The Complete Changes To Augusta National

As time ticked on, holes were further altered to address playability, agronomics, spectator convenience and, most recently, 21st-century club and ball technology. Our challenge was to graphically document every architectural change at Augusta National in a manner never attempted before. To do it, we enlisted the talents of computer artist Chris O'Riley to prepare a succession of detailed diagrams based upon our 30-plus years of research.

Roger Federer as a Religious Experience

Bill Gates recommends a book of compiled David Foster Wallace articles called String Theory. Wondering if I’d enjoy the book, I stumbled upon this 11 year old article that examines an already experienced Federer whose career we still enthralled with today.

The metaphysical explanation is that Roger Federer is one of those rare, preternatural athletes who appear to be exempt, at least in part, from certain physical laws. Good analogues here include Michael Jordan, who could not only jump inhumanly high but actually hang there a beat or two longer than gravity allows, and Muhammad Ali, who really could “float” across the canvas and land two or three jabs in the clock-time required for one. There are probably a half-dozen other examples since 1960. And Federer is of this type — a type that one could call genius, or mutant, or avatar. He is never hurried or off-balance. The approaching ball hangs, for him, a split-second longer than it ought to. His movements are lithe rather than athletic. Like Ali, Jordan, Maradona, and Gretzky, he seems both less and more substantial than the men he faces. Particularly in the all-white that Wimbledon enjoys getting away with still requiring, he looks like what he may well (I think) be: a creature whose body is both flesh and, somehow, light.

A Relentless Rivalry With Brother and Caddie, Austin, Has Propelled DJ to the Top of the Game

At the Ryder Cup every little detail becomes an obsession, from the pleats in the golfers' pants to how the pin positions favor the collective ball flights of the home team. No minutia is insignificant ... unless you're Dustin Johnson and his brother-caddie, Austin, golf's most laconic characters. During last year's event at Hazeltine, Dustin faced a sloping mid-length putt that plainly had two or three feet of right-to-left break. After conferring with his brother, he started his ball a yard left of the hole, missing the putt by at least six feet. Had the tension short-circuited his stroke or perhaps clouded his vision, even though this was just a practice round? In his soft South Carolina drawl, Dustin offered his caddie a different explanation: "Awwwww, man, I had the [green-reading] book upside down."

This Is the Best Section in Every MLB Stadium if You Want to Catch a Home Run Ball

A study by SeatGeek — in collaboration with ESPN — does just that: it combines seat locations with where home run balls land to determine where fans should sit if they want to catch a home run ball. To determine if a home run was “catchable,” SeatGeek overlaid data from ESPN’s Home Run Tracker with their custom seating charts to figure out an approximate location of where each ball landed. Stadiums that have spots where fans are not sitting weren’t included in the catchable total. SeatGeak, which sells tickets to sports and entertainment venues, then created a measure to determine what sections will give you the best chances of catching a ball for the lowest average ticket price.

The Death Star and the Final Trench Run

At the end of the original film, Rebel ships fly along the Death Star trench in an attempt to blow up the space station. Look at the photo of the Death Star at the top of this post: can you point to the trench that Luke and the Rebels flew down to fire upon the exhaust port that would ultimately destroy the space station?

Nearly everybody points at the equatorial trench of the Death Star. I asked dozens of die-hard fans, including many co-workers at Industrial Light & Magic, and nearly every single person pointed to the equatorial trench. If you asked me, I would also have said the equatorial trench.

I Just Spent $139 On This Book Because I Am A Weirdo

I have a rule that has helped me a lot in life, particularly in my education: If there is a book I am interested in, I buy it. Regardless of the cost. Regardless of whether I have a stack of other things to read. Regardless of whether I have any sort of certainty about whether it’s any good. If I want it, I buy it. And when I buy it, I don’t care how much I spent on it or how rare it might be. I treat it just like every other book (which means marking up and writing in it).

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.

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.

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."

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.

What They Teach You at Umpire School

You’re defending the thin line between order and chaos, enforcing the rules. You’re nobody’s friend, and you take guff from all sides. You’re expected to perform perfectly from day one. You’re dressed in a uniform that signals authority but also makes you a target of derision and hostility.

