‘Rent,’ ‘The Biggest Loser’ Alumni, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘net are doing, too. Today, we have a story about what happens to The Biggest Loser contestants, a profile of Utah’s tech boom, an oral history of Rent, and a video with advice on how to have a conversation about Game of Thrones, even if you’ve seen it.

Vulture compiled an oral history of the original broadway production of Rent, which opened 20 years ago on Friday. The show, which opened the door for modernization and experimentation in musical theater, may be championed as iconic today, but even its future cast wasn’t necessarily sold on the idea at first.

“I skipped the first two audition requests,” said Taye Diggs, who played Benny in the original production. “The first time I called in sick, the second time I said I didn’t want to do it, and then the third time I half-assed it to get my agent off my back. I was trying to do TV and film. At the audition, I sang something from Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Buzzfeed wrote a story about the tech industry boom in Salt Lake City, and Provo, Utah, which is bringing zany, progressive startup culture to a region dominated by highly conservative Mormon communities.

Tech may never overtake Mormonism as the culture Utah is known for. But it’s a swiftly growing industry in the state, and both the perks and the drawbacks are beginning to rear their heads in Provo office parks and Salt Lake City startup incubators. Executives say that Utah is about 10 years behind Silicon Valley, and they’re working like mad to catch up. But the scene Utah’s modeling itself after has some decidedly un-Utahn values. In chasing after California’s eye-popping valuations and thriving tech scene, the Beehive State is also at risk of importing the sometimes greedy, homogeneous, exclusive, and work-obsessed culture Silicon Valley has become known for.

The New York Times, reported on a study about the science of weight loss, specifically the challenges of maintaining a lower body weight after considerable weight loss, which examined the contestants from the eighth season of The Biggest Loser, many of whom have gained back a fair amount of the weight they lost on the show.

Researchers knew that just about anyone who deliberately loses weight — even if they start at a normal weight or even underweight — will have a slower metabolism when the diet ends. So they were not surprised to see that The Biggest Loser contestants had slow metabolisms when the show ended. What shocked the researchers was what happened next: As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants’ metabolisms did not recover. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight.

Lastly, rather than highlight one of the numerous critiques, hot takes, and stories spun off of last night’s Game of Thrones, we bring you Decider‘s video guide to faking your way through a conversation about the show without actually watching it.

“You can tell that winter is totally coming.”