Mark Zuckerberg and Kevin Systrom on What Really Happened When Facebook Bought Instagram | Vanity Fair
Dorsey says the news was harder for him to take, as he felt he had developed a bond with the younger entrepreneur. “I found out about the deal when I got to work and one of my employees told me about it, after reading it online I got a notice later that day since I was an investor,” he says. “So I was heartbroken, since I did not hear from Kevin at all. We exchanged e-mails once or twice, and I have seen him at parties. But we have not really talked at all since then, and that’s sad.” Dorsey’s last Instagram shot perhaps said the proverbial thousand words about it all: a picture of an empty Muni bus.
LOLOL Silicon Valley People, man.
She was just 23 and a single mom, but she’d been on her own for much of her life, anyway. In her home state of Virginia, her mother abandoned her at social services when she was nine months old. Her paternal grandmother adopted her—and then died when Krystal was 15. Krystal became a nomad, moving from home to home, just trying to finish school. She married at 17, had Jay at 19, then Adara when she was 22. It wasn’t until her husband almost strangled her that Krystal decided she’d had enough.
hits a little too close.
The American Bombshell line is a streamlined set of gunmetal-gray sex toys with a World War II weapons theme: The Bunker Buster is a 10-inch cock with a suction-cup base, and there’s a knobby butt plug called Little Boy and a veined shaft with a set of weighty balls named, of course, Ballistic. Like they say, if it weren’t for the United States, we’d all be saying “cock ring” in German.
Scientists do agree that the disorder has three (rather obvious) defining characteristics: the excessive acquisition of things that appear to be of little or no value; the inability to discard possessions; and the disorganization of those possessions, which clutter up living spaces and make them impossible to use for their intended purposes.
“Do you have experience in winter-survival-type situations?” he asked.
“Sure,” I said. “I survive them by staying indoors. It’s a technique that’s worked well for me so far.”
“Have you spent any time in small aircraft?”
“I’ve, uh … I’ve watched movies where people spent time in small aircraft.”
“How about winter camping, backpacking, anything along those lines?”
“Day hikes,” I said miserably.
There was a pause on the other end of the line. “Well,” he said, “I’ll be straight with you. There are a lot of ways to die in Alaska.”
…I’m not saying this is right, but there’s something magical to me, something literally enchanted, about a place that can inhale a clutch of Victorian sailing ships and leave behind a handful of brass buttons and a copy of The Vicar of Wakefield. Terrifying, but enchanted. That high white vanishing fog — doesn’t it call to you, too?
…I’ve never felt all that caught up, personally, in the miracle of air travel. I played a little Wing Commander once upon a time, but it’s not like I was one of those pre-9/11 kids who used to lurk around open cockpit doors hoping some head-tousling type would kick them a set of plastic wings. Still, there are moments when your adrenal glands just aren’t even going to pretend to hold back.
I HAVE CONQUERED THE MYSTERIES OF FLIGHT, I hollered inwardly, across the valleys of my emotions. LET THE AIR ITSELF BOW DOWN BEFORE ME.
“That was pretty good,” Jay said. “Let’s try it again.”
EEP, NO, I bellowed to the valleys.
…There’s a serious case that animal-rights people make against the Iditarod; namely, that it’s long and cold and dangerous and sometimes fatal, and who are we to subject living creatures to that for our own entertainment? A dog will in fact die during this year’s race, will asphyxiate in a snowdrift one night at the Unalakleet checkpoint. What you can’t deny, though, is that these animals, having been bred to want to pull sleds, really want to pull them. I mean, the dogs are hysterical, they’re in raptures. I watch one little guy, a black-and-tan with a shaggy belly, hurl himself forward against the restraint of his own tug line about 15 times in a row, barking up a storm, as if he’s decided to get the sled going all on his own. He stops every now and again to look incredulously at his teammates. What — is — the — holdup — here — people? This is happening all over the place. It’s like standing inside the mind of a saint right before an out-of-body experience. The dogs’ ropes all have to be pulled by straining handlers to stop them from just taking off.
…You walk down the sidewalk in Manhattan and maybe you know on some level that every single person you pass is a constellation of memory and perception as huge and unique as whatever’s inside you, but there’s no way to really appreciate that on a case-by-case basis; you’d go loony. You get anesthetized, living among crowds, to the implications of faces. The terra incognita of every gaze, Saul Bellow calls it. Whereas if you walk up to a remote Alaskan, I mean buying a bag of chips in the village store or whatever, a lot of the time the response you get is this sort of HELLO, VAST AND TERRIFYING COSMOS OF PERSONHOOD. The apertures are just wide open.
…I’d like to say I was grateful for the nausea because it kept me from being terrified, but the thing about nausea is that it sucks and you hate it. I did little breathey-county exercises while Jay focused on the less-important work of keeping the plane from crashing
…On the American island, a tiny Eskimo village bunched together in one corner at the base of the cliff — home, we’d read, to about 100 Inupiat. There had once been a sister village on the Russian island but it was forcibly disbanded by the Soviets to prevent ideological contamination. Otherwise the Cold War might have been ended prematurely by a few dozen Eskimo capitalists.
