5 great stories from this week

ReadThisThing is a daily newsletter featuring one fantastic story each day. Here are the stories we sent out this week:

Where’s The Beef? By Eric Benson, FiveThirtyEight

“The logistics of pulling off a heist of this size were straight out of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” Braum’s had found that each stolen calf weighed between 300 and 750 pounds, meaning that the combined lot would likely have tipped the scales at over 500,000 pounds. Texas Monthly’s John Nova Lomax estimated that it would have taken more than 30 cattle trailers, each 36 feet long, to haul off the animals, and it insulted logic to imagine that a fleet of massive farm vehicles would have evaded detection.”

Split Image by Kate Fagan, ESPN

“Madison was beautiful, talented, successful — very nearly the epitome of what every young girl is supposed to hope she becomes…Everyone in Madison’s life holds a piece of her story, possesses a clue: a text message, a vacant look, a deleted Instagram post…It was as if they hoped she might be breathed back to life.”

Reform of the Nerds, By Peter C. Baker, Pacific Standard

“In Chu’s view, nerd-dom has a toxic, intolerant fringe, one that has gone unchecked in large part because nerds are awful at policing their own subculture, especially online. In an era when the nerds are increasingly ascendant, Chu wants to make nerd culture better — and to stop more of his fellow nerds from getting drawn into the worst of it.”

Your life on earth, BBC

This one is a bit different — it’s a fascinating interactive story by BBC. Start by entering some details about your life, and walk through amazing stories of how you and the world around you have changed since the day you were born.

My Dad Tried to Kill Me with an Alligator, by Harrison Scott Key, Outside Magazine

“As a boy, my interests largely concerned the life of the mind, writing poems, reading about the origins of the Latin Vulgate, plowing through science fiction stories about Captain Nemo in his Nautilus. The only thing I’d ever seen my father read was a booklet about how to mask your odor in the woods with bobcat urine.

Sometimes, it was hard to believe he was even my father.”


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