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Inside, not on, Top.

Carrot Top is known as a Comedian. That is a statement of fact. [more inside]
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon on Feb 25, 2015 - 69 comments

"I love desolate landscapes."

My Saga, Part 1 By Karl Ove Knausgaard [New York Times] Following the trail of the first Europeans to set foot in America, the first of two parts. Previously. Previously. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Feb 25, 2015 - 23 comments

The Carver Mobb: New York City Street Football

Essentially two-hand-touch taken to bloodsport level, with two 25-minute halves, a mostly running clock, and referees to nominally control the mayhem, it's the closest these weekend warriors will come to professional sport, though many are high-caliber athletes.
posted by MoonOrb on Feb 24, 2015 - 7 comments

When Children With Autism Grow Up

"I was 23 and needed a summer job; he was 21 and needed full-time support. He’s one of an estimated half million people diagnosed with autism who are soon becoming adults — and who society is entirely unprepared for." (Note: graphic description of sexual abuse; SL Buzzfeed)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 9, 2015 - 25 comments

“I can’t breathe,”

On Trial for Rape by Ann Brocklehurst [The Walrus Magazine]
"Late last year, in a Toronto courtroom, a young woman faced off against the university student whom she accused of raping her in a school parking lot. The media ignored the story. This is a series about a criminal rape trial that took place in Toronto late last year. The trial lasted eight days; the judge announced his verdict earlier this month." —Ann Brocklehurst
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jan 29, 2015 - 78 comments

caring for AIDS patients "when no one else would"

In the darkest hour of the AIDS epidemic, Ruth Coker Burks cared for hundreds of people whose families had abandoned them.
Courage, love and the 30-year secret of one little graveyard in Hot Springs, Arkansas. [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 8, 2015 - 64 comments

The Devil and John Holmes

John Holmes was a porn star. Eddie Nash was a drug lord. Their association ended in one of the most brutal mass murders in the history of Los Angeles. The Devil and John Holmes [more inside]
posted by anazgnos on Jan 7, 2015 - 18 comments

Some of The Best American Essays 2014

The Best American Essays of 2014 Many of the essays are behind paywalls, or subject to monthly article limits. I've linked to those as well because some of you have access through work, school, or subscription. [more inside]
posted by craniac on Jan 4, 2015 - 7 comments

Bhangra dancers, Marlboros, and a girl in a pink dress

The Indian wedding that exploded in violence: a short story by Ranbir Singh Sidhu
posted by Joe in Australia on Jan 4, 2015 - 10 comments

"There is hope!"

As the West African Ebola epidemic stretches into its 10th month: researchers have identified the likely cause of the initial outbreak: a young boy playing with bats in a village in Guinea. The NY Times considers how the opportunity to contain the epidemic was missed and the effects of Ebola on West African economies. Vanity Fair takes a look at the failure to contain the disease within Guinea, Frontline goes to "Ground Zero" in Guinea, and searches for a missing Ebola patient. Meanwhile, West Africans welcomed Christmas (previously) and the New Year. Africa Stop Ebola!
posted by ChuraChura on Jan 2, 2015 - 14 comments

Wreck of the Kulluk

Wreck of the Kulluk (SLNYT) Three years ago, Shell spent millions to send a colossal oil rig to drill in the remote seas of the Arctic. But the Arctic had other plans. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave on Jan 1, 2015 - 74 comments

Best crime reporting 2014

Longreads Best Crime Reporting of 2014 [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Dec 28, 2014 - 6 comments

One flushes and bucks

Rodeo bulls, like the boys who dream of riding them, are unpredictable creatures. They can start out shy and skittish, then suddenly turn ornery. They’ll lie down in the chute one day and try to gore you the next. The most dangerous bull ever ridden, by some accounts, began as a scrawny yellow calf in 1988.
The Ride of Their Lives: Children prepare for the world’s most dangerous organized sport.
– A longform article from The New Yorker
posted by Joe in Australia on Dec 8, 2014 - 7 comments

Longreads Best of 2014

A list of every story that was chosen as No. 1 in Longreads's weekly Top 5 email. [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Dec 8, 2014 - 17 comments

"Today, both families hope to do what’s best for Karen."

