Hannah Pearson
By on May 30, 2014 in Recommended
Read time: 2 minutes | No Comments

The thinking drone’s pick of longform: May 31

This week, the thinking drone’s picks of the best longform on the web range from a bio of the 25-year-old tipped to be the saviour of the Lonely Planet,  a visually stunning piece on the recent avalanche at Everest and living (and giving birth) in Saudi Arabia.

1. A twenty something wants to turn around Lonely Planet’s fortunes

The 25-Year-Old at the Helm of Lonely Planet – Outside – 27 March, 2014 – Charles Bethea

Houghton is in New Zealand to relax. He has been at Lonely Planet’s helm for nine months, during which time he has invested heavily in a digital revamp and laid off nearly one-fifth of the workforce. “It’s hard to turn a cruise ship around, so we had to get in a lifeboat,” he told me before we traveled to Queenstown. “A small one.” 

2. Is having a baby in Saudi Arabia as an expat a good idea?

Without Chief or Tribe: an Expat’s Guide to Having a Baby in Saudi Arabia – Longreads – May, 2014 – Nathan Deuel

For the first time we envied, rather than ridiculed, the various British accents and networks of support and jobs and health care everyone was plugged into. Untethered from a world of parents and friends—the people you might take for granted when you’re wild and young, but the community that feels so critical when you’re pregnant—we wondered: Should we go home? I downed another glass, and we decided, fuck it, let’s do this.

3. Why Raëlism wants to fix female genital mutilation

Trying to Rebuild Women’s Bodies After Female ‘Circumcision’ – The Atlantic – 27 May, 2014 – Saira Khan

According to estimates from World Health Organization, between 100 and 140 million females worldwide live with the consequences of FGM. At least 30 million girls under the age of 15 are at risk. But what’s most surprising is that, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a quarter of a million of those girls live in the United States. 

4. The Sherpas’ take on climbing Mount Everest

Sherpas, Fate and the Dangerous Business of Everest – Wall Street Journal – 22 May, 2014 – Gordon Fairclough, Raymond Zhong and Krishna Pokharel

So in the frigid darkness, with metal-toothed crampons attached to their boots and safety harnesses double-checked, the six Nepali men, whose job is smoothing the way for foreign climbers, stopped for a quick prayer, scattering some grains of rice blessed by a Buddhist lama.

5. Does the diversity problem of Silicon Valley create an investment opportunity?

The Ugly Truth About Silicon Valley’s Diversity Problem – Fast Company – June 2014 – Max Chafkin

This past February, two startups successfully raised funds for websites that offer formal-wear rentals. One has a female CEO and is called Little Borrowed Dress; the other is fronted by two dudes and is called Black Tux. Guess which one raised $2.6 million and which one raised half that?

Did we miss any of your top picks this week? Let us know in the comments below.

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