Issue #58: August/September 2017

Features

cover4

The New War on Birth Control

How the Christian Right is co-opting the women's rights movement to fight contraceptives