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Sep 20, 2016

The Awl

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Aberdeen, Maryland, to New York City, August 3, 2014
Aug 4, 2014
by Tom Scocca

The cloud light through the trees was deep green, for sleeping in and for sleeping in. A tiger swallowtail flapped and glided back and forth outside the second-floor windows. The goldfinches were the same strong yellowthe early fireflies had been the evening before. A female hummingbird sipped at a plastic flower on the feeder, while the male perched on one bare curving stalk amid the swelling wave of trumpet vine. Now and again he flashed the red of his throat. Outdoors was damp, the air full of peeping and piping and trilling.

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The End Arrives in a Paper Cup
Aug 4, 2014
by Matt Buchanan

The newest project from The Mast Brothersgiant-bearded gingers who arrived on the shores of Williamsburg in exquisitely crafted aprons and denim shirts to make conscientiously sourced and highly articulate hand-crafted bean-to-bar chocolate after leaving behind soulless corporate livesis called The Chocolate House, and it combines all of that painful earnestness with the trappings of a Fancy Coffee Shop, like cold brew and pourover chocolate. Pay heed, children. This may be one of the signs of The Brooklyn Apocalypse, come to pass. (via Eater)

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The Crucial Context of the Ebola Epidemic
Aug 5, 2014
by John Herrman

If the supercontinent Pangaea spontaneously reunited, the US would border the Ebola epidemic: http://t.co/0zkMNCgcbH pic.twitter.com/3rzV0kZrpq

— Vox (@voxdotcom) August 5, 2014

Some other interesting conclusions I can draw from this map:

Indian food in Antarctica Easier to drive places We would need new globes Next weekend I could be like, "hey wanna take the train to the desert" and everyone would be like, "I don't think the C is running today" There would probably be a news story that says, "If the supercontinent Pangaea spontaneously broke apart, the US would no longer border the Ebola epidemic"

Really makes you think.

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The Cost of a False Sense of Security: One $95 Earthquake Kit
Aug 5, 2014

When a small earthquake passed through New York on a hot afternoon in August 2011, I was home from work, reading a novel in bed. The bookshelf above my feet rattled, and for a few seconds the building went liquid. The rattle I immediately attributed to my roommates sex life, but when the walls seemed to slide my annoyance turned to fear. Our landlord was a former building inspector, which we understood to mean our apartment had never been officially evaluated. Is the building collapsing? my roommate called out from the living room.

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A Reminder That Google Precog Is Only in Effect for Certain Crimes
Aug 5, 2014
by Matt Buchanan

A reminder from Google after its automatic scanning of all email moving in and out of Gmail recently identified a man using the service to send pictures of child pornography: It is important to remember that we only use this technology to identify child sexual abuse imagery, not other email content that could be associated with criminal activity (for example using email to plot a burglary).

Gmail: a secure choice for plotting assassinations and most other crimes since 2004.

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Infection Successfully Quarantined
Aug 5, 2014
by John Herrman

The bold actions we are announcing today are significant next steps in our ongoing initiatives to increase shareholder value by building scale, increasing cash flow, sharpening management focus, and strengthening all of our businesses to compete effectively in today's increasingly digital landscape.

Delivering a quote for a press release, or for a corporate announcement, represents a difficult problem for media executives. Here, Gannett CEO Gracia Martore gives a statement to Gannett's own USA Today about a plan to split the company into two parts, isolating its broadcasting and digital investments from its not-at-all-doomed newspapers, creating, she says, "two companies that will be among the largest and strongest in their peer groups." The Gannett journalists among her audience are likely proud of their ability to understand what people really mean when prevented from speaking directly, either by fear or simple pressure. They read the obfuscating phrase "different peer groups" and know they being talked down to; they hear "readership" replaced by that meaningless word, "scale," and they know that they are increasingly at the mercy of impatient shareholders. Martore knows they know this, and then has to deliver the statement anyway.

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"Did Something Happen?": On Elena Ferrante's 'Abandonment' and Jenny Offill's 'Speculation'
Aug 5, 2014

I went on a trip back home to Texas last weekend with Elena Ferrantes The Days of Abandonment and Jenny Offills Dept. of Speculation in my backpack. I had no idea what either novel was about when I bought them; it surprised me to find that both were narrated by women whose husbands are having affairs.

We live in a world that is alarmingly full of options, which is why people have affairs and why I like plane rides in the company of books good enough to keep you off the expensive wifi: I read Offills book in one sitting and Ferrantes in two. The authors styles are miles apart but both novels were tense and singular, their thoughts articulated with plain, needle-sharp beauty, like tiny leaves against the sky.

Book behavior can be just as callous as the behavior of love and sex.

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Block More, Fix the Stupid Internet
Aug 5, 2014
by John Herrman

According to a nice new tool called Blocktogether, I am blocking 16 people on Twitter. I was worried about what this tool would show me: Would it be 16 reminders of times I was wrong, or acted stupid, or engaged in some sort of petty feud? Would I be ashamed? Here is what it said:@monteiro (Mike Monteiro) @darth (darth ) @RyanHoliday (Ryan Holiday) @pmarca (Marc Andreessen) @gabestein (Gabriel Stein) @SteenKJW (Steen) @Max_Fisher (Max Fisher) @BorowitzReport (Andy Borowitz) @tomwolber (Tommy Wolber) @paxdickinson (Pax Dickinson) @WyanRilson (jack danielsaur) @DylanByers (Dylan Byers) @paulcarr (Paul Carr) @NYTFridge (NYTFridge) @ChristineTWang (Christine Tien Wang) @GlennF (Glenn Fleishman)

I don't remember blocking about a third of these people, and don't clearly remember who three of them are. There is certainly evidence of pettiness here! Arguments I didn't want to finish, buttons clicked in the heat of the moment, silly Twitter-only conflicts that are too embarrassing to recount.

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Why I Left
Aug 5, 2014
by Kevin Lincoln

Legend has it that William Howard Taft once got stuck in a bathtub. It probably isnt true, in the way that so many bits of history are just oversold dad jokes. But lets say, for a second, that it is true. Or better yet: Taft didnt get stuck. He just decided to stay in the bath.

I thought about William Howard Taft as I soaped myself.

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Hulk Hogan in Repose
Aug 5, 2014
by Tyler Gillespie

On Fathers Day in Tampa, Florida, a toned woman in a thong bikini backflipped off the party boat Sea Cowboy as club music blasted out of Hogans Beach, a twenty-thousand-square-foot restaurant and bar. Connected to the Best Western Bay Harbor Hotel, Hogans Beach is a hotspot, at least according to the radio ads for the venue. Owned by Terry Gene Bollea, it is perhaps the final resting place of the spirit of his Hulk Hogan persona. I get to come in here and act like I own the place and run it 24 hours a day, he told a Florida newspaper. Im just posing.

While Hogan may not have many daily responsibilities in his namesake venue, the Hulkster was set to host the days shitshow stop of international DJ Cedric Gervaiss Summertime Sadness tour.

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