When a Whisper Network Fails

“What really wounded me wasn’t having to dodge one mediocre writer’s half-assed assaults — it was that I’d reached out for support afterwards and found nothing. It was the unruffled reaction of my peers when I told them what had happened, the implication that I should have known what to expect from him, when I genuinely had no idea at all. It was the words used to minimize his behavior — creepy, sketchy, bad vibes, never liked that guy — spoken by a community whose existence turned on the idea that words were of value.”

Source: The Outline
Published: Jan 13, 2020
Length: 6 minutes (1,668 words)

The Dangerously Cheesy Collectible Cheetos Market

A cheese snack shaped like a bald eagle perched on a branch? That will cost you $849.99.

Source: The Outline
Published: Oct 9, 2019
Length: 9 minutes (2,371 words)

The Uncertain Future of Your Neighborhood Dry Cleaner

Startups are disrupting New York’s dry-cleaning industry and threatening the welfare of the Korean-Americans who have thrived in the industry since the 1970s. One thing startups can’t provide, though, is quality.

Author: Sunny Lee
Source: The Outline
Published: Oct 1, 2019
Length: 9 minutes (2,284 words)

Farewell to Payless and its terrible, no good, very cheap, occasionally meaningful shoes

With Payless set to close all of its U.S. and Canada stores by the end of May, a former customer finds herself curiously missing a subpar, self-serve “ShoeSource” she hasn’t shopped at in years.

Source: The Outline
Published: Apr 23, 2019
Length: 9 minutes (2,251 words)

Welcome to the Witch Capital of Norway

Salem, Massachusetts sells its witch history very well, but Vardø, Norway has its eerie isolation and cold dark climate to sell its haunted past.

Source: The Outline
Published: Nov 19, 2018
Length: 7 minutes (1,815 words)

The million-dollar brownstone that no one owned

We know — or sort of vaguely grasp, or willfully ignore, or try to forget — the general story of the housing bubble. But what happened to “all the single mortgages that were bought, bundled, divided, sold, rebought, rebundled, redivided, resold, etc.” in the years leading up to the 2008 housing crisis? With the help of a Lawyer Friend (“LF”), Cole Hawes Louison digs into the twisted, bizarre story of how one particular brownstone with an “extraordinarily clouded” title turned into a million-dollar ATM.

Source: The Outline
Published: Aug 15, 2018
Length: 30 minutes (7,558 words)

Welcome to Hotel Millennial

Enjoy the bunk beds and the single bespoke clothes hanger.

Source: The Outline
Published: Aug 6, 2018
Length: 13 minutes (3,350 words)

How Prisons Are Poisoning Their Inmates

“Despite resistance from activist groups, state and federal prisons continue to be built in dangerous environments that imperil the health of inmates.”

Source: The Outline
Published: Jul 23, 2018
Length: 14 minutes (3,670 words)

One Man’s Mission to Bring Better Ramen to the Incarcerated

Instant ramen is one of the most popular items in prison commissaries, where food runs from awful to inedible, but the ramen is dangerously high in sodium. To save inmates from dietary issues and help the government save money on health care, one man has designed a low-sodium alternative. Time in prison showed him the way.

Source: The Outline
Published: Jun 29, 2018
Length: 9 minutes (2,361 words)

24 Hours At My Local Dunkin’ Donuts

In a bid to get to know the members of her community, Laura Yan spends 24 hours in the Nostrand Avenue branch of Dunkin’ Donuts in New York City.

Author: Laura Yan
Source: The Outline
Published: Jun 18, 2018
Length: 14 minutes (3,562 words)