The Limits of Jurisdiction: in Guernica, Erin Siegal McIntyre writes about her six-year investigation into corruption and crime in international adoptions from Guatemala, as exposed through the story of one little girl. "For the past six years, the child known as Karen has lived in Missouri with her adoptive parents, Timothy and Jennifer Monahan. But Loyda Rodríguez and Dayner Hernández, a young Guatemalan couple, are convinced the child is their daughter, Anyelí, who was kidnapped in November 2006. Although a Guatemalan judge ruled that Karen should be returned to Guatemala in 2011, the Monahans have kept her." [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack on Dec 2, 2014 - 46 comments

The Quiet German

The New Yorker on 'the astonishing rise of Angela Merkel, the most powerful woman in the world.'
posted by Quilford on Nov 27, 2014 - 49 comments

All the feels.

A long-form essay from The Toast (of which you may have read) about life and grieving and gentleness and joy and ... look, just read it: No Matter How Your Heart Is Grieving: Disney for the Sad
posted by Joe in Australia on Nov 26, 2014 - 26 comments

Where the rubber meets the road

Firestone operates one of the largest rubber plants in the world in Liberia. Firestone Liberia received a lot of positive press in the past few months after "stopping Ebola in its tracks" on its plantation in the country. But 22 years ago, Firestone Liberia played a different role in shaping Liberia's trajectory.
posted by ChuraChura on Nov 22, 2014 - 5 comments

"What I want to talk shit on is the paradigm of the Big Idea."

"I have worked at international development NGOs almost my entire career ... I’ve been frustrated by the same inefficiencies and assumptions of my sector that are now getting picked apart in public. Like the authors, donors, and governments attacking international development, I’m sometimes disillusioned with what my job requires me to do, what it requires that I demand of others. Over the last year, I read every book, essay, and roman à clef about my field I could find. I came out convinced that the problems with international development are real, they are fundamental, and I might, in fact, be one of them. But I also found that it’s too easy to blame the PlayPumps of the world. Donors, governments, the public, the media, aid recipients themselves—they all contribute to the dysfunction. Maybe the problem isn’t that international development doesn’t work. It’s that it can’t."
posted by ChuraChura on Nov 20, 2014 - 42 comments

Filing down a plastic razor blade to create a sewing needle, not a shank

The Los Angeles Men's Central Jail’s gay wing was set up in response to a 1985 ACLU lawsuit, which aimed to protect homosexual inmates from a higher threat of physical violence than heterosexuals faced. But something unexpected has happened. The inmates are safer now, yes. But they’ve surprised everyone, perhaps even themselves, by setting up a small and flourishing society behind bars. Once released, some re-offend in order to be with an inmate they love. There are hatreds and occasionally even severe violence, but there is also friendship, community, love — and, especially, harmless rule-bending to dress up like models or decorate their bunks, often via devious means. LA Weekly looks inside MCJ, with an exclusive video the unique situation, from Voice Media Group. For further reading on the unique K6G unit, see Two Models of the Prison: Accidental Humanity and Hypermasculinity in the L.A. County Jail (PDF), and Governmental 'Gaydar': Race, Sexual Identity and Incarceration (PDF), both scholarly articles that study this part of MCJ.
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 18, 2014 - 7 comments

Around the clock

The Green Monster: How the Border Patrol became America’s most out-of-control law enforcement agency.
A long-form report from Politico.
posted by Joe in Australia on Nov 16, 2014 - 15 comments

Pour yourself a heaping glass of white wine...

On The Cult of Connie Britton: "But loving the Britton of today is tantamount to ignoring much of what Hollywood has tried to impute as ideal. She’s still thin, white, beautiful, and straight, but she’s the thing that the vast majority of mainstream media pretends doesn’t exist: a woman over 40. More specifically, a woman over 40 whose image combines the sexual and the maternal, the ambitious and the empathetic. " Connie Britton is a late bloomer (NYTimes, 2013). Things I could have said to Connie Britton when she came into my coffee shop the other day.
posted by ChuraChura on Nov 10, 2014 - 42 comments

I will make poor decisions, beyond any I have already made, of course.

A Horseshoe Up My Ass: 24 hours at Baltimore's shiny new casino [more inside]
posted by Faint of Butt on Nov 9, 2014 - 27 comments

I don’t think I was born white. I think white children are manufactured.

Quinn Norton: The White Problem & How White People Got Made [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 5, 2014 - 24 comments

On Kindness

Cord Jefferson writes about the struggle to be kind, and the woman who taught him the value of that struggle. [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Nov 4, 2014 - 19 comments

Woof.

