Tuesday, August 23

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In the first seven months of 2011, 94,000 people were sued for illegally downloading porn. Not one case has been decided by a jury. On the industry’s new strategy to make downloaders pay.

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At work with the scientists standing on the precipice of a grand unified theory of the universe. Or failure.

Monday, August 22

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On the culture of plastic surgery in Los Angeles, and how the reporter’s life changed when she got a pair of fake boobs.

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On “American Dream,” a mall under construction in New Jersey that will be the largest on Earth and feature an indoor skiing slope, a tropical area modeled on Hawaii, and a “TV screen that will make Times Square seem like a rec room from the seventies.”

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On the London riot on 2011, which “tells us a great deal about our ideological-political predicament and about the kind of society we inhabit, a society which celebrates choice but in which the only available alternative to enforced democratic consensus is a blind acting out.”

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On the combined force of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Virginia, a Tea Party stalwart.

Sunday, August 21

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But despite all that has been promised, almost nothing has been built back in Haiti, better or otherwise. Within Port-au-Prince, some 3 million people languish in permanent misery, subject to myriad experiments at "fixing" a nation that, to those who are attempting it, stubbornly refuses to be fixed. Mountains of rubble remain in the streets, hundreds of thousands of people continue to live in weather-beaten tents, and cholera, a disease that hadn't been seen in Haiti for 60 years, has swept over the land, infecting more than a quarter million people.
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Dreaming of the perfect apartment.

Should anyone ever choose to remake and bastardize Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I propose an opening sequence re-imagined to reflect more contemporary preoccupations. The revised opening scene should be filmed against the backdrop of an early evening in Brooklyn. The throngs of suits coming home from their nine to five grinds in Manhattan would be emerging from the subway stairwells like ants from an anthill, rushing off down various streets towards their various homes and families and dinners. All except for the would-be protagonist who, as the crowd rushes past her, makes her way to the closed-for-the-night real-estate storefront opposite the subway station. Somewhere, “Moon River” might still be playing, as if it had never stopped. Disheveled, lugging her purse and gym bag, she pauses for a number of minutes to read listings she has already read, and which she committed to memory weeks ago: a studio on Pineapple Street; a loft on Gold Street; a townhouse on Argyle Street; a two-bedroom coop on First Place; a one-bedroom condo on Carlton Avenue; a brownstone on Henry Street. It’s fall and the leaves blow in eddies on the sidewalk. She gets cold and turns away from the window to walk off down the street just as dusk begins to arrive in earnest. The occasional “For Sale” sign swings on its hinges, and the story of the day ends only to begin again in the morning.

Saturday, August 20

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The life history of an unassuming Sudanese man, Noor Uthman Muhammed, who has spent the last nine years in Guantánamo Bay prison.

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Notes from the campaign trail in Nevada with Ron Paul.

Part of Longform.org's guide to the 2012 GOP field at Slate.
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Another look at a popular myth.

For the longest time blues fans didn’t even know what their hero looked like—in 1971, a music magazine even hired a forensic artist to make a composite sketch based on various first-hand accounts—until two photos of Robert Johnson finally came to light.  The dapper young man pictured in the most famous photo, dressed in a stylish suit and smiling affably at the camera, hardly looks like a man who has sold his soul to Lucifer.