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Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 2

Here are 10 of our favorite stories right now from Autostraddle, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Toast, Walrus Magazine, and more.
AUTHOR:Mike Dang
PUBLISHED: July 23, 2014

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Our favorite stories of the week—featuring The New Yorker, Notre Dame Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Esquire and The Giddy Summit.
PUBLISHED: July 18, 2014

One of a Kind

Seth Mnookin reports the story of how one couple, Matt Might and Cristina Casanova, worked with researchers to diagnose their son's disease and connect with other families whose children also had the same genetic disorder. Mnookin's story also exposes some of the problems within the cloistered research community. We featured Might's story about his search to diagnose his son's disease in 2012.
PUBLISHED: July 17, 2014
LENGTH: 24 minutes (6198 words)

Wrong Answer

Facing increased pressure to perform on standardized tests, a group of Atlanta teachers begin cheating. "After more than two thousand interviews, the investigators concluded that forty-four schools had cheated and that a 'culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation has infested the district, allowing cheating—at all levels—to go unchecked for years.' They wrote that data had been 'used as an abusive and cruel weapon to embarrass and punish.' Several teachers had been told that they had a choice: either make targets or be placed on a Performance Development Plan, which was often a precursor to termination."

PUBLISHED: July 14, 2014
LENGTH: 35 minutes (8962 words)

Taylor Swift Is a Music Business Genius: A Reading List

A brief guide to the music business, according to Taylor Swift: Featuring the Wall Street Journal, Planet Money and The New Yorker.
PUBLISHED: July 7, 2014

Reading List: Summertime and the Reading Is Easy

Five stories about summer from The New Yorker, The Rumpus, Flavorwire, The Paris Review, and Autostraddle.
PUBLISHED: July 7, 2014

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Our favorite stories of the week, featuring The New Yorker, Hazlitt, The Billfold, Politico Magazine, and The Believer.
PUBLISHED: July 3, 2014

Sixty-nine Days

An in-depth account of how the Chilean miners survived during the 2010 Copiapó mining accident:

At noon on the second day, Sepúlveda lined up thirty-three plastic cups and scooped one teaspoon of canned fish into each, then poured in some water, making a broth. He passed out two cookies to each man. “Enjoy your meal,” he said. “This is delicious stuff. Make it last.” Each cup probably contained fewer than a hundred calories.

Several times during those first days, the mountain rumbled as though it were exploding again. Lobos said that, outside the Refuge, “I always slept with one eye open, and when the mountain made noises I’d go running back inside.” A few of the men took the stretchers and used them as beds; others put cardboard onto the tile floor. The men were covered in soot. The Refuge, without any ventilation, started to smell like their fetid, unbathed bodies. “We didn’t have water we could spare to clean our private parts,” one miner said. Another said, “I’ve smelled corpses before, and after a while it smelled worse than that.”

PUBLISHED: June 30, 2014
LENGTH: 57 minutes (14378 words)

Stepping Out

David Sedaris acquires a Fitbit:

Since getting my Fitbit, I’ve seen all kinds of things I wouldn’t normally have come across. Once, it was a toffee-colored cow with two feet sticking out of her. I was rambling that afternoon, with my friend Maja, and as she ran to inform the farmer I marched in place, envious of the extra steps she was getting in. Given all the time I’ve spent in the country, you’d think I might have seen a calf being born, but this was a first for me. The biggest surprise was how unfazed the expectant mother was. For a while, she lay flat on the grass, panting. Then she got up and began grazing, still with those feet sticking out.

“Really?” I said to her. “You can’t go five minutes without eating?”

PUBLISHED: June 23, 2014
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2515 words)