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Here's Just How Hard It Is to Open a Taco Truck in NYC

It may seem as if everyone is opening hip food trucks in cities these days. But it’s more complicated than it looks. Before you warm your first …

How a Ragtag Gang of Retirees Pulled Off the Biggest Jewel Heist in British History

The police and public gasped at the audacity of the Great Hatton Garden heist of 2015, where millions in cash and jewels were taken from an underground vault in London’s diamond district. Mark Seal investigates the unorthodox daring of the perpetrators—and the high-tech investigation that snared …

Crime

Pipino: Gentleman Thief

Magicians, Mafiosos, a Missing Painting, and the Heist of a Lifetime<p><b>Venice was built to confuse.</b> The floating Italian city has few straight lines: …

Crime

The Real Story Behind Jeff Bezos's Fire Phone Debacle And What It Means For Amazon's Future

Interviews with dozens of current and former employees reveal what went wrong and what it tells us about where Amazon is headed.<p>“What the hell happened?”<p>It is a cold day in early December in Midtown Manhattan, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has barely taken his seat on stage when his interviewer throws …

Prince Alwaleed And The Curious Case Of Kingdom Holding Stock

Any reporter who shows an interest in Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia can expect at some point to get a little gift from His Royal Highness. A driver will courier over a thick, tall green leather satchel, embossed with the oasis palm logo and name of Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Co., …

Inside An $8 Billion Family Feud: Who Poisoned The Orkin Fortune?

Over the past half-century the Rollins family became known for two things: killing vermin and throwing great parties. Millions upon millions of vermin. And really, really great parties.<p>Within Atlanta society the clan behind the Orkin pest control empire, now worth some $8 billion, became royalty, …

Secrets of the Creative Brain

A leading neuroscientist who has spent decades studying creativity shares her research on where genius comes from, whether it is dependent on high IQ—and why it is so often accompanied by mental illness.<p>As a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who studies creativity, I’ve had the pleasure of working …

Smelling Death: On the Job With New York's Crime-Scene Cleaners

CSI and Law & Order would have you believe that a crime scene empties out after the glitzy detectives are done with it. In reality, somebody else has to come in and clean it all up.<p>There is blood all over the room. It’s on the walls and it has seeped into the cracks in the floor. There are smears …

'West Wing' Uncensored: Aaron Sorkin, Rob Lowe, More Look Back on Early Fears, Long Hours, Contract Battles and the Real Reason for Those Departures

Sidney Poitier was the first choice for president; Bill Clinton was a fan; and Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme created a show "about democracy run by a …

Jesse Willms, the Dark Lord of the Internet

How one of the most notorious alleged hustlers in the history of e-commerce made a fortune on the Web<p>If you want to get a sense of Jesse Willms at his absolute peak—the wealth, the lifestyle, the aura of swaggering invincibility—then the weekend of November 12, 2010, is where we want to begin. That …

Bringing Design Thinking To Social Problems, Ideo.org Focuses On The People In Need

The nonprofit spin-off of the huge design firm takes on issues like sanitation and clean cook stoves from the unique perspective of the design world.<p>Editor’s Note<p>This story is part of Change Generation, our series on young entrepreneurs making a difference.<p>Jocelyn Wyatt and Patrice Martin are the …

Design

Little Town of Champions

The village of Bekoji, in the highlands of Ethiopia, has produced long-distance runners who’ve won 16 Olympic medals in 20 years. What explains this remarkable success?<p>“Running is in my blood,” says Tolo Debele, feeding his 3-month-old boy Dawit in his gated compound in the Ethiopian capital of …

The Truth About Google X: An Exclusive Look Behind The Secretive Lab’s Closed Doors

Space elevators, teleportation, hoverboards, and driverless cars: The top-secret Google X innovation lab opens up about what it does–and how it thinks.<p>Astro Teller is sharing a story about something bad. Or maybe it’s something good. At Google X, it’s sometimes hard to know the difference.<p>Teller is …

