100 Great Essays
CALIFORNIA SUNDAY / Mars Madness by Alina Simone“The custom-built, two-person craft the Sjogrens want to build would be the Kia to the Hummer-sized models proposed by NASA and would cost only a billion dollars, they claim. The Pythom Space website lists the Sjogrens’ departure date as late April 2018, but the couple admit they are probably looking at 2020, the next time the orbits of Mars and Earth optimally align.”THE TAMPA BAY TIMES / Hot Wheels by Zachary T.Sampson and Lisa Gartner A strange epidemic of car theft. Ford“He kept writing: that I was his favorite girl, I was brilliant, and I was the best daughter anyone could ever hope for.Investigating drops her into one of Mexico’s biggest conspiracies.”VICE / The Bump of Cocaine That Destroyed an Olympic Dream by Aaron Gordon“Eric Thompson was a high-jump prodigy with an Olympic future well within his reach, until one failed drug test locked him in a battle with doping authorities.”BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK / Inside Alabama’s Auto Jobs Boom“The South’s manufacturing renaissance comes with a heavy price.”THIS AMERICAN LIFE / Didn’t We Solve This One? We got help from tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans—some targeted or killed because they helped us. ” For another story in this vein, see THE VERGE / Diary of a Concussion by Elizabeth Lopatto“If I thought I was my brain, probably I would have found the injury more upsetting.But I didn’t and don’t believe that; my self is an interaction between my body and my brain.”CALIFORNIA SUNDAY / The College Try by Ashley Powers“They worked and scrounged and slept on couches to put themselves through school.”AEON / The Sea Was Never Blue by Maria Michela Sassi“The Ancient Greek experience of colour does not seem to match our own.”OXFORD AMERICAN / Sweet Bitter Blues by Amanda Petrusich“I couldn’t quite figure out why Japanese listeners had come to appreciate and savor the blues in the way that they seemed to—lavishly, devotedly.”THE NEW YORKER / A Bigger Problem Than ISIS by Dexter Filkins The Mosul Dam is the most dangerous in the world.With no ropes or climbing gear besides his shoes and chalk, Honnold became the first person to free climb what is universally acknowledged, among the climbing world, as the most daunting challenge in what most people consider to be less sport than a perverse game of Russian roulette with fate.”THE HEDGEHOG REVIEW / On Being Midwestern: The Burden of Normality by Phil Christman“I cannot convince myself that the promise the place still seems to hold, the promise of flatness, of the freedom of anonymity, of being anywhere and nowhere at once, is a lie all the way through.Instead, I find myself daydreaming—there is no sky so conducive to daydreaming—of a Midwest that makes, and keeps, these promises to everybody.” EPIC MAGAZINE / What Goes Up by Jack Hitt“The daredevil, his helicopter, and the birth of modern news.”AMERICAN AFFAIRS / The Western Elite from a Chinese Perspective by Puzhong Yao“I don’t claim to be a modern-day Alexis de Tocqueville.Instead, they put low-level users in prison for most of their lives.”SLATE STAR CODEX & THE NEW YORK TIMES / Considerations on Cost Disease by Scott Alexander and The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth by Brian Rosenthal A phenomenon and an example.
Two months later he was dead.”LIT HUB / The Worst Ever First Day on the Job by Finn Murphy“As I saw the movers, their green T-shirts soaking wet with sweat or brine-encrusted with dried sweat, pounding beers in the late-summer sun, telling their stories of hard work done well, hard work done poorly, road trips, good moves, horrendous moves, my interest intensified.”DAMN INTERESTING / Ghoulish Acts and Dastardly Deeds by Alan Bellows An anonymous terrorist in New York City.
BLOOMBERG/The Hijacking of the Brilliante Virtuoso by Kit Chellel and Matthew Campbell“...
he’d begun to suspect that the supposed Somali pirates were neither Somali nor pirates, but rather rogue elements of the Yemeni coast guard or navy.”THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR / The Cloistered Books of Peru by Helen Hazen“A convent in the Andes is home to a treasure.”THE GUARDIAN / The Wounds Have Never Healed by Moni Mohsin“The creation of India and Pakistan in 1947 led to horrific sectarian violence and made millions refugees overnight.
But as soon as the president is taken up on such remarks, there is either an aide on hand to say that he was exaggerating when he said that, that his words are to be taken seriously but not literally, or the president himself is denouncing his critics in another speech, calling them any name that comes into his head.”THE GUARDIAN / London Bridge Is Down by Sam Knight“She stands for stability and order. An exorbitantly wealthy microclique, backed by an army of personal chefs, swears by a sandwich whose standard ingredients boast a street value of roughly 69 cents.”THE GUARDIAN / How the Sandwich Consumed Britain by Sam Knight“The world-beating British sandwich industry is worth £8bn a year.
But her kingdom is in turmoil, and her subjects are in denial that her reign will ever end. Sometimes, though, memory can right itself.”MILK STREET / In Pursuit of Perfect Hummus by J. It transformed the way we eat lunch, then did the same for breakfast – and now it’s coming for dinner.”HIGH COUNTRY NEWS / The Teenage Whaler’s Tale by Julia O’Malley“Internet death threats hound a young Alaskan after a successful hunt.”THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR / Interstates by Emily Bernard“My Italian-American husband ate his way into the good graces of my African-American family.”THE GUARDIAN / ‘My Body Is a Cage of My Own Making’ by Roxane Gay“Strangers remove food from her shopping trolley, humiliate her in the gym and refuse to sit next to her on planes. ”GUERNICA / The Trash Heap Has Spoken by Carmen Maria Machado“The power and danger of women who take up space.”L. REVIEW OF BOOKS / On Being Smaller by Collin Gillis“How do we mourn a version of ourselves that most people assume we never wanted to be, whose existence was unwanted?