Wednesday, September 28

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In 16 months, he has broken into more than a thousand homes up and down the San Fernando Valley. According to the police, his haul is worth anywhere from $16 million to $40 million. And yet because he has cultivated so many aliases, law-enforcement officials have been hard-pressed to learn his real name—Ignacio Peña Del Río—much less comprehend his unlikely background.
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A profile of Bob Fishman, the impresario of CBS’s NFL production crew.

Tuesday, September 27

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On the then new phenomenon of dead downtowns:

It is not only for amenity but for economics that choice is so vital. Without a mixture on the streets, our downtowns would be superficially standardized, and functionally standardized as well. New construction is necessary, but it is not an unmixed blessing: its inexorable economy is fatal to hundreds of enterprises able to make out successfully in old buildings. Notice that when a new building goes up, the kind of ground-floor tenants it gets are usually the chain store and the chain restaurant. Lack of variety in age and overhead is an unavoidable defect in large new shopping centers and is one reason why even the most successful cannot incubate the unusual--a point overlooked by planners of downtown shopping-center projects.

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On the FBI’s program to infiltrate Muslim communities in America.

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Four unhealthy, bearded, mostly unknown comedians from Atlanta tour 3,020 miles in a van.

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Gainsbourg decked out his home at 5 Rue de Verneuil in Saint Germain all in black, inspired by a time when he was younger when he'd somehow got the keys to Salvador Dali's house and made love to his first wife in every room while Dali was away. He even stole a small token souvenir in the form of a picture from Dali's porn collection. (Serge was obsessed with Dali and the pair later became friends. The title of 'Je T'Aime... Moi Non Plus' - roughly translated as 'I love you, me neither' - was inspired by something Dali was once supposed to have said: "Picasso is Spanish - so am I; Picasso is a genius - so am I; Picasso is a communist - me neither.")
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On the constantly evolving definition of insider trading and the lingering question of how inside traders should be punished.

Monday, September 26

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The case for coaches in professions other than music and sports. Like medicine, for example:

Since I have taken on a coach, my complication rate has gone down. It’s too soon to know for sure whether that’s not random, but it seems real. I know that I’m learning again. I can’t say that every surgeon needs a coach to do his or her best work, but I’ve discovered that I do.

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Abdul Raziq, a 33-year-old warlord, is an increasingly powerful player in Afghanistan and the recipient of substantial U.S. support. He may also be the perpetrator of a civilian massacre.

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An oral history of the Upright Citizens Brigade.

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How a town of 29,000 on the Hudson River came to be “one of the most dangerous four-mile stretches in the northeastern United States.”

Sunday, September 25

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The Haqqani family, an organized crime militia dubbed the “Sopranos of the Afghanistan war,” will almost surely outlast the U.S. occupation and thus seize tremendous power after the U.S. exits.