A review of the uncomfortable, colonialist-islander RPG, Dog Eat Dog
posted by michaelh on Oct 22, 2014 - 32 comments

The answer: TB

While volunteering for the Peace Corps in Ukraine in 2010, I contracted a severe version of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Two years of painful, isolating treatment taught me the vital role social media may play in finally eradicating this disease.

Inconspicuous Consumption, a longform autobiographical essay.
posted by Joe in Australia on Oct 22, 2014 - 4 comments

"When you hold a weapon, you don't cry, you just shoot."

Commander Pigeon is a collector of lost and exiled men. The quietest soldier once belonged to the Taliban. He had been captured by local police, escaped, and having heard about Commander Pigeon, walked miles to reach her home. He fell to his knees and begged for protection. She made him swear loyalty. I asked how she knew he wouldn't rebel. "I'm watching him closely," she said. "I'm converting Taliban to normal people."

Jen Percy for TNR: My Night With Afghanistan's Only Female Warlord, Commander Pigeon.
[more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 15, 2014 - 6 comments

Linux for Lettuce

Linux for Lettuce - Myers contends that, when applied to plants, patents are stifling. They discourage sharing, and sharing is the foundation of successful breeding. That’s because his work is essentially just assisting natural evolution: He mates one plant with another, which in turn makes new combinations of genes from which better plants are selected. The more plants there are to mix, the more combinations are made, and the more opportunities there are to create better plants. Even some breeders who work for the companies that are doing the patenting still believe in—indeed, long for—the ability to exchange seed.
posted by CrystalDave on Oct 11, 2014 - 31 comments

If a process yields discrimination, then we need to examine the process.

Bias in the Box. "This is where Bryan Stevenson’s 'undeveloped understanding' comes into focus. A prosecutor may say with the utmost sincerity that he doesn’t exclude blacks [from a jury] because of their race, but because they or someone in their family has been a victim of discrimination, which leads them to distrust the system. Because of their experiences, they are believed to be less motivated to sentence someone to die and are therefore less desirable on a jury." (slVQR) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Oct 11, 2014 - 7 comments

behind-the-scenes of nonfiction longform pieces

annotating Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah's profile of Dave Chappelle, "If He Hollers Let Him Go" [more inside]
posted by flex on Oct 10, 2014 - 8 comments

Sex is sex, but money is money.

A $5,000-a-night escort tells her story. Photography is by Pascal Perich (portfolio link).
posted by michaelh on Oct 9, 2014 - 122 comments

The Price of Black Ambition

2014 might well be "the year of Roxane Gay," but even as Ms. Gay experiences unprecedented personal success, the price of black ambition is never far from her mind.
I am thinking about success, ambition, and blackness and how breaking through while black is tempered by so much burden. Nothing exemplifies black success and ambition like Black History Month, a celebratory month I've come to dread as a time when people take an uncanny interest in sharing black-history facts with me to show how they are not racist. It's the month where we segregate some of history's most significant contributors into black history instead of fully integrating them into American history. Each February, we hold up civil-rights heroes and the black innovators and writers and artists who have made so much possible for this generation. We say, look at what the best of us have achieved. We conjure W. E. B. Du Bois, who once wrote, "The Negro race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men." We ask much of our exceptional men and women. We must be exceptional if we are to be anything at all.
[more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 9, 2014 - 4 comments

The Empire Reboots

Can Satya Nadella Save Microsoft? (Longform) Great Vanity Fair article that spends a lot of time examining the Gates/Ballmer dynamic.
posted by Nevin on Oct 9, 2014 - 45 comments

The zeal these young men have for killing surprises me.

"Many Marines I talk to are skeptical of the aims used to justify the war - fighting terrorism, getting weapons of mass destruction (which they never see). Quite a few accept that this war was probably fought for oil." 'The Killer Elite', Evan Wright's coverage of a US Marine Corps Battalion in the 2003 Iraq War (later developed into the book and TV series Generation Kill). [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 25, 2014 - 69 comments

