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showing only instapaper [see all]
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
3 days 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
3 days 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
4 days 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
4 days 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
4 days 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
5 days 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
5 days 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
8 days 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
9 days 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 days 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
11 days 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
17 days 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
17 days 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
17 days 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
18 days 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
19 days 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
20 days 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
21 days 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
22 days 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
23 days 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
24 days 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
28 days ago
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
4 weeks ago
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
4 weeks ago
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
4 weeks ago
So You Think You're Customer-Driven?
"Level 10: Adult/Adult: Nobody ever gets here, but it's nice to have an aspirational Level 10."
a:Venkat-Rao★★  p:Ribbonfarm★★  d:2018.08  w:3000  customer-service  visualization  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
See No Evil
"Modular systems manage complexity by 'black-boxing' information; that is, they separate code or information into discrete units. A programmer need only know about the module with which she is working, because managing the complexity of the entire system would be too much to ask of any single individual. Modularity is the method we’ve devised to manage complexity at a time when we’re drowning in information. How do you manage the complexity of a system that procures goods from a huge variety of locations? You make it modular: when you black-box each component, you don’t need to know anything about it except that it meets your specifications. Information about provenance, labor conditions, and environmental impact is unwieldy when the goal of your system is simply to procure and assemble goods quickly. 'You could imagine a different way of doing things, so that you do know all of that,' said Russell, 'so that your gaze is more immersive and continuous. But what that does is inhibit scale.' And scale, of course, is key to a globalized economy."
a:Miriam-Posner  p:Logic  d:2018  w:3500  logisitics  international-trade  manufacturing  infrastructure  software-design  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
Fish Out of Water: How the Military Is an Impossible Place for Hackers, and What to Do About It
"Servicemembers are forced to uphold certain unwavering standards, including grooming, height and weight, and physical fitness. These standards further limit an already limited group of technical talent: The intersection of people who can run a 15-minute two mile and dissect a Windows kernel memory dump is vanishingly small. While a number of these unicorns do exist, DOPMA unfortuntely makes it extremely difficult for them to thrive. Career management inundates military professional education. Servicemembers are constantly reminded what key developmental jobs will make them competitive for promotions, what syntax their evaluation reports should follow, and what their timeline should look like. For military members wanting to climb the ranks, the map is laid out in front of them in 25 years of exquisite detail."
a:Josh-Lospinoso  p:War-on-the-Rocks  d:2018.07.12  w:3500  military  hacking  work  bureaucracy  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
The NBA Meme Bracket
"As a coach, Jeff Van Gundy’s defining characteristic was the puffy, ashen bags hanging pendulously beneath his eyes. Knicks and Rockets fans were intimately familiar with those milky skin sacks and Jeff’s rumpled, hangdog energy. This GIF, from the introduction to Game 4 of the 2010 Eastern Conference final between the Celtics and the Magic, allows Jeff’s vacant, haunted eyes to step into the spotlight to spine-tingling effect."
a:Jason-Concepcion★★★  p:The-Ringer★★  d:2018.10.01  w:6000  NBA  memes  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
Community Plumbing
"I think that there are few lines of trade which require so close a personal attention to details as that of the retail hardware dealer. The average customer has a very indefinite idea of the name or nature of the device he requires, and therefore depends largely upon the intelligence of the dealer to supply the necessary and proper article. Even the everyday door knob and old-fashioned loose joint butt require intelligent attention and repeated explanation to make certain that the spindle is the right length, and whether the door swings to the right or to the left, and does the customer intend to use a rim or mortice latch. Then the length of the screws has to be considered, and, perhaps, the distance from the spindle to the keyhole must be ascertained, all of which seems of little importance to the customer, but must be understood by the dealer to render satisfactory service."
a:Shannon-Mattern  p:Places-Journal  d:2018.07  w:7000  community  retail  history  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
Melatonin: Much More Than You Wanted To Know
"Sleep latency statistics are hard to compare to one another because they’re so dependent on the study population. If your subjects take an hour to fall asleep, perhaps melatonin could shave off thirty-four minutes. But if your subjects take twenty minutes to fall asleep, then no sleeping pill will ever take off thirty-four minutes, and even an amazing sleeping pill might struggle to make fifteen. I cannot directly compare the people who say melatonin gives back ten minutes to the people who say melatonin gives back thirty-four minutes to the people who say Ambien gives back twelve, but my totally unprincipled guess is that melatonin is about a third as strong as Ambien. It also has about a hundred times fewer side effects, so there’s definitely a place for it in sleep medicine."
a:Scott-Alexander★★★  p:Slate-Star-Codex★★★  d:2018.07.10  w:5000  sleep  pharmaceuticals  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
In Conversation: Billy Joel
"It didn’t bother me. I remembered it because it was so over-the-top. Had I been younger and still recording it would have bothered me because it was so wrong. I know good music: You can’t tell me everything I do is bad. But some people just have that reaction to my stuff."
"What is that visceral reaction about?"
