The Last True Hermit, and More

The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True HermitGQ

“For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend—or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Until one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest.”

Paper Boys: Inside the Dark, Lucrative World of Debt CollectionThe New York Times

“Some of the deals Siegel made were hugely profitable, while others proved more troublesome. As he soon discovered, after creditors sell off unpaid debts, those debts enter a financial netherworld where strange things can happen. A gamut of players — including debt buyers, collectors, brokers, street hustlers and criminals — all work together, and against one another, to recoup every penny on every dollar. In this often-lawless marketplace, large portfolios of debt — usually in the form of spreadsheets holding debtors’ names, contact information and balances — are bought, sold and sometimes simply stolen.”

The Man Who Really Built BitcoinMIT Review

“When Andresen took over from Satoshi Nakamoto in 2010 he laid out the way the project would operate, drawing on his experience managing teams building software products and what he knew of major open source projects such as Linux. A group of five core developers emerged, with Andresen as the most senior. Only they had the power to change the code behind Bitcoin and merge in proposals from other volunteers. That gave them unique power over the currency’s basic operation and economic parameters. While the price of Bitcoin soared over the years, Andresen and the other core developers toiled to improve the software that made it all possible. They fixed security bugs that had permitted digital heists, made the software less prone to crashes, and spruced up the interface to make it easier to use.”

Is Race Plastic? My Trip Into the ‘Ethnic Plastic Surgery’ MinefieldNew York Magazine

Some elements of beauty appear to be universal. Symmetry and unblemished skin, for instance, are attractive across cultures, likely as a measure of health. Some believe that eye-size preference has biological underpinnings, too; large eyes, particularly in women, are a mark of youthfulness and thus fertility. Still, when Japan sent a delegation of samurai to the United States in 1860 after centuries of isolation, Survival of the Prettiest author Nancy Etcoff reports that the warriors said it was “disheartening” to discover American women had “dogs’ eyes.”

Has Tyrone Hood Spent Twenty-One Years in Prison for a Murder He Didn’t Commit?The New Yorker

“In February, 2011, Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago. He apologized for abusive police tactics, referring to them as a “dark chapter” in Chicago’s history, and said, “This is not who we are.” Meanwhile, the Illinois state government was establishing a Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission, to consider retrial for dozens of prisoners who were interrogated by Jon Burge, the detective who had been fired for “systematic” abuse of suspects. (In 2010, Burge was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice for denying misconduct even when, according to the judge, a “mountain of evidence” suggested otherwise.) Cook County began exonerating prisoners at a record rate, freeing more prisoners a year than any other county in the nation. But was it enough? Did even more people deserve freedom?”

For A More Ordered Life, Organize Like A ChefNPR

“According to Marketdata Enterprises, Americans spend nearly $10 billion a year on self-help and personal organization products. The market is huge, partly because most colleges and grad schools don’t teach basic organization. But culinary schools and professional kitchens do.”

Just Kill All of the Comments AlreadyPacific Standard

An argument for the end of comments isn’t actually an argument against the value of comments. They just don’t belong at the end of or alongside posts, as if they’re always some extension of or relevant to the original. They belong on personal blogs, or on Twitter or Tumblr or Reddit, where individuals build a full, searchable body of work and can be judged accordingly.

Photo courtesy of radloff

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