How to Write a Thank You Note →

I’m not going to go all Miss Manners on your ass and get into the social intricacies and delicate situations that surround thank-you note writing, as I was taught that a solid thank-you note will transcend all complicated situations—and I have seen no evidence to the contrary.

There is a six-point formula to the proper thank-you: Learn it, know it, memorize it, and it will never fail you.

This is What Happens When You Reply to Spam Email →

Suspicious emails: unclaimed insurance bonds, diamond-encrusted safe deposit boxes, close friends marooned in a foreign country. They pop up in our inboxes, and standard procedure is to delete on sight. But what happens when you reply? Follow along as writer and comedian James Veitch narrates a hilarious, months-long exchange with a spammer who offered to cut him in on a hot deal.

And as a follow up, “The agony of trying to unsubscribe”.

An American Tragedy →

There are, inevitably, miseries to come: an increasingly reactionary Supreme Court; an emboldened right-wing Congress; a President whose disdain for women and minorities, civil liberties and scientific fact, to say nothing of simple decency, has been repeatedly demonstrated. Trump is vulgarity unbounded, a knowledge-free national leader who will not only set markets tumbling but will strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable, the weak, and, above all, the many varieties of Other whom he has so deeply insulted.

“And, to be honest, I don’t have a specific agenda for what I want to do all that differently, apart from what I’m already trying to do every day: Identify and destroy small-return bullshit; shut off anything that’s noisier than it is useful; make brutally fast decisions about what I don’t need to be doing; avoid anything that feels like fake sincerity (especially where it may touch money); demand personal focus on making good things; put a handful of real people near the center of everything. All I know right now is that I want to do all of it better. Everything better.” – Merlin Mann

How Boeing Builds A 737 In Just 9 Days →

If you fly, you’ve almost certainly found yourself packed into a Boeing 737. This workhorse of commercial aviation accounts for one of every three commercial flights, and there are around 2,000 of them in the air at any given time.

Every one of those planes rolled out of Boeing’s Renton Production Facility, where workers build a 737 in just nine days. The factory, near Seattle, pump them out at the rate of 42 per month, and Boeing claims the 1.1-million-square-foot facility is most efficient airplane factory in the world.

Boeing faces fierce competition from arch rival Airbus. The 737 is the best-selling jet ever, with more than 9,000 delivered since its introduction in 1967, but the Airbus A320 is no slouch. The company has delivered about 6,700 of them since the airliner entered service in 1984.

How Snowden Escaped →

To escape the long arm of American justice, the man responsible for the largest national security breach in U.S. history retained a Canadian lawyer in Hong Kong who hatched a plan that included a visit to the UN sub-office where the North Carolina native applied for refugee status to avoid extradition to the U.S.

Fearing the media would surround and follow Snowden — making it easier for the Hong Kong authorities to arrest the one-time Central Intelligence Agency analyst on behalf of the U.S. — his lawyers made him virtually disappear for two weeks from June 10 to June 23, 2013, before he emerged on an Aeroflot airplane bound for Moscow, where he remains stranded today in self-imposed exile.

‘We’re the Only Plane in the Sky’ →

Nearly every American above a certain age remembers precisely where they were on September 11, 2001. But for a tiny handful of people, those memories touch American presidential history. Shortly after the attacks began, the most powerful man in the world, who had been informed of the World Trade Center explosions in a Florida classroom, was escorted to a runway and sent to the safest place his handlers could think of: the open sky. the open sky.

Exit Interview: I Played With LEGO for a Living →

It’s the kind of job where you can’t just wear 10 different hats, you have to make the hats yourself. So you’re juggling constant projects and design work and construction work and repair work. You show up in the morning and you have to make sure that the whole theme park is safe—all the LEGO models are intact, there’s nothing broken, nothing’s going to fall down. And from there we’ll start to work on any repairs that they need done, or we’ll work on designing new models using computer software or using pencil and paper, or just building it from bricks.

Toward the end of the day we’ll start building those models, and the design process is really either up to us or up to other LEGO Master Model Builders at other LEGOLAND parks. We share designs all the time, we’ll share construction and things like that. So it’s different depending on every single project, and every single project has a story behind it.

Fall Foliage Map 2016 →

The beauty of nature is sometimes found in the profound ‘intelligence’ it exudes. Perennials, which includes trees, must protect itself in order to get through the harsh, freezing temperatures of winter. If trees did not shed their leaves, their soft vegetation would certainly freeze during winter time, damaging and no doubt killing the tree.

In order to cope with the gruling winter temperatures, trees slowly close off the veins that carry water and nutrients to and from the leaves with a layer of new cells that form at the base of the leaf stem, protecting the limbs and body of the tree. Once the process of new cell creation is complete, water and nutrients no longer flow to and fro from the leaf – this enable the leaf to die and weaken at the stem, eventually falling gracefully to the ground.

Teardown: Same Product, Fifty Years Apart →

The few things I have that have passed a half-century or more come in two categories. Either keepsakes like photos of my ancestors or my father’s Army medals. Or tools. Virtually all of them hand tools, because there is nothing wrong with a century-old hammer or screwdriver. (And if they haven’t broken yet, they’re not likely to.) But I do have one curiosity. An old electric hair clipper.

Ryder Cup Secrets From Undercover Pros →

This isn’t just jingoistic chirping about the enemy. In some cases, it’s Americans critiquing Americans, or Europeans burying Europeans: “It started with slightly dodgy mechanics,” said one, “and it has developed into a full-blown mental problem.” Another player’s weakness is highlighted: “Over a bunker to a tight flag is his worst nightmare. It’s not pretty.” And this: “He’s well capable of giving up. … If he’s not in the mood, he’s just not in the mood.”

Adam Driver: My Journey from Marine to Actor →

Before he fought in the galactic battles of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Adam Driver was a United States Marine with 1/1 Weapons Company. He tells the story of how and why he became a Marine, the complex transition from soldier to civilian — and Arts in the Armed Forces, his nonprofit that brings theater to the military. Because, as he says: “Self-expression is just as valuable a tool as a rifle on your shoulder.” Followed by a spirited performance of Marco Ramirez’s “I am not Batman” by Jesse J. Perez and Matt Johnson.

Flag Stories →

Sure, there are a lot of books and websites covering the different aspects of flags like history, demography and culture, through heavy text, but we wanted to add new aspects to this field by only looking at the graphics and telling the story visually.