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A history of the Grateful Dead, as told through its concert recordings:

"After Garcia died, Lesh was briefly involved in vetting the live releases from the vault. He also spent a great deal of time listening to the output of the final years, hoping to find material worth releasing, but came across little that made the grade. 'It’s tremendously time-consuming, and often really boring, to listen back to what you did years ago,' he said. 'What bores me the most is listening to show after show, and it’s just average. You’re just going through the motions. Everything seemed better at the time than it turns out to be on tape.' When he listens to music today, it tends to be Bach. 'I also listen to a lot of country music, you know, like the new country music. Brad Paisley.'

"When I asked him about last year’s giant Europe ’72 release, he said, 'I have to admit, I have not listened to it.' It should surprise no one that Lesh can recall little or nothing of many Heads’ cherished nights. 'Sometimes I remember what they looked like, what they felt like,' he said. I ran a few dates by Lesh, mentioning the venue, the context, the set list, the high points—such as a certain transition in Scar->Fire. 'Scar-Fire?' he repeated, unfamiliar with the shorthand. I may as well have been a Ukrainian Trekkie accosting Leonard Nimoy on the street. 'The Fox in Atlanta? I don’t remember,' Lesh said, with a look that seemed to combine apology and condescension. The eighties dates in particular provoked a curdled look. 'I may have consciously blocked out some of this stuff,' he said. 'It was very distressing to see Jerry fall apart. It seemed like the negation of everything we’d ever worked for. It wasn’t a tribe or a cult or a boys’ club, or anything like that. It was a living organism of several people. It was Homo gestalt. Did you ever read Theodore Sturgeon? "More Than Human." Check it out. That’s the conceptual matrix.'
PUBLISHED: Nov. 19, 2012
LENGTH: 49 minutes (12404 words)

Looking for Someone: Sex, Love and Loneliness on the Internet

The cutting edge is in mobile and location-based technology, such as Grindr, a smartphone app for gay men that tells subscribers when there are other willing subscribers in their vicinity. Many Internet dating companies, including Grindr, are trying to devise ways to make this kind of thing work for straight people, which means making it work for straight women, who may not need an app to know that they are surrounded by willing straight men.
PUBLISHED: July 4, 2011
LENGTH: 41 minutes (10251 words)

Master of Play: Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo's Man Behind Mario

Jamin Brophy-Warren, who publishes a video-game arts and culture magazine called Kill Screen, told me that there is something in the amplitude and dynamic of Mario's jumps—just enough supernatural lift yet also just enough gravitational resistance—that makes the act of performing that jump, over and over, deeply satisfying. He also cited the archetypal quality of Mario's task, that vague feeling of longing and disappointment which undergirds his desperate and recurring quest for the girl. "It's a story of desire," Brophy-Warren said.
PUBLISHED: Dec. 13, 2010
LENGTH: 37 minutes (9366 words)

Twin Freaks

Twin brothers Mike and Steve Marolt have combined genetic gifts and actuarial efficiency to become two of the most accomplished high-altitude skiers alive. "A number of renowned ski mountaineers told me, without wanting their names to be used, that they resented the attention the Marolts had received for their exploits—or, more to the point, the attention the Marolts had sought out. The criticism is that the Marolts ski (and climb) unremarkable, unstylish lines ('tourist routes,' as one put it), that they care less about summits than about altimeter readings, and that, above all, they make more of their feats than those feats merit. The fact that they've skied so often above 7,000 meters elicits a collective 'So what?' from the sport's elites, who favor first descents and technical derring-do. One of them told me, 'All it proves is that they have more time and money to waste on trying to get one boring run.'"
PUBLISHED: Sept. 1, 2010
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4949 words)

Food Fighter

Does Whole Foods’ C.E.O. know what’s best for you?
PUBLISHED: Jan. 4, 2010
LENGTH: 42 minutes (10583 words)