• The Mysterious Disapperance of Peter Winston
    A promising US chess player disappears in the 70s, and this is the story about it, or at least it promises to be; but since they don’t know what really happened, the story is incomplete and a letdown.
  • Schmidt and Thiel Smackdown
    This is the transcript between the CEO of Google and Peter Thiel, an entrepreneur and investor. It’s an interesting read, although they don’t go into much detail or talk about tech that much.

    PETER THIEL: And I think that ‑‑ and I agree with you that technology is critical. It is the only way that things get better in the developed world. And I think we should distinguish the developed and emerging markets very sharply. In places like China, India, Africa, Latin America, there’s zero need for innovation. All they need to do is copy things that work.

    But the part of the world where technology is really necessary for things to get better is the developed world, U.S., Western Europe, Japan. And the part that I would challenge you a little bit on is just how healthy the state of technology generally is. There are obviously individual companies that do quite sell, especially if they have world-class monopolies like Google has in search.

  • Brian Shaw, the Strongest Man in the World
    New Yorker takes a look at the being the strongest man in the world; not the body building or Olympic weight lifting variety, but actually being the strongest. Promising and interesting idea, but I didn’t find that the topic reached its potential

    Earlier that day, Ortmayer and the others had completed two more rounds. First came an event called the Austrian Oak, in honor of Schwarzenegger’s nickname as a bodybuilder. This involved lifting a ten-foot log from a stand at close to shoulder height, then pressing it overhead repeatedly. Banded with steel and coiled with thick rope at the ends, the Oak weighed four hundred and fifty-nine pounds—it took five large men to carry it onstage. Four of the strongmen declined to try to lift it at all, and four tried and failed. That left Savickas, who managed one lift, and Jenkins, who did two. Shaw, his left arm in obvious pain, was among those who had to settle for a lighter Oak, of three hundred and ninety-three pounds. But in a display of incredible grit he lifted it seven times in a row—screaming himself hoarse on the sixth try—putting him in fourth place over all.

  • End Game
    Curt Schilling went from a brilliant pitching career to the business of making a MMO, and bombed massively. He lost a bunch of taxpayer money and his own money; here’s how he did it:

    Schilling knew he’d been treated well during his baseball career, and wanted his staff at 38 Studios to feel the same. That meant gold-plated healthcare, for which employees had no paycheck deductions, and top-notch 401(k)s, with the company matching to the legal limit. As 38 Studios grew from 20 employees in 2006 to 42 in 2007 to 65 in 2008, there were plenty of other goodies along the way: free gym memberships, two homes the company rented to temporarily house new out-of-state hires (though that perk was short-lived), and, one year at Christmas, new laptop computers for every employee. Gifts like the computers came out of Schilling’s pocket — he says he spent as much as $2.5 million on that sort of largesse over the years.

  • A man walks Into a Bank
    A teaser on how a man cashed a fake cheque for $90k+ and then his battle with the banks. There’s no conclusion, he wants you to go see his stage act to find out the ending!

    Knowing I had $95,093.35 locked in a safe deposit box that I’d obtained from a junk-mail cheque but which was, by three laws, legally mine, the San Jose Mercury newspaper ran the headline: “Man 1, Bank 0.”

    Of course, everyone knew that the bank wasn’t just going to forfeit the fight. Everyone sensed they’d come out swinging. The newscaster Diane Sawyer perhaps stated the public perception about banks best when she commented on my expressed desire for a pleasant resolve with the bank over lunch. She said, to all who were watching the evening news that night: “I wouldn’t count on that lunch, Patrick.”