The Secret History of Tiger Woods

Outside of the golf course, it really seems that Tiger felt most comfortable using his superstar status to train with Navy SEALS.

Eventually, Woods learned how to clear a room, working corners and figuring out lanes of fire, doing something only a handful of civilians are ever allowed to do: run through mock gun battles with actual Navy SEALs. "He can move through the house," says Ed Hiner, a retired SEAL who helped oversee training during the time and wrote a book called First, Fast, Fearless. "He's not freaking out. You escalate it. You start shooting and then you start blowing s--- up. A lot of people freak out. It's too loud, it's too crazy. He did well."

At one point, Marshall put him through a combat stress shooting course, making him carry a 30-pound ammunition box, do overhead presses with it, do pushups and run up a hill, with shooting mixed in. Tiger struggled with slowing his heart rate down enough to hit the targets, but he attacked the course.

"He went all out," Marshall said. "He just f---ing went all out."

Marshall got his golf clubs at one point and asked Tiger to sign his TaylorMade bag. Tiger refused, sheepishly, saying he couldn't sign a competing brand. So Marshall challenged him to a driving contest for the signature. Both Marshall and Brown confirmed what happened next: Tiger grinned and agreed. Some other guys gathered around a raised area overlooking the shooting range. Marshall went first and hit a solid drive, around 260 or 270 yards. Tiger looked at him and teed up a ball, gripping the TaylorMade driver.

Then he got down on his knees.

He swung the club like a baseball bat and crushed one out past Marshall's drive. Tiger started laughing, and then all the SEALs started laughing, and eventually Marshall was laughing too.

"Well, I can just shoot you now and you can die," Marshall joked, "or you can run and die tired."

Today, Woods held a demo for Golfweek Junior Tour and is seen hitting golf balls publicly since late February.

The Best Time

Dallas Stars captain, Jamie Benn, with a dose of pump up for his team's first postseason game of 2016.

We want to win something bigger than that. Something shinier, with a little more heft to it.

Why Can’t We Build a Splash-Proof Toilet?

The BYU team also learned that a “low angle of attack” produces the least splash. When pee hits the porcelain at a 90 degree angle, the splashback is terrible. But when the urine simulator aimed low—imagine hitting just above the drain of the urinal—the splash was more modest and not angled back at the urinator. This is also a good reason to aim sideways rather than straight at the urinal.

Meet The 80 People Who Are As Rich As Half The World

Eighty people hold the same amount of wealth as the world’s 3.6 billion poorest people, according to an analysis just released from Oxfam. The report from the global anti-poverty organization finds that since 2009, the wealth of those 80 richest has doubled in nominal terms — while the wealth of the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population has fallen.

How do the Ghosts in Pac Man Move?

The ghosts in Pac-Man are among some of the most enduring enemies in video game history, thanks in part to their surprisingly difficult to predict movements which make the game a constant challenge for new and seasoned players alike. However, as it turns out, the ghost’s movements are defined by a deceptively simple set of algorithms thought up by the game’s designer, Toru Iwatani.

The NASA Design Program

Fletcher: “I’m simply not comfortable with those letters, something is missing.”

Low: “Well yes, the cross stroke is gone from the letter A.”

Fletcher: “Yes, and that bothers me.”

Low: “Why?”

Fletcher: (long pause) “I just don’t feel we are getting our money’s worth!”

Fletcher: And this color, red, it doesn’t make much sense to me.”

Low: “What would be better?”

Fletcher: “Blue makes more sense… Space is blue.”

Low: “No Dr. Fletcher, Space is black!”

It is also worth checking out some of the additional images of NASA Graphics Standards Manual on Flickr.

If Looks Could Kill: The Story Behind the Most Intense Lion Portrait

On this day, I was testing a new lens and camera body. When I approached the Lion from the observation area his head was almost completely submerged below the water’s surface. As I raised my camera and composed the shot, Luke simultaneously raised his head out of the water in my direction. As I began to fire off continuous shots the sound of my shutter focused Luke’s attention on me.

