Must Reads: The Greatest Juggler Alive, Stolen Girls and More
During the week, we consume words in snackable, tweetable bites. But on the weekends, we have the time to take a dive into the murkier, lengthier depths of the Internet and expand our attention spans beyond 140 characters. We can brew a cup of coffee and lie back with our iPads, laptops, smartphones and Kindles.
Since you’re bound to miss a few things during the daily grind, we present to you, in our weekly installation of Mashable Must Reads, a curated list of can’t-miss stories from around the web to read and reflect on. (You can find last week’s must reads here).
Dropped | Grantland
The greatest juggler alive, maybe of all time, is a 40-year-old Floridian named Anthony Gatto. He holds 11 world records and has starred for years in Cirque du Soleil. But he backed away from his art to open a construction business. This thorough profile examines why masters of their games sometimes quit, and is especially heartbreaking for anyone who excels at a hobby that most of the world doesn’t really care about.
Apple TV: The Little Hobby That Wouldn’t Die | Mashable
As iPhone became Apple’s single largest product line by revenue, Apple TV wasn’t quite so successful. In 2008, then-CEO Steve Jobs all but admitted that the product had been ill-conceived. Still, the company refused to give up on it — and slowly but surely, momentum accrued.
I Sold Out to China | Aeon
Leslie Ann Jones worked at a monthly magazine in Shanghai (an expat rag, in more common parlance) and wrote under heavy censorship. Surrounded by propaganda and foreign journalists who didn’t want to jeopardize their visas, she writes, it was easy to accept the muzzle. “You know that censorship has won its war on truth-telling when journalists happily police themselves.”
The United States had its most unusual weather week of the year to date, with a massive, slow-moving storm system spawning dozens of killer tornadoes, generating widespread flooding and even whipping up hurricane-force winds amid blinding dust in the Great Plains. Andrew Freedman delves into the nitty-gritty — and the role of global warming in the whole mess.
It’s no secret that Silicon Valley is home to a lot of crazies, rich kids and brogrammers. There’s no shortage of success stories, either (“In Silicon Valley, an MIT AI Ph.D. can generally walk alone into an investor meeting wearing a coconut-shell bra, perform a series of improvised birdcalls, and walk out with $1 million.”) Yet Gideon Lewis-Kraus’ riveting feature takes a bleaker outlook on startup culture: a story of failure, struggle and more failure.
The Ship-Breakers | National Geographic
In Bangladesh, men desperate for work perform one of the world’s most dangerous jobs. In this eye-opening account (accompanied by stunning photographs), Peter Gwin deconstructs a lucrative industry, but one that is also extremely dirty and hazardous.
A new Android app called FreeWeibo allows users to read posts that are deleted from Sina Weibo (a.k.a. China’s Twitter), giving Chinese netizens a chance to see what their government censors, and what their fellow countrymen are really talking about. That’s easier said than done in a country with one of the most pervasive online censorship systems in the world.
Nigeria’s Stolen Girls | The New Yorker
“The kidnapped girls were both Christian and Muslim; their only offense, it seems, was attending school.” Boko Haram have killed more than 1500 people this year alone, and the story of girls who escaped on their own accord has received frighteningly little press.
Video game and science nerds had a field day when film and excavation crews gathered last weekend to dig up one of the greatest video game stories of all time: E.T. game cartridges for the Atari 2600, which were buried in a New Mexico landfill in the 1980s. Christina Warren walks us through the strange-but-true story.
Don’t have time to read them all now? In our Readlist below, export this week’s must reads to your tablet to save for a time you have no distractions. Simply click the “read later” button alongside each story or click “export” to send the entire list of articles to your preferred device.