March 2013

How robots will make your doctor obsolete. Plus: The emancipation of Barack Obama, how to save kids from online bullies, why romantic comedies are so bad, and more.

The Atlantic - March 2013

The Conversation

Responses and Reverberations


The Big Question

What Day Most Changed the Course of History?

An archduke's assassination, suffrage for women, asteroid destruction, and more


The Robot Will See You Now

Technology is about to revolutionize health care. How far will automation go? Will doctors still be necessary?

Anthropology Inc.

How companies have started using social scientists to probe the deepest needs, fears, and desires of consumers

The Hanging

What really happened to William Sparkman Jr., the census worker whose body was found hanging from a tree in Kentucky in 2009, the word FED scrawled across his chest?

How to Stop the Bullies

The inside account of the companies, scientists, and hackers who are hunting for solutions to the scourge of online harassment
Video: Emily Bazelon talks with Atlantic Digital editor Bob Cohn about how Facebook and others are tackling the problem.

Inventing Marilyn

Anyone who thinks the story of Marilyn Monroe doesn't warrant such attention doesn't know much about it.


Serial Thriller

From literature to appointment television, episodic storytelling is flourishing.

The Emancipation of Barack Obama

Why the reelection of the first black president matters even more than his election

A More Perfect Poll

As opinion researchers hung up the phone and headed online last year, election forecasts grew more accurate. Has the Web-based survey finally come of age?

How Beautiful Is Too Beautiful?

Studies suggest that physical perfection isn’t always advantageous.

Six Degrees of Sally Oren

Just one woman links Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Bibi Netanyahu.

The Incredible Shrinking Ad

As our attention shifts to mobile phones—and their smaller screens—ads are becoming vastly less effective. And companies built on ad revenues, like Google and Facebook, should start to sweat.

Why Drag It Out?

An investigation into what inspires soooo many people to toss extra letters into their text messages

Swearing Off Sex in France

When the French blogger Sophie Fontanel embraced celibacy, readers didn’t know what to make of her.

Look Smarter

Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake talks with Alexis Madrigal about how new location-based tools will help us to see our surroundings with fresh eyes.

The Myth of the Student-Loan Crisis

Are rising debt levels really a cause for national panic?

How the White House Is Like a Prison

Over the years, the president's home has attracted an astonishing array of negative reviews from its residents.

Are Priests Really Necessary?

The New Testament mentions only a single priest: Jesus. A very short book excerpt.

What's Your Problem?

How to handle a whiny advice-column writer

The American Dream

A survey in pictures

The Culture File

Reliving Groundhog Day

On the 20th anniversary of the beloved Bill Murray comedy, it’s time to recognize it as a profound work of contemporary metaphysics.

Getting Toasted

The drama (and sometimes danger) of the flaming cocktail
Video: How to make America's original flaming cocktail, the Blue Blazer

Elegy for the Minibar

What has happened to my most trusted traveling companion?

Why Are Romantic Comedies So Bad?

The long decline from Katharine Hepburn to Katherine Heigl
Video: Christopher Orr narrates scenes from great romantic comedies, including The Philadelphia Story and When Harry Met Sally.

Indelible Images

Two beautiful new coffee-table books—except one isn’t really a book

Moscow Under Terror

In 1937, the city was both a world capital of artistic ferment and a slaughterhouse.

Cover to Cover

The new Jonathan Dee novel, and the most intelligent biography of a fashion designer ever written


Where the Wild Things Go

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?


Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.


The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air



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