and just watching him defensively. But you have to adapt now. If they run through the lane, you can’t even touch them. You have to show your hands and keep it moving.' Cunningham was then asked how he’s adapting to the new rules. 'I’m obviously not adapting,' he said. 'I just fouled out.'"
a:Justin-Verrier  p:The-Ringer★★  d:2018.10.30  w:6000  basketball  NBA  strategy  from instapaper
10 weeks ago
The Wizards Are the NBA’s Must-See Soap Opera
"New Wizard Austin Rivers took a second to talk to the small contingent of journos because he was back in Los Angeles for the first time since the Clippers traded him, but he claimed he was unaware of the incendiary remarks made by his teammates in the aftermath of the Kings loss. Initially, Rivers said, 'I don’t really have a comment on it'—then proceeded to give more than a minute straight of uninterrupted thoughts, saying that players were 'frustrated' but he’s 'not trying to step on people’s toes because I’m the new guy.' He also said 'I don’t want to start nothing'—then explained 'I’m not a fit-in type of guy. I’m a guy who goes out there and attacks people’s throats.' But that’s OK, he said, because throat-attacking is exactly what Wall, Beal, and Scott Brooks counseled him to do. It was glorious. Rivers is already a perfect Wizard."
a:John-Gonzalez★  p:The-Ringer★★  d:2018.10.30  w:2500  NBA  Wizards  culture  from instapaper
10 weeks ago
How Much Mental Real Estate Does Joel Embiid Actually Own?
"Early exits, various replies on various platforms—that’s not just any real estate that Embiid owns in Drummond’s head. It’s a sprawling lake house that he poured years of work and thoughtful planning into. And it’s hardly the only property Embiid owns."
a:Haley-O'Shaughnessy★  p:The-Ringer★★  d:2018.10.24  w:1500  NBA  Joel-Embiid  social-media  from instapaper
11 weeks ago
Fight Night With LeBron
"The NBA playoffs were just beginning when TMZ released a recording of the Clippers owner Donald Sterling berating his then-girlfriend for associating with black athletes, taking pictures with them, and bringing them to his Staples Center suite. Among the black athletes who provoked Sterling’s racist ire was Magic Johnson. James led the response, channeling the players’ rage into a sophisticated, consistent messaging campaign centered on a single inflexible demand: Sterling had to go. In interview after interview, James repeated a simple mantra, saying that there was 'no room' for Sterling in 'our game'. In a sly hint that things could quickly go downhill for the league, James questioned whether Clippers players should continue to suit up for playoff games as long as Sterling remained the team’s owner. He name-checked Adam Silver, the NBA’s commissioner, saying, with a smile, that 'the commish will take care of it, we’re sure of that.' Silver seemed to have heard him, loud and clear. Within days, Sterling was banned from the NBA for life."
a:Ross-Andersen★  p:The-Atlantic★★  d:2018.10.21  w:5500  LeBron-James  NBA  race  from instapaper
11 weeks ago
Pressing Forward: David Stern Is Not Looking Back
"The reaction was swift but Stern held firm. '[Demps] had agreed to [trade Paul to the Lakers for] Kevin Martin and Luis Scola or something, and I said we can do better than that.... And the next trade was [to the Clippers for] Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu and what we thought was a really great draft pick, the 10th pick, which turned out to be Austin Rivers. At least those three and someone else [center Chris Kaman]. But Dell Demps is a lousy general manager and none of those players are currently with the team anymore, and he may lose Anthony Davis.'"