…Who knew what would ever be there tomorrow? And it hit me that that was exactly the point of the Iditarod, why it was so important to Alaska. When everything can vanish, you make a sport out of not vanishing. You submit yourself to the forces that could erase you from the earth, and then you turn up at the end, not erased.
Wow, that was just wow.
After my mother died, people always wanted to know how I was doing, and I always said that I wasn’t sad for myself, but that I was so, so sad for her. I was, and am, sad for her — sad that she went from being an intelligent, successful, and charismatic woman to someone who drank so much that she often shit on the floor. But was I sad that my mother, who drank so much that she often shit on the floor, was now gone? Not really. I was 16 years older, but I was right back to where I was when my father died. I felt the exact same way, and I didn’t feel the exact same things.
…Though my family was comfortable financially, the things that I needed more than anything — compassion, security, unconditional love — weren’t available, and that led to my growing up into a kid who cowered out of constant fear of getting in trouble and acted out to ensure she’d get in trouble anyway. In fourth grade, I wrote “I hate me” on the white bathroom wall of my school, and my teacher, who recognized my terrible handwriting, brought me in to discuss it. All it took was her pointing at that sad little bleat of a sentence for me to collapse in tears and to get me into therapy.
Between the heat and the heartbreak, the move was not my favorite. Trapped in the suburbs, I began to notice that the mother I’d largely ignored in Hong Kong was interesting — so long as she was talking about me.
…Every morning when the bus would come to pick us up while it was still dark out, I could see her slight backlit frame outlined in our blinds as she watched us drive away. A senior on the bus once asked if my mom knew that we could all totally see her. I told that kid to go fuck himself and to quit looking at my mom. To this day, I still can’t watch her watch us leave.
But my occasional annoyance with these facts of life in my building shows how pampered people can become here. In New York and Houston, I took it as a mark of pride that I never once had a cockroach problem. Two years later I find myself complaining that the washer/dryer doesn’t get fixed quickly enough or that one of my four toilets is on the fritz. It gives me pause and I have to remind myself that things aren’t so bad. Still, it’s common to find Westerners in the Gulf griping about problems they’d never have considered griping about before the move.
Because the other thing that being here reminds you is that as much as you miss home, the home you miss doesn’t exist. If it did, you’d still be there, probably. Though, much like with the image of the West they try to recreate here in the hotels, much like the image of yourself that you create as a professional and a heavyweight in your field, much like with the package of Ben and Jerry’s Willie Nelson Country Peach Cobbler, the most painful thing is you suspect that what you miss is either gone or will be gone when you get back or maybe never existed at all.
A reprieve came unexpectedly from the seat in front of me: “You must not show prejudice!” warned a middle-aged Chinese woman before Mr. Li could finish his sentence. The top of her head fell about a foot short of the seat height, and she faced us looking backwards through the gap between the headrests. “I’m not prejudiced,” Mr. Li said defensively, “it’s just I’ve been robbed once and—.” The woman cut him off again. “You must not show prejudice, you will get in big trouble!” This set off a sharp volley of escalating retorts and counter-retorts, which I tried to defuse with a line I’d heard countless times in China: “You see things are complicated because of our history,” I interjected. Mr. Li turned to me and remarked coolly, “Your history is only 250 years old. How complicated can it be?”
The bus pulled onto the access road to the casino. Mary turned to face me again and without prompting offered up gambling tips in a tone that reminded me of the final speech of a war film. She shared an elaborate theory of when you should and should not play blackjack, which was somehow related to the tidal tables, and she warned me never to play slots. She also advised me to change tables if I ever won two games in a row, because luck migrates from table to table, and when you think you’re on a hot streak your luck has already moved on. Finally, she instructed me: “Whatever money you make, don’t put it in the bank. Spend it on things you like. If you save it, you’ll want to gamble it, and you’ll keep going back again and again until you can’t stop.” I found this unexpectedly poignant.
…After we arrived in Flushing, I said goodbye to Linda and Vicky and thanked Mary for her advice and company. Before we parted ways, I asked Mary why she thought Chinese people liked to gamble. “Oh, they don’t like to gamble,” she answered. “They just think they’re too smart. They think they can win and win. But they don’t enjoy it. I don’t enjoy it.”
The reason is simple: relentless and well-funded campaigns against transgenic technology by (mostly European) NGOs and Green campaigners. Their efforts have led to bans on Golden Rice in the very countries where it could save millions of lives. These warriors against ‘Frankenfoods’ are, even if inadvertently, to blame for the blindness of maybe 3 million children. As Potrykus said at the conference: ‘If our society will not be able to “de-demonise” transgenic technology soon, history will hold it responsible for death and suffering of millions: people in the poor world, not in overfed and privileged Europe, the home of the anti-GMO hysteria.’
So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at the proliferation of courses in alternative medicine that erupted like boils throughout Britain’s universities in the early 1990s. It might have less to do with human credulity than with the fact that squirting coffee up people’s bottoms or dangling crystals over their bosoms is easy, whereas acquiring the biochemistry and anatomy needed to be a proper doctor is very difficult.
“Being a faculty member here is like having three full time jobs on top of each other,” Cox says. “There are only so many hours in the day. An hour spent on teaching is an hour not spent in the lab doing research or an hour not spent writing a grant proposal.”