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The first time London hosted the Olympics, it was as a backup—the Games, originally scheduled to take place in Rome, were relocated to London after Mount Vesuvius erupted. The year was 1908, a bygone era of international competition when tug-of-war and the ten-mile walk were official sports, women competed in floor-length skirts, and it took men a glacial 10.8 seconds to complete the hundred-meter dash. Only at these early stages of the Olympic Games could a runner win the marathon after falling repeatedly and running in the wrong direction (he was later disqualified due to the physical assistance he received from a megaphone-toting man in a boater hat, above). In celebration of the 2012 London Games, here’s a look back at the early days:

Vacation photo’s 2012…


The New Yorker


Fifty years ago today, on July 12, 1962, the Rolling Stones played their first concert, at the Marquee Club in London. Back then, they were the Rollin’ Stones, a name that founding member Brian Jones is said to have pulled from a song title on a Muddy Waters record he noticed on the floor when someone at Jazz News asked him what the band’s name was. Fifty years later, the Rolling Stones are still going strong. Click-through for a selection of photos from the band’s early years:


Next month, “Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac” will collect Mac covers from artists like Lee Ranaldo and J Mascis, Lykke Li, the Kills, and MGMT. One of the most hypnotic tracks on the tribute is “Storms,” which originally appeared on the gnomic 1981 album “Tusk” and is covered here by Matt Sweeney and Bonnie (Prince) Billy. We are pleased to offer this exclusive preview of that song:

(Source: / The New Yorker)

Letter from the Pulitzer Fiction Jury: What Really Happened This Year.


On April 16, 2012, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced that it would award no Pulitzer for fiction in 2012. This was, to say the least, surprising and upsetting to any number of people, prominent among them the three fiction jurors, who’d read over three hundred novels and short-story collections, and finally submitted three finalists, each remarkable (or so we believed) in its own way.

And yet, no prize at all in 2012.

How did that happen?


We’re living in an age of superbly articulate, expressive, even poetic screenwriting—not necessarily in every movie, of course, but then it never was so. The best-written recent American movies offer an astonishing array of verbal invention, ranging from exquisite to exuberant and from high to low.

Richard Brody on A Golden Age of Movie Screenwriting:


Justice Samuel Alito:
Uphold all or most of A.C.A.? No
Mandate constitutional under Commerce Clause? No
Mandate constitutional under Necessary and Proper Clause? No
Mandate constitutional under Taxing Clause? No
Medicaid expansion constitutional as is? No
Medicaid expansion constitutional with limits? No

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act, issued today, proves that sometimes the old cliché really is true: you can’t tell the players—or how they voted—without a scorecard. Click-through for a slideshow breaking down the vote of each Justice, as above for Justice Samuel Alito:

“Hey Google, can I have a little privacy here?”.


In this week’s Questioningly contest, we asked people to imagine that they were tweeting from an imaginary official Twitter account for Earth.  The results took two tacks, some people imagined they were representing humanity, while others tweeted as the Earth itself.  Click-through to see the best entries