The need for a new letter on an old manual machine leads the author to the shop of Martin Tytell, now in his seventh decade as repairman, historian, and high priest of typewriters.
Friday, July 8
A search for the “armpit of America” ends in Battle Mountain, Nevada.
As China’s growing upper class has pushed the price of ivory above $700/pound, a look at both the supply and demand side of the global trade in (mostly) illicitly acquired elephant tusks.
Thursday, July 7
The story of a Marine who saved innumerable lives, then got fired.
Wednesday, July 6
On the oeuvre of Glenn Beck:
"The undisputed high point of Beck’s tenure in Baltimore was an elaborate prank built around a nonexistent theme park. The idea was to run a promotional campaign for the fictional grand opening of the world’s first air-conditioned underground amusement park, called Magicland. According to Beck and Gray, it was being completed just outside Baltimore. During the build-up, the two created an intricate and convincing radio world of theme-park jingles and promotions, which were rolled out in a slow buildup to the nonexistent park’s grand opening… On the day Magicland was supposed to throw open its air-conditioned doors, Beck and Gray took calls from enraged listeners who tried to find the park and failed. Among the disappointed and enraged was a woman who had canceled a no-refund cruise to attend the event." — from Alexander Zaitchik’s Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance
The disappearance of a legendary scavenger could have dire consequences for a swelling human population.
The jury room was a gray-green, institutional rectangle: coat hooks on the wall, two small bathrooms off to one side, a long, scarred table surrounded by wooden armchairs, wastebaskets, and a floor superficially clean, deeply filthy. We entered this room on a Friday at noon, most of us expecting to be gone from it by four or five that same day. We did not see the last of it until a full twelve hours had elapsed, by which time the grimy oppressiveness of the place had become, for me at least, inextricably bound up with psychological defeat.