January/February 2010

Our State of the Union report; James Fallows on America's decline; Amanda Ripley on what makes a good teacher; Tim Lavin on late-night radio; Caitlan Flanagan on the trouble with school gardens; Ta-Nehisi Coates on Civil War battlefields; James Parker on 24; and much more.


How America Can Rise Again

Is the nation in terminal decline? Not necessarily—this country has been built on cycles of crisis and renewal, and the forces that have made it great remain strong. But the government is broken. Securing the future will require fixing a system that has become a joke.

The Happiness Index

Times were tough in 2009. But according to a cool Facebook app, people were happier.

What Makes a Great Teacher?

How one organization, drawing on two decades of observation and research, may have found the answer

The Listener

George Noory, America’s most popular late- night radio host, chronicles our national anxieties, from Vampires and shadow people to the Bilderbergs.

Making History

David Greenberg on presidential disappointment, David Frum on reviving the Mugwumps, David M. Kennedy on the lessons of Woodrow Wilson, Paul Starr on governing in the age of Fox News


Among the Mullahs

In Qom, the site of Iran’s secret uranium-enrichment facility, the Islamic Revolution remains as strong as ever.

SimCity Baghdad

A new computer game lets army officers practice counterinsurgency off the battlefield.

The Scourge of TB

In South Africa, good intentions and poor follow-through are helping to spread deadly drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Beetle Mania

A scientist, a pool hustler, and an avant-garde composer fight a fearsome insect invasion.

WalMart and the Civil War

Saving hallowed ground from a Big Box invader

Supersized Cocktails

The drinking man’s case for smaller servings

Paris Under Glass

Exploring the city’s historic, and seductive, shopping arcades

The DIY Chip

New sensor tech is democratizing art and invention.


Cultivating Failure

How school gardens are cheating our most vulnerable students

The Catastrophist

The haunting science fiction of J.G. Ballard

Cover to Cover

American girls; Lorrie Moore’s latest; and more


Capitalist Fools

Commercial real estate is dominated by financial professionals, not hustlers looking for a quick flip. So why is the market about to melt down?

The Clock is Ticking for Jack Bauer

Fox’s 24 is exquisite nonsense. But can its limerick logic survive in the post-Cheney era?

Cut This Story!

Newspaper articles are too long.


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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