a:Chris-Ballard  p:Sports-Illustrated/The-Crossover★★  d:2018.10.24  w:6000  NBA  from instapaper
11 weeks ago
The Untold Story of NotPetya, the Most Devastating Cyberattack in History
"The most enduring object lesson of NotPetya may simply be the strange, extra­dimensional landscape of cyberwar’s battlefield. This is the confounding geography of cyberwarfare: In ways that still defy human intuition, phantoms inside M.E.Doc’s server room in a gritty corner of Kiev spread chaos into the gilded conference rooms of the capital’s federal agencies, into ports dotting the globe, into the stately headquarters of Maersk on the Copenhagen harbor, and across the global economy. 'Somehow the vulnerability of this Ukrainian accounting software affects the US national security supply of vaccines and global shipping?' asks Joshua Corman, a cybersecurity fellow at the Atlantic Council, as if still puzzling out the shape of the wormhole that made that cause-and-effect possible. 'The physics of cyberspace are wholly different from every other war domain.' In those physics, NotPetya reminds us, distance is no defense. Every barbarian is already at every gate."
a:Andy-Greenberg  p:Wired★★  d:2018.08.22  w:6500  cyberwarfare  Russia  infrastructure  logistics  container-shipping  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
Joel Embiid Is Seven Feet Tall and Rising
"Hanlen says most of the players he works with can learn a new move quickly, but they might take weeks to master it. 'For [Embiid], he might have me demonstrate it ten times. He might ask a few questions. He'll have me demonstrate a couple more times, and then he'll just do it full speed,' he details. 'And then you'll see him use it the next day, in live play, one-on-one. And you're just shaking your head like, "How did he already have that?"'"
a:Clay-Skipper  p:GQ★★  d:2018.10.22  w:6500  NBA  basketball  Joel-Embiid  social-media  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
Why the Future of Data Storage is (Still) Magnetic Tape
"All these pluses notwithstanding, the main reason why companies use tape is usually simple economics. Tape storage costs one-sixth the amount you’d have to pay to keep the same amount of data on disks, which is why you find tape systems almost anyplace where massive amounts of data are being stored. But because tape has now disappeared completely from consumer-level products, most people are unaware of its existence, let alone of the tremendous advances that tape recording technology has made in recent years and will continue to make for the foreseeable future."
a:Mark-Lantz  p:IEEE-Spectrum  d:2018.08.18  w:2500  future  hardware  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
Future Considerations: Why Ex-MLB Pitcher Michael Schwimer Is Investing in Minor League Longshots
"One obvious consequence: Financial worries leave young athletes in no position to focus on their performance or invest in their future. Another consequence might be less obvious: any minor-leaguer with a shot at a big-league career assumes an extraordinary amount of financial risk while chasing his dreams. Health and luck can determine which prospects leave the game with great fortunes, and which leave with little or nothing. BLA’s deals reduce players’ risk by buying out their upside—an elegant solution to a broken system."
a:Jack-Dickey  p:Sports-Illustrated★★  d:2018.09.04  w:4500  basketball  investing  risk  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
Here’s why developers seem to only build luxury housing
"The luxury-only problem is to a large extent a function of the fact that we have eliminated incremental change from most corners of our cities. Neighborhoods composed of single-family houses are declared almost entirely off-limits to development. In the remaining areas, we thus make sure that intense pent-up market demand is concentrated like a fire hose, and that development is undertaken primarily at large scales (giant apartment complexes) and in needlessly expensive ways. No wonder 'they only build luxury housing'. We've made it pretty hard to afford to do anything else."
a:Daniel-Herriges  p:Greater-Greater-Washington★★  d:2018.07.30  w:3000  development  regulation  DC  incentives  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
How Humanizing NBA Referees Underscores Their Craft And Labor
"[My dad] didn’t know anything refereeing, but he knew about people. And one thing he said to me that had anything to do with refereeing was, 'If people are doing what you’re asking them to do, then don’t worry about what they’re saying.' If I’m asking you, 'Hey, I need you to move off this corner and go over there,' they can m-f you all the way there, as long as they move off the corner, it doesn’t really matter what they say. If you ultimately have the final say on a subject, then you should give up the final word.'"
a:Spencer-Lund  p:RealGM  d:2018.08.14  w:3500  NBA  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
For Japan, N.B.A. 101 Is Now in Session
"Fans in Japan mostly prefer games described in their native tongue, with additional context beyond the shorthand of an American broadcast, N.B.A. officials said. The language of basketball here is mostly formal, without extravagant catchphrases, and many words are similar to their English counterparts. A dunk, for instance, is called a dunku. But there is also a marvelous economy to some of the basketball lingo. A flagrant or unsportsmanlike foul is simply called an 'unspo'. And a basketball shoe is a 'basshu'."
