A generation of new babies is painting a picture of what the future of the British Empire will look like: "Today, the increase in British birth rates has ushered in another baby-centric age, one defined by three distinct aspects. More babies of different ethnicities are being born, challenging the very notion of an ethnic 'minority'. They are also part of a simultaneous parenting boom: people from an ever wider array of backgrounds can become parents of healthy babies. Finally, there is an intellectual boom: as scientists and policy makers – like their political forebears – seek to use our growing knowledge about how babies and their brains develop to improve education and curb inequality."
PUBLISHED: July 11, 2014
LENGTH: 20 minutes (5171 words)
A profile of Matt Rutledge, the founder of deals site Woot, which sold to Amazon in 2010. Rutledge is starting a new deals site called "Meh."
PUBLISHED: July 1, 2014
LENGTH: 14 minutes (3628 words)
Evidence of a convicted murderer’s possible innocence sat buried in a case file for more than two decades. Now, a prosecutor in Brooklyn will have to answer for the mistake.
On the afternoon of July 18, 1990, James Leeper, a newly minted homicide prosecutor in Brooklyn, had to make a challenging closing argument. The man he had charged with murder had mounted a substantial defense—offering plane tickets and video footage indicating he had been vacationing at Disney World when a man named Darryl Rush was shot dead in front of a Brooklyn housing project. Leeper acknowledged to the jury that it seemed like the "perfect alibi."
PUBLISHED: June 4, 2014
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4960 words)
In Srebrenica, reconciliation between Muslims and Serbs have remained difficult nearly 20 years after the Bosnian Genocide:
Among the Muslims who have returned, the outspoken Fazila Efendic is the anomaly. Far more common is the case of Suleiman Mehmedovic, a 31-year-old laborer who lives with his wife and two children in a tiny apartment at the edge of the town of Srebrenica. Only 12 in July 1995, he left the enclave on a bus with his mother, but his father perished; his wife lost her father and all five brothers. “We just keep to ourselves,” Suleiman said of his life today. “I work alongside Serbs, and it’s O.K. We just never talk about what happened at all.”
To Milos Milanovic, a Serbian member of the Srebrenica City Council, that’s the best that can be hoped for. “There is never any discussion about these things, only arguing,” he told me. During the war, Milanovic, now 50, was a member of the Srspka armed forces and was present at the fall of Srebrenica. “It’s mostly propaganda,” he said of the numbers killed in the July 1995 massacre. “The Muslims have even presented our victims as their victims. They need to keep the death count high to present Serbs as the only criminals and to cover up their own war crimes.”
PUBLISHED: May 29, 2014
LENGTH: 32 minutes (8008 words)
Photographer Nina Berman, a professor at Columbia's Journalism School, on the evolving state of photojournalism:
There are stylistic trends in art and in literature, and everyone acknowledges them. But rarely are they cited in photojournalism, perhaps because people still cling to the idea of photography as an objective or neutral medium that captures a shared truth. There is nothing remotely objective about photography. Where I stand, how I got to that spot, where I direct my lens, what I frame, how I expose the image, what personal and cultural factors influence these decisions — all are intensely subjective.
PUBLISHED: May 12, 2014
LENGTH: 6 minutes (1556 words)
What happened when Mark Zuckerberg, Cory Booker and Chris Christie pledged to reform Newark’s schools? A lot of money spent on consultants, and some very hard lessons about enlisting community support for change:
One mother shouted, “We not having no wealthy white people coming in here destroying our kids!” From aisles and balconies, people yelled, “Where’s Christie!” “Where’s Mayor Hollywood!” The main item on the agenda—a report by the Newark schools’ facilities director on a hundred and forty million dollars spent in state construction funds, with little to show for it—reinforced people’s conviction that someone was making a killing at their children’s expense. “Where’d the money go? Where’d the money go?” the crowd chanted.
PUBLISHED: May 12, 2014
LENGTH: 46 minutes (11617 words)
How the notorious leader of the Sinoloa Drug Cartel was captured:
At eleven-forty-two that morning, Peña Nieto announced the capture on Twitter: “I acknowledge the work of the security agencies of the Mexican state in pulling off the apprehension of Joaquín Guzmán Loera in Mazatlán.” U.S. officials had already leaked the news to the Associated Press, but Peña Nieto wanted to be certain that his troops had the right man. In the summer of 2012, Mexican authorities announced that they had captured Guzmán’s son Alfredo, and held a press conference in which they paraded before the cameras a sullen, pudgy young man in a red polo shirt. A lawyer representing the man then revealed that he was not Guzmán’s son but a local car dealer named Félix Beltrán. Guzmán’s family chimed in, with barely suppressed glee, that the young man in custody was not Alfredo. In another recent case, officials in Michoacán announced that they had killed the infamous kingpin Nazario Moreno, a triumph that was somewhat undercut by the fact that Moreno—who was known as El Más Loco, or the Craziest One—had supposedly perished in a showdown with government forces in 2010. (D.E.A. agents now joke that El Más Loco is the only Mexican kingpin to have died twice.)
PUBLISHED: April 28, 2014
LENGTH: 39 minutes (9825 words)
How science fiction writers inform the way we think about the real world:
Jordin Kare, an astrophysicist at the Seattle-based tech company LaserMotive, who has done important practical and theoretical work on lasers, space elevators and light-sail propulsion, cheerfully acknowledges the effect science fiction has had on his life and career. “I went into astrophysics because I was interested in the large-scale functions of the universe,” he says, “but I went to MIT because the hero of Robert Heinlein’s novel Have Spacesuit, Will Travel went to MIT.” Kare himself is very active in science fiction fandom. “Some of the people who are doing the most exploratory thinking in science have a connection to the science-fiction world.”
Microsoft, Google, Apple and other firms have sponsored lecture series in which science fiction writers give talks to employees and then meet privately with developers and research departments. Perhaps nothing better demonstrates the close tie between science fiction and technology today than what is called “design fiction”—imaginative works commissioned by tech companies to model new ideas. Some corporations hire authors to create what-if stories about potentially marketable products.
PUBLISHED: April 28, 2014
LENGTH: 8 minutes (2054 words)
In 2012, President Barack Obama said the fight against human trafficking was "one of the great human rights causes of our time." So why are so many Colorado children still being exploited?
Lipstick kisses stain the corners of the mirror. Open tubes of mascara, a rainbow of eye shadows, and a warm curling iron cover the counter of the pink bathroom. T-shirts, skirts, and heels are scattered on the couch and spread along the floor of the basement. Sixteen-year-old Susie discards an entire pile of tops before settling on a cropped T-shirt, jeans, and wedges. Her naturally curly black hair is stick straight, her nails are freshly manicured, and her youthful olive skin needs no makeup. She hums along to some current mid-’90s radio hits—Mariah Carey, Tupac, Biggie—and helps a friend apply yet another layer of eyeliner, while the giggles and chatter of two other girls, ages 15 and 16, fill whatever space is left in the cramped room.
PUBLISHED: April 1, 2014
LENGTH: 26 minutes (6675 words)