Life in Timbuktu

Life in Timbuktu: how the ancient city of gold is slowly turning to dust
(a long-form article from the Guardian with an accompanying photo gallery)

posted by tykky on Sep 25, 2014 - 14 comments

Dumpster thriving

A heavily-illiustrated article on Jeff Wilson ("Professor Dumpster") and the evolution of his thirty-six square feet of open-air accommodation: Living Simply in a Dumpster
(previously)
posted by Joe in Australia on Sep 17, 2014 - 43 comments

the sea is a cup of death and the land is a stained altar stone

I don't know what it is about fecundity that so appalls. I suppose it is the teeming evidence that birth and growth, which we value, are ubiquitous and blind, that life itself is so astonishingly cheap, that nature is as careless as it is bountiful, and that with extravagance goes a crushing waste that will one day include our own cheap lives. Every glistening egg is a memento mori.
Annie Dillard ponders the disquieting thrall of the circle of life in her November 1973 essay for The Atlantic: The Force That Drives the Flower. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Sep 11, 2014 - 15 comments

Reconciling the Second Amendment with Public Safety Concerns

Gun Wars: the struggle over gun rights and regulation in America, in the aftermath of the Newtown school shootings and the ongoing congressional stalemate over federal gun legislation. An investigative report from "29 students from 16 journalism schools, as well as an experienced staff of editors" for Carnegie-Knight News21. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 11, 2014 - 62 comments

One of the most important fights in the history of boxing

On December 10, 1810, in a muddy field around 25 miles from London, a fight took place that was so dramatic, controversial, and ferocious that it continues to haunt the imagination of boxing more than 200 years later.
A long-form article in Grantland tells the story of freed American slave and boxer Tom Molineaux in England of the early 19th century.
posted by tykky on Sep 9, 2014 - 5 comments

A once peaceful nation

Close Your Heart
A long-form article from Slate about the Central African Republic’s sectarian civil war.
posted by Joe in Australia on Sep 2, 2014 - 7 comments

“...every angel has a past and every sinner has a future.”

Staten Island’s Pill Problem: [The New Yorker] "New York City is the heroin capital of the country, and the epidemic has hit its most tranquil borough the hardest."
posted by Fizz on Sep 1, 2014 - 18 comments

Master of the Macabre

A self-taught special effects guru, A.S. Hamilton has crafted [simulated injuries] with chilling perfection. But his greatest big-screen challenge was bringing one of human history’s most gruesome chapters back to life.
CONTENT WARNING: descriptions of violence, graphic movie set photos and stills [more inside]
posted by tykky on Sep 1, 2014 - 3 comments

Carefree Black Girl

Buzzfeed reports: The Life and Death of 22 year old Karyn Washington, creator of the "For Brown Girls" blog and the #darkskinredlip project.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 24, 2014 - 42 comments

Vulnerable to coercion or undue influence

A two-part series on problems in the clinical trials industry, from Medium.com:
The Best-Selling, Billion-Dollar Pills Tested on Homeless People
How the destitute and the mentally ill are being used as human lab rats
and
Why Are Dope-Addicted, Disgraced Doctors Running Our Drug Trials?
posted by Joe in Australia on Aug 5, 2014 - 28 comments

Mack

"No one knew who killed (13 year-old) Mackenzie Howard that cold February night last year — and people were terrified that the killer was still in their midst. But in the remote community of Kake, only accessible by air or boat, there was no law enforcement officer."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 3, 2014 - 19 comments

A raccoon of my own

Only a handful of all the animal species on earth can be tamed, but that doesn’t stop a homesick girl of 15 from trying
posted by Joe in Australia on Jul 30, 2014 - 31 comments

The many crimes of baseball's Mel Hall

"What was his weapon? Trust. Over and over again, he shook the hand of a parent and said, 'It's OK. I'll take care of them. I'll make her a better person.' Instead what he did was rob them of their innocence and change the scope of their lives."

SB Nation on Mel Hall - "a flamboyant baseball player, a charismatic coach, and a sexual predator."
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 18, 2014 - 15 comments

"Dance the Slurp"

July 11th (7/11!) is the perfect day to read this Priceonomics piece on the invention of the Slurpee.
Did you miss Free Slurpee Day today? This year 7-Eleven's Free Slurpee Day has been supersized into a freebie week. (previously: 2005 & 2008)
(And bonus CanCon from the Wall Street Journal - This Isn't a Brain Freeze—Manitoba Wins 'Slurpee Capital' Once Again: Chilly Canadian Province Is Hottest Market for the Ice-Cold Beverage from 7-Eleven for 15th Year)
posted by flex on Jul 11, 2014 - 10 comments

Yes, yes, hadouken, but why hadouken, and when?

"How to play Street Fighter: a fighting game primer for everyone" explains the dynamics of how 2D fighting games work and why.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jul 8, 2014 - 29 comments

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