Madison Bumgarner, The Best
I missed Christy Mathewson somehow but caught almost everyone else, down the years—Lefty Grove, Carl Hubbell, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Jack Morris, Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson—but here was the best.
The Limits of Friendship
Robin Dunbar came up with his eponymous number almost by accident. The University of Oxford anthropologist and psychologist (then at University College London) was trying to solve the problem of why primates devote so much time and effort to grooming.
How to Tell When Someone Is Lying
On January 27, 2008, Penny Boudreau’s twelve-year-old daughter, Karissa, went missing in her hometown of Bridgewater, Canada. That afternoon, mother and daughter had had a fight in a grocery-store parking lot.
The New Yorker
One morning every spring, for exactly two minutes, Israel comes to a stop. Pedestrians stand in place, drivers pull over to the side of the road, and nobody speaks, sings, eats, or drinks as the nation pays respect to the victims of the Nazi genocide.
Quitting Football
With characteristic restraint and understatement, the N.F.L. season began last night, in Seattle, where the Seahawks started their Super Bowl title defense by beating the Green Bay Packers.
Iggy Azalea and Realness in Hip-Hop
“First things first: I’m the realest.” This is the first line of “Fancy,” a single that has dominated the hip-hop charts since June.
The Swedish Invasion
Do you like Swedish pop music? The answer is probably yes, even if you can’t name a single artist born in Sweden.
The Church of U2
A few years ago, I was caught up in a big research project about contemporary hymns (or “hymnody,” as they say in the trade). I listened to hundreds of hymns on Spotify; I interviewed a bunch of hymn experts.
Getting Over Procrastination
Want to hear my favorite procrastination joke? I’ll tell you later. Piers Steel, a psychologist at the University of Calgary, has saved up countless such lines while researching the nature of procrastination. Formerly a terrible procrastinator himself, he figures a dose of humor can’t hurt.
The Cult of Overwork
For decades, junior bankers and Wall Street firms had an unspoken pact: in exchange for reasonably high-paying jobs and a shot at obscene wealth, young analysts agreed to work fifteen hours a day, and forgo anything resembling a normal life. But things may be changing.
Game of Thrones
Seven years ago, I flew business class on Qantas from Australia to California, a thirteen-hour trip.
The Programmer’s Price
Not long ago, Stephen Bradley, a New York tech entrepreneur, was looking to expand his company, AuthorBee, which aggregates tweets and Instagram posts and puts them together in story form.
The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism.
On May 24th, a few dozen people gathered in a conference room at the Central Library, a century-old Georgian Revival building in downtown Portland, Oregon, for an event called Radfems Respond.
The Internet’s Telltale Heartbleed
The cryptography expert Bruce Schneier, who has been writing about computer security for more than fifteen years, is not given to panic or hyperbole.
The rise of the professional cyber athlete.
I confess to being bewildered, still, by what is often said to be the greatest game of StarCraft II ever played. Fall, 2013. New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. Scarlett vs. Bomber. Third game in a best-of-three series, a quarter-final in a tournament sponsored by Red Bull.
Getting Better at Getting Better
In the summer of 1976, Kermit Washington was in trouble. He was a power forward in the N.B.A., and had just finished his third season with the L.A. Lakers.
What’s So Bad About Gluten?
Just after Labor Day, the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo stopped for a weekend at the Meadowlands Exposition Center. Each year, the event wends its way across the country like a travelling medicine show, billing itself as the largest display of gluten-free products in the United States.
The End of Food
In December of 2012, three young men were living in a claustrophobic apartment in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, working on a technology startup.
Chinatown’s Kitchen Network
In a strip mall on a rural stretch of Maryland’s Indian Head Highway, a gaudy red façade shaped like a pagoda distinguishes a Chinese restaurant from a line of bland storefronts: a nail salon, a liquor store, and a laundromat.
Why Do We Eat, and Why Do We Gain Weight?
Here are a few of the things that can make you hungry: seeing, smelling, reading, or even thinking about food. Hearing music that reminds you of a good meal. Walking by a place where you once ate something good.
What We Really Taste When We Drink Wine
Two glasses sit side by side on the table, each filled midway up with red wine. On the bottom of each stem is a white piece of paper. One reads “Wine A”; the other, “Wine B.
How Not to Use a Grand Jury
Criminal procedure—the everyday rules of the road—gets a bad rap. It’s said to be rigid, routine, incapable of accommodating the nuances of human behavior.
The New Yorker
Ted Cruz, the Republican junior senator from Texas, has heard the line about how the Party needs to become more moderate to win Presidential elections.
The McConaissance
This morning, Matthew McConaughey woke up to his first Oscar nomination. There’s no denying the McConaissance now, a bold second act in the American actor’s life which somehow feels as novel as it does deliberate.
An Unlikely Ballerina
On a recent August afternoon, near Nineteenth Street, two young girls with blond hair pulled back in ponytails ran past me, one of them calling out, “Daddy, Daddy, I just saw Misty Copeland!” The tone of voice might as well have been used to announce a sighting of Katy Perry, or Snow White.
P.K. Subban, Hockey’s Ice Breaker
In late September, several weeks after signing a long-term deal that gave him the third-highest average annual salary in the National Hockey League, P. K. Subban went shopping for a house.
