How Time Warner Cable's NY1 became an iconic news channel in New York City:
Roma Torre: I would have been in the office at nine o' clock because that's when I arrive. But because it was a primary election day, and I was covering politics at the time, they told me to come in at two o'clock on September 11th. I was at home, and my daughter had just started kindergarten. My husband ran in and said, 'Turn to CNN!' I heard the woman who replaced me at the anchor desk speaking on CNN and that's because CNN's antenna was knocked out because they were on top of the World Trade Center. NY1's was on top of the Empire State Building. For a while, we were the only game in town. CNN was putting us on their air because they had no means of transmission. I got dressed so fast and jumped in the car and started driving, which was kind of foolish because I didn't have a game plan. Of course, from Jersey, all roads were closed getting into the city. I did a u-turn in Route 46 and decided to go North and went to Tarrytown and parked the car because I heard on the radio that Metro North was running. When I got to Grand Central Terminal, I miraculously found a cab and got one block until firefighters stopped the cab to ask if he could please let them in to take reinforcements to the tower. I was like, 'Of course!' So I walked to the west side. I really didn't get into the office until about seven or eight o' clock that night and I set out from my house at 10 a.m.
PUBLISHED: May 23, 2013
LENGTH: 43 minutes (10896 words)
Investigating a rare genetic disorder that causes those who suffer from it to grow a second skeleton:
"Within a few years, she would begin to grow new bones that would stretch across her body, some fusing to her original skeleton. Bone by bone, the disease would lock her into stillness. The Mayo doctors didn’t tell Peeper’s parents that. All they did say was that Peeper would not live long.
"'Basically, my parents were told there was nothing that could be done,' Peeper told me in October. 'They should just take me home and enjoy their time with me, because I would probably not live to be a teenager.'
PUBLISHED: May 23, 2013
LENGTH: 26 minutes (6663 words)
Despite fears that NASA and the United States have given up on space exploration, the focus has simply shifted to private companies like Virgin and SpaceX, which are preparing for commercial space travel:
"This was the International Symposium for Personal and Commerical Spaceflight. It had been co-founded eight years earlier by a New Mexico State professor named Pat Hynes, who had been studying and advocating for the commercial potential of space for twenty years. She has watched the conference grow in size and influence alongside the industry. Now, the facility buzzed with engineers and scientists and entrepreneurs and astronauts. Sponsors included Lockheed Martin and Boeing, a European company touting its ability to 'launch any payload to any orbit at anytime,' and another company claiming the authority to sell plots of land on the moon. Hynes, ecstatic, inaugurated the conference by shouting a 'Let’s rock this house!' welcome, before introducing Michael Lopez-Alegria, a recently retired space-shuttle astronaut who spoke of his conversion from 'skeptic with outright disdain for the idea of commercial space” to a “Kool-Aid-pouring believer' in the private space industry."
PUBLISHED: May 20, 2013
LENGTH: 32 minutes (8219 words)
A teenager with cancer is fighting to make it to her high school graduation:
"At the end of her junior year, the doctors said there was nothing more they could do for Lyndsey. 'Six months to a year,' they told her. She might not even be alive for her family to break the no-applause rule.
"But the principal, Dan Evans, just told her, 'Okay.' They'd get her to June 5 at Tropicana Field.
"And so began a much quieter race to graduation, one that has not announced itself by shrieking in the hallways or picnicking on the campus lawn, but with all of that urgency and more."
PUBLISHED: May 17, 2013
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2989 words)
PUBLISHED: May 16, 2013
LENGTH: 9 minutes (2332 words)
A boy with kidney disease finds a way to thrive in high school thanks to a robot:
"'His personality helps out a lot,' says Kent Deville, Lyndon's chemistry teacher. 'A shier kid would have problems.' Lyndon isn't afraid to call out when he needs help, and he uses the bot's tricks to his advantage. He can zoom in, take photos of the whiteboard and homework corrections and refer back to everything later. 'It's like H.G. Wells,' Mr. Deville says. Kelsey Vasquez, a classmate, says Lyndon is actually more outgoing as the robot. 'He's shier in person,' she says, at least until he's had time to relax. 'I don't think I could be as happy as he is.'"
PUBLISHED: May 16, 2013
LENGTH: 17 minutes (4326 words)
[Fiction] A young man, estranged from his girlfriend, receives experimental stem-cell treatment in Germany:
"Hayley wasn’t coming. It was pretty obvious. Julian sat shivering in the chill, listening for the 9:13. Then the 9:41. Then the 10:02. He was tired. In winter, he sometimes caught a fever. His arms burned hot, as if a flame were being held to his skin. This was the nerves dying, an Internet confidant had explained. Of course his immune system wanted him dead. It knew. It was making the call on behalf of the wider society. It was taking him out. In the larger project of the universe, of which he must necessarily be kept in the dark, his own existence appeared to be an obstacle. So the species makes an adjustment. It redacts."
PUBLISHED: May 14, 2013
LENGTH: 29 minutes (7397 words)
The short life of Jessica Lum, a terminally ill 25-year-old who chose to spend her last days practicing journalism:
"Jessica hadn’t expected to win. The other finalists were teams of students, and she worked solo on her 'Slab City Stories' project—a multimedia report on the inhabitants of a former Marine base-turned-squatter-RV-park in the California desert (though not, she made sure to point out, without the support of her professors, classmates, and Kickstarter backers). Jessica didn’t enjoy being in the spotlight, either; she was more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. It took her only a few seconds longer to accept the award than it did to get to the stage. After a rush of thank-yous and a celebratory double fist-pump, Jessica returned to her seat—and to what appeared to be a bright future, one in which she’d tell many more stories and win many more awards.
"Less than four months later, on January 13, 2013, Jessica died. She was 25."
PUBLISHED: May 13, 2013
LENGTH: 13 minutes (3370 words)
This week's picks include pieces from Allie Brosh, The Believer, Miami New Times, GQ, The New Yorker, fiction from Guernica and a guest pick by Michael Macher.