Essays

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What Motivates Extreme Self-Sacrifice?

New work in the field of anthropology says violent extremism isn't really motivated by religion—but by fusion with the group.

The interior of a cell at the Security Housing Unit of Pelican Bay State Prison, the notorious maximum-security site in Crescent City, California, for top-level prisoners.

The End of Solitary Confinement

What is California going to do with "the worst of the worst"?

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Is the Stock Market Sexist?

Inherent market bias is one of the factors keeping women off corporate boards—until someone has to take the fall. Welcome to the Glass Cliff.

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The Little Pink Pill That Sparked a Feminist War

The Food and Drug Administration's approval of a pharmaceutical treatment for low sexual desire in women has launched a heated debate over the dangers and benefits of medicalizing sex.

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Western Cattlemen Square Off Against 60,000 Mustangs

Can wild horses co-exist with ranchers and their grazing cows?

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On Pivoting: How We Talk About Labor

Euphemisms offer important comfort in a recession. They also tend to exclude the people hit hardest.

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The Aging Advantage

At 91, Barbara Beskind is three times the age of most of her colleagues at the global design firm IDEO, but age can be more than just a number in the workplace.

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Need for Speedrunning

Gamers have found a way to get a younger generation excited about raising millions for charity. And they don’t even need to put down their controllers.

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We Know What's in Your Medicine Cabinet

Even our most personal health conditions are part of a vast but hidden market for our medical data. Don't we deserve to know about it?

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Who, What, Where, When, Weird

How oddball items came to dominate the news business, and became normal in the process.

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Are You Getting Paid What You're Worth?

American employment markets are getting better at paying everyone exactly what they're worth. And we're all paying the price.

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The End of Locker-Room Talk

What a court case involving construction workers, moist towelettes, and a bridge in New Orleans signals about the future of manhood in the workplace.

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Aunt Mommy

How does it feel to be the biological parent of your sister's child or the aunt of the children you birthed? Americans are finding out.

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From Our Prison to Your Dinner Table

At America's strangest workplace, laborers are making toys for kids, picking grapes for wineries, and farming tilapia for Whole Foods—all for $1.50 an hour.