Through the lens, I felt his stare; it was powerful enough to make me stop shooting, and for that moment, time seemed to pause and nothing else existed but this massive imposing lion intensely staring back at me as if to my soul.

I truly felt amazed and minuscule by the power of this animal. I watched the rest of his intrigue and facial expression not through my lens, but peering around the side of my camera still holding it as if I were shooting. It was the first time anything has ever made me stop shooting. It was such an unforgettable moment, something I am lucky to have been a part of. I will never forget.

How Mosquitoes Survive Raindrops

A study says a mosquito being hit by a raindrop is roughly the equivalent of a human being whacked by a school bus, the typical bus being about 50 times the mass of a person. And worse, when it’s raining hard, each mosquito should expect to get smacked, grazed, or shoved by a raindrop every 25 seconds. So rain should be dangerous to a mosquito. And yet (you probably haven’t looked, but trust me), when it’s raining those little pains in the neck are happily darting about in the air, getting banged—and they don’t seem to care. Raindrops, for some reason, don’t bother them. [...]

In most direct hits, Hu and colleagues write, the insect is carried five to 20 body lengths downward, and then, rather gracefully—maybe helped by a dense layer of wax-coated, water-repellent hairs—gets up and “walks” to the side, then steps off into the air, almost like a schoolchild getting off of a bus (albeit a fast-moving bus hurtling toward its doom). It does this almost matter-of-factly, like it’s no big deal.

Supreme Court Rules the Constitution Guarantees the Right to Same-Sex Marriage

Justice Anthony Kennedy:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

The Original Super Mario Game Was Designed On Graph Paper

“Back in the day, we had to create everything by hand,” Nintendo designer Takashi Tezuka said in a video released as part of Nintendo’s E3 announcement Tuesday. Every square of land, question-mark block and Goomba had to be hand-drawn and colored on graph paper. When they were happy with the design, they sent it off to a developer to code. Fixing errors or making changes was tricky. Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s creator, said whiting out mistakes was too messy, so they overlaid opaque tracing paper on top of the level being drawn.

Be sure to check out the embedded video starting at 41:11.

Remembering Auschwitz: 70 Years After Liberation

Auschwitz I and nearby Auschwitz II-Birkenau were the extermination camps where an estimated 1.1 million people—mostly Jews from across Europe, but also political opponents, prisoners of war, homosexuals, and Roma—were killed in gas chambers or by systematic starvation, forced labor, disease, or medical experiments. About 200,000 camp inmates survived the ordeal.

The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled

To ensure that the film’s twist was as surprising as possible, Bryan Singer persuaded several of the lead actors that their characters were really Keyzer Söze. ‘I remember when we screened it for the company of actors,’ recalled Kevin Spacey, ‘Gabriel Byrne was stunned that he wasn’t Keyser Söze. Went out into the parking lot and had an argument with Bryan Singer. For a half an hour.’

A great look at how a fantastic movie got made.

How to Fix a Monet After Somebody Punches It

The team tasked with repairing the artwork had their work cut out for them. The assailant had left a massive triangular tear in the middle of the canvas, and some of the paint had been so badly pulverized that it couldn’t be reattached. Over the course of two years, conservators worked carefully to repair the painting and restore it to its original condition. A true labor of love, the project was recently documented on the museum website and has been reproduced here with its permission. Take a look.

Serial

Season 1 has come to an end. If you have missed the whirlwind surrounding Serial, I highly suggest using the holiday travel season to binge listen.

On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. A month later, her body turned up in a city park. She'd been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae's body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.

Edit: Serial Podcast Theme & The Notorious B.I.G. Mashup Remix

What Will It Take To Run A 2-Hour Marathon →

The Perfect Race

  1. It will be a cold day in March (or November).
  2. The course will be mind-numbingly boring (and perhaps in Poland).
  3. The pacemakes will form a human wall, setting the state for a time trial.
  4. The payday will be mind-blowing, but not tethered to a specific race.

