The Last Love Letter


He is an easy man to fall in love with. I did it in one day.

It is not exactly a love letter.

But in the guise of a dating profile for her soon-to-be-single husband, Amy Krouse Rosenthal pours out her unabating love for the man she has cherished for 26 years. Today’s Needull is one of those heart-wrenching love stories which cause that strange knot in throat and that odd tingle in stomach. Get ready for an emotional ride.

So many plans instantly went poof.

No trip with my husband and parents to South Africa. No reason, now, to apply for the Harvard Loeb Fellowship. No dream tour of Asia with my mother. No writers’ residencies at those wonderful schools in India, Vancouver, Jakarta.

No wonder the word cancer and cancel look so similar.

This is when we entered what I came to think of as Plan “Be,” existing only in the present. As for the future, allow me to introduce you to the gentleman of this article, Jason Brian Rosenthal.

Full Essay Here

The New York Times – Amy Krouse Rosenthal

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Note: Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a renowned children’s book author and radio host, died on March 13, 2017, 10 days after this love-essay was published. You can read her obituary here.

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Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future


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This is a post from Wait but Why which took forever to write. The post is as long as Old Man & the Sea, well almost. But, if you want to understand (really understand) what Elon Musk is up to these days and understand human brain better as a bonus, please invest some time reading it.

Not only is Elon’s new venture—Neuralink—the same type of deal, but six weeks after first learning about the company, I’m convinced that it somehow manages to eclipse Tesla and SpaceX in both the boldness of its engineering undertaking and the grandeur of its mission. The other two companies aim to redefine what future humans will do—Neuralink wants to redefine what future humans will be.

The mind-bending bigness of Neuralink’s mission, combined with the labyrinth of impossible complexity that is the human brain, made this the hardest set of concepts yet to fully wrap my head around—but it also made it the most exhilarating when, with enough time spent zoomed on both ends, it all finally clicked. I feel like I took a time machine to the future, and I’m here to tell you that it’s even weirder than we expect.

The complete article

Tim Urban — Wait but Why

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MELANIA’S BURDEN


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How a girl who wanted to make big in fashion world traveled from a sleepy town of Slovenia to the most coveted house on earth….How the most powerful man on earth needs her more than she needed him 20 years ago! Presenting Melania Trump…..

The union made perfect sense for Donald too. After demanding Ivana and needy Marla, Melania would be the perfect mate, one who would be an advertisement for his virility while giving him his “space.” Federico Pignatelli, a longtime Trump friend and business associate, who founded the fashion studio Pier 59, says, “Ivana was an intelligent, entrepreneurial woman. Also a very strong-minded person and very feisty. While instead, Melania . . . really no fights.” For her part, Melania would get a luxurious home where she could indulge her hobbies—Pilates and reading fashion magazines, according to People—in peace, and a promise that she would never have to return to drab Eastern-European prospects. Donald accompanied Melania to her homeland once. “I was there for about 13 minutes,” he later said to Larry King with Melania by his side. “We landed. I said, Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad. Bye.” Eventually Trump brought her family over to New York (where her parents now live for most of the year), allowing her to cut ties with the Old Country.

The complete article

Evgenia Peretz — Vanity Fair

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Rankings and Ratings in Our Lives


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I am guilty of this and so are most people these days. Our reliance on ratings and stars to make a decision or a judgment is progressively increasing. Today’s needull looks a little deeper into how the ratings are generated and should we blindly trust them.

On Zomato, a 29-year-old who is a ’13 connoisseur’ (having hit 20,000 points) says, “I am not a food critic. I am a food influencer.” He adds, “When we bloggers and microbloggers go to a restaurant, we are treated like gods. We get 15 dishes on the table, in the hope that we will like one. I am equivalent to five reviewers, so my rating matters more.” In the last year-and-a-half, he has been to more than 600 restaurants in NCR and says that he has two meals out nearly every day.”

The complete article

Nandini Nair — OPEN

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The United Airlines Debacle and the Morality of Capitalism


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We have all seen or read about how a passenger was forcefully removed from a United Airlines flight because the flight was overbooked. This needull talks about the morality of capitalism in this context.

Once the common good and the dignity of each person are introduced into the equation, then such things as compassion, kindness, and care for the poor and the environment will come to be understood as values that are every bit as important as efficiency, aggressiveness and hard work. In other words, once you introduce another goal into the equation, then the priorities of the corporation and its employees shift a bit. And, incidentally, it makes for happier employees and a happier organization, because who wants to work for a hard-hearted company?

The complete article

Knowledge@Wharton

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The Man Behind History’s Most Iconic Movie Posters, From Breakfast at Tiffany’s to James Bond


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This needull is dedicated to the charm of the old movie posters. I would literally walk up a kilometer to take a look at new movie posters every Friday in the small town that I lived in.

The McGinnis Woman is a mix of Greek goddess and man-eating Ursula Andress. While today she might be interpreted as a sex object or adornment, she was conceived, in her day, to represent the empowered woman. In fact, the McGinnis Woman possesses a whirling narrative force all her own, a perfumed cyclone of sexuality, savvy, mystery, and danger. She also sells books—lots and lots of books. “The McGinnis Woman was impossibly tall, impossibly beautiful, slightly aloof, and unattainable,” in the words of Charles Ardai, the editor in chief of Hard Case Crime, a publisher of noir fiction, who still hires McGinnis to illustrate his covers. “When Bob was doing the Brett Halliday series, back in the late 50s and early 60s,” adds filmmaker Paul Jilbert, who directed the McGinnis documentary, “they were offshoots of the men’s magazines: the bare-chested men with the women behind them, cowering in the corner. What Bob did was to bring the women into the foreground—put them out in front of the guy, and made them much more powerful, sophisticated, intelligent. You just didn’t see that in other covers.”

The complete article

Michael Callahan — Vanity Fair

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Why is #vanlife the latest travel fad?


If you have not heard of the latest hashtag in trend (#vanlife), please do search it now. You will be treated to beautiful Instagram pictures of old and new vans parked in beautiful locales, captioned with some quote about how to get out of our houses and start living in a van. Across the world, hundreds of youngsters, couples and loners, millionaires and homeless, are travelling in vans living a seemingly pleasant dream with its own set of nightmares. Today’s Needull, a recent article on The New Yorker, will give you a glimpse of the #vanlife of a couple named Emily King and Corey Smith.

Scroll through the images tagged #vanlife on Instagram and you’ll see plenty of photos that don’t have much to do with vehicles: starry skies, campfires, women in leggings doing yoga by the ocean. Like the best marketing terms, “vanlife” is both highly specific and expansive. It’s a one-word life-style signifier that has come to evoke a number of contemporary trends: a renewed interest in the American road trip, a culture of hippie-inflected outdoorsiness, and a life free from the tyranny of a nine-to-five office job.

Full Article Here

The New Yorker – Rachel Munroe

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