Have We Hit Peak Punctuation? :(

The twilight of exclamatory excess

Is Stop-and-Frisk Worth It?

Civil-rights activists are ecstatic that a federal judge declared the NYPD’s policy unconstitutional. But law-enforcement officials say the practice has made U.S. cities dramatically safer. Now what?

You’re Saying It Wrong

The implacable pedantry of the word police

Saving the Lost Art of Conversation

In a fast-paced digital age, an MIT psychologist tries to slow us down.

A Brief History of the Mile High Club

Air travel hasn’t quite lost all its romance.

Cover to Cover

A new essay anthology captures the power of city parks.

In Praise of Fancy Words

The pleasures of reading with a dictionary by one’s side

Why Are Prison Riots Declining While Prison Populations Explode?

A visit to corrections officers’ annual Mock Prison Riot

Why the U.S. Is So Good at Turning Immigrants Into Americans

As a glance at Europe shows, it's not as easy as it looks.

The Case for Hate Speech

How Anita Bryant, Jerry Falwell, and Orson Scott Card have advanced the cause of gay rights

A Brief History of Dude

You know ... if you're into the whole brevity thing

Violence Is Contagious

What goes around really does come around.

The Boom Towns and Ghost Towns of the New Economy

New York, Houston, Washington, D.C.—plus college towns and the energy belt—are all up, while much of the Sun Belt is (still) down. Mapping the winners and losers since the crash.

No. 1 in Wine and Porn! The Idiocy of State Rankings

Comparing totally dissimilar populations can yield remarkably little insight

Leading Questions

How to Edit a Dictionary

What to keep and what to cut? You can start by checking the Internet.

The Real Cost of Segregation—in 1 Big Chart

Murder by Craigslist

A serial killer finds a newly vulnerable class of victims: white, working-class men.

NPR’s Great Black Hope

The radio network’s stereotypical listener is a 50-something white guy. Can Glynn Washington, the fastest-rising public-radio star in memory, change that?

Why So Many Americans Are Leaving the U.S.—in 1 Big Chart

Visualizing our emigration problem

What's With the U.S. Media's Aversion to Graphic Images?

In an R-rated world, American news remains rigidly PG.

'Idiot,' 'Yahoo,' 'Original Gorilla': How Lincoln Was Dissed in His Day

The difficulty of recognizing excellence in its own time

Bringing Back the Ancient Art of Spearfishing

An old extreme sport is new again.

The Atheist Who Strangled Me

In which Sam Harris teaches me Brazilian jiu-jitsu and explains why violence is like rebirth

The Hanging

The body of William Sparkman Jr., a 51-year-old census worker, was found in 2009 in an isolated cemetery in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. He hung naked from a tree, hands bound, the word FED scrawled in black marker across his chest. Sparkman's death briefly made headlines: to some, it seemed to implicate our polarized politics; to others, a region long known for its insularity. And then the case disappeared from the national view. Here is the story of what really happened to Bill Sparkman, a complex man whom few people truly knew.


Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more


Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.


What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world



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