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Because I am a Jew, and a New York Jew at that, and because I am furthermore employed in publishing, I am, as is well known, bound by tradition and perhaps even natural law to sign a book deal. And so I have. It’s a rather pleasant thing to do, entering into a writing contract, despite the mental labor required to produce a book (I grow weary even now as I think of it). I do, however, work for a monthly magazine at which several colleagues have either written a book, are currently writing one, or are mulling the idea of it. I am therefore expected to behave as though securing a publishing deal is a good, but not overly momentous, event. In this regard I have undoubtedly failed to uphold the standards of my industry. I talk incessantly of my project, to all and anyone foolish enough to listen. And my literary self-commendation is not limited to work fellows: My girlfriend hears much of my project, as does my 4-year-old boy, my ex-wife, both of our divorce attorneys, my neighbor, my college friends, the folks who only hear from me via social media, my cheesemonger, close and distant relatives, and yes, my dog, Frankie. –“Mistaken Identity,” Theodore Ross, Tablet
Such is the sacredness of our relationship with our bowels that we’re all programmed to pretend no one ever poops (or writes about it), despite the fact that every day on this planet, we humans produce 1.5 billion pounds of the stuff. The plain truth is, we all poop. Even athletes. Especially athletes. One of the sports world’s last unspoken dirty little secrets is that this perfectly normal bodily function has a profound effect on all levels of competition. And the more you understand the way exercise impacts the intestinal tract, the more you’ll wonder how any athlete ever manages to hold it in. In fact, a lot of times, they don’t. A survey by the Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive Research, released in 2000, found that 72 percent of conditioned athletes have suffered from lower-intestine distress. –“It Happens,” David Fleming, ESPN, The Magazine
Albert Speer was relaxed during our interview and had no qualms about revisiting his lurid past. He could talk about those years for hours in that fluent, Franconian-accented English of his. He learned it from his American and British military guards in Berlin’s Spandau prison where he was incarcerated for war crimes until 1966. He was lucky not to have been hanged with Ribbentrop and the others. “Why do you agree to meet foreign journalists like me, and patiently answer our endless questions?” I asked him. “It is my duty,” he replied. –“The Master Architect,” Peter Foges, Lapham’s Quarterly
Bernie Madoff + child molester=journalism gold!
just anyone can finish your sprawling, ceaseless epic;
forgive me if I hope never to consider technology a “pre-existing condition of the universe,” even if it absolutely is (please see: wheel, sliced bread, et al.)
Beat it, Chinese
More from TedRoss:
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”