Wednesday, October 31


Clear Eyes, Full Plates, Can't Puke

Behind the scenes of the lovely, strange world of competitive eating.

Longform Podcast #14: David Samuels

David Samuels is a contributing editor at Harper's and contributor to The New Yorker and The Atlantic.

"You start by doing the thing you want to do, at whatever level you can. There's this idea that you work your way up by writing captions, and then capsule film reviews or whatever, and I don't think it works that way. I think you learn to master a form, and you start by doing the thing you want to do. At first you're not going to do it as well as you wish you could, and then you learn. At the same time, I think, there's so much dreck, and there's so many people who don't care about doing the thing well, that when that kid walks in your door and they want to do the thing, you say 'Sure,' because it doesn't cost you anything, you look at it, and there's actually some energy on the page, like, yeah, it's bad, but it's bad in a different way. It's bad in the way of someone who might eventually be good."

Thanks to TinyLetter for sponsoring this week's episode!

Show Notes »

Wild Things

Animal nature, human racism, and the future of zoos.


How Do You Raise a Prodigy?

The challenges of parenting genius.


Has Hollywood Murdered the Movies?

Blockbusters in the age of “corporate irony.”

Tuesday, October 30


Interview: Elizabeth Gilbert

“There’s a lot of disorder that comes along with wanting to know everything and wanting to try everything and wanting to experience everything, but there’s a lot of knowledge that comes out of it too.”


The Muse of the Coyote Ugly Saloon

Adventures in bartending.



Becoming a priest in Boston amidst a sex abuse scandal and church closings.


The Plot to Destroy America's Beer

The future of beer behemoth AB InBev.


Hacking the President’s DNA

On the potential existence of personalized bioweapons, which could attack a single individual without leaving a trace, and how they might be stopped.

Monday, October 29


Proust Wasn’t a Neuroscientist. Neither Was Jonah Lehrer.

The allure of conclusion-shaping and a wunderkind’s fall.