"I chalk up a lot of it to my voice — I hear my voice and it annoys me. Or maybe it’s my persona or how I come off on TV or in interviews. I could probably come off obnoxious unless you’re from my neighborhood and know how we talk. But back in the ’70s, critics decided who was going to be in the good group and the bad group and I thought I got a bad shake."
a:David-Marchese  a:Billy-Joel  p:Vulture★★  d:2018.07  w:7500  interview  music  Donald-Trump  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
Midwestern Nice: A Tribute to a Sincere and Suffocating Way of Life
"As an adult I discovered the fun of old-fashioned Midwestern innuendo: the way my aunts, say, could achieve the perfect degree of half-smile when extending their barely dead-toned goodbyes to my sister’s boyfriend, which told her how very much they disliked him. In fact, people from outside the Plains think they can mimic us by elongating some O's, but in truth we communicate far more in what we half-say, or fail to say entirely. To live in the Midwest is to experience two realities: the first, all sunshine and bland pleasantries among other potluck-suppering churchgoers; the other, a red-lit underworld where people relay vulgarities through the learned second language of euphemism, eye rolls and loaded silence."
a:Paul-Kix  p:Thrillist  d:2015.10.22  w:2000  language  culture  social-interaction  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
YOU ARE ALLOWED TO LEAVE.
"I can’t say I’ve always followed my gut on boundaries and discomfort. I can’t say I’ve never swallowed it in order to make others comfortable. But I can say what she taught me was important. It was and still is radical.
It’s radical to have boundaries. And to exercise them. Three things I think were really really important in what she did:
1. She always explicitly said 'you can leave if you want to'.
2. She never questioned why, or whether I was overreacting.
3. She showed up."
a:Erynn-Brook  p:Twitter  d:2018.09.29  w:1000  instructional  parenting  social-interaction  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
"During the Grammys, Lambert tweeted about her new friend Gaga, her love for Adele, her confusion over Nicki Minaj’s performance, and her outright disgust with Rihanna’s abuser, Chris Brown. 'I don’t get it,' she tweeted. 'He beat on a girl.' In concert a few nights later, in Amherst, Massachusetts, Lambert held up a sign that read TAKE NOTES CHRIS BROWN and then sang her hit 'Gunpowder and Lead'. The chorus begins 'His fist is big, but my gun’s bigger/He’ll find out when I pull the trigger.' 'I may look small and blonde,' says Lambert, who is five-foot-four, 'but I cannot tolerate men who beat up on women. It is never okay.' She puts some pale pink gloss on her finger and applies it to her lips. At moments like this, the contrast between Lambert’s gun-toting, out-for-justice side and her pink-is-my-favorite-color side is particularly vivid. 'It’s tough for a girl to be a headliner in country music,' she says, after a pause. 'For instance, I can’t get a sponsor.' She points to her beer T-shirt. 'I love alcohol! You would think a beer company would sponsor me.'"
a:Lynn-Hirschberg  p:W-Magazine  d:2012.06.01  w:2500  music  gender  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
The long, noble and stinky quest to make human shit useful
"Poorer countries, though, aren’t the only ones where sewage systems are flawed. 'Defecating in drinking water is a kind of insane thing that the Romans taught us,' Klehm says. George agrees: 'I don't think that the fundamental principle of mixing shit with drinking water and then paying a lot of money and using a lot of energy to remove the shit from drinking water is necessarily the best idea,' says George. 'But it's too late, it's not going to be retrofitted.'"
a:Phoebe-Braithwaite  p:Wired★★  d:2018.07.31  w:2500  environment  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
Not All Restaurateurs Shun Yelp. Some Are Obsessed With The Free Advice.
"While some restaurateurs live to put Yelpers in their place, others like Simons can’t fathom ignoring free advice. 'The return on investment is crystal clear,' he says. 'The analogy is if a guest said to a server, "I want to talk to a manager." Can you imagine not going? There’s the positive return for engaging and the negative cost of not engaging.'"
a:Laura-Hayes  p:Washington-City-Paper/Young&Hungry★★  d:2018.08.30  w:2000  restaurants  Yelp  DC  customer-service  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
A Breakthrough for U.S. Troops: Combat-Ready Pizza
"The deployment of M.R.E. pizza is not just a victory for food technologists. It is an indication of how much the military has been forced to change its culture since the draft effectively ended in 1973. To recruit and retain the volunteers it needs, the military has built up an elaborate social support structure for troops and their families. It now offers child care and family counseling, continuing education benefits, improved base housing, and fitness centers that can rival those in luxury condo complexes. The core mission still includes service under spartan conditions in dangerous lands, but there has been a growing focus on delivering small comforts when possible."
a:Dave-Phillips  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2018.09.20  w:1500  food  military  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
Foxhound vs Blackbird: How the MiGs reclaimed the skies
"'The crew would fly out on an intercept course to close with the target, and then switch the radar to radiation mode and report to their ground controllers when they had detected the target at around 300-320 km. They would then continue to close with the target, and at 120-150 km target lock-on would be achieved, whereupon the crew would report readiness to attack.' At this point the SR-71's missile approach warning system would trigger; the crew would find themselves the hunted, and unable to hold their nerve, there was no course of action for them other than to engage afterburner and run for home."
