Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today, we have reports from The New York Times, Medium and Grantland.

In Italy, the Targa Florio Rally Keeps an Eye on the Past โ€“ The New York Times

Targa Florio is a decorated name from rally history, so it's great to keep hearing it today. Even if the new is very different from the old.

The Targa Florio in which Vaccarella drove โ€” which, when it was last run in 1977, was one of the oldest races still in existence โ€” is gone. But a new version has taken its place in the years since โ€” a rally devoid of the sleek Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Porsche sports cars but populated with drivers piloting modern, street-legal rally cars from marques like Ford, Peugeot and Renault.

Two Weeks Ago, I Almost Died in the Deadliest Plane Crash Ever โ€“ Medium

Very long, but very interesting. In all the recent airplane talk, here's more evidence we actually don't know a lot about what's going on up there.

Weightless and staring downhill at the thirty-some rows of passengers ahead of me, I had a rare and terrible reminder of the absurd improbability of human flight. We were hairless apes crowded into a thin metal tube hurtling through the sky at a speed and height beyond anything evolution prepared us to comprehend. The violence was over after a few seconds. United 1205 leveled out, having dropped at least 600 feet without warning.


The Rise of Nintendo: A Story in 8 Bits โ€“ Grantland

Part of the book Console Wars. Where would be without Donkey Kong?

On September 23, 1889, just weeks before his thirtieth birthday, an entrepreneur named Fusajiro Yamauchi opened a small, rickety-looking shop in the heart of Kyoto. To attract the attention of passing rickshaws and wealthy denizens, he inscribed the name of his new enterprise on the storefront window: Nintendo, which had been selected by combining the kanjicharacters nin, ten, and do. Taken together, they meant roughly "leave luck to heaven" โ€” though, like most successful entrepreneurs, Yamauchi found success by making his own luck. In an era where most businessmen were content to survive off the modest returns of regional mainstays such as sake, silk, and tea, he decided it was time to try something new. So instead of selling a conventional product, Fusajiro Yamauchi opted for a controversial one, a product that the Japanese government had legalized only five years earlier: playing cards.


Photo: AP