Saturday, September 7


Ryan Leaf's Jailhouse Confessions, Written By His Cell Mate

A profile of the NFL quarterback gone bust.

Friday, September 6


To a Chinese Scrap-Metal Hunter, America's Trash Is Treasure

On the road with Johnson Zeng, who buys up the metal “Americans won’t or can’t be bothered to recycle.”


All LinkedIn with Nowhere to Go

The trouble with the all-but-obligatory networking site, “an Escher staircase masquerading as a career ladder.”


Barrett Brown Faces 105 Years in Jail

Why a former Anonymous spokesperson was arrested for, among other things, copying and pasting a link.


This Man Moved to a Desert Island in Order to Vanish. Here's What Happened.

A two-week island experience involving a 70-year-old interloper, his mannequin girlfriend, a couple of dogs and very little else.

Thursday, September 5


The Social Life of Genes

“When it comes down to it, really, genes don’t make you who you are. Gene expression does. And gene expression varies depending on the life you live.”


The Way of All Flesh

Undercover in an industrial slaughterhouse.

Previously: Conover discusses this story on the Longform Podcast.


A Death in Valdosta

In January, the body of a 17-year-old athlete was found in his high school’s gym. The authorities ruled it an accident. His friends and family aren’t convinced.

Wednesday, September 4


Bashar al-Assad: "All contracts signed with Russia are implemented"

“Have they not realised that since the Vietnam War, all the wars their predecessors have waged have failed? Have they not learned that they have gained nothing from these wars but the destruction of the countries they fought, which has had a destabilising effect on the Middle East and other parts of the world? Have they not comprehended that all of these wars have not made people in the region appreciate them or believe in their policies?”

Longform Podcast #58: Sarah Stillman

Sarah Stillman is a staff writer for The New Yorker.

"People don't really care about issues so much as they care about the stories and the characters that bring those issues to life. ... A story needs an engine or something to propel you forward and it can't just be a collection of like, 'Oh hmm, this was interesting over here and this was interesting over there.' Realizing that helped me sit down with all my stuff on trafficking and labor abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan and say 'What are the five craziest things that I found here and how could I weave them together in a way that would actually have some forward motion?'"

Thanks to TinyLetter and Hulu Plus for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show Notes »

What's Killing Poor White Women?

They have lost five years of life expectancy and no one knows why.