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What We’re Reading

The City: San Francisco,” The Daily Beast
Sloane Crosley, who went to Ecuador on an AFAR Spin the Globe trip, may be a New Yorker through and through, but she learned to love San Francisco. —Derk Richardson 

Jad Abumrad: The Terrors & Occasional Virtues of Not Knowing What You’re Doing,” Transom.org
Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad recounts the story of his now popular radio show, and the pain and possibilities of gut churn. —Kevin Favro

The Place I Love But Can’t Describe,” Aviators and a Camera
Kirsten is one of my favorite travel bloggers (and an AFAR Ambassador!). She never fails to transport me right to where she is—in this case, to Costa Brava, through her bold, direct photographs (above).  —Lauren Nicholl

Mexican Media: Es Muy Complicado,” On the Media
In this broadcast of On the Media from earlier this summer, WNYC reporter Marianne McCune (full disclosure: she’s my godsister) reports from Mexico City on the eve of the presidential election. It’s fascinating to hear from young locals who took to the streets to express their frustrations, hopes, and dreams. —Julia Cosgrove

Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?” The Atlantic
We’re just pawns in their hands. A fascinating story about how the multi-billion dollar demand for sparkling, pretty diamonds was constructed, whole cloth. —Davina Baum

4 Big Cities Launch Shared Data Platform,” Government Technology
Plenty of people smarter than me would know what might be done with this information, but it seems to me that some cool stuff will result from having the cities of San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, and New York City put all of their data up on the web, free for all to see. There’s already an app that can identify every tree planted in San Francisco and another that shows every film location used in the city. Big data is fun! —Jeremy Saum

Slackers: Alberto Salazar and the Art of Exhaustion,” The New Yorker
I really like this Malcolm Gladwell article, mostly because it’s about slacking off and he seems to have given up writing before coming up with any meaningful insights. (Plus, it’s like half the length of his typical articles.) —Evan Arnold

The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less
Barry Schwartz makes the provocative argument that ‘choice’ is making us unhappy and disillusioned. If you’ve ever felt flustered in a cereal aisle or stressed out after browsing through countless options on a flash sale site, this is a must read. Ironically, I picked it up at a store that offered ’18 miles of books’. —Dinesh Kapoor 

Usain’s bolthole: life in the slow lane in Trelawny, Jamaica,” The Guardian
In AFAR’s July/August issue, contributing writer Matt Gross traveled to Kenya to find out why the Iten Valley produces so many long-distance running stars. The Guardian heads to Trelawny, Jamaica, and shares a glimpse of a sleepy island town that’s home to speedy sprinters like Ben Johnson and the fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt. —Jen Murphy

Damariz Ibanez
Our Learning AFAR group from Seattle is in Costa Rica right now. Damariz’s Tumblr has some great photos of everything they’re doing—ziplining, arepa-making, and more. Definitely a good read! —Stephanie Bradley

The First Lady at Play,” Internet Archive
This summer marked the 50th anniversary of the historic 1962 U.S.-USSR track and field meet at Stanford University. It is briefly recapped in this Universal Newsreel. The entire “reel,” with clips of Jackie Kennedy water skiing with John Glenn, and Gary Player winning the PGA, is less than five minutes. But beware, the archive might hook you. —Derk Richardson

Photo courtesy of Kirsten Alana.