The Legend of Nintendo

How can a perennial blockbuster like Nintendo fall down for more than a century, innovate continuously from that prone position, and rise up, as if on cue, to master the art of fairytale comebacks time and time again? Felix Gillette tries to crack the code behind the gaming giant’s success, which remains as mysterious and unlikely as lucking into a banana bunch in the depths of an abandoned mineshaft.

Published: Jun 21, 2018
Length: 13 minutes (3,349 words)

The Gambler Who Cracked the Horse-Racing Code

Bill Benter did the impossible: He wrote an algorithm that couldn’t lose at the track. Close to a billion dollars later, he tells his story for the first time.

Published: May 3, 2018
Length: 25 minutes (6,447 words)

Japan’s Prisons Are a Haven for Elderly Women

Elderly Japanese women — many of whom live lonely lives even in the company of husbands and children — are turning to petty theft and are thriving in prison, a place where they find the companionship and security lacking in their lives on the outside.

Published: Mar 16, 2018
Length: 6 minutes (1,639 words)

How Defective Guns Became the Only Product That Can’t Be Recalled

Unlike with thousands of other consumer products, no government entity in the U.S. has the power to police defective firearms or ammunition. Taurus has sold nearly a million handguns that can potentially fire even if no one pulls the trigger. After the accidental death of their son, one family is seeking justice.

Published: Feb 28, 2018
Length: 16 minutes (4,100 words)

Americans Will Struggle to Grow Old at Home

Most Americans want to live at home in their old age, but our current home-based health care system won’t be able to adequately serve their growing numbers.

Published: Feb 9, 2018
Length: 16 minutes (4,115 words)

The Fall of Travis Kalanick Was a Lot Weirder and Darker Than You Thought

A behind-the-scenes account of how Travis Kalanick was ousted from Uber as chief executive officer.

Published: Jan 18, 2018
Length: 16 minutes (4,000 words)

America’s Worst Graveyard Shift Is Grinding Up Workers

Companies pay undocumented immigrants low wages to sanitize dangerous slaughterhouse equipment quickly, under pressure and cloak of night, because undocumented workers don’t always understand their worker rights, and they want to avoid deportation. This is the human cost of America’s affordable meat.

Published: Dec 29, 2017
Length: 16 minutes (4,041 words)

Business Is Booming for America’s Survival Food King

By capitalizing on the growing unease about our unstable world, Wise Co. is expanding its business to average Americans and stores like Walmart. The logic: if you have a flashlight and first-aid kit, shouldn’t you stockpile some Mylar food pouches, too?

Published: Dec 22, 2017
Length: 12 minutes (3,167 words)

The U.S. Flooded One of Houston’s Richest Neighborhoods to Save Everyone Else

During Hurricane Harvey, the Army Corp of Engineers decided to flood Houston’s Buffalo Bayou instead of risking a dam collapse, destroying one of the city’s most affluent suburbs. This meant that Harvey’s legacy wouldn’t be death, but something just as enduring — the lawsuit.

Published: Nov 16, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,500 words)

The Godfather of Mexican Manufacturing Couldn’t Care Less About Donald Trump

The 45th President can try to build a wall along the US-Mexican border and renegotiate NAFTA, but nothing can contain the role Mexican manufacturing plays in the global economy, and the role Jaime Bermúdez Cuarón plays in particular.

Published: Oct 12, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,369 words)