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How Gary Gygax, a semi-employed shoe repairman, built and lost the Dungeons & Dragons empire.

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A profoundly neglected 6-year-old gets a new home.

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On Singapore’s attempt to create a more harmonious society using mass surveillance and data analysis.

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Thursday, July 31

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A profile of a doctor fighting Ebola in Uganda.

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Shirley Dygert had never jumped before. Dave Hartsock jumped for a living. Neither of them knew what to expect when the parachute failed.

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“After listening to him since I was a kid and seeing him live for—gulp—nearly 40 years, I think I’m beginning to figure it out.”

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When James Brown died on Christmas Day 2006, he left behind a fortune worth tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of dollars. The problem is, he also left behind fourteen children, sixteen grandchildren, eight mothers of his children, several mistresses, thirty lawyers, a former manager, an aging dancer, a longtime valet, and a sister who’s really not a sister but calls herself the Godsister of Soul anyway.

Wednesday, July 30

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Behind the nation’s closed doors, with YouTube.

Previously: Paul Ford on the Longform Podcast..

Longform Podcast #102: Brin-Jonathan Butler

Brin-Jonathan Butler has written for SB Nation, ESPN, and The New York Times. His new book is A Cuban Boxer’s Journey.

"He smiled at me and just to make small talk, I said, 'You know, you’ve got this gold grill on your teeth. Where did you get that from?' And he said, 'Oh, I just melted my gold medals into my mouth.' And I thought, 'I think I’ve got a story here.'"

Thanks to TinyLetter, WW Norton & Company and Open Road Integrated Media for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show Notes »