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What Do Chinese Dumplings Have to Do With Global Warming?

How the expansion of refrigeration in China is affecting climate change.
PUBLISHED: July 25, 2014
LENGTH: 18 minutes (4699 words)

Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Our favorite stories of the week: Featuring ProPublica, Esquire, New York Times Magazine, Fox Sports and Oxford American.
PUBLISHED: July 11, 2014

Anxiety, Depression and OCD: Treating the Animals Inside America's Zoos

Halberstadt meets Dr. Vint Virga and explores the scientific research into the feelings of animals. "He has treated severely depressed snow leopards, brown bears with obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobic zebras. 'Scientists often say that we don’t know what animals feel because they can’t speak to us and can’t report their inner states,' Virga told me. 'But the thing is, they are reporting their inner states. We’re just not listening.'"
PUBLISHED: July 9, 2014
LENGTH: 27 minutes (6821 words)

Kendrick Lamar, Hip-Hop’s Newest Old-School Star

The young M.C. is on a quest to become the best rapper in the world.

‘Everybody just wants to have fun, be with the scene,” Kendrick Lamar said when we met in his cramped quarters inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last fall. “Certain people get backstage, people that you would never expect. . . . You ain’t with the media! You ain’t into music! You ain’t into sports! You’re just here.” The rapper, now 27, had just finished his set as the opening act on this stretch of Kanye West’s Yeezus tour, and he was sitting low in an armchair in his trademark black hoodie surrounded by exactly those people.

PUBLISHED: June 25, 2014
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4978 words)

Baptism by Fire

A rookie firefighter's first big test:

While awaiting a fire, Jordan Sullivan had not been idle for 96 days. He had easily done a couple of hundred runs, almost always in the junior position on the truck, the one called the “can man,” who lugged a fire extinguisher. Ladder companies like his tackled the entry work and the search for survivors. Engine companies had the hoses that put out fires.

The vast majority of what a New York firefighter does, though, has nothing to do with fire. Last spring, firefighters in Queens had to retrieve a police officer who got stuck in a tree trying to save a cat. Firefighter Sullivan had not had tree calls, but his tours were a litany of balky elevators, car accidents, chirping carbon monoxide detectors, frozen pipes, blown sprinkler heads, gas leaks, smoking manholes, scaffolding emergencies, the cascade of false alarms that fate tossed his way.

PUBLISHED: June 20, 2014
LENGTH: 25 minutes (6490 words)

My Lower East Side

A young transplant is drawn to the lively and fast-changing New York neighborhood a great-great-grandfather left behind.

Cringe if you want, but we wouldn’t have been the first to turn a shiva into an open house. We’d all like to believe that our legacies are larger than a rent-controlled apartment, but this is New York, where mortality and mortgages are intrinsically linked. The sad truth is when your lease on life is up, your family members will whisper, possibly over your cold, dead body, about what will happen to that Brooklyn Heights brownstone you purchased in the 1960s for $80,000.

PUBLISHED: June 20, 2014
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2631 words)

Betrayal in Charlie Rangel's Harlem

Rangel has been the face of the district for four decades. Then an ambitious preacher named Michael Walrond came along. Now they’re fighting over the future of America’s most symbolic black neighborhood.

At 11:30 a.m. sharp, Walrond, who normally preaches in jeans, arrived at St. John’s in a dark suit and tie, his bald head cleanly shaved. As the 30 or so people took their seats and the smell of waffles, bacon and salmon croquettes wafted in from the kitchen, Butts introduced his guest. Then, for 15 minutes, Walrond spoke about the various efforts he began at his church — an educational and wellness center, a program that feeds children before school, a food pantry that sought to serve 20,000 families a year — that he would like to expand, if elected to the House. He talked about his concerns with the local schools, particularly co-location, the disputed practice of housing several schools in one building. Then he threw open the floor to questions.

PUBLISHED: June 18, 2014
LENGTH: 17 minutes (4304 words)

Mother's Mind

A look at new findings on postpartum depression and maternal mental illness:

In New York, State Senator Liz Krueger has introduced a bill to encourage screening and treatment, a proposal that will most likely pass and be approved by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who vetoed a 2013 bill on technical grounds but encouraged the revised legislation.

Jeanne Marie Johnson, in Oregon, may have benefited from state laws encouraging awareness of postpartum mental illness. At her daughter, Pearl’s, two-week pediatric checkup, Ms. Johnson received a questionnaire. Her answers raised red flags and were forwarded to her midwife and a social worker. Ms. Johnson also called a number for a hotline the hospital gave her after a panic attack.

She saw a social worker, but resisted taking medication for months. Afraid to be alone with Pearl, she would insist her mother come over when her husband was out. “I called the doctor hotline constantly,” with nonexistent concerns, “because if I was talking on the phone I wouldn’t do anything harmful.”

Part Two: A Case Study
PUBLISHED: June 16, 2014
LENGTH: 21 minutes (5482 words)

Common Core, in 9-Year-Old Eyes

A fourth grader at Public School 397 in Brooklyn struggles as he prepares for the exams aligned with the Common Core standards.

Ms. Alcindor did not know what to do about his academic difficulties. Her English was too limited to be of much help with homework, and she had never heard of the Common Core. She was away from the house most days, working a $10.50-an-hour job as a nursing assistant, and the triplets’ father no longer lived with them. But Ms. Alcindor knew that Haelleca (pronounced HALL-UH-kuh) was doing something right, judging by her pile of awards and her zeal for reading. “You must help your brothers,” she told her daughter.

PUBLISHED: June 14, 2014
LENGTH: 20 minutes (5098 words)