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)

How the Host of ‘S-Town’ Gained Subjects’ Trust and Made Tough Reporting Decisions

Katie Kilkenny interviews Brian Reed, the host of the popular investigative podcast, “S-Town” from the producers of Serial and This American Life. Reed shares his perspective on his approach to reporting the story: how he earned the trust of the people he interviewed, (the story takes place in Bibb County, Alabama — a poor and rural part of the state not used to outsiders) and his thoughts about reporting on someone after they have died. (Warning: the interview contains spoilers.)

Published: Apr 13, 2017
Length: 8 minutes (2,223 words)

The Making of a Mexican-American Dream

Sarah Menkedick profiles Vianney Bernabé, exploring what it means to be second-generation Mexican American today — a person with deep roots in Mexico and feet and future planted firmly in America. Educated, ambitious, and principled, Bernabé is destined for success. Menkedick posits that if America cannot reject this myopic resurgence of nativist (white) populism to embrace the skills and culture of Bernabé’s generation, it does so at its own peril.

Published: Mar 6, 2017
Length: 23 minutes (5,850 words)

Why Grandpa is Homeless

On the aging homeless population of California and how something seemingly innocuous — like forgetting to renew your driver’s licence on time — can instigate a downward spiral into poverty and homelessness that skyrocketing rent and street-inflicted trauma can extend — sometimes indefinitely.

Published: Jan 9, 2017
Length: 19 minutes (4,799 words)

A Sober Utopia

At Pacific Standard, Will McGrath reports on Fort Lyon — “a Betty Ford Center for the homeless — a radical experiment to rehabilitate some of society’s most vulnerable members.”

Published: Jan 2, 2017
Length: 22 minutes (5,539 words)