a:Rakesh-Krishnan-Simha  p:Russia-Beyond  d:2012.09.03  w:1500  aviation  Russia  intelligence-gathering  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
David Chang’s secret code to unleashing the most amazing flavors on Earth
"I’m making this all sound like a very intellectual exercise. And creating this food can be just that, but eating it shouldn’t be. These dishes should taste seamless; they shouldn’t feel like math equations. In fact, the more obviously conceptual a dish is, the less powerful it will be. This is something that still bothers me about our ceci e pepe dish. If I could do it again, I wouldn’t call it that—I’d name it something like chickpeas with buttered noodles. Ceci e pepe is too explicit. It’s telling diners what to think instead of letting them draw their own conclusions. The element of surprise is part of the magic."
a:David-Chang★  p:Wired★★  d:2016.07.19  w:3000  food  cooking  nostalgia  David-Chang  naming  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
Transforming Standard Video Into Slow Motion with AI
"'There are many memorable moments in your life that you might want to record with a camera in slow-motion because they are hard to see clearly with your eyes: the first time a baby walks, a difficult skateboard trick, a dog catching a ball,' the researchers wrote in the research paper. 'While it is possible to take 240-frame-per-second videos with a cell phone, recording everything at high frame rates is impractical, as it requires large memories and is power-intensive for mobile devices,' the team explained. 'Our method can generate multiple intermediate frames that are spatially and temporally coherent. Our multi-frame approach consistently outperforms state-of-the-art single frame methods.'"
p:Nvidia  d:2018.06.18  w:500  video  artificial-intelligence  from instapaper
6 weeks ago
How The Weather Channel Made That Insane Storm Surge Animation
"Bringing extreme weather to life obviously isn’t an entirely altruistic goal; it’s compelling television, too. Potts contends, though, that videos like this one also contain a valuable safety message. You know what nine feet is, and you know what water looks like. But the two rarely go together, outside of swimming pools and disaster movies. Seeing what it looks like on a street corner that resembles your own might be enough to get someone to evacuate if they’d had any hesitation. At the very least, it lets the rest of the world know just how bad it could get."
a:Brian-Barrett  p:Wired★★  d:2018.09.13  w:1000  weather  visualization  television  safety  from instapaper
7 weeks ago
Best Buy Should Be Dead, But It’s Thriving in the Age of Amazon
"Best Buy was among the first chains to feature Apple boutiques. In April 2013, Joly said there would be Samsung mini-shops in its 1,400 U.S. locations by June. That same month, Best Buy began adding 600 Microsoft stores-within-stores. Sony arrived in 2014. Last year, Best Buy turned over more space to Amazon and Google to better display their smart home technologies. The two are bitter rivals: Amazon doesn’t sell Google Home and offers a limited selection of Google’s Nest products. Best Buy is neutral ground. The brands essentially pay rent to Best Buy (it’s cheaper than building stores) and either send in their own salespeople or train the blue shirts. No one at Best Buy would offer details about these partnerships. But even analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities Inc., who in almost 10 years has never recommended buying Best Buy’s stock, describes the partnerships as a phenomenal success because they ease the financial burden of operating stores while enhancing profit margins. 'Best Buy is like an arms dealer,' he says. 'They’re indifferent to what brand you buy as long as you buy it from them.'"
a:Susan-Berfield★  a:Matthew-Boyle  p:Bloomberg-Businessweek★★  d:2018.07.19  w:4000  retail  Amazon  from instapaper
8 weeks ago
Black American Culture and the Racial Wealth Gap
"Is it racist to observe that whites are more likely to drive drunk than blacks are? Is it racist to assert that black immigrants in the UK outscore comparable white Britons on standardized tests? Is it racist to observe that black American culture has produced a higher number of musical icons than Asian-American culture has? And if it’s not racist to mention these facts, then why is it racist to mention the same kinds of facts when they run in the opposite direction? Moreover, cultural differences can even cause disparities between groups that belong to the same race, as with the aforementioned wealth disparities between black Americans and black Caribbeans living in Boston, or the nearly 4-to-1 income ratio between Taiwanese-Americans and Hmong-Americans. Discussing the different patterns of behavior that underlie such *intra*-racial disparities cannot be racist, by definition. Race and culture, though often correlated, are entirely different concepts."
a:Coleman-Hughes  p:Quillette  d:2018.07.19  w:3500  race  culture  personal-finance  from instapaper
8 weeks ago
Where Is Barack Obama?
"The Obamas appear to be settled in Washington. The chatter about their potential move to the Upper East Side has died out, and they are installing a pool at their home, which is around the corner from Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s. Obama is open with friends about the new comforts of his life: the games of Words With Friends on his iPad, the rounds of golf, the slower-paced international travel. Immediately after leaving office, he flew to Palm Springs, then visited with Richard Branson on his private Caribbean island. Before long, he was on David Geffen’s yacht in French Polynesia with Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, and Oprah Winfrey. Even in Washington, he’s taken to undoing an extra button on his dress shirts and musing about how much more sleep he now gets. When he lets his guard down, he admits that he misses being in the middle of the international fray, but he confides that his life has slowed down so dramatically that he now feels like Neo, Keanu Reeves’s character in The Matrix, who can experience time hyperslowly while facing gunfire."
