September starts tomorrow, and in the spirit of back-to-school, we have some homework for you. But unlike the soul-crushing assignments of yore, this is actually enjoyable. Without further ado, eight terrific stories you absolutely must read.

longform1
Nautilus

If you thought this year’s Olympic athletes were superhuman...

Read about how we’re apparently nowhere near the limits of athletic performance. (Nautilus)

longform2

If you can’t wait for the next season of “The Americans”...

Read about a real-life Czech spy who infiltrated the CIA. (The Guardian)

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If your parents had a swear jar when you were growing up...

Read about why you should actually teach your kids profanity. (Quartz)

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If you think (know) that women can do everything men can do...

Read about why women’s boxing is still living in the shadow of men’s. (The New York Times Magazine)

sneaker

If you think you were cool as a 16-year-old...

Read about a kid from Florida who sits atop a rare-sneaker-selling empire. (New York)

choco

If you (rightfully) believe that Choco Tacos are among the world’s greatest ice-cream bars...

Read about their fascinating history. (Eater)

urban

If you can’t stop yourself from buying at least 3 unnecessary things at Urban Outfitters...

Read about what goes on behind the scenes at this weirdly secretive, multibillion-dollar empire. (Philadelphia)

ants

If you don’t get freaked out by bugs...

Read about the Argentine ant, one of the world’s most resistant species. (Ars Technica)

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