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Author Topic: Longform Links Best of 2011  (Read 1535 times)

Paul Keith

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Longform Links Best of 2011
« on: December 13, 2011, 02:12 AM »
via MetaFlter

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This was in April 2006, and Mark Zuckerberg gave Hammerbacher—one of Facebook's first 100 employees—the lofty title of research scientist and put him to work analyzing how people used the social networking service. Specifically, he was given the assignment of uncovering why Facebook took off at some universities and flopped at others. The company also wanted to track differences in behavior between high-school-age kids and older, drunker college students. "I was there to answer these high-level questions, and they really didn't have any tools to do that yet," he says.

#8 This tech bubble is different

Microsoft WebTV
Apple Iphone
shopping culture
Silicon Valley
turn ons
digital crack
ad tech
Color (startup)
Cirrus Logic
sardine population
sand dune formation
Department of Defense
biological weapons in Central Asia
Cloudera operating system
Pacific Biosciences
paradigm shift

Born from an impetuous whim only a billionaire would call a business plan, the paper quickly began its operations, grabbing all of the talent money could buy. Frank Deford, a writer who had achieved legendary status by the age of 50, was made editor-in-chief; columnists and a feature staff were gathered, poached, and lured from everywhere; every beat in the athletic spectrum was covered, charted, and ranked, from golf to professional wrestling. There were jokes, crossword puzzles, flashy info graphics, gossip, and an attempt to cover world news in brief. Somehow Casey Stengel wrote for The National even though Casey Stengel was dead. The long-form pieces were often exquisite and resonant. The box scores were innovative — a statistical Rosetta Stone. Egos ran wild. Ambitions, unchecked. Everyone's own ideas, of course, were the best ideas. And it was all just too much: The vision for the paper exceeded the technology available to produce it; the content straddled highbrow and lowbrow in a way that confused potential advertisers and buyers; distribution was a catastrophe; the money could not last. But what transpired in that year and a half launched careers and developed the voices and thoughts that would go on to frame the next generation of sports media. On the outside, The National seems long forgotten. But on the inside, there's no doubt at all that The National Sports Daily completely changed the game.

#9 The greatest paper that ever died


end product distribution
Frank Deford
Emilio Azcarraga
El Tigre
national sports paper
Sports Illustrated firings
new venture
murderer's row
writing talent
eating barbecue ribs like a god
real (not fake) Mysterious Mexican guy with money to finance
too old to fail
making a life changing decision while on a yacht
rooftop satellite transmission facilities
four fax machines
sixth fax machine never received a fax
Israeli computer programming
first paper in the United States to go without a composing room
going at five
no test papers
no newpaper during rainy Detroit
up to the roof of 666 to knock snow
a ladder and a broom
Toshiba laptops with really cheap modems
tech side doesn't know what they're doing publishing
dead design nazis and agate fascists
Van Mckenzie
self made gambling Grizzly Adams
Senior Editor, NFL and Boxing
Tyson-Buster Douglas
Some other time, my friend
Hank Gathers
death threats
Bill Murray The Sports Fan
that asshole Patterson
Charlie 800 words
Lupica in the flesh
4,500 copies a day
saving 5 dollars
If we could only deliver the paper without printing it, that would be more like the business I know.
The gospel of being sold to the Medellin drug cartel
Feinstein's cat bs
The French Open ends
June 12 iceberg
writer's lockers besides Wrigley's bathroom
playing the Mariners in the Kingdome
Lowery's birthday
Mike Penner's funeral house
Why'd I feel like I'd be any different
Give us Barabbas
free drinks
lucky Spencer
50 to 150 million

“You have only 15 minutes.” Then he lifted his shirt to reveal a heavy, boxlike device dangling from his neck. According to the note, it was a bomb. The teller, who told Wells there was no way to get into the vault at that time, filled a bag with cash—$8,702—and handed it over. Wells walked out, sucking on a Dum Dum lollipop he grabbed from the counter, hopped into his car, and drove off. He didn’t get far. Some 15 minutes later, state troopers spotted Wells standing outside his Geo Metro in a nearby parking lot, surrounded him, and tossed him to the pavement, cuffing his hands behind his back.

Wells told the troopers that while out on a delivery he had been accosted by a group of black men who chained the bomb around his neck at gunpoint and forced him to rob the bank. “It’s gonna go off!” he told them in desperation. “I’m not lying.” The officers called the bomb squad and took positions behind their cars, guns drawn. TV camera crews arrived and began filming. For 25 minutes Wells remained seated on the pavement, his legs curled beneath him.

#17 The Incredible Story of the Collar Bomb Heist


three minutes too late
3:18 pm bomb blast
DIY gun
Puzzle solving or death
go to the Mcdonald's restaurant
out of the car
drive thru 24 hrs in the flower bed
orange tape in Peach Street
jar in the woods
called off because of the cops
Well's clothing
two t-shirts
Can you guess who is behind this
Mama Mia's Pizza-Ria
Erie Times-News reporter
Bill Rothstein
Sept. 20 body
suicide note
Jim Roden
Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong
body grinding
string of dead lovers
Kenneth Barnes
crack dealer
former ex-television repairman
stop talking
said too much
July 2007
US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan
fake to real
fast talking silver haired assistant US Attorney
7 years after
Jim Fisher
Behavioural Analysis Unit

It makes sense that I felt divorced from mainstream rock in 1998; it was the year that the children of 1985 turned 13. The radio belonged to them now, and they quickly re-made it in their own, utterly foreign image. Not that they didn’t have help; the bands that came along when I was 13 and changed the radio in my image had exited the center stage of pop culture. Nirvana and Soundgarden were finished, Smashing Pumpkins and Alice In Chains were well on their way to being finished, and Pearl Jam no longer seemed interested in sounding young anymore.

Grunge wasn’t just dead; its body was being chopped up so close friends and relatives couldn’t identify it. For the next several years, a new wave of bands systematically wiped away the gains alternative rock had made in the early ’90s. Grunge was consumed by a new beast, and vomited back up with the most rank, least edible chunks of metal and hip-hop. Whether it was called nü-metal or rap-rock (or far worse epithets by those that couldn’t fathom the ugly blitzkrieg of belching fury suddenly coming at them from the fleet of bright yellow muscle cars rapidly taking over Main Street in every American town), this was music that took the sludge and the self-pity of early-’90s rock and turned it into something leaner, meaner, and nefariously empowering.

#18 You're either with Korn or Limp Bizkit or you're against them


women treatment in lyrics
bitches and faggots as acceptable rebellion
weak and emotional grunge
we're not all victims inside
big government rock stardom
fag except for the dick
homophobic by not being homophobic
Limp Bizkit
Bob Dylan
finding stuff was easier but lonelier
Brown Country Arena revenge
offering an earful of pain
success by severity of headache
something other than mob mentality
gals obliging to show their breasts
one in every 10 minutes of inbox hate
Dear Faggot the book
his story of Disco
goth Beastie Boys
Spice girls of hardcore
Marilyn Manson
Mechanical Animals