‘We’re in the Business of Programming People’s Lives’

Josh Harris may have been the first internet millionaire in New York. As founder of Jupiter Communications and New York’s first online media portal, Pseudo.com, he rode the web 1.0 dotcom boom to a fortune of $85 million. But as the 1990s ramped up, his view of what the internet would do to us darkened, and he spent his fortune on a series of lurid social experiments aiming to demonstrate what he saw. The biggest was an ambitious millennial happening called Quiet, which Andrew Smith writes about in his new book, Totally Wired. 1999 … Where to start? Seventy-one IPOs in July alone, hundreds over the year. A veteran Silicon Valley investor describes meeting a young entrepreneur who was trying …

How we made Booker T and the MGs’ Green Onions

It was originally called Funky Onions but to laced-up, deep-south America, that sounded like a cuss word, so we had to retitle it Booker T Jones, organist I grew up in Memphis and by the time I was 17, I was learning saxophone, piano and Hammond organ, paid for by my paper round. I started going over to Billie Lee Riley, but something hadnt worked out. Hed packed up and left, so we had the studio to ourselves. We started playing around with a piano groove Id been performing in the clubs, trying to emulate Ray Charles. It sounded better on the organ, so I kept on playing that. Stax owner Jim Stewart liked what we were doing and wanted …

This school principal who reads bedtime stories online to her students is what they mean by an ‘everyday hero.’

Reading aloud is good for kids. This principal is going above and beyond to make it happen for her students. The benefits of reading is well-documented, especially for growing children. Books help build vocabulary, foster empathy, increase attention spans, and teach kids to think critically. But some kids, especially in low-income households, may not have easy access to books or have caregivers who are able to read to them regularly. That’s a problem. It’s hard for kids to develop a love of reading without lots of exposure to books. And without the benefits that regular reading can offer, the educational gap for kids in low-income households just grows wider. Principal Belinda George, a first-year principal at Homer Drive Elementary in …

This post about the craziest ‘incidents’ at high schools is scandalous and amazing.

image via Pixabay Every person who’s been to high school remembers that one “incident” that embarrassed the faculty and had every kid whispering about it in the hallways. Twitter user Katie Notopoulos asked “What was ‘the incident’ in your high school?” and the replies were pretty damn scandalous. A girl in my class received menacing letters from a stalker but then it turned out she was sending them to herself. She left the school. Her parents didn’t let her cut her hair so I feel like ultimately it was their fault? — Kate Spencer (@katespencer) December 26, 2017 the football players’ dads ordered strippers to the players’ party. the football players turned the strippers down. it made the news? SNL …

Devotion Is a Brilliant VideogameToo Bad You Can’t Play It

As it stands, if you don’t already own Devotion, you can't play it. The game, developed by the Taiwanese team Red Candle Games, is no longer on Steam. This is maybe, hopefully, temporary. But at this moment, it's a game mired in mystery and controversy, a messy geopolitical situation threatening to overshadow what is also a brilliant videogame. Devotion, the second game by Red Candle, is a quiet, sad horror game about a small family, a sick child, and a cult. Set in Taiwan in the 1980s, it's a minimal, focused experience, taking place largely inside one small apartment. As the game progresses, the space changes and shifts, opens up and closes off, becomes dense with memories and terror. Devotion …

Boss Acting Nicer Recently? You May Have VR to Thank

Barry's hair has long gone gray, his face lined with deep signs of age. Sitting across from me in his pressed blue shirt, he looks like an uncle, maybe even a grandfather. But Barry's employment file is … not a fun read. He told a coworker she was a "whiner," and his colleagues have filed complaints about his inappropriate remarks six times this year. So as avuncular as he seems, I don't really have any options. I have to fire the guy. "We've addressed the disruptions you've caused with coworkers before," I say, "and this last one is strike three." He immediately becomes flustered, defensive. "Everyone is so—oh, come on," he says, stammering a little. "Everyone is so sensitive. It …

Jeff Bezos exposing the Enquirer’s attempt to blackmail him was good and right. But everything else about the story is so, so wrong.

Apparently 2019 is on a mission to outdo the past two years on the “How is this real life?” front. If you’ve missed the big news this week, the National Enquirer tried to blackmail and extort Jeff Bezos with embarrassing photos, but Bezos published their threats in a blog post instead. But that’s really not the whole story, because that’s simply not absurd enough for this day and age. The biggest headline in America right now is that the richest man in the world, worth an estimated $137 billion, is being blackmailed by the most ludicrous and illegitimate tabloid paper because they got a hold of his dick pics. That’s an actual news story. And that’s not all. The publisher …

Turns out almost everyone loved that ‘controversial’ Gillette ad about toxic masculinity.

(Ad photo via Procter & Gamble Co.) The social media outrage index isn’t a very accurate way judging how everyday Americans feel about events in the news. Social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, are great places for the most closed-minded, opinionated, thin-skinned, and angriest among us to vent their frustrations. But, while those people are foaming at the mouth, most people are going about their day, worrying about making ends meet and thinking about how to care for their families and friends. They’re probably happier, too. If you were on Twitter in the weeks before the Super Bowl you probably would have thought conservatives everywhere were irate over the “controversial” Gillette “Best Men Can Be” advertisement. The nearly two-minute …

A salesman tried to dupe Twain. His response? A turn-of-the-century burn of the century.

via The Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons Prostitution may be the “world’s oldest profession,” but quackery can’t be too far behind. In the 19th century, American medical doctors began to take a scientific approach to practicing medicine, but it didn’t stop the growing number of con artists pushing fake medical cures, elixirs, tonics, and serums across the countryside. These traveling sales people would set up tents and make fire-and-brimstone speeches touting the unbelievable benefits of their products that were said to cure everything from tuberculosis to baldness. These displays were often accompanied by confidence tricks and fake testimonials. via Carol M. Highsmith/Wikimedia commons By the time the people who bought the medicine realized it was fake, the con artists were off …