We all know the feeling. You're sleepless in the sad hours of the night or stumbling around early on a hazy weekend morning in need of something to read, and that pile of unread books just isn't cutting it. Why not take a break from the fire hose of Twitter and RSS and check out our weekly roundup of essential writing from around the web about technology, culture, media, and the future? Sure, it's one more thing you can feel guilty about sitting in your Instapaper queue, but it's better than pulling in vain on your Twitter list again.
Grab the entire list as a Readlist.
On Daniel Radcliffe
Susan Dominus profiles Daniel Radcliffe and his drive to move beyond the wizarding world.
The New York Times: Susan Dominus - Daniel Radcliffe’s Next Trick Is to Make Harry Potter Disappear
“I think there was a part in the back of my head that was going: This is all going to end. And you’re going to be left in this nice apartment. Just living here. And being reminded of what you did in your teenage years for the rest of your life.” David Thewlis, who played Professor Lupin in the Potter films, once said that even when Radcliffe was young he would “joke that he’d be in rehab by the time he was 18, and by 27 he’d be hosting a game show called ‘It’s Wizards!’ ”On servers
Ashlee Vance takes a look at Facebook's cutting edge data centers being built near the Arctic Circle and how the company's efforts are changing the server business.
Bloomberg Businessweek: Ashlee Vance - Inside the Arctic Circle, Where Your Facebook Data Live
In the middle of a forest at the edge of town, the company in June opened its latest megasized data center, a giant building that comprises thousands of rectangular metal panels and looks like a wayward spaceship. By all public measures, it’s the most energy-efficient computing facility ever built, a colossus that helps Facebook process 350 million photographs, 4.5 billion “likes,” and 10 billion messages a day. On 'The World's End'
Film Crit Hulk goes long on the final entry in the Cornetto Trilogy, The World's End, with a meditation on alcohol addiction, apocalyptic films, Withnail & I, and the power of acting.
Badass Digest: Film Crit Hulk - Film Crit Hulk Smash: ALCOHOL, WITHNAIL AND GARY KING
BUT THE WORLD'S END COMES AT ITS SUBJECT MATTER AND THEMES IN A BIT MORE OF AN OBLIQUE WAY. THE FILMMAKERS SEEM TO TAKE AN (OBVIOUSLY PERSONAL) IDEA, BUT IN ORDER TO CORRECTLY EXPRESS THAT IDEA IN CINEMATIC FORM, THEY GO AHEAD AND FORGE A MOVIE THAT SEEMS RATHER UNAFRAID TO BE MESSY IN A CONVENTIONAL SENSE.On the iPhone
Fred Vogelstein tells the stressful behind-the-scenes story of the launch of the original iPhone.
The New York Times Magazine: Fred Vogelstein - And Then Steve Said, ‘Let There Be an iPhone’
No one got in without having his or her ID electronically checked and compared with a master list that Jobs had personally approved. The auditorium where Jobs was rehearsing was off limits to all but a small group of executives. Jobs was so obsessed with leaks that he tried to have all the contractors Apple hired — from people manning booths and doing demos to those responsible for lighting and sound — sleep in the building the night before his presentation. Aides talked him out of it.On the Guardian
Ken Auletta offers an exhaustive look at Alan Rusbridger's efforts to keep the Guardian aggressive and profitable, and digs into the paper's huge WikiLeaks and Snowden scoops.
The New Yorker: Ken Auletta - Freedom of information
To save the Guardian, Rusbridger has pushed to transform it into a global digital newspaper, aimed at engaged, anti-establishment readers and available entirely for free. In 2011, Guardian U.S., a digital-only edition, was expanded, followed this year by the launch of an Australian online edition. It’s a grand experiment, he concedes: just how free can a free press be?For more great longreads, visit our friends at Longreads.
Have any favorites that you'd like to see included in next week's edition? Send them along to @thomashouston or share in the comments below.