William Gibson: ‘I was losing a sense of how weird the real world was’

William Gibson talks to Sam Leith at the Guardian about how he got into writing science fiction, how his breakout novel Neuromancer was possible because he knew nothing about computers, the subtle, yet striking similarities that make London and Toyko great settings for his work, and the fact that even in science fiction, you’re lost without your phone charger.

Author: Sam Leith
Source: The Guardian
Published: Jan 11, 2020
Length: 12 minutes (3,120 words)

A Scandal in Oxford: The Curious Case of the Stolen Gospel

A first-century fragment of the Book of Mark, Hobby Lobby, dissolved mummy masks, an Oxford professor named Obbink: manuscript nerds unite, this one’s a doozy.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Jan 9, 2020
Length: 24 minutes (6,211 words)

Snow machines and fleece blankets: inside the ski industry’s battle with climate change

Each snowmaking machine uses around the same energy as a boiler in a family home — but are they the answer to saving our retreating glaciers?

Source: The Guardian
Published: Dec 19, 2019
Length: 16 minutes (4,110 words)

‘This Is Small Talk Purgatory’: What Tinder Taught Me About Love

Just when she is about to give up on finding real human connection on a dating app, C.J. Hauser meets a mate — who stays in her life for a while.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Dec 7, 2019
Length: 13 minutes (3,408 words)

‘My body feels like it is dying from the drugs that are meant to save me’: life as a cancer patient

When Anne Boyer was diagnosed with highly aggressive breast cancer, she was confronted with a cure so poisonous that her body’s fluids became toxic to other people and corrosive to her body’s own tissues.

Author: Anne Boyer
Source: The Guardian
Published: Sep 26, 2019
Length: 18 minutes (4,578 words)

The girl in a box: the mysterious crime that shocked Germany

In 1981, after being missing for 19 days, 10-year-old Ursula Herrmann was found buried in a box measuring 72cm by 60cm – the size of a small coffee table.  So, how did a member of the prosecution team, the victim’s brother, no less, end up acting in favor of the defense?

Author: Xan Rice
Source: The Guardian
Published: Sep 24, 2019
Length: 28 minutes (7,135 words)

Dark Crystals: The Brutal Reality Behind a Booming Wellness Craze

The wellness industry has turned cheap stones into #healingcrystals, and the growing demand is damaging Madagascar, one of the Earth’s most biological diverse and fragile ecosystems, and putting its laborers into dangerous mines, many of them children. Is this how you heal yourself?

Source: The Guardian
Published: Sep 17, 2019
Length: 19 minutes (4,925 words)

The Cult of Columbine: How an Obsession With School Shooters Led to a Murder Plot

“Put simply, the world of violent crime is masculine, at least statistically. But the consumers of crime stories are decidedly female. Women make up the majority of the readers of true-crime books and the listeners of true-crime podcasts. Women are not just passively consuming these stories; they are also finding ways to participate in them.”

Source: The Guardian
Published: Aug 20, 2019
Length: 19 minutes (4,797 words)

Life on Thin Ice

“Greenland’s melting has been adopted by the world as its own problem. But for the islanders grieving their dissolving world, the crisis is personal, and dangerous.”

Source: The Guardian
Published: Aug 12, 2019
Length: 15 minutes (3,816 words)

Athleisure, Barre and Kale: The Tyranny of the Ideal Woman

“Barre feels like exercise the way Sweetgreen feels like eating: both might better be categorized as mechanisms that help you adapt to arbitrary, prolonged agony.”

Source: The Guardian
Published: Aug 2, 2019
Length: 18 minutes (4,545 words)