a:Gabriel-Debenedetti  p:New-York-Magazine/Daily-Intelligencer★  d:2018.06  w:6500  Barack-Obama  Donald-Trump  international-relations  from instapaper
8 weeks ago
When a DNA Test Shatters Your Identity
"To join DNA NPE Friends, you first have to apply through a closed but public 'gateway' group on Facebook. It’s a jury-rigged system, designed to get around the fact the group needs to be findable enough to reach new members but also secret enough so as to not broadcast my father is not my biological father to one’s entire social network. St Clair and her admins also privately invite people who post about misattributed parentage in two popular public groups on Facebook called DNA Detectives and DD Social, both run by Moore, the genetic genealogist. Moore also runs secret splinter groups dedicated to various specific scenarios like unknown paternity and incest."
a:Sarah-Zhang  p:The-Atlantic★★  d:2018.07.17  w:3000  family  genetics  Facebook  community  from instapaper
8 weeks ago
What It Would Take to Set American Kids Free
"The do-it-yourself rule is, to a certain extent, self-limiting, as towers built with simple tools are shorter than those ordered from catalogues. I saw plenty of children up on roofs—the rule was, if you can climb up without a ladder, relying on your own strength and ingenuity, it’s O.K. In a documentary on The Land, a Welsh adventure playground, a play worker describes the difference between risk and hazard: a risk you take on knowingly; a hazard is unexpected, like a nail sticking out of a board. The play workers are there to remove hazards and leave the risks."
a:Alexandra-Lange  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2016.11.18  w:1500  children  risk  safety  Japan  from instapaper
8 weeks ago
Secret Language On The Sidewalk: Decoding 'Utility Graffiti'
"There’s an entire industry devoted to locating and marking utilities. It’s called damage prevention (and it even has its own beachside conferences). There are hundreds of people painting sidewalks and streets every day in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Joel Troxell is an operations manager for UtiliQuest, a company utilities hire to locate and mark their pipes and wires in response to 811 calls. 'Right now with the interest rates and the jobs, there’s people building,' says Troxell. 'The economy is doing well, so excavation is up.' More excavation means more paint on sidewalks."
a:Jacob-Fenston  p:WAMU  d:2018.06.19  w:1000  infrastructure  color  DC  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
The Universe Is Not a Simulation, but We Can Now Simulate It
"The scientists seem to have begun to master the science and art of cosmos creation. They are applying the laws of physics to a smooth, hot fluid of (simulated) matter, as existed in the infant universe, and seeing the fluid evolve into spiral galaxies and galaxy clusters like those in the cosmos today. 'I was like, wow, I can’t believe it!' said Tiziana Di Matteo, a numerical cosmologist at Carnegie Mellon University, about seeing realistic spiral galaxies form for the first time in 2015 in the initial run of BlueTides, one of several major ongoing simulation series. 'You kind of surprise yourself, because it’s just a bunch of lines of code, right?'"
a:Natalie-Wolchover  p:Quanta-Magazine  d:2018.06.12  w:2500  space  science  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
How to Make a Big Decision
"Homogeneous groups — whether they are united by ethnic background, gender or some other commonality like politics — tend to come to decisions too quickly. They settle early on a most-likely scenario and don’t question their assumptions, since everyone at the table seems to agree with the broad outline of the interpretation. A 2008 study led by the management professor Katherine Phillips using a similar investigative structure revealed an additional, seemingly counterintuitive finding: While the more diverse groups were better at reaching the truth, they were also far less confident in the decisions they made. They were both more likely to be right and, at the same time, more open to the idea that they might be wrong."
a:Steven-Johnson★★  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2018.09.01  w:1500  instructional  planning  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
Bob Woodward’s new book reveals a ‘nervous breakdown’ of Trump’s presidency
"White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly frequently lost his temper and told colleagues that he thought the president was 'unhinged', Woodward writes. In one small group meeting, Kelly said of Trump: 'He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.'"
a:Philip-Rucker  a:Robert-Costa  p:The-Washington-Post★★  d:2018.09.04  w:2500  Donald-Trump  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
Apple is rebuilding Maps from the ground up
"The segments that he is referring to are sliced out of any given person’s navigation session. Neither the beginning or the end of any trip is ever transmitted to Apple. Rotating identifiers, not personal information, are assigned to any data or requests sent to Apple and it augments the 'ground truth' data provided by its own mapping vehicles with this 'probe data' sent back from iPhones. Because only random segments of any person’s drive is ever sent and that data is completely anonymized, there is never a way to tell if any trip was ever a single individual. The local system signs the IDs and only it knows to whom that ID refers. Apple is working very hard here to not know anything about its users. This kind of privacy can’t be added on at the end, it has to be woven in at the ground level."
a:Matthew-Panzarino  p:TechCrunch  d:2018.06.29  w:4000  maps  Apple-Maps  self-driving-cars  privacy  from instapaper
9 weeks ago
A brief history of the nuclear triad
"A strange elaboration of the triad notion from the Defense Logistics Agency, in which the 'new triad' includes the 'old triad' squished into one 'leg', with the other 'legs' being even less tangible notions joined by a web of command and control. At this point, I’d argue it might be worth ditching the triad metaphor."
