In the 20th century, anthropologists fell over themselves to study the “cargo cult” phenomenon in the South Pacific. But was it really a new religion—or just a Western fantasy?
An incredible photo essay in which both the images and words tell the crazy story of imprisoned mortician David Sconce (up for parole in 2022). In the ’80s, Sconce turned his family’s California funeral home into a mass crematorium and black market body part- and organ-harvesting business.
“Garishly food-styled heads of hollowed-out iceberg packed with pimiento cheese, or baked beans in aspic, bolster our own superior sense of ourselves. Like the Instagram freakshake, they are fantasy transgressions against which we define our superior awesomeness.”
After her book, So You Want to Talk About Race, becomes a bestseller, Black author Ijeoma Oluo offers to build her white mother a home with her earnings and learns how race can affect the ways adult children care for their aging parents.
Thanks to huge casino profits, the youth of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians receive a payment they call “The Big Money” at age 18 after graduating from high school. Payments — which were as small as $600 when the program started in 1996 — are now into six figures.
Baobab trees are as integral a part of the Botswana ecosytem as they are a part of local culture. Unfortunately, the scientists who discovered that ancient baobabs are dying have no clear explanation why.
Jen Doll dives into the world of the band Phish and their followers, known as “phans.” She discovers a hippy-esque subculture of “you do you” people dedicated not only to a band renowned for live jams, but a shared appreciation for uninhibited drug consumption, joyful escapism, and making new Phish-following-friends at every show.
Like cowboys in westerns, sheriffs were icons in the 20th century. They were the law. No matter what white residents in Alabaman’s Wilcox County say, so-called good ol’ boy Sherriff Lummie Jenkins used his power to violently suppress black voters and battle the Civil Rights movement. He’s no icon.
As climate change chugs on and coastal cities endure hurricane flooding year after year, mold is flourishing in the hot, damp aftermath, bringing complaints of mold-induced illness. But, is mold really what’s making us sick? Even scientist Joan Bennett — who has dedicated her life to studying fungi — was unable to prove that the mold farm that invaded her home post-hurricane Katrina caused her headaches.
New York City has more elevators than Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington combined — and every day, dozens of people acutely afraid of riding them need to find their way up and down the skyline.