What Happened at Camp Lejeune

Living next to North Carolina Naval Base Camp Lejeune, Lori Lou Freshwater grew up drinking and bathing in water contaminated at levels 240 to 3400 times the safety standard. Now a Superfund site and a candidate for “the worst water contamination case in U.S. history,” the area’s carcinogens caused her mother to lose two sons, one born with an open spine, the other with no cranium, and to develop two kinds of leukemia. As a stopover base for military personnel, up to a million others could be affected.

Published: Aug 21, 2018
Length: 12 minutes (3,143 words)

Surviving Racism

Terese Marie Mailhot reflects on the systemic racism she’s experienced as a human and as a writer. She relates that speaking out against racism can come with a personal cost, but that as a natural-born liberator, she is both willing and prepared to use her voice and her stories to overcome it.

Published: May 15, 2018
Length: 18 minutes (4,585 words)

How Ken Layne Created a Publishing Oasis in a Desert Town of 8,000 People

If you’re dedicated and have an original vision, you can make things happen, even way out among the cactus. Anyway, the rattlesnakes are nicer than some of the people in New York media.

Published: Mar 5, 2018
Length: 7 minutes (1,996 words)

My Brother’s Keeper

Sabine Heinlein tells the heartbreaking story of Terri Been, who has devoted years of her life to saving her brother’s after he was sentenced to death by the state of Texas almost two decades ago for a murder he definitively did not commit.

Published: Jan 16, 2018
Length: 28 minutes (7,000 words)

The Photographer

Justin Heckert profiles Anthony Carbajal, a 28-year-old photographer with the inherited form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Before the disease slowly robs him of his ability to move, to swallow, and to breathe, Anthony is making the most of now by inventing hacks to allow him to make photographs. “I like to live in the present,” he said, “About 90 percent of the time, I’m looking forward to the time I do have.”

Published: Dec 21, 2017
Length: 14 minutes (3,539 words)

A Movement Against the Melting Pot

Inspired by the idea that the “most supportive places to grow old remind people of where they’re from,” some directors of elder care centers are trying to offer aging immigrants a warmer, more culturally-specific feeling of home.

Published: Dec 12, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,300 words)

Arms Dealers

Peter Andrey Smith reports on the black market big business of body brokers — those who prepare donated human remains for study by students, doctors, and scientists. A single human cadaver, parted out efficiently, can fetch $100,000 in a lightly regulated industry that’s ripe for fraudsters trying to make a buck on the donated dead.

Published: Nov 7, 2017
Length: 17 minutes (4,453 words)

The Touch of Madness

David Dobbs writes about Nev Jones, a psychologist who experienced psychosis as a Ph.D student, and psychosis more broadly in historic and global context.

Published: Oct 3, 2017
Length: 44 minutes (11,231 words)

‘The Ocean Is Boiling’: The Complete Oral History of the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill

On January 28th, 1969, crude oil erupted from a rig off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, triggering a worldwide alarm that energized the nascent environmental movement.

Published: Apr 18, 2017
Length: 32 minutes (8,030 words)

Brain-Altering Science and the Search for a New Normal

An electrical implant known as a deep-brain stimulator is giving some patients a new start.

Published: Mar 13, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,483 words)