a:Alex-Wellerstein  p:Nuclear-Secrecy  d:2016.07.15  w:5000  nuclear-weapons  World-War-II  history  strategy  from instapaper
10 weeks ago
Customer Satisfaction at the Push of a Button
"A perennial challenge in polling is gathering responses from enough people to support meaningful conclusions. The challenge grows as the questions become more probing, since people who have the time and the inclination to fill out long, boring surveys aren’t necessarily representative customers. A single HappyOrNot terminal can register thousands of impressions in a day, from people who buy and people who don’t. The terminals are self-explanatory, and customers can use them without breaking stride. In the jargon of tech, giving feedback through HappyOrNot is 'frictionless'. And, although the responses are anonymous, they are time-stamped."
a:David-Owen★★  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2018.02.05  w:3500  customer-service  retail  happiness  surveillance  from instapaper
10 weeks ago
Inside the Binge Factory
"'This [idea] that if you have volume, you can’t have quality?' says Holland. 'I think it’s convenient for people who are limited by time slots or budget. If you can have one network that has a dozen shows and they’re good quality, why can’t you have the equivalent of four networks with a dozen shows each? Why can’t you have more than that? We have the ability to support a larger number of artists than most people can.'"
a:Josef-Adalian  p:Vulture★★  d:2018.06  w:9000  Netflix  television  from instapaper
10 weeks ago
Repeat yourself, do more than one thing, and rewrite everything
"Usually, a rewrite is only a practical option when it’s the only option left. Technical debt, or code the seniors wrote that we can’t be rude about, accrues until all change becomes hazardous. It is only when the system is at breaking point that a rewrite is even considered an option. Sometimes the reasons can be less dramatic: an API is being switched off, a startup has taken a beautiful journey, or there’s a new fashion in town and orders from the top to chase it. Rewrites can happen to appease a programmer too—rewarding good teamwork with a solo project."
a:Thomas-Edward-Figg  p:Programming-Is-Terrible  d:2018.08.05  w:2500  instructional  programming  software-design  software-development  from instapaper
10 weeks ago
A Vor Never Sleeps
"The experience taught the FBI a critical lesson about the difference between the La Cosa Nostra (LCN) and Russian organized crime: Russians are willing to cut a deal. 'In LCN, cooperators were shunned—there is no reentry to the LCN,' Penza said. But Russians happily flip—and then go back to work with the same partners. There appear to be few permanent grudges. 'It’s like, "You had to do the thing you did,"' he added."
a:Garrett-M-Graff  p:Longreads★★  d:2018.06.04  w:5000  crime  corruption  Italy  Russia  law-enforcement  from instapaper
10 weeks ago
Of Monsters and Shadows
"This fact, as uncomfortable as it may be to acknowledge, may explain the outrage over surveillance among the US educated (upper-)middle class. We are suddenly feeling on our own necks the chill of the shadow from the monster that has until now been content to prey on others. Blissfully unaware of the monster itself, our reaction is to focus on warding off the shadow. But the shadow itself is not the threat. It is the monster that casts it that we should be concerned with. To tame it, we must limit the number of people we allow to be put behind bars. Beyond imposing controls on how the government is allowed to collect and use evidence, we need to limit how many people the government can detain and imprison. We must hold our government accountable for the outcomes, not just the process."
a:Alex-Gantman  p:Alex-Gantman  d:2018.08.07  w:2000  manifesto  surveillance  government  law-enforcement  process  from instapaper
11 weeks ago
If Your Car Is Stuck in Traffic, It's Not Uber and Lyft's Fault
"Many riders—60 percent, Schaller notes—are using ride-hailing services instead of more sustainable modes of transport, like public transit, walking, or bicycling. Ridership of these transportation network companies is soon expected to pass local bus ridership. But when we look at the whole, we see that people choose to ride by bus for 4 percent of their trips, and by personal car for 73 percent. Why wouldn’t we presume that the same fraction of trips taken in a personal car could also have been accomplished by foot, bike, or transit? Good question! But neither the federal travel survey, nor New York’s own mobility survey thought to ask."
a:Robin-Chase  p:The-Atlantic/CityLab★★  d:2018.07.27  w:1000  roads  cities  regulation  public-transit  Uber  traffic-congestion  from instapaper
11 weeks ago
Trae Young, Kevin Love and the future of mental health in the NBA
"Lopez says former Chicago Bulls coach Bill Cartwright helped him corral his temper by talking to him in a low, even tone. When Lopez played in Phoenix, he says, then-Suns GM Steve Kerr would leave books in his locker on the topic. Lopez has since discovered meditation as a way to relieve stress. 'When you phrase it as mental wellness, then I feel that that includes everybody,' Lopez says. 'When you say mental health, then guys tend to say, "Well, that's not me. I don't have any mental health stuff."'"
a:Jackie-MacMullan  p:ESPN★★  d:2018.08.24  w:3000  NBA  mental-illness  Kevin-Love  from instapaper
11 weeks ago
The Psychology of Money
"Wealth, in fact, is what you don’t see. It’s the cars not purchased. The diamonds not bought. The renovations postponed, the clothes forgone and the first-class upgrade declined. It’s assets in the bank that haven’t yet been converted into the stuff you see. But that’s not how we think about wealth, because you can’t contextualize what you can’t see. When most people say they want to be a millionaire, what they really mean is 'I want to spend a million dollars,' which is literally the opposite of being a millionaire."