Serena Williams Is America’s Greatest Athlete
This week, as the sports world repays our slavish attention with more lousy, grotesque news, it’s worth noting that, on Sunday, the greatest American athlete in a generation won the U.S. Open, again, for the sixth time and the third year in a row.
Spin Right and Shoot Left
You’re on defense, zone defense. You pick up a loose ball and look for the outlet pass. You see it, throw it, and go down the middle on a fast break, taking the return pass. Now you’re looking for a three-on-two or a two-on-one before they can set up their defense.
The Political Mystery of Malaysia Flight 370
Plane crashes are always political. That principle is on full view in the discordant mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which grew even murkier on Thursday, with reports that the plane may have flown for four hours after contact was lost.
The Pleasure of Reading to Impress Yourself
Not long ago, I unearthed a notebook I had long ago misplaced: a small blue ledger in which, for a period of about four years, I recorded the title of each book I was reading as I finished it.
Living the GoPro Life
Late one fall afternoon two years ago, Aaron Chase, a professional mountain biker, was riding his bike in the Smoky Mountains, near Sun Valley, Idaho.
Inside the Biggest-Ever Hedge-Fund Scandal
As Dr. Sid Gilman approached the stage, the hotel ballroom quieted with anticipation. It was July 29, 2008, and a thousand people had gathered in Chicago for the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease. For decades, scientists had tried, and failed, to devise a cure for Alzheimer’s.
The Danger of Financial Jargon
The most important mystery of ancient Egypt concerned the annual inundation of the Nile floodplain. The calendar was divided into three seasons linked to the river and the agricultural cycle it determined: akhet, or the inundation; peret, the growing season; and shemu, the harvest.
The Great Hedge-Fund Mystery: Why Do They Make So Much?
This is the time of year when publications that cover the hedge-fund industry do their annual rankings, and people get irate about the vast sums of money that the top hedgies make—in some cases, billions of dollars.
Inside the Ebola Wars
The most dangerous outbreak of an emerging infectious disease since the appearance of H.I.V.
Chronicle of a Riot Foretold in Ferguson
FERGUSON, Missouri—For a hundred and eight days, through the suffocating heat that turned the city into a kiln, through summer thunderstorms and the onset of an early winter, through bureaucratic callousness and the barbs of cynics who held that the effort was of no use and the prickly fear that t
How Not to Use a Grand Jury
Criminal procedure—the everyday rules of the road—gets a bad rap. It’s said to be rigid, routine, incapable of accommodating the nuances of human behavior.
Why Hollywood Thinks Atheism Is Bad for Business
After Matthew McConaughey took the stage to accept his Best Actor award at the Oscars on Sunday, he began his speech by thanking God, praising the deity for giving him “opportunities that I know are not of my hand or of any other human hand.
Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Curator Who Never Sleeps
Hans Ulrich Obrist is a curator at the Serpentine, a gallery in London’s Kensington Gardens that was once a teahouse and is now firmly established as a center for contemporary art.
Nick Paumgarten : The Man Who Sold the Art World
Very important people line up differently from you and me. They don’t want to stand behind anyone else, or to acknowledge wanting something that can’t immediately be had.
The Mark of a Masterpiece
Every few weeks, photographs of old paintings arrive at Martin Kemp’s eighteenth-century house, outside Oxford, England. Many of the art works are so decayed that their once luminous colors have become washed out, their shiny coats of varnish darkened by grime and riddled with spidery cracks.
The Disruption Machine
In the last years of the nineteen-eighties, I worked not at startups but at what might be called finish-downs. Tech companies that were dying would hire temps—college students and new graduates—to do what little was left of the work of the employees they’d laid off.
The McConaissance
This morning, Matthew McConaughey woke up to his first Oscar nomination. There’s no denying the McConaissance now, a bold second act in the American actor’s life which somehow feels as novel as it does deliberate.
What “Gone Girl” Is Really About
According to Anthony Lane, there are approximately “twenty-one people” who haven’t read Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl.” I’m one of them. This past weekend, when I saw the movie, I liked it so much that I felt sad about missing out on the book when it was published, two years ago.
The Movie Lover
When Quentin Tarantino goes to the movies, he sits in the front. Not in the first row, where he’d have to move his head from side to side to see what’s happening in the corners, but the third or fourth row, where he can take in the whole screen and is aware of nothing but the screen.
The astonishing rise of Angela Merkel, the most powerful woman in the world.
A summer afternoon at the Reichstag. Soft Berlin light filters down through the great glass dome, past tourists ascending the spiral ramp, and into the main hall of parliament. Half the members’ seats are empty.
Does It Help to Know History?
About a year ago, I wrote about some attempts to explain why anyone would, or ought to, study English in college.
Do We Really Need to Learn to Code?
“Learn to Code!” This imperative to program seems to be everywhere these days. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg recently donated ten million dollars to Code.
Putin Goes to War
Vladimir Putin, the Russian President and autocrat, had a plan for the winter of 2014: to reassert his country’s power a generation after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The New Yorker
Late one night in December, 2009, a black Chevy Tahoe in a caravan of cops and residents moved slowly through some of the most dangerous neighborhoods of Newark. In the back sat the Democratic mayor, Cory Booker, and the Republican governor-elect of New Jersey, Chris Christie.

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