Quote of the day

"I will live for ever, or die in the attempt"
— Joseph Heller

Tough, Cheap And Real: Detroit

“The new Detroit shines downtown. Nearby areas like Corktown and Midtown radiate energy. But around this incandescence skulks the old Detroit, acres of decay and ruin, prairies where the remaining houses stand aloof from each other. Glass is gone from a million windows, like eyes absent from faces. The Detroiters I met have faith in even an uncertain future. It’s what defines them. Those who couldn’t summon hope left long ago” (4,275 words)

Ghanaian Hustle

A visit to Suame Magazine, the Shenzhen of Ghana’s informal economy — “a 20-mile stretch of wooden sheds, half-finished concrete factories, open-air workshops, foundries that turn scrap metal into grinding plates for flour mills and ore crushers for gold miners. There are five-foot heaps of rusting excavator parts, hundreds of stores piled high with spare parts. Every so often there’s a three-storey heap of carefully piled truck cabs” (1,500 words)

How To Be As Great As Elon Musk

A Quora visitor asks: “How can I be as great as Elon Musk?” Justine Musk, Elon Musk’s first wife, steps up to reply. The key thing is to be obsessed with your work. “Extreme people combine brilliance and talent with an insane work ethic, so if the work itself doesn’t drive you, you will burn out or fall by the wayside or your extreme competitors will crush you and make you cry. It helps to have superhuman energy and stamina” (820 words)

Being Ringo

Affectionate portrait of Ringo Starr at 74, skinny and fit, sober for 26 years, still on the road, still defined by the band with which he played for eight years a half-century ago. “The death of Lennon put an end to all the Beatles reunion talk. One of the reasons that the Beatles stopped touring was they couldn’t hear each other among the screaming girls. Modern technology would have changed that” (5,700 words)

Conversation With Dolphins

Dolphins are “a kind of alien intelligence sharing our planet … The question is not how smart are dolphins, but how are dolphins smart?” They are almost certainly smart enough to use language, but if they do, we humans are not yet smart enough to understand it. “Dolphins use distinct signature whistles to identify and call to one another. Each dolphin is thought to invent a unique name for itself as a calf and to keep it for life” (4,200 words)

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