a:Morgan-Housel★  p:Collaborative-Fund  d:2018.06.01  w:8000  instructional  investing  personal-finance  psychology  from instapaper
11 weeks ago
When making the NBA isn't a cure-all: Mental health and black athletes
"'One of the biggest problems in the African-American community is none of us have fathers, so we don't have that strong male figure to guide us,' Barkley says. 'When I was growing up, I thought it was normal *not* to have a mom and dad around. Nobody I knew had both parents. And everybody I knew was poor. I thought it was normal for every black girl to be pregnant in high school, because in my small hometown of [Leeds], Alabama, that's how it was. It wasn't until I got to the NBA that I realized, "Wait, that's really f---ed up." It's a miracle any African-American player turns out OK based on where we come from.'"
a:Jackie-MacMullan  p:ESPN★★  d:2018.08.21  w:4000  race  NBA  mental-illness  violence  from instapaper
11 weeks ago
The US is losing the high-stakes global battery war
"If you have solid state figured and it’s safe and you get energetic oomph from the new anode, yes it will be transformative. It will be economically, environmentally, and could be geopolitically transformative. The quest to make a super battery is not going to go away. People should watch this space. When it happens, it will have a fundamental change in everybody’s lives. "
a:Michael-Zelenko  a:Steve-LeVine  p:The-Verge★  d:2018.08.13  w:2000  interview  batteries  future  manufacturing  energy  from instapaper
11 weeks ago
In a cosmic first, scientists detect ‘ghost particles’ from a distant galaxy
"On Sept. 22, an alert went out to the international astronomy community: IceCube had seen the signature of a muon neutrino coming from just above the right shoulder of the constellation Orion in the night sky. Scores of scientists began pointing their telescopes in that direction, staring at the right region of the universe in every wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum. Taken together, these observations revealed a blazar. As a blazar spins, twin jets of light and charged particles — one of which in this one is aimed toward Earth — spurt from its poles. The blazar was given the catchy name 'TXS 0506+056' — the first known source of a high-energy neutrino and a possible answer to the century-old cosmic ray mystery."
a:Sarah-Kaplan  p:The-Washington-Post★★  d:2018.07.12  w:2000  space  from instapaper
11 weeks ago
Nagasaki: The Last Bomb
"When we remember the destructive birth of the nuclear age, we tend to focus on Hiroshima. It was first, and firsts get precedence in memory. It was also more devastating an attack than Nagasaki, with nearly twice as many dead and injured and three times as much land area destroyed. (This was in spite of the fact that the Little Boy, the bomb dropped by the Enola Gay, was only three-quarters as explosive as the Fat Man.) But if Hiroshima was, from a military perspective, relatively well considered, well planned, and well executed, Nagasaki was almost the opposite. From the very beginning, it was a jancfu—a sign that this new era was as likely to be a comedy of errors and near-misses as the product of reason and strategy."
a:Alex-Wellerstein  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2015.08.07  w:2000  history  nuclear-weapons  World-War-II  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
Seen On a Telephone Pole In Your Neighborhood
"YOU COULD BE LIVING IN A MINI GOLF WINDMILL
AND WHEN SPORTSMEN PUTT THEIR BALL INTO THE WINDMILL
YOU COULD GRAB IT AND TURN TO YOUR WIFE AND SAY, ‘HONEY, DINNER IS SERVED’
IT’S JUST A LITTLE JOKE
BUT IT’S YOUR LITTLE JOKE
IT’S THOSE LITTLE THINGS THAT MAKE THIS CRAZY RIDE WE CALL MARRIAGE ALL WORTH IT
GOD YOU LOVE MEREDITH"
a:Sean-McGowan  p:McSweeney's★★★  d:2018.08.16  w:500  satire  housing  advertising  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
Building games that can be understood at a glance
"This screenshot went around twitter before the game came out, and I think we can see why pretty easily. Anyone looking at it can immediately tell that it:
- Involves huge Mechs and giant city-sized bugs (the word mech is literally written on the screenshot)
- Is turn-based
- You have a number of units.
- These bugs are doing something bad to the cities and tanks.
- Things are exciting and literally on fire
- The kind of tile you are standing on has a tactical effect (advance wars-style)
- It's science fiction and involves TIME PODS (also literally written on the screen, these guys are geniuses)"
a:Zach-Gage  p:Zach-Gage  d:2018  w:3500  talk  games  design  user-interface  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
Some Friendly Advice To New Law Students
"Learn to believe in things. If you're ever going to be an advocate, or an adviser, you need to be able to believe in things. When you get up and defend someone charged with a crime, you need to believe in something, or the judge and jury sees you're just going through the motions and nails your client. You don't have to believe your client is good or innocent, but you have to believe passionately in *something* – that the system or the charges are unjust, that the punishment is disproportionate, or that the system is *right* to give every accused person an advocate and by God you are that advocate and you believe in your duty. It's the same with a civil client. You don't have to believe they're right, but you have to get up there and believe that we resolve disputes through zealous advocates, and believe in being that advocate."
a:Ken-White★★★  p:Popehat★★★  d:2018.08.16  w:1000  instructional  law  education  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
Sarah Silverman Is the Troll Slayer
"Do you hope Louie comes back?"
