Thursday, October 31

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The Penitant Warlord: Atoning for 20,000 War Crimes

For years, Joshua Milton Blahyi, better known as General Butt Naked, was one of Liberia’s most feared warlords. Then he became a pastor. Today he visits the families of his victims to seek forgiveness for his sins.

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'I'm Showing My Son Mercy'

Ending a pregnancy in the most “pro-life” state in America.

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Emancipation

Frederick Douglass and the specter of slavery in Talbot County, Maryland.

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History’s Sinkhole

An examination of the Minutemen movement and death on the border.

Wednesday, October 30

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The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think

A profile of cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter, who has spent the last 30 years trying to replicate the human mind.

Longform Podcast #66: Andy Ward

Andy Ward, a former editor at Esquire and GQ, is the editorial director of nonfiction at Random House.

"How you gain that trust is a hard thing to quantify. The way I try do it is by caring. If you don't care about every word and every sentence in the piece, writers pick up on that. ... Ultimately, it's their book or their magazine article. Their name is on it, not mine. I always try to keep that in mind."

Thanks to this week's sponsors: TinyLetter and EA SPORTS FIFA 14.

Show Notes »
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Ring of Fire

Each soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan generated around 10 pounds of garbage per day. Most of that trash—along with used equipment and medical supplies and other wastes of war—was burned in open-air pits, emitting a toxic smoke that many soliders blame for their poor health today.

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Forensic Topology

How architecture has made Los Angeles a bank robber’s paradise.

Tuesday, October 29

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The Girl in the Closet

Lauren spent six years of her childhood locked in a closet, starved and tortured by her birth mother and stepfather. Miraculously, she survived; that’s when her long road to recovery began.

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Center of the Universe

Memories of a lovely afternoon with a serial killer.

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The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board

What the popular game says about our subconscious.