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“... like a killer whale born in captivity in SeaWorld."

"The Man Who Never Was." Vanity Fair editor Todd S. Purdum follows up his 2007 profile of then-Senator John McCain and a scathing 2009 profile of Sarah Palin by asking whether McCain, "...the leader so many Americans admired — and so many journalists covered — ever truly existed." (Previously)
posted by zarq on Oct 7, 2010 - 49 comments

James Patterson Inc.

James Patterson Inc.
posted by Joe Beese on Aug 22, 2010 - 157 comments

102 Alternatives to the Default Facebook Profile Picture

102 Alternatives to the Default Facebook Profile Picture.
posted by WCityMike on Jul 30, 2010 - 29 comments

I have a good feeling.

'Kafka was a slightly strange man.' A profile of Alice Herz-Sommer, lifelong friend of Kafka.
posted by shakespeherian on Jan 26, 2010 - 9 comments

Keep your hands to yourself.

Jonah Lehrer in The New Yorker profiles Walter Mischel, whose recent research indicates a child's ability to delay gratification can predict the child's academic success. Mischel was previously mentioned in a thread on behavorial economics. He is best known for the marshmallow experiment in the 1960s. (via)
posted by shadytrees on May 11, 2009 - 25 comments

Obama(s) Over the Years

The New Yorker has reprinted their articles about the Obamas over the years.
  • From a 1996 profile as part of a series about couples in America: MICHELLE OBAMA: There is a strong possibility that Barack will pursue a political career, although it’s unclear. There is a little tension with that. I’m very wary of politics. I think he’s too much of a good guy for the kind of brutality, the skepticism.
  • From a story about his Senate campaign: He was affable with everyone, smiling warmly, but in exchanges that lasted more than a few seconds it was possible to see him slipping subtly into the idiom of his interlocutor—the blushing, polysyllabic grad student, the hefty black church-pillar lady, the hip-hop autoshop guy. Black activists sometimes say that African-American kids need to become “bi-dialectic”—to speak both black English and standard English—to succeed. Obama, the biracial kid from Hawaii, speaks a full range of American vernaculars.

    There are others. Read in sequence, it's an interesting series of snapshots, with the guy slowly coming into focus.

  • posted by cogneuro on Jan 18, 2009 - 35 comments

    "...the posterboy for Generation Halliburton."

    "I asked [Bono] why, in his opinion, [Tony] Stark couldn’t be content with charitable work à la Bill Gates, shaping the world with his billions. "You have to understand these guys," was Bono's one-line reply. "Bill's software. Stark's all hardware." Vanity Fair profiles a year in the life of Tony Stark, and asks what the literal and figurative ascent of the inventor/playboy/superhero means for 21st Century geopolitics. Is Iron Man "the embodiment of an outdated American fantasy -- a self-made, unilateral, technological solution to hopelessly complex problems"? Or is he merely the improbable but logical outgrowth of one young man's vast wealth, careless hedonism, prodigious intellect, and strained familial and mentor relationships? Christine Everhart examines the political implications and personal motives of Stark's quest to beat swords into plowshares -- while profiting from the retrofits. [more inside]
    posted by Asparagirl on Sep 12, 2008 - 19 comments

    You are probably in your mid-20s, early 30s.

    Malcolm Gladwell takes a look at the effectiveness of criminal profiling.
    posted by graventy on Nov 8, 2007 - 13 comments

    Stealing Life, profile of 'The Wire', by Margret Talbot

    Margaret Talbot's wonderful profile of David Simon, the creator of "The Wire." Simon said, he and his colleagues had “ripped off the Greeks: Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides. Not funny boy—not Aristophanes. We’ve basically taken the idea of Greek tragedy and applied it to the modern city-state.” He went on, “What we were trying to do was take the notion of Greek tragedy, of fated and doomed people, and instead of these Olympian gods, indifferent, venal, selfish, hurling lightning bolts and hitting people in the ass for no reason—instead of those guys whipping it on Oedipus or Achilles, it’s the postmodern institutions . . . those are the indifferent gods.”
    posted by geoff. on Oct 15, 2007 - 34 comments

    Flash Personality Profiler

    Imagini Visual DNA. A ten-webpage survey supposed to profile your personality. [via Robot Wisdom]
    posted by cgc373 on Sep 18, 2007 - 41 comments

    Buy low, sell high.

    meta-markets Online stock market for trading socially networked creative products.
    posted by tellurian on Sep 3, 2007 - 20 comments

    video profiles--from activists to huggers to outers to excons to the religious ....

    People of the Web --very well done short video profiles of interesting people online. Mike Rogers of blogactive is on the front page now. Links to previous profiles are on the right, including Kirk Cameron, Caleb Shikles, Sherman Austin, and Josh Wolf.
    posted by amberglow on Jun 1, 2007 - 3 comments

    Donald Knuth, Computing's Philosopher King

    “I wanted to try to capture the intelligence of the design, not just the outcome of the design.” “In 1977, [Donald] Knuth halted research on his books for what he expected to be a one-year hiatus. Instead, it took 10. Accompanied by [his wife] Jill, Knuth took design classes from Stanford art professor Matthew Kahn. Knuth, trying to train his programmer’s brain to think like an artist’s, wanted to create a program [TeX] that would understand why each stroke in a typeface would be pleasing to the eye.”—from a profile of Knuth in the Stanford Magazine (May '06). Salon calls him “computing’s philosopher king(Sep '99). NPR’s Morning Edition interviews Knuth as “the founding artist of computer science(Mar '05). Perhaps a MeFite somewhere has one of these? (Previously)
    posted by Ethereal Bligh on Apr 23, 2007 - 40 comments

    claimID, I am not he

    claimID is an online identity management tool, recently out of beta. Essentially it's a way of helping people and search engines understand who you are, but also who you are not. It's closely tied to the OpenID project, discussed briefly in this thread.
    posted by runkelfinker on Jun 25, 2006 - 35 comments

    John Ashcroft: activist attorney.

    John Ashcroft: activist attorney. Long and revealing article about Ashcroft's "my morals and religious beliefs first and law second" political history.
    posted by skallas on Jul 16, 2002 - 12 comments

    It's strange to think Harmony Cousins is part my generation when she's lived ten times the life I have. But the fact that even after all this she can pull herself back to together proves that she's ten times the person most of us are. How many of us have her strength?
    posted by feelinglistless on Apr 1, 2002 - 29 comments

    Colorgenics

    Colorgenics forms a profile based on your choice of colors from a given color spectrum. Accurate? I thought so. So how much does mood affect how you respond to colors, and how much do colors affect your mood?
    posted by mikhail on Dec 14, 2001 - 29 comments

    A little humor

    A little humor found in the deep recesses of our profile data. Seems Rodii has a sense of humor [caveat: I'm not promising "LOL", but it certainly left me with a ""]
    posted by silusGROK on Mar 9, 2001 - 14 comments

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