Subscribe to The Atlantic and get 2 free issues

Chemical Valley

On the morning of Thursday, January 9, 2014, the people of Charleston, West Virginia, awoke to a strange tang in the air off the Elk River. It smelled like licorice. The occasional odor is part of…
AUTHOR:Evan Osnos
PUBLISHED: April 7, 2014
LENGTH: 38 minutes (9507 words)

The Mammoth Cometh

Continue reading the main story
PUBLISHED: Feb. 27, 2014
LENGTH: 27 minutes (6801 words)

'Every New Technology Creates Almost As Many Problems As It Solves'

An in-depth interview (via The Browser) with Wired co-founder and technology “protopian” Kevin Kelly about the future of sharing and tracking on the Internet:

The question that I’m asking myself is, how far will we share, when are we’re going to stop sharing, and how far are we’re going to allow ourselves to monitor and surveil each other in kind of a coveillance? I believe that there’s no end to how much we can track each other—how far we’re going to self-track, how much we’re going to allow companies to track us—so I find it really difficult to believe that there’s going to be a limit to this, and to try to imagine this world in which we are being self-tracked and co-tracked and tracked by governments, and yet accepting of that, is really hard to imagine.
PUBLISHED: Feb. 3, 2014
LENGTH: 36 minutes (9124 words)

On the Trail With the First Skiers

The hunting party slowly glides into the Altay Mountains in search of elk. It is dead calm, minus 38°F. Just as their ancestors have for millennia, the five men traverse deep, feathery snow…
PUBLISHED: Dec. 24, 2013
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2569 words)

Public Books — Storybook Plutocracy

George Packer’s The Unwinding is a minor masterpiece of the social-disintegration genre—a beautifully written, clinically observed story of the slow-rolling economic transformation that…
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2755 words)

Almost Without Hope: The State of Health Care on the Rosebud Indian Reservation

Native Americans were promised health care by the government, but what are they really getting? A visit to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where health services are underfunded, suicide rates are high, and the life expectancy is just 46 years:

It’s well-documented that the government’s attempts to meet its obligations to the Native Americans have failed miserably; the primary cause is insufficient funding. Currently, prisoners receive significantly higher per capita health-care funding than Native Americans. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reports the federal government spends about $5,000 per capita each year on health care for the general U.S. population, $3,803 on federal prisoners and $1,914 on Indian health care.

PUBLISHED: Nov. 2, 2013
LENGTH: 14 minutes (3655 words)

Celebrity scam artist arrested in New Orleans before his party kicks off

The man with platinum-blond hair blew onto Bourbon Street this summer, talking fast and pushing business cards on anyone who would take them. He wore diamond earrings and gold chains, said he…
PUBLISHED: Oct. 24, 2013
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2832 words)

A Game of Shark and Minnow

In most ways it resembles the hundreds of other reefs, islands, rock clusters and cays that collectively are called the Spratly Islands. But Ayungin is different. In the reef’s shallows there…
PUBLISHED: Oct. 24, 2013
LENGTH: 30 minutes (7563 words)

Stephen Curry's Numbers Are As Unlikely And Wonderful As Stephen Curry

Take a look at the two charts below. If you want to understand the unique appeal of someone like Stephen Curry—a player on whom both the basketball romantics and the quants agree, a guy who…
PUBLISHED: Oct. 23, 2013
LENGTH: 5 minutes (1389 words)