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Sitdown Sunday 7 deadly reads

The very best of the week’s writing from around the web.

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair. We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour this Sunday.

1. Why we need rich people, according to a rich person
Adam Davidson listens as an associate of Mitt Romney makes the case for the spectacular wealth of the one per cent (New York Times).

“It saves a fraction of a penny on every can,” he said. “There are a lot of soda cans in the world. That means the economy can produce more cans with the same amount of resources. It makes every American who buys a soda can a little bit richer because their paycheck buys more.”

2. Building the biggest tiny model in the world
B Alexandra Szerlip tells the story of Norman Geddes, the obsessive model-maker whose greatest creation took the world by storm (The Believer).

Much of the crew considered him “nuts.” Geddes got his first look at the on-site office they built for him when the 408-panel model was trucked to the fairgrounds for assembly. The desk was nailed to the floor and a lamp nailed to the desk. There were bars on the window, and the walls were upholstered to resemble a padded cell.

3. Hacking the first iPhone, and what it meant
David Kushner meets George Hotz, who hacked the first iPhone while still a teenager, and learns about the hacking ethos (New Yorker).

“My whole life is a hack,” Hotz told me one afternoon last June, in Palo Alto, California. He had moved there the previous month. He was now twenty-one, stocky, and scruffy. He wore a gray T-shirt under a gray hoodie, ripped bluejeans, and brown suède moccasins. “I don’t hack because of some ideology,” he said. “I hack because I’m bored.”

4. An oral history of Friends
Warren Littlefield on the history of the iconic sitcom, as told by the stars (Vanity Fair).

We went to Caesars for dinner. We sat at the big round table in the middle of the room. Jimmy said, “Look around.” Nobody knew us. People kind of knew Courteney from that “Dancing in the Dark” video. He said, “Your life is going to change. The six of you will never be able to do this again.” It was almost like Don Corleone talking.

5. How to find great restaurants – the economist’s way
Order the weird stuff and avoid beautiful women – economist Tyler Cowen on his golden rules for finding great meals (Atlantic).

Look around at the street scene. Do you see something ugly? Poor construction? Broken plastic signage? A five-and-dime store? Maybe an abandoned car? If so, crack a quiet smile, walk through the door, and order. Welcome to the glamorous world of good food.

6. What the riots did to South Central LA
Twenty years after it erupted in flames, E Tammy Kim looks at what happened next in Los Angeles (Guernica).

In the months following the riots, everyone hoped that the violence would be a wake-up call. In these liberal fantasies, Koreans would denounce racism and become something more than middleman opportunists. Latinos would stop taking jobs from blacks; stop resenting them their citizenship. African Americans would get educated, get jobs, and reclaim their community.


In 2002, Mark Bowden wrote for The Atlantic about the private life of Saddam Hussein.

Each of his more than twenty palaces is fully staffed, and three meals a day are cooked for him at every one; security demands that palaces from which he is absent perform an elaborate pantomime each day, as if he were in residence. Saddam tries to regulate his diet, allotting servings and portions the way he counts out the laps in his pools.

MORE: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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