The ToB, presented by Field Notes, is live!

It's the 2023 Tournament of Books, presented by Field Notes! Yay! It’s time to Rooster!

Seoul is building the world's largest (also spokeless) Ferris wheel.

The script opened with a huge battle around the Greeks’ beached ships. For that spectacular scene, Susan and I had meticulously assembled ships, five hundred shields, two thousand costumes, and the other requisites. The Greek government had been most cooperative.

A college student in the 1960s, in pursuit of a young woman, attempts to make a movie with Marlon Brando to impress her.

↩︎ Lapham’s Quarterly
A researcher uses GPT-4 to measure the passage of time in fiction. "This is a preliminary report on a very strange world."
For your midweek wanderlust, some photos and a diary from a bikepacking trip between México City and Oaxaca.

When I told people about my semaglutide stash, they were intrigued. “Should I take it and be your guinea pig?” a friend asked. I reminded him that he was already skinny. “I’m Gigi Hadid skinny,” he replied. “I could be Bella Hadid skinny.”

Jia Tolentino: Drugs like Ozempic may help people see appetite as a biological fact, not a moral choice.

↩︎ The New Yorker
An excellent story about the entwined plights of a Phoenix sandwich shop and a homeless encampment.
“Pedro Pascal’s coffee order is a cry for help.”

“What Time Do You Wake Up? Write It in the Comments and I Will Tell You Why You Are Bad and Lazy Compared with Me, a 3:15 a.m. Waker-er Upper Who Owns Not One but Two Vitamix Blenders”

​A round-up of satirical headlines for stories about supposedly life-improving morning routines.

↩︎ The New Yorker
A brief letter to publications that want your email address to read free content. “Not reading is easier than reading."

After 29 years of neoliberal failure, xenophobia appears a satisfying answer for a national bourgeoisie that has thus far avoided redistributing sufficient wealth to the majority of South Africans.

Thomas Lesaffre: Across post-colonial Africa, foreigners are an easy scapegoat for an elite that’s failed to redistribute wealth.

↩︎ Africa Is a Country
In the Bay Area, eight households hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of residents (nearly half a million households).
The professor who called Bret Stephens a bedbug bets Twitter only has six months left.

A compelling argument to stare down SUVs (and be extra cautious at any crosswalks).

Of course, L.A. isn’t concentrated like Manhattan, or pedestrian-friendly like Tokyo. It’s not aesthetically breathtaking like Rome. Crosswalks are infrequent, and drivers often ignore them; the city only recently stopped ticketing residents for jaywalking.

TMN’s Rosecrans Baldwin claims Los Angeles as a great walking city, even if most of it “is awful to experience on foot.”

↩︎ The New York Times Magazine
The most polluted places to live in the United States: Bakersfield, South Los Angeles, and Chicago’s south and west sides.
From 1945, an effusive photo essay on “the California way of life.”

Bob Greene spent the entire summer of 2014 in Mammoth. He hiked over 650 miles looking for his son. Bob was close to seventy then and he'd dropped thirty pounds in preparation by hiking Pennsylvania trails with a backpack full of rocks.

From January, a moving story about searching for people who are unlikely to be found.

↩︎ Alpinist

If you want to understand homelessness, you have to follow the rent. And if you follow the rent, you will come to realize that homelessness is primarily a housing problem.

If the United States wants to solve homelessness, evidence finds the only way to do it is to build an ample supply of housing.

↩︎ Noahpinion
A loss of social capital, as well as opioids, explains rising middle-aged mortality.