"I think that there are people who were caught and there were people who were not caught, but the important thing is that they are forever changed. And if that's the case, I don't see any reason why they can't continue being artists. Now, whether they're popular artists or not is up to the audience. I have compassion. There are people that just deny everything they're accused of and they continue to be the politicians or the filmmakers that they are. And there are people that come and say, I'm guilty of these things, and I'm wrong, and I want to be changed from this. And yet those are the ones that kind of are excommunicated forever. He's my brother, so it's hard. I may not have a very clear perspective on it, but I'm trying to."
"I almost think that trying is what's important."
"People are very sure about what is right and wrong until it comes to their front door."
a:Drew-Magary★  a:Sarah-Silverman★★  p:GQ★★  d:2018.05.23  w:4000  interview  comedy  social-media  gender  2016-election  Donald-Trump  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
Ira Glass's Commencement Speech at the Columbia Journalism School Graduation
"And by the way, any of you doing broadcast or podcast: be in the tape! Cajoling, hondling, joking with, arguing with, interacting with your interviewees. It’s the single easiest way to make your stories better. Be in the tape. An interview properly done is a drama with two characters and not being in there as one of the characters is giving up one of your greatest powers. Don’t leave that power unused. Be in the tape. Don’t settle for less. Don’t do less than you can. Be in the tape. If you’re funny in real life … be funny in your stories. It makes them better. And it doesn’t mean you aren’t a serious person dealing with serious subjects in a serious way. If you’re not funny in real life … for god’s sake don’t try to be funny. Be yourself!"
a:Ira-Glass  p:This-American-Life  d:2018.05.17  w:5500  speech  instructional  journalism  media  radio  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
Who owns the space under cities? The attempt to map the earth beneath us
"Historically, the foundation of property law in the US and UK was enshrined in the Latin phrase 'Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos' – which roughly translates as: 'Whoever owns the soil, holds title up to the heavens and down to the depths of hell.' Subterranean scholar Dr Marilu Melo of the University of Sydney explains that not all countries behave this way. In Mexico, for example, 'property rights are effectively superficial, they do not extend volumetrically into the earth,' she says. Even in places that have traditionally been ardent defenders of private property, however, once human beings took to the air and started tunnelling underground, the old heaven to hell ideal began to require caveats. In Australia, although pre-1891 land titles went 'to the centre of the Earth', those issued after 1891 extend down just 15 metres (49 feet). The new Melbourne tunnels will edge right up to this legal vertical limit."
a:Bradley-L-Garrett  p:The-Guardian/Cities★  d:2018.07.10  w:2000  cities  maps  real-estate  London  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
The Weird, Dangerous, Isolated Life of the Saturation Diver
"When it’s time to enter the chamber (Hovey calls it the 'house'), the divers pass through a tight, circular hatch at one end, like one might see on an old submarine, that closes with a 'tunk'. The hatch is sealed, and even though they’re on a boat, just feet from support crew and fresh air, the divers might as well be on the International Space Station. Even farther actually: It takes about 3.5 hours for an astronaut to make it back from space. Saturation divers have to decompress for days at minimum. On a dive early in his career, when Hovey was on a job at a depth of 700 feet, he learned that his wife had miscarried. It would have taken him 11 days of decompression to exit the chamber. They needed his salary (not surprisingly, saturation divers are well-compensated, up to $1,400 per day), so his wife told him to finish the job."
a:Jen-Banbury  p:Atlas-Obscura★  d:2018.05.09  w:5000  work  safety  infrastructure  time  from instapaper
12 weeks ago
How Amazon Is Using Whole Foods In a Bid For Total Retail Domination
"In 10 markets, Amazon is offering Prime Now delivery directly from Whole Foods stores. That model could be a good stepping-stone in smaller cities until the company reaches enough volume to build out a dedicated warehouse. 'You have to scale your way up there,' says grocery consultant Neil Stern. 'Picking from a store, while crappy, is a way to establish volume and a customer base.' The future may be a hybrid approach: bigger stores that have a space carved out for putting together online deliveries. Or a store where the selection of packaged goods is automated but customers can pick out their own fresh goods. 'They’re going to experiment like crazy,' says Tom Furphy, formerly a VP of consumables and AmazonFresh and now CEO of a venture capital firm. 'I would be completely surprised if they have it all figured out by now.'"
a:Beth-Kowitt  p:Fortune★  d:2018.05.21  w:4000  Amazon  Whole-Foods  retail  logistics  future  from instapaper
august 2018
The hotel bathroom puzzle
"One of the pitfalls of figuring out a plot is that once we’ve come up with a 'solution' to a problem, like putting locks on the doors, we spend all our energy trying to get out of all the new complications that the solution presents, rather than focusing on the issue that it was meant to satisfy. In many cases, like the proprietors of the rooming house in St. Louis, we end up affixing a label to explain what we mean, which is as close as you can get to unambiguous evidence that the solution you have in mind isn’t working."
