Must Reads #media Edition: Generosity, Fake Reality Shows, Silly Dogs, Banana History, and Soldier Photos

What were the best, most fascinating, exciting, puzzling, or inspiring things I read or watched this week? Some will be about technology, photography, or education. Some will not. Catch up on things you missed. Maybe I dug up a few obscure gems that are totally new to you. Check out the brief ones now and save the more lengthy ones for later. Share and share alike…here’s the Must Read list:

 

Pay It (‘it’ being donuts) Forward

This is just a feel-good story of 55 donut customers paying for other people’s food…

Fake Reality Show – Long Island Landscapers

Hilarious trailer for a fake reality show by NY PBS station. There are a whole series of these.

Silly German Shepherd Bouncing Around Trying to Catch Shadow

Very funny and cute – title says it all.

The surprisingly interesting history of edible bananas

Interesting background about the genetics of the bananas we eat.

Here Are Your Odds of Dying from the Most Common Causes of Death

A striking visual showing causes of death. Also a great example of the power of simple infographics.

Satirical Versions of Corporate Logos

Soldier in Afghanistan photographs comrades using Civil-war era technique

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Must Reads #longreads Edition: Mobile Food, Secret Google, Bloods and Crips

What were the best, most fascinating, exciting, puzzling, or inspiring things I read or watched this week? Some will be about technology, photography, or education. Some will not. Catch up on some things you missed. Maybe I dug up a few obscure gems that are totally new to you. Check out the brief ones now and save the more lengthy ones for later. Share and share alike…here’s the Must Read list:

In rural Tennessee, a new way to help hungry children: A bus turned bread truck

by Eli Saslow via The Washington Post

Saslow tells an engaging, textured story free of (even subtle) political commentary. The writing leaves the reader to think about the story and form her own opinions. This is real, valuable journalism and it feels like a rare gem uncovered in the internet quarry.

 

Inside Google’s Secret Lab

by Brad Stone via Bloomberg Business Week

Have you wondered about what goes on at Google X, the secret lab that works on Google Glass and self driving cars? This insightful piece will peel back as many of the layers that can be revealed.

 

What Does It Take to Stop Crips and Bloods From Killing Each Other?

by John Buntin via The New York Times

This indepth, compassionate piece unravels the dark past of Los Angeles and the successes of anti gang violence strategies in the city.

Reading List: DIY Social Network, Hidden Profits, Flame Retardants, Who is Really in Control?

This is my weekly list of what I most want to share. What have I read that was fascinating, exciting, puzzling, or inspiring. Catch up on some things you missed from the past week. Maybe I dug up a few obscure gems that are totally new to you. Check out the brief ones now and save the more lengthy ones for later. Share and be share to…here’s the list:

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s letter to a young writer. Hard words to hear, but good advice. Via the “Letter’s of Note” blog.

Apple’s hidden profits: billions tucked away for taxes it may never pay. Very interesting read from The Washington Post. You decide whether or not what they are doing is fair or ethical.

Flame Retardant Chemicals. Via the EWG. Its about time our government took notice of this important safety and environmental issue.

Excellent dissection of the service Facebook provides and alternative companies that just do some things better. This is one I wish i wrote. Via “LifeHacker.”

Watch This

News reel footage of the Olympics from Italy – not sure what year – maybe 1950s.

Long reads

Amazing essay on innovation and how we have trouble getting big stuff done. Via Worldpolicy.org

Who is really in control of America’s farmland? Much of the focus of the article is on Missouri, but these are nationwide issues. Via The Nation.

The changing landscape of hiring is disenfranchising workers. A wonderful, indepth, and scathing piece from Mother Jones.

“My hometown is vibrant.” How a meaningless buzzword of urban development isnt producing meaningful results. Strikes an impressive balance between satire and informative reporting. Via The Baffler.