Ping-pong, Big Brother, and Intergalactic Germs: Today’s TNR Reader

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Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy!

Why do the Chinese dominate at ping-pong? Chris Beam takes a stab at the country’s national pastime.
GQ 17 min (4,185 words)

Germs and the galaxy: How NASA makes sure that we don’t accidentally colonize other planets.
The Atlantic 6 min (1,552 words)

Poetry and sorcery: W.B. Yeats's career as a magician.
Lapham's Quarterly 14 min (3,464 words)

Our surveillance keeps growing. How concerned should we be about our privacy?
The Nation 10 min (2,558 words)

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