Never Die

Spencer Seabrooke wanted to break a slacklining record. The only problem was that if he failed, he’d die.

Author: Laura Yan
Source: Victory Journal
Published: Feb 1, 2017
Length: 14 minutes (3,575 words)

The High Cost of Cheap Labor

At least half of all farmworkers in the United States are undocumented Mexican immigrants. And “documentation” often dictates inclusion in a guest-worker program that’s been compared to slavery. Americans avoid these jobs, yet elected a president who promised mass deportation. There’s a crisis brewing in our fields, and it’s about to get much, much worse.

Source: Modern Farmer
Published: Feb 21, 2017
Length: 12 minutes (3,189 words)

The Rise of Roxane Gay

A profile of hyper-prolific essayist, novelist, short story writer, comic book author and tweeter Roxane Gay. Author Molly McArdle brings to light Gay’s prominence not only as a brilliant author, but as one of the literary community’s most upstanding citizens, frequently championing under-recognized writers, and tirelessly battling bigotry of all stripes in various ways–most recently withdrawing her forthcoming book, How to Be Heard, from Simon & Schuster because of their now-canceled plans to publish alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos’s memoir.

Published: Feb 22, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,651 words)

‘What kind of a childhood is that?’

The story of Zaine, Arianna, and Zoie Pulliam — three kids under 17 living in South Charleston, West Virginia. Deemed “opiate orphans,” they exemplify a generation of children whose parents have died of drug overdoses as a result of the opioid epidemic.

Author: Eli Saslow
Source: Washington Post
Published: Dec 16, 2016
Length: 15 minutes (3,770 words)

Meet the Woman Who Helps Humanize Murderers

Mitigation specialist Jennifer Wynn investigates the upbringing of defendants on trial — often for their lives — to humanize clients in a bid to convince at least one juror to bypass the death penalty for a life in prison without parole. Wynn shares the stories of three of her clients — men charged with murder, whose lives are marked by poverty, substance abuse, untreated mental illness, and extreme child neglect.

Author: Elon Green
Source: MEL Magazine
Published: Feb 8, 2017
Length: 15 minutes (3,819 words)

Killer, Kleptocrat, Genius, Spy: the Many Myths of Vladimir Putin

Russian-born journalist and author Keith Gessen’s analysis of seven theories about Putin borne of “Putinology,” a long-standing tradition in eastern Europe, newly adopted by Americans as a diversion in the Trump era.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Feb 22, 2017
Length: 25 minutes (6,395 words)

The Faces of Obamacare

As the GOP discusses repealing the Affordable Care Act, it’s essential to look at some of the lives that nationalized health care has improved and saved, and at the activists who helped get eligible people enrolled. Here are a few from Texas.

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Feb 14, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,534 words)

How David Bowie Came Out As Gay (And What He Meant By It)

David Bowie came out as gay in an interview with Melody Maker magazine in 1972, and it was the closet door heard ’round the world. But what did he mean by it?

Published: Feb 22, 2017
Length: 21 minutes (5,289 words)

The Fighting Azov Dolphins

The Mariupol, Ukraine Dolphins play (American) football seven miles from the front lines — a weekly chance for “three hours of American way of life.”

Published: Feb 15, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,575 words)

The Librarian of Congress and the Greatness of Humility

Armed with a drawerful of butterscotch candy and a charge to safeguard America’s past, Carla Hayden may be the last person left in Washington with a hopeful eye to future.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Feb 17, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,600 words)