Hot Shots, Bluefin Tuna, and Gang Wars in Chicago

How Zynga Went from Social Gaming Powerhouse to Has-BeenArs Technica
“But even as the prospectus was published, Zynga’s star was losing its luster. For one thing, profitability was an aberration; 2010 was the only year that Zynga made a profit, and since 2008 the company has sustained a net loss of just under $600 million.”

Public Enemies: Social Media Is Fueling Gang Wars in ChicagoWired
“We naturally associate criminal activity with secrecy, with conspiracies hatched in alleyways or back rooms. Today, though, foolish as it may be in practice, street gangs have adopted a level of transparency that might impress even the most fervent Silicon Valley futurist. Every day on Facebook and Twitter, on Instagram and YouTube, you can find unabashed teens flashing hand signs, brandishing guns, splaying out drugs and wads of cash. If we live in an era of openness, no segment of the population is more surprisingly open than 21st-century gang members, as they simultaneously document and roil the streets of America’s toughest neighborhoods.”

The Science Behind What Naps Do For Your BrainFast Company
“Better sleeping is known to provide lots of health benefits. These can include better heart function, hormonal maintenance and cell repair as well as boosting memory and improving cognitive function. Basically, sleeping gives your body a chance to deal with everything that happened during the day, repair itself, and reset for tomorrow.”

From Cat Food to Sushi Counter: The Strange Rise of the Bluefin Tuna Smithsonian
“But it wasn’t always this way. Several decades ago, the very same fish were essentially worthless worldwide. People caught them for fun along the Atlantic Coast—especially in Nova Scotia, Maine and Massachusetts—and though few ever ate their catch, they didn’t usually let the tuna go, either. During the height of the tuna sport fishing craze in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, the big fish were weighed and photographed, then sent to landfills.”

How Chris McCandless DiedThe New Yorker
“I was perplexed. Clausen was an esteemed organic chemist, and the results of his analysis seemed irrefutable. But McCandless’s July 30th journal entry couldn’t have been more explicit: “EXTREMELY WEAK. FAULT OF POT[ATO] SEED.” His certainty about the cause of his failing health gnawed at me. I began sifting through the scientific literature, searching for information that would allow me to reconcile McCandless’s adamantly unambiguous statement with Clausen’s equally unambiguous test results.”

19: The True Story of the Yarnell FireOutside
“Arizona, like much of the Southwest, was in a severe drought. The monsoon, a low-pressure mass of moist air that pushes up from the Gulf of California and brings afternoon rains to the region every July, was moving into Arizona, but so far the influx of moisture had done little to cool the 100-plus-degree temperatures. The monsoon cycle had yet to bring any rain either, though its arrival pretty well guaranteed lightning.”

How Detroit Went BrokeDetroit Free Press
“Detroit is broke, but it didn’t have to be. An in-depth Free Press analysis of the city’s financial history back to the 1950s shows that its elected officials and others charged with managing its finances repeatedly failed — or refused — to make the tough economic and political decisions that might have saved the city from financial ruin.”

Photo courtesy of Carlos Giesemann

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