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The Self-Made Man

The story of an American myth.

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“Your Future Is Very Dark”

On former CIA agent John T. Downey, who spent more than 20 years in China as the longest held American captive of war.

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I Was the Worst High School Quarterback Ever

The author examines his terrible football career.

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The Bro Whisperer of Bustle

Bryan Goldberg’s site for women was widely mocked when it launched a year ago. Today it has 15 million readers per month and some of its harshest early critics are on the payroll.

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Haida's Story

An excerpt from Murakami's forthcoming novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

“I have a kind of weird story related to death. Something my father told me. He said it was an actual experience he had when he was in his early twenties. Just the age I am now. I’ve heard the story so many times I can remember every detail. It’s a really strange story—it’s hard even now for me to believe it actually happened—but my father isn’t the type to lie about something like that. Or the type who would concoct such a story. I’m sure you know this, but when you make up a story the details change each time you retell it. You tend to embellish things, and forget what you said before. ... But my father’s story, from start to finish, was always exactly the same, each time he told it. So I think it must be something he actually experienced. I’m his son, and I know him really well, so the only thing I can do is believe what he said. But you don’t know my father, Tsukuru, so feel free to believe it or not. Just understand that this is what he told me. You can take it as folklore, or a tale of the supernatural, I don’t mind. It’s a long story, and it’s already late, but do you mind if I tell it?”

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Murder in Miniature

One woman’s ghastly dollhouse dioramas turned crime scene investigation into a science.

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Why Isn’t Delonte West in the NBA?

How a bipolar diagnosis follows you from the top to the bottom of professional basketball.

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Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient

The railroad foreman’s brain was pierced by a tamping iron. He lived to tell the tale.

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The Case of the Closely Watched Courtesans

Why 18th-century French police obsessively tracked elite sex workers.

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Who Killed Gonzalo Ramirez?

In 1995, Ramirez allegedly raped Patricia Esparza. He was tortured and killed weeks later. Now she’s charged with his murder. Is she responsible?

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The Welfare Queen

Ronald Reagan made Linda Taylor a notorious American villain. Her other sins were far worse.

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The Sculpture on the Moon

The tale of the only art exhibit in space.

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Hana's Story

In 2008, Hana Williams left an Ethiopian orphanage to join a large, Christian fundamentalist family in America. Three years later she was dead.

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The Nazi Anatomists

How the corpses of Hitler’s victims still haunt modern science—and American abortion politics.

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Fire in the Hole!

Machine guns, cannons and drones in the Arizona desert.

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The Murders of Gonzago

On the film The Act of Killing, in which the actual perpetrators of a 1966-1966 Indonesian genocide recreate their own actions for the camera, and what it can tell us about our memories of the Vietnam War.

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First Lost, Then Murdered

The story of Melissa Barthelemy, a prostitute killed in a string of murders on Long Island in December 2010.

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Refugees of the Modern World

Life in Green Bank, West Virginia, a town without cell signals and a haven people with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (a disease that may or may not exist).

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The Original Frenemies

An oral history of Siskel and Ebert.

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The Passion of Lew Wallace

How a disgraced Civil War general became one of the best-selling novelists in American history.

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The Case of the Mormon Historian

Michael Quinn took on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – and lost.

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Free to Be

Forty years after its release, the story of “Free to Be… You and Me.”

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The Wedding

Erwynn Umali, Will Behrens, and the first gay wedding on a military base.

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The Chickens and the Bulls

The rise and fall of the “most far-flung, most organized, and most brazen example of homosexual extortion in the nation’s history.”

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The Perfection Of The Paper Clip

Invented in 1899, it hasn’t been improved upon since.

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Sneaking Into Pantone HQ

Inside the color forecaster.

There are no analytics measuring success of color forecasting—how would one even accurately measure such a thing? To play it safe most companies rely on a range of color forecasts. Eiseman says Pantone’s effort, and perhaps color forecasting in general, suffers from two misconceptions. The first is that there is some kind of “evil cabal” that “schemes to get the colors out there.” The second is “let’s just throw a dart and wherever it lands is what’s going to be the hot color for next year.”

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A Death in Yellowstone

After two people are found dead in Yellowstone National Park, a team of investigators tracks down the unlikely culprit: a grizzly bear.

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Where's _why? : The Disappearance of One of the World’s Most Beloved Computer Programmers

On the mysterious disappearance of a beloved coding legend (and his code) with stops along the way for a short history of programming languages, an ethnography of code-based communities, and an inquiry into what it means to “die young without artifact.”

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The Exoneration of Bennett Barbour

Virginia authorities possess DNA evidence that may exonerate dozens of  convicted men. Why won’t the state say who they are?

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The Conversion

An examination of Mitt Romney’s record on abortion.

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Space Stasis

What the twentieth century history of rocketry can tell us about innovation.

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Will Comcast Destroy Net Neutrality?

A working definition of ‘net neutrality’, a bestiary of the major players, and why the issue isn’t a cut and dry case of good vs. evil.

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More Dispatches from the R. Kelly Trial

Featuring the debut of the “Ghost Sex Defense.”

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Dispatches from the R. Kelly Trial

The “Shaggy Defense,” the “Little Man Defense,” and more—live from R. Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial.

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Tragedy at VQR

The managing editor’s suicide has received extensive press coverage, in part because the story appeared to be a relatively simple one: his boss was a bully. It was more complicated than that.

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The Great Divergence

A series on the growing income inequality gap in America.

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Kanye West Has a Goblet

A profile of Kanye West written in the style of an all-access magazine piece - using only quotes and statements that Kanye West has made on Twitter and other web outlets.

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Vanishing Act

The forgotten life of Eva Tanguay, perhaps America’s first rock star.

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What Really Happened to Phoebe Prince?

Her suicide made headlines around the world after classmates were indicted on felony charges related to bullying. The real story isn’t that simple.

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Orange Devolution

Why all soccer fans should root for Holland to lose to Spain.

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The Easy Rider Road Trip

The Onion's Keith Phipps retraces the route Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda followed in Easy Rider.