a:Alec-Nevala-Lee  p:Alec-Nevala-Lee  d:2015.11.27  w:1000  design  hotels  from instapaper
august 2018
Washington Nationals may finally meet expectations — on and off the field
"Eight years later — after the council anguished over the stadium deal and finally approved it, after angry voters threw out three council members who had pushed for the deal, after the Expos became the Washington Nationals , and after Nationals Park became home to a team that fell right into the Washington Senators’ historic cellar-dwelling role — Monk has a wholly different view of baseball. 'I have to say, it’s been for the betterment of the community,' she said. 'Our crime seems to be under control. The neighborhood looks 100 percent better. The new housing is a great improvement.'"
a:Marc-Fisher  p:The-Washington-Post★★  d:2012.03.31  w:2500  basketball  development  DC  Navy-Yard  from instapaper
august 2018
How North Korean hackers became the world’s greatest bank robbers
"In the capital, he says, the hackers’ families can enjoy great luxuries: hot water around the clock, regular electricity, rare food items — such as bananas — that are beyond the basic soldier’s ration allotment. (Other North Korean defectors have corroborated that eating bananas — or any imported tropical fruit — indicates high status.) But the very best cyberwarriors are deployed abroad and, by necessity, given free access to the internet. Of course, the web is a space seething with information the Kim dynasty hides from the general population. 'So these people do learn about North Korea’s reputation as a dictatorship,' Jang says. 'They know what they do is considered criminal. But still, they may feel proud. They’re earning money for their country by targeting the enemy.'"
a:Patrick-Winn  p:PRI/GlobalPost-Investigations  d:2018.05.16  w:4000  hacking  North-Korea  banks  incentives  from instapaper
august 2018
What Do 90-Somethings Regret Most?
"The radical relationship-based orientation of all my subjects caught me by surprise. As someone entering the height of my career, I expend much more energy on work than on relationships. And when I imagine my future, I envision what I will have accomplished rather than the quality of my interactions with those who are most important to me. These 90-something-year-olds emphasize the opposite when they look back on their lives. Their joys and regrets have nothing to do with their careers, but with their parents, children, spouses, and friends. Put simply, when I asked one person, 'Do you wish you accomplished more?' He responded, 'No, I wished I loved more.'"
a:Lydia-Sohn  d:2018.07.11  w:1500  aging  love  sex  relationships  parenting  time  children  friendship  from instapaper
august 2018
Varieties Of Argumentative Experience
"Imagine that, throughout your life, you’ve learned that UFO stories are fakes and hoaxes. Some friend of yours sees a UFO, and you assume (based on your priors) that it’s probably fake. They try to convince you. They show you the spot in their backyard where it landed and singed the grass. They show you the mysterious metal object they took as a souvenir. It seems plausible, but you still have too much of a prior on UFOs being fake, and so you assume they made it up. Now imagine another friend has the same experience, and also shows you good evidence. And you hear about someone the next town over who says the same thing. After ten or twenty of these, maybe you start wondering if there’s something to all of this UFOs. Your overall skepticism of UFOs has made you dismiss each particular story, but each story has also dealt a little damage to your overall skepticism. I think the high-level generators might work the same way. The libertarian says 'Everything I’ve learned thus far makes me think government regulations fail.' You demonstrate what looks like a successful government regulation. The libertarian doubts, but also becomes slightly more receptive to the possibility of those regulations occasionally being useful. Do this a hundred times, and they might be more willing to accept regulations in general. As the old saying goes, 'First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then they fight you half-heartedly, then they’re neutral, then they then they grudgingly say you might have a point even though you’re annoying, then they say on balance you’re mostly right although you ignore some of the most important facets of the issue, then you win.'"
a:Scott-Alexander★★★  p:Slate-Star-Codex★★★  d:2018.05.08  w:5500  conversation  social-media  politics  from instapaper
august 2018
How is this speedrun possible? Super Mario Bros. World Record Explained
"In fact, hitting the vine block has no influence on the wrong warp working or not. It needs to be hit because the vine coming out of the block adds one more object on the screen, which forces the game to choose not to spawn the piranha plant in the pipe you need to take, in order to avoid going over its sprite limit and cause a lot of lag."
a:Bismuth  d:2018.03.02  video  games  analysis  from instapaper
august 2018
A primer on fentanyl(s)
"For law enforcement, the parcel-post approach makes a hard problem nearly impossible. The volume of legitimate parcel post from China to the U.S. means that there’s no way to scan every package, or even a high enough fraction to make the traffic uneconomic. As more and more potent molecules appear, I’d expect another shift, from parcel post to regular international mail, moving the drugs in quantities of a gram or less, either just putting a tiny Baggie with the powder inside in the envelope, or perhaps dissolving the drug, soaking a sheet of ordinary paper in the solution, typing a letter on the paper, mailing it, and then extracting the drug at the other end of the process."
a:Mark-Kleiman  p:The-Reality-Based-Community  d:2018.05.24  w:2500  recreational-drugs  logistics  future  law-enforcement  China  from instapaper
august 2018
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