Baristas Don't Write Names on Cups At the CIA Headquarters Starbucks

Illustration for article titled Baristas Don't Write Names on Cups At the CIA Headquarters Starbucks

Welcome to Reading List, Gizmodo's Sunday afternoon roundup of the best writing from around the web. This week, we've got great stuff from Wired, The Washington Post, and more. Let's dig in!

  • One of Starbucks' busiest locations is the on-campus coffee shop at CIA headquarters. Inside, it looks like any other franchise cafe, but things run a little differently here: There's no customer loyalty card, and baristas don't write the customer's name on his or her cup. Emily Wax-Thibodeaux takes us on a visit to the world's most secure Starbucks. [The Washington Post]
  • Until the Civil War, U.S. train tracks were built in two different widths—the rails were three inches closer together in the North than they were in the South. After the war, the rails were converted to the Northern standard over just a two-day period. The madcap work that went into converting half a nation's railroads in just 48 hours stands as one of the fastest infrastructure overhauls in history. [Kottke]
  • Douglas Coupland takes us to "a land of profound genius," housed in an unassuming and neglected New Jersey industrial complex: Bell Labs, where telecommunications inventions that will underpin the future of the internet are dreamed up. [Wired]

Image: Shutterstock / mangpor2004

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CIA headquarters has a museum and a gift shop. The building is not open to the public.