This week, we’re sharing stories from Peter DeMarco, Tiffany Kary and Christopher Cannon, Rebecca Solnit, Will Bostwick, and Rosecrans Baldwin.

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1. Losing Laura

Peter DeMarco | Boston Globe | November 3, 2018 | 50 minutes (12,676 words)

When 34-year-old Laura Levis began having an asthma attack, she went to a nearby hospital to save herself but was unable to locate an open entrance. She lost consciousness just outside the emergency room and died seven days later. Her husband, Peter DeMarco, set out to determine why this happened and discovered a series of systemic problems that all played roles in Laura’s death.

2. Cancer-linked Chemicals Manufactured by 3M Are Turning Up in Drinking Water

Tiffany Kary, Christopher Cannon | Bloomberg Businessweek | November 2, 2018 | 23 minutes (5,908 words)

Studies have shown that 3M-made “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (or PFAS, pronounced ‘PEE-fas’)” found in Teflon, Scotchgard, and fire-fighting foam have been linked to a weakened immune response and cancer. The chemicals contaminate the ground water around the 3M plant in Cotton Grove, Minnesota creating an “underground plume” of pollution that’s 100 square miles in size. The biggest problem? 3M knew of the dangers and has been covering it up for decades.

3. The American Civil War Didn’t End. And Trump is a Confederate President.

Rebecca Solnit | The Guardian | November 4, 2018 | 9 minutes (2,468 words)

In her new column for The Guardian, Rebecca Solnit makes a solid argument that Donald Trump’s presidency, and his fervent support from white racists, mark an attempt of the Confederacy to rise again.

4. Deep River

Will Bostwick | Oxford American | September 4, 2018 | 13 minutes (3,436 words)

Before anyone could write a comprehensive discography of golden age gospel recordings, upwards of 75 percent of this uniquely American music got destroyed or lost. Music historian Robert Darden runs the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project to protect and share what’s left.

5. My Life Cleanse: One Month Inside L.A.’s Cult of Betterness

Rosecrans Baldwin | GQ | November 1, 2018 | 34 minutes (8,564 words)

For one month, one man embraced a number of so-called woo-woo self-improvement practices in his adopted Los Angeles, from crystal healing to “prayer power batteries.” His journey led him to a controversial program called Mastery in Transformational Training, or M.I.T.T.