Why Owning an NBA Team is Like Having a House on the Best Beach in the World

Last year the Milwaukee Bucks were purchased by two hedge-fund billionaires for $550 million. In a piece for Grantland, Bill Simmons tried to nail …

Milwaukee Bucks

Bummer Beach

<b>Early on the morning of October 21, 2012</b>, five surfers pile into a Chevy Suburban in Half Moon Bay and drive south on Highway 1. Just past the city …

The coin prince: inside Bitcoin's first big money-laundering scandal

<i>By Adrianne Jeffries and Russell Brandom</i><p>A week ago, 24-year-old Charlie Shrem landed at JFK, home from giving a talk about the virtual currency Bitcoin at an e-commerce convention in Amsterdam.<p>The trip had gone well. Shrem’s speech made the front page of the Dutch <i>Financial Times</i>, his Icelandair …

The World's Best Bounty Hunter Is 4'11". Here's How She Hunts

At 4'11" and just over 100 pounds, Michelle Gomez doesn't look like the sort of person you’d hire to retrieve earthmoving equipment stolen by a …

The final confessions of a Silk Road kingpin

By our third phone call, Steven Lloyd Sadler was a fugitive.<p>Facing federal charges for drug trafficking and distribution, Sadler decided he’d rather …

Green Day: Read

<i>(This article originally appeared in the September 1994 issue of</i> SPIN<i>.)</i><p>It’s an early Wednesday evening in North Oakland, and the lead singer for …

What You Don’t Know About Pussy Riot, and Life in Russia’s Gulag-Like Prison Colonies

<i>Vanity Fair</i> contributor Masha Gessen has written acclaimed stories for the magazine about Vladimir Putin (“Dead Soul,” October 2008), the ordeal of Mikhail Khodorkovsky (“The Wrath of Putin,” April 2012), and the lawsuit brought by the late Boris Berezovsky against fellow oligarch Roman Abramovich …

Dealer’s Hand

Why are so many people paying so much money for art? Ask David Zwirner.<p>Very important people line up differently from you and me. They don’t want to stand behind anyone else, or to acknowledge wanting something that can’t immediately be had. If there’s a door they’re eager to pass through, and …

Yahoo’s Geek Goddess

As one of Google’s highest-ranking women, Marissa Mayer became a Silicon Valley superstar, but inside the search giant her dazzle sometimes wore thin, with colleagues rebelling against her imperious style. In the wake of Mayer’s jump to run the struggling Yahoo, Bethany McLean asks whether she will …

The Vigilante of Clallam County

Patrick Drum was tired of seeing sex offenders hurt children. So he decided to kill them.<p>On a morning last fall, Patrick Drum sat quietly in his black and white striped uniform and handcuffs as he awaited his fate. The sleeves of his top were short enough to reveal a tattoo reading “Win Some” on …

The Tweaker

The real genius of Steve Jobs.<p>Not long after Steve Jobs got married, in 1991, he moved with his wife to a nineteen-thirties, Cotswolds-style house in old Palo Alto. Jobs always found it difficult to furnish the places where he lived. His previous house had only a mattress, a table, and chairs. He …

Off The Line

U.S. Highway 67 is much like any other Midwestern highway. Cars and trucks, moving back and forth along various swatches of expanse that stretch from …

‘Like Being in Prison with a Salary’: The Secret World of the Shipping Industry

<i>Rose George | Metropolitan Books | August 2013 | 17 minutes (4,213 words)</i><p><i>The following is the opening chapter of Rose George’s new book, Ninety</i> …

The Truth About Marissa Mayer: An Unauthorized Biography

On the morning of Thursday, July 12, 2012, Yahoo's interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn, still believed he was going to be named permanent CEO of the company.<p>He had just one meeting to go.<p>That meeting was a board meeting, to be held that day in a room on the second floor of Yahoo's Sunnyvale, Calif., …

Reading List: Sex Work and Sex Workers

<i>Emily Perper is word-writing human for hire. She blogs about her favorite longreads at Diet Coker.</i><p>This week’s theme is sex work and sex workers. Such …