How the Town of Whitefish Defeated Its Neo-Nazi Trolls — And Became a National Model of Resistance

When resident neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and his fellow white supremacists started trying to intimidate the people of Whitefish, Montana about their support of Jewish businesses and neighbors, citizens took to the streets, protesting, throwing a block party and coming together to let the world know: this tiny town will not let racists dictate how people live here, and threats or not, Whitefish won’t back down.

Source: Yahoo News
Published: Jan 19, 2017
Length: 19 minutes (4,823 words)

The Burger That Could Fix Fast Food

Street food savant Roy Choi isn’t satisfied with having reinvented the taco truck. He wants to use everything he’s learned to create a new fast-food chain that’s healthy, good for the planet, and just as guilty-pleasure delicious as, say, Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme. But can it be done?

Source: Yahoo News
Published: Jun 15, 2015
Length: 19 minutes (4,800 words)

The Beatles Succeeded Through Talent, Ambition, and a Lot of Arrogance

Andrew Romano sets out to debunk Malcolm Gladwell’s argument in Outliers that the Beatles made their success through the “10,000-hour rule”—in this case, spending thousands of hours of playing in Hamburg:

But this isn’t even the real problem with Gladwell’s theory. The real problem is that while the Beatles’ marathon stints in Hamburg did transform them as a band—they were so vibrant, so tight, and so unrecognizable when they returned from their first campaign that the crowds in Liverpool mistook them for a blistering new German combo—the “complex task” they had now “mastered” was not the same task that would eventually earn them world domination.

Being able to mach schau in a small club was a pivotal part of the Beatles development: it won them a fanatical following in Liverpool, which in turn drove their debut single “Love Me Do” up the charts even when the suits in London refused to promote it, and it was also the reason the Fabs were able record an LP as a thrilling as Please Please Me in a single ten-hour workday. But beyond that, Gladwell is wrong. The Beatles’ “excellence at performing” is not “what it took” for them to become the greatest rock band of all time. In fact, the Beatles were stuck in a rut even after they returned from Hamburg in 1961—and their live expertise was not enough to get them out of it.

Source: The Daily Beast
Published: Nov 11, 2013
Length: 14 minutes (3,502 words)

You Listen to This Man Every Day

Rick Rubin has produced some of the biggest hits of the past 30 years, from LL Cool J to Black Sabbath. He explains the secrets of the creative process:

“We worked on [the Beastie Boys’] debut album, Licensed to Ill, for a long time, two years in all, which is part of the reason the record is as good as it is. Each song really has a life of its own, because it might be a month between writing two songs. It wasn’t like ‘OK, we have six weeks to make an album.’ It was natural—the natural flow of making a really good piece of work. I can remember at one point getting a call from Mike D really upset, like, ‘What’s going on? Why isn’t our record done yet?’ I just said, ‘I don’t really have control over that. It comes when it comes.’

“NEWSWEEK: Usually young people are in a rush. Why did you feel like you could take so much time?

“From the beginning, all I’ve ever cared about is things being great. I never cared about when they were done. Because I also feel like I want the music to last forever. And once you release it, you can’t go back and fix it, so you really have to get it right. And that takes time.”

Source: Newsweek
Published: Jun 26, 2013
Length: 21 minutes (5,406 words)

‘It Takes a Lot to Rattle Me’

The story of Olympian Hope Solo, the U.S. women’s soccer star whose childhood and difficult relationship with her father—who spent time in jail for kidnapping her and her brother—shaped who she would become:

“Solo’s last childhood memory of her father is from the following year. One day he reappeared in Richland, begging to take Hope and her older brother Marcus to a nearby baseball game. ‘Then we just kept driving, over the mountains, all the way to Seattle,’ she recalls. ‘We got a hotel room with a pool. We felt like we were living the life. Then I remember waking up one morning, and my dad is like, “Baby Hope, your mom just called, and she said you can stay another three days.” And I remember being like, “I didn’t hear the phone ring.” Right then, I knew that something wasn’t right.’

“A day or two later, a SWAT team surrounded Solo in a downtown Seattle bank, ‘put him in the back of a police car, and hauled him off,’ leaving Hope and Marcus ‘alone and scared on the streets of a big city,’ she recalls. Before long, Child Protective Services showed up, and Judy wasn’t far behind. But Hope refused to forgive her mother for alerting the authorities. ‘I remember not talking to her the whole ride home,’ she says. ‘My dad was sitting in jail. I was a confused little girl.'”

Source: Daily Beast
Published: Jul 16, 2012
Length: 16 minutes (4,101 words)

The Beach Boys’ Crazy Summer

Inside the group’s 50th anniversary reunion tour: How the legendary group fell apart and came back together, and how Brian Wilson gets along with his old bandmates:

“The vibe in Burbank is collegial, but each Beach Boy is locked into his own orbit. Wilson and Love tend to communicate through the musical directors they’ve retained from their respective touring bands; Jardine, Johnston, and Marks hover on the margins. Over lunch, Jardine tells me he’s been urging Love to open the second half of the set with ‘Our Prayer,’ the hushed choral prelude to Smile, but so far, Love has been brushing him off. ‘With him, you never know if it’s confrontational or uncomfortable because he’s able to mask any kind of negativity,’ Jardine says. ‘You never know if you’ve fucked up or not.’ When I mention ‘‘Til I Die,’ a stark Wilson solo composition from 1971, Johnston, who’s sitting nearby, insists that it was ‘the last Brian Wilson recording. Ever. The career ended for me right with that song.’ But why? ‘Because he was still 100 percent,’ Johnston explains. ‘Now, he’s … you know, a senior guy.'”

Source: Newsweek
Published: May 29, 2012
Length: 22 minutes (5,663 words)