Basketball in Afghanistan and more truth bombs

Skip Pitts from Loaded Pictures on Vimeo.

Trying it the Dave Pell way today:

Peretz Partensky was born in Ekaterinburg, lived in Boston, got bored, and decided to go work as a network admin in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. This story is about how he tried to coach the local basketball team. For added bonus material, his photoessay about the Ferghana Valley in Uzbekistan. For even more, some pictures from a hot spring in the Hindu Kush.  ALSO, file this under women who fly 7 months pregnant from Kyrgysztan to the U.S.

“I’m single, unemployed and living back at my parents’ house in my 30s. I’d rather hug a pine tree naked than field questions about my life to semi-strangers in a holiday party scenario,” writes Philadelphian columnist Anna Goldfarb.

Who should be reading this blog post about who manages money in the household? Banks. Women manage a lot more than men, yet every financial vehicle is marketed to men.

Jason Kottke has a roundup of recent articles about the manufacturing mini-boom in America, starting with Farhad Manjoo’s take on how AMAZING American Giant is. Not gonna lie, I definitely checked out their site afterwards, only to find out the shirts are for men only. BOO.

Paul Ford is my favorite living essayist. In this one on new blogging platform Medium backed by twitter founder Ev Williams, he explores the difference between realtime in 2012, and realtime during D-Day.

I saw Nassim Taleb speak this week. It was one of the best things I’ve seen in my life. Reading this essay about his contrarian, but almost 100% correct ideas, is almost like that.

There are a bunch of end-of-year book recommendation lists. I’m not going to tell you which one is the best (mine which I haven’t written yet), but here they are. Here’s one from Petya, who has great taste. The Millions is doing A Year in Reading by some famous people. This one is if you like romance novels.  And the Morning News tournament of books is coming up.

Saudi Arabia sounds like a generally ridiculous place to live. Susie tries to be very diplomatic about it.

Let’s talk about the Royal Baby. A lot. As much as you want.

I have a friend who recently went to Mozambique because it was “untouristy.” It’s about to get a lot more touristy and crowded, now that oil’s been discovered.

Communism was super-weird, and for some reason Westerners love to fixate on the “sci-fi” buildings it built. Here is an annotated essay.

Nate Silver, my next husband, gave a hour-long-ish talk at Google recently on Data and Life. He is 100% correct that democratization of data is the only way forward.

Freakonomics has covered this before, but here is an actual account of discrimination based on how ethnic your name sounds from a woman who’s applied to 37 jobs.  For not the first time, I’m super-glad my parents didn’t go for Svetlana like their original goal was.