a:Jeré-Longman  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2018.10.16  w:1500  NBA  Japan  basketball  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
The World’s Most Peculiar Company
"Hammacher Schlemmer is the only company I’m aware of that sells products it knows no one may buy. In Hammacher Schlemmer parlance, these are called 'image items', and one is usually put front and center in each of its catalogs. 'Our focus in the last 20 to 25 years has been to put something on the cover that makes you go, "Wow, what is that?"' Farrell says. 'We actually almost like it better when you don’t know what it is.' These are the hovercraft, flying cars, and personal submarines that my family so cruelly refused to buy, and they are the products that have defined so much of Hammacher Schlemmer’s image. Their practicality is almost always inversely proportional to their astronomic cost."
a:Nick-Greene  p:Chicago  d:2018.08  w:4500  retail  Chicago  marketing  from instapaper
october 2018
BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debate
"For many diaspora Jews, BDS has become a symbol of evil and repository of dread, a nefarious force transforming the Israel-Palestine debate from a negotiation over the end of the occupation and the division of territory into an argument about the conflict’s older and deeper roots: the original displacement of most of the Palestinians, and, on the ruins of their conquered villages, the establishment of a Jewish state. The emergence of the BDS movement has revived old questions about the legitimacy of Zionism, how to justify the privileging of Jewish over non-Jewish rights, and why refugees can return to their homes in other conflicts but not in this one. Above all, it has underscored an awkward issue that cannot be indefinitely neglected: whether Israel, even if it were to cease its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, can be both a democracy and a Jewish state."
a:Nathan-Thrall  p:The-Guardian★★  d:2018.08.14  w:11000  Israel  Jews  war  history  international-relations  international-trade  World-War-II  from instapaper
october 2018
Ballpark Boomtown
"Where there was only a convenience store and a liquor shop alone on a block of rubble, there are now 52 restaurants, with seven more opening this year. Where the waterfront was a ragtag jumble of fenced-off gravel pits and wretched piles of trash, there is now a sleek boardwalk with reflecting pools where children splash and lawns where families take in concerts and movies. Hardly anyone foresaw the area’s explosion in value. Even the team’s owners didn’t expect the stadium zone to morph so quickly into a thriving residential community. 'Back then, we thought the big economic impact would be jobs,' said Gregory McCarthy, the Nationals’ vice president for community engagement, who was Mayor Williams’s deputy chief of staff. 'But the ballpark made this more than an office zone.'"
a:Marc-Fisher  p:The-Washington-Post★★  d:2018.07.14  w:3500  DC  development  from instapaper
october 2018
The Ambien Diaries
"Introduced to the market in the late 1980s as a substitute for the addictive benzodiazepine Halcion, Ambien is now the most commonly prescribed sleeping pill in America—according to the most recent data, 43.8 million prescriptions were filled in the year 2012. But as many an insomniac has discovered by now, Ambien doesn’t quite knock you out. What it does do is give you a choice. If you choose to sleep, you’ll find it easier to nod off than if you hadn’t taken it. But you can also choose not to, and that’s where things get interesting. A medical study says that only 5 percent of Ambien users are fortunate enough to experience what it calls 'zolpidem-induced somnambulism and amnesic sleep-related behavioral problems'. Given the proliferation of anecdotal evidence about Ambien’s psychotropic effects, that number is surprisingly small. It’s still unclear what yields results showing such a strange experience for a minority and no experience for everyone else. Do you have to be a neurotic to enjoy Ambien? Or are most people just too desperate to get to sleep to see what happens next?"
a:Shuja-Haider  p:Popula  d:2018.07.22  w:4000  sleep  recreational-drugs  pharmaceuticals  from instapaper
october 2018
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