by Dan Zak Last summer, in the dead of night, three peace activists penetrated the exterior of Y-12 in Tennessee, supposedly one of the most secure nuclear-weapons facilities in the United States. A…
The locals had two names for it: the Big House and Waziristan House. Big House because of its unusual size, three stories tall in this one- or two-story
I marvel at Radiolab when I hear it. I feel jealous. Its co-creators Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich have digested all the storytelling and production tricks of everyone in public radio before them, invented some slick moves of their own, and ended up creating the rarest thing you can create in any medium: a new aesthetic. Take the opening of their show on the mathematics of random chance, stochasticity. The first aesthetic choice Jad and Robert make is that they don’t say you’re about to listen to a show about math or science. They don’t use the word stochasticity. They know those things would be a serious turn off for lots of people. In doing this, Jad and Robert sidestep most of the conventions of a normal science show – hell, of most normal broadcast journalism.
A second SEAL stepped into the room and trained the infrared laser of his M4 on bin Laden’s chest. The Al Qaeda chief, who was wearing a tan shalwar kameez and a prayer cap on his head, froze; he was unarmed. “There was never any question of detaining or capturing him—it wasn’t a split-second decision. No one wanted detainees,” the special-operations officer told me. (The Administration maintains that had bin Laden immediately surrendered he could have been taken alive.) Nine years, seven months, and twenty days after September 11th, an American was a trigger pull from ending bin Laden’s life. #Sept11
Regarded as perhaps the finest piece of sportswriting on record, the furious saga of Teddy Ballgame — from boy to man and near death — is an unmatchable remembrance for an American icon.
Phillip Herr finds the USPS fascinating: ubiquitous, relied on, and headed off a cliff. Its trucks are everywhere; few give it a second thought. "It's one of those things that the public just takes for granted," he says. "The mailman shows up, drops off the mail, and that's it." He is struck by how many USPS executives started out as letter carriers or clerks. He finds them so consumed with delivering mail that they have been slow to grasp how swiftly the service's financial condition is deteriorating. "We said, 'What's your 10-year plan?' " Herr recalls. "They didn't have one."
A few years ago, when I was still teaching at Yale, I was approached by a student who was interested in going to graduate school. She had her eye on Columbia; did I know someone there she could…
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On the 25th anniversary of "Licensed to Ill," an oral history of the birth of the Beastie Boys. "Then we were like, 'Oh, shit, we should get a D.J.! Like rap groups. They have a D.J.!' Nick Cooper knew about this guy Rick Rubin who went to NYU and would throw parties and had turntables. And a bubble machine. We were like, 'If we had a fucking D.J. and a fucking bubble machine, we’d be fucking killing it.'"