How the Sandwich Consumed Britain

To perfect a culinary staple as ubiquitous and timeless as the sandwich “is a question of using tenacity, knowledge, know-how, flair.”

Source: The Guardian
Published: Nov 24, 2017
Length: 25 minutes (6,285 words)

How to Sell a Country: The Booming Business of Nation Branding

What do you know about Minsk, the capital of Belarus? Or the nation of Georgia? If you know anything, it’s either a oversimplification like ‘danger’ or ‘forested’ or an enticing tagline about wine and prosperity. An entire niche industry helps create identities, sometimes to attract tourists, sometimes, as with Libya, to scrub its image clean.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Nov 7, 2017
Length: 23 minutes (5,810 words)

The War Against Pope Francis

A progressive reformer wins a contentious vote and he immediately begins to shake things up, overturning thousands of years of tradition. Pope Francis, the “cool pope,” came to his role as the head of the Catholic church in the age of Obama. But now, with conservative backlashes underway in countries around the world, nowhere is that backlash more conservative than in the Vatican. Accusing a pope of heresy is a “nuclear option,” but in 2017, it appears the nuclear option is back on the table.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Oct 27, 2017
Length: 22 minutes (5,500 words)

‘Reality Shrivels. This Is Your Life Now’: 88 Days Trapped in Bed to Save a Pregnancy

When Katherine Heiny’s water broke during her 26th week of pregnancy, her doctor told her that in order to save her baby she would have to be almost totally immobilized  “in Trendelenburg,” an aggressive form of bed rest in which her legs were raised above her head. She remained on bed rest for 88 days and found comfort reading the memoir of Steve Callahan, a sailor who survived adrift at sea for 74 days.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Oct 24, 2017
Length: 20 minutes (5,000 words)

The Science of Spying: How the CIA Secretly Recruits Academics

The US spy agency has spent millions of dollars creating whole scientific conferences in order to gather intelligence and get nuclear scientists from countries like Iran to defect.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Oct 10, 2017
Length: 16 minutes (4,100 words)

‘Our Minds Can Be Hijacked’: The Tech Insiders Who Fear a Smartphone Dystopia

After having epiphanies about the downsides of persuasive design, several young creators of addictive smartphone technology abandon their posts at Google, Twitter, and Facebook to try to become part of the solution.

Author: Paul Lewis
Source: The Guardian
Published: Oct 6, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,500 words)

How the 1970s Could Vanish from Vancouver

Brutalist architecture — heavy on concrete and blocky shapes — used to be polarizing. In Vancouver, where land is scarce and developers are bulldozer-happy, it’s in the process of disappearing.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Sep 27, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,645 words)

This Island Is Not for Sale: How Eigg Fought Back

After a few rich men owned the British island of Eigg, residents purchased it and created what it hopes is a model of community ownership and the good life.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Sep 26, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,615 words)

How a Tax Haven is Leading the Race to Privatize Space

Luxembourg is a small but savvy nation. With few natural resources — besides a long line of grand dukes, a legacy of skirting tax loopholes, and a valuable national sovereignty — the country has looked to the stars for its next big venture: asteroid mining. The only problem? The 1967 Outer Space Treat explicitly prohibits countries from claiming ownership of any object in space, including asteroids.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Sep 15, 2017
Length: 21 minutes (5,300 words)

The First Social Media Suicide

Alienated and traumatized in a vacuous Paris suburb, 18-year-old Océane saw the world as devoid of intimacy and compassion, a world further cooled by social media, yet she broadcast her own death. Why? What was she trying to teach us about the suffering of others?

Source: The Guardian
Published: Aug 29, 2017
Length: 20 minutes (5,229 words)