2013 had a lot of great longform writing. Longreads and Longform lead the way with their best of lists. Lots of sites provided year end lists: The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Business Week Buzzfeed, The Daily Beast, Dazed Digital, Deadspin, Esquire UK, Flavorwire, Gawker, Inc., Impose Magazine, Indiewire, i09, Lifehacker, Maclean's, Mashable, Mother Jones, National Geographic, National Journal, The New Yorker, On Earth, Out, Pocket, ReadWrite, Slate, Spin, Sports on Earth, The Electric Typewriter, The Verge, The Voice Media Group, and The Washington Post. [more inside]
Byliner and The Atavist might be heralding a change in how and how much longform article authors are paid.
Hartwick College, a small school in New York's Catskills, is the beneficiary of a trust that “could ultimately shatter the nation’s financial structure.”
An oldie but a goodie: David Bennabaum on learning how to program and be a sys admin at his high school in his youth.
Burl Cain, the warden of Angola, Louisiana's largest prison, uses religion to control and subdue the prison population.
SI has written an oral history about the making of the movie "Major League". Charlie Sheen was also interviewed for this piece.
John Hyduk, a middle aged blue collar worker in Cleveland, writes about his daily existence.
When athletes are in financial trouble, they often go to high end pawn shops to get money.
The U.S.'s military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq are mostly staffed by Third Country Nationals (TCN), who are often victims of human trafficking. [more inside]
Before Robert Jordan passed away, he dictated the ending of his Wheel of Time" series. This was just another bump in the rocky saga of the series. [more inside]
Joel Klein wrote an essay in the Atlantic about the reasons for the current problems in the primary educational system.
Before his death, Mickey Mantle spoke to Sports Illustrated about the effect that alcoholism had on his life and career. [more inside]
An oldie but a goodie: Don Reese, then of the San Diego Chargers, talks about his own problems with cocaine and the widespread drug use in the NFL at the time. [more inside]
Louis C.K. has what most artists dream of: total creative control over his show.
How Britain's largest corporations helped engineer the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.
Emmanuel "Toto" Constant led a paramilitary organization called FRAPH that terrorized Haiti after the overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. When FRAPH's fortunes declined, Toto mysteriously appeared in New York City, where he was scorned by the Haitian community. Justice eventually caught up to Toto, who is now imprisoned in New York state. [more inside]
Deadspin tells the story of the unlikely friendship between Kendrick Perkins of the Oklahoma City Thunder and two fans.
Fans of George RR Martin's "The Song of Ice and Fire" series are eagerly awaiting "A Dance With Dragons", the next book. This anticipation has led to hostility from some fans as to Martin's work ethic and the manner in which he spends his personal time.
Law enforcement authorities are in awe of the new wave of narco "supersubs" that are being found in the jungles of Colombia. [more inside]
The recently retired Manny Ramirez was one of the most inscrutable players in recent history. Ben McGrath of the New Yorker attempted to figure out Ramirez's motivations in this 2007 piece.
With the institution of No Child Left Behind, educational testing in the US boomed. Now, some of the low paid temp workers hired to score these tests are speaking out about the behind the scenes manipulation that goes on to ensure test scores are in line with "customer expectations".
Bikram yoga, popularized in the USA by Bikram Choudhury, is criticized for being overly sexual and as subverting the traditional aims of yoga. The bacchanalian atmosphere at the training clinics held by Choudhury seem to confirm this view.
In February 2006, a group of criminals pulled off the biggest cash heist in the history of the UK, making off with £53 million pounds. To date, only £23 million of the money has been recovered. Police are understandably upset about the dead ends in the case.
Donnie Moore was the California Angels' relief ace in 1986. After he gave up a home run that began the Angels' collapse in the ALCS, Moore's life and psyche steadily deteriorated, until he committed suicide in 1989. Steve Hofstetter wrote about Moore and the divergent paths taken by other athletes in similar situations.
Chen Sah is an unlikely good samaritan, a gruff man who cajoles would be jumpers into the Yangtze River to rethink their plans of suicide. [more inside]
It was not easy to get Terence Malick to direct again, as this article about the making of "The Thin Red Line" from Vanity Fair shows.
William Langewiesche writes an enthralling account of the hijacking of a French cruise ship in the Gulf of Aden by Somali pirates.
An oldie, but a goodie: Michael Lewis goes to Columbia's School of Journalism to see what such schools actually do to prepare their students.
Jonah Keri looks at the unconventional methods being used by the Texas Rangers to improve the durability and effectiveness of their pitching staff.
The Magnificent Ambersons, Orson Welles' second film, has inspired a legend around the lost footage excised by the studio to make it more appealing to audiences. The film's making is a cautionary tale in letting the studio have creative control, and the finished product pained Welles to his dying day. The mythical status of the lost footage has inspired a few to try and track it down. [more inside]
After starring in First Kid with the immortal Sinbad, Brock Pierce was left wondering what to do with the rest of his life. He decided to set out and make his fortune accumulating and selling items in EverQuest and World of Warcraft.
A look at how fatwas are issued, and how Iranian authorities were able to change the classification of caviar from haram (forbidden for Muslims to eat) to halal (permissible for Muslims to eat) in order to retake the caviar industry from the Soviets. [PDF]
A new brand of super shoppers use coupons and other discounts to get products for absurdly low prices. The Web has turned this group from a series of independent operators into cohesive groups, frustrating retailers.
In today's example of kids smarter than you and I, Wired follows the exploits of two teens competing at the International Olympiad in Informatics.
The once shining beacon of capitalism in the Persian Gulf has lost a lot of its luster since the global financial crisis in 2008. But is it too soon to declare Dubai dead? [more inside]
Adam Higginbotham wrote an interesting article in 2007 about Chuckie Taylor's reign of terror in Liberia. (Note: PDF link) [more inside]
David Bazan was the lead singer for a band called Pedro the Lion, who were big on the Christian rock circuit. A few years ago, Bazan began questioning his faith, and ultimately left Christianity. He has found understanding from his fans.
Tony Washington, an NFL prospect, has a black mark on his record. At the age of 16, he was convicted of incest for sleeping with his then 15 year old sister, and forced to register as a sex offender. Washington feels this is the reason he is being ostracized by the NFL.
ESPN takes a look at how Madden NFL became a franchise video game.
Want to fire a teacher in the LA Unified School District? Be prepared to spend several years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so. [more inside]
The Thriller Diaries: Michael Jackson’s 1983 “Thriller” remains the most popular music video of all time: a 14-minute horror spoof that changed the business. Behind the scenes it gave its star a temporary home with director John Landis, sparked a near romance with actress Ola Ray, and revealed how damaged the young pop idol already was.
For almost 20 years, Art Williams, Jr. was one of the country's eminent currency counterfeiters. His greatest achievement: counterfeiting the new (at the time) $100 bill (PDF link). [more inside]
In 1994, Leon Dash, while still at the Washington Post, wrote a Pulitzer winning series of articles about a woman named Rosa Lee Cunningham. [more inside]
Joeurt Puk (aka Joe Cook) is the father of Cambodian baseball. In this feature by ESPN, Patrick Hruby looks into Cook's background and finds that Cook may not be the tireless philanthropist he claims to be. [more inside]
Atul Gawande offers a way for health care to be improved through experimentation and pilot programs, much as agriculture was in 20th century
Lakers beat writer obliterates the myth that Wilt Chamberlain slept with 20,000 women. [more inside]
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