The Perfect Runner

  1. He'll have a Paula Radcliffe's efficiency (and vertical leap).
  2. He'll be 5'6" and a buck-twenty soaking wet.
  3. He'll have towering self-confidence and very fast friends.
  4. He'll have access to things we can't imagine.
  5. He'll be in his early twenties - and fearless.

How to Buy Food: The Psychology of the Supermarket →

Think about your usual supermarket routine. Chances are, if your market is designed like the majority in the U.S., you start shopping at the right side of the store and work your way around the outer rim of the supermarket—with occasional forays into certain aisles, but generally sticking to a counterclockwise route till you get to the register.

Now you may wonder, Why do I always choose to go that way?

The answer is, you don’t. Whoever designed the supermarket chose that path for you, and for a particular reason: About nine in ten people are right-handed, and a counterclockwise route makes it easier for right-handed people to put stuff in their carts.

How in the Hell Did NFL Blitz Ever Get Made? →

The game was quite obviously not a simulation in the realm of the Madden NFL franchise or NFL Quarterback Club, but it was disconnected from reality in a revealing way. The NFL Blitz team wanted to include everything people loved about football and take out the things they don't, creating a consequence-free version of the sport. Keep and exaggerate the bone-splitting hits; lose the killjoy penalties and injuries.

It Ain’t Blood, People →

I've worked in a restaurant for 7 years and have heard every variation of, "Well done, I don't want no blood left in that steak." and "This isn't cooked, there is still blood." that you could imagine.

So what is that red liquid you are seeing in red meat? Red meats, such as beef, are composed of quite a bit of water. This water, mixed with a protein called myoglobin, ends up comprising most of that red liquid.

Peek Inside the Lamborghini Factory →

The Italian automaker founded in 1963 by feisty Ferrari hater Ferruccio Lamborghini built a long line of swoopy exotics that demanded passionate, dedicated drivers — with an equally passionate and dedicated mechanic on speed dial. Several ownership changes over the years, including an ill-fated union with Chrysler in the 1980s didn't help the cause. Lamborghinis inspired lust, but consistency of build and reliability proved elusive.

Until the Germans got involved.

Over or Under: The Great Toilet Paper Debate →

The eternal question: Should toilet paper hang over or under? Modern engineering has created an efficient way to dispense toilet paper, but it has left orientation up to consumer. In determining which is best, there are numerous variables, statistics, and principles of mechanics to take into account. And simple efficiency is not the only concern: for many, TP orientation is a matter of identity, lifestyle, and passion. Let us walk you through this timeless and enduring debate.

This is not a debate.

The 22 Rules of Backyard Wiffle Ball →

Just in time for your July 4th game of wiffle ball.

  • It's not a real Wiffle ball game unless you can break a window. Or windows.
  • Skinny yellow bats only...
  • Yes you can throw your super-awesome curve ball. But throw it fat and slow over the plate. Like a 2011 Astro.

The Technology Behind The Aria Resort and Casino →

The Aria opened on Dec. 16 last year, marketing itself as a high-tech alternative to Vegas's more traditional resorts, with a data and communication system driven by 283 individual telecom rooms and a broadband antennae network covering 140 million square feet. And while the technology brings many high-tech luxuries to visitors—omnipresent wireless connectivity, 3D monitors and smart touchscreen interfaces—it also crosses into potential Big Brother territory (even by Vegas standards). Here is a close look at some of Aria's biggest technological advances and the issues they raise.

Inside the Secret Service →

When president Obama and two-thirds of the world’s leaders gather in New York City, it is up to the U.S. Secret Service to keep them all safe. Granted unprecedented access, our author tells the story of how the agency pulls off the most complicated security event of the year, from counter-surveillance to counter-assault, hotel booking to event scheduling.

Cracking The Credit Card Code →

There’s hardly a more prominant financial product in America today than the almighty credit card. Nearly everybody has at least one — almost 80% of consumers in 2008, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston – and many use it on a daily basis. Without a doubt, there are also those consumers who know their credit card numbers by heart (makes online shopping and booking travel so much easier, if anything). But how many of you know what those numbers really mean? Contrary to what you may think, they aren’t random.