David Grann tells the story of Henry Worsley, a British military man and “apostle” of polar adventurer Ernest Shackleton. Worsley earned fame by retracing Shackleton’s failed expedition to reach the South Pole. He, along with two teammates reached their destination on January 9th, 2009. A case study in the art of story pacing, this piece is a testament to the triumphs and perils of human ambition and endurance.
Though she was declared brain-dead by the hospital that treated her, Jahi McMath has remained on a ventilator for four years. Her family and a neurologist argue that she’s still very much alive, challenging the long-held notions of what it means to be dead.
Daniel Mendelsohn’s writing career started with the help of septuagenarian French dancer whose embrace of simple pleasures helped teach him to engage with the world differently.
Jill Lepore looks at the problem of defining intellectual property when it comes to what young girls should play with: “The feud between Barbie and Bratz occupies the narrow space between thin lines: between fashion and porn, between originals and copies, and between toys for girls and rights for women.”
When virtuoso violinist and tech worker Eric Sun got diagnosed with brain cancer, he turned his attention from making money for Facebook to making music for himself.
A reported, scientific essay in which physician and author Siddhartha Mukherjee considers the body’s proclivity for homeostasis, which kept his elderly father’s failing body alive for longer than seemed to make sense, after he had begun failing, and falling.
For The New Yorker, historian and journalist Jelani Cobb dives deep into the history of Washington D.C.’s Howard University, one of the nation’s largest HBCU’s. Howard alumni include Thurgood Marshall, Kamala Harris, and Toni Morrison, and the school has played a large role in facilitating the social mobility of blacks in America since the Civil War. Cobb speaks at length to Wayne Frederick, the university’s current president, whose pragmatism during the Trump era has drawn ire from student activists. But similar tensions have arisen before.
More than 200,000 children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras came to the U.S. unaccompanied between 2014 and 2016. Allowed to enter the country while awaiting deportation proceedings or asylum decisions, many settled with relatives in parts of Suffolk County, Long Island. For The New Yorker, Jonathan Blitzer writes of the precarious course the children must walk — enduring threats of gang violence and a local power structure hostile to their existence.
To encourage business and save money, this small Baltic nation streamlined itself into a society where all bureaucratic processes, from banking to voting, can be conducted online on one platform, and citizens only need to enter their personal information once, be they physical citizens or e-residents. It sounds like an Orwellian nightmare, but e-Estonia believes it’s the US who has it all wrong.