June 2009

Joshua Wolf Shenk reveals the secret of happiness; Harris Collingwood questions whether CEOs matter; Douglas Foster profiles Jacob Zuma; James Parker explores the SpongeBob phenomenon; Christopher Hitchens rereads Hemingway; Joseph O'Neill unearths the real Flannery O'Connor; and much more.


What Makes Us Happy?

An inside look at an unprecedented seven-decade study of a group of Harvard men suggests that one thing, above all, truly makes a difference.
Video: Dr. George Vaillant, director of the 72-year study, explains what makes people strive for fame and why dirty laundry can symbolize a perfect life.
Interview: Ben Bradlee, former executive editor of The Washington Post, talks about his role in the Harvard study.
Interview: Historian Donald Cole, selected to participate in the study in the 1940s, reflects on how it affected his life.

Do CEOs Matter?

Apple’s stock rises and falls with the faintest rumors about Steve Jobs's health. But how much influence do CEOs really have?

Hope Floats

As the recession blows a gale, the world’s most expensive cruise ship nears completion.

Fashion in Dark Times

As the ever-frivolous industry enters a new era, customers are thinking more—a prospect that thrills the best designers

Jacob’s Ladder

Is South Africa's next president a savior, a criminal, a Marxist revolutionary—or all of the above?


As Go the Hippos …

Under the weight of Congo’s civil war, an ecosystem collapses.
Video: Delphine Schrank visits the empty lakes and scattered elephant bones left behind by the DRC's ongoing violence.

Dog Bites Bug

How man’s best friend can help him evict his nastiest bedmate

From Russia, With Self-Loathing

Meet Agniya Kuznetsova, the It Girl for a poorer, darker, angrier Russia.

American Sushi

U.S. chefs are bringing Japan’s trademark cuisine back to its roots.
Slideshow: Trevor Corson visits a diverse group of chefs who are adding new cultural inflections to traditional Japanese sushi making

Cold Fusion

Ice—the most neglected of cocktail ingredients—can ruin a drink or make it come alive.

Beijing’s Almost-Perfect Hotel

The Opposite House is an idealistic island in a country that rarely worries about details


Hemingway's Libidinous Feast

In a restored edition of a great classic, sexual anxiety looms large.

Touched by Evil

The real spiritual drama in Flannery O’Connor’s fiction was even darker than the one she acknowledged.

Cover to Cover

Reconsider the rhino; Nightingale unveiled; admissions of guilt; and more


Sink and Swim

Bankruptcy helps the undeserving—and that’s the way it should be.

SpongeBob's Golden Dream

The mysterious allure of the fry cook from Bikini Bottom
Video: James Parker deconstructs the tormented irony and contagious optimism of a SpongeBob episode.


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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