The Tragic Story of a Texas Teen and the Marines Who Killed Him for No Reason

When Marines fatally shot an innocent 18 year old boy in West Texas in 1997, it raised serious questions about the War on Drugs and a militarized border that Americans are still asking. Many details about Esequiel Hernandez’s death also remain unanswered. What’s clear is that he was just tending his family’s goats, and the Marines’ stories don’t add up.

Source: Fusion
Published: May 24, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,465 words)

Remembering Mr. Rogers, a true-life ‘helper’ when the world still needs one

When disaster strikes, people often quote Mr. Rogers saying, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Did he really say that? It turns out, that yes, yes he did. And, as Anthony Breznican recounts after randomly meeting Mr. Rogers after the death of his grandfather, the ultimate neighbor was as kind and thoughtful in real-life as his cardigan-wearing, television alter-ego.

Published: May 23, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,906 words)

The Curious Case of the Disappearing Nuts

In California, massive nut heists were underway for two years before the industry figured out they were the target of a well-organized theft ring. “Nut theft has ­exploded into a statewide problem. More than 35 loads, worth at least $10 million, have gone missing since 2013.” At Outside, Peter Vigneron reports on these daring nut jobs, thought to be linked to a Russian organized crime ring.

Source: Outside
Published: May 24, 2017
Length: 15 minutes (3,789 words)

Fire on the Mountain

The surreal story of the worst fire in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in 100 years. The fire, which was started by kids playing with matches, began small and crept across the Smokey Mountains to threaten residents as they slept in their beds. Ultimately it took the lives of 14 people, displaced 14,000 more, and consumed 2000 properties in under 24 hours.

Source: Garden & Gun
Published: Jul 1, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,530 words)

There Aren’t Enough Slaughterhouses to Support the Farm-to-Table Economy

The phrase “too much pork for just one fork” takes on new meaning in light of this supply-chain problem. (Note: the fork is the slaughterhouse in this metaphor.)


Source: Bloomberg
Published: May 23, 2017
Length: 8 minutes (2,200 words)

Finding My Florida

A region-by-region travelogue of Jason Diamond’s road trip through the Sunshine State. Driving through Florida from top to bottom helps Diamond better understand a state with a variety of image problems—a state everyone else in his family eventually migrated to—and the ways in which he might and might not have fit in if he’d ever chosen to stay.

Published: May 23, 2017
Length: 12 minutes (3,123 words)

The ‘Artwashing’ of America: The Battle for the Soul of Los Angeles Against Gentrification

Gentrification is a global socioeconomic problem. These are the people fighting it in Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights, where the overwhelming majority of residents are Latino renters living on the poverty line, and especially susceptible to being driven out.

Source: Newsweek
Published: May 21, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,563 words)

‘The Internet Is Broken’: @ev Is Trying to Salvage It

As Twitter, Facebook, and Google try to deal with their unexpected toxicity, the internet continues to reward extremism at the expense of quality, depth, and thoughtfulness. In The New York Times, David Streitfeld reflects on what social media has wrought on society by profiling Twitter co-founder Evan Williams’ attempts to course-correct with Medium.

Published: May 20, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,574 words)

Love and Death

When a controlling Canadian neurosurgeon was charged with murdering his wife, a brilliant family doctor, Canada had to stare in the violent face of the patriarchy one more time.

Source: Toronto Life
Published: May 17, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,626 words)

A Pet Tortoise Who Will Outlive Us All

“It’s humbling to care for an animal that reminds you, each day, of your own imminent death.”

Published: May 17, 2017
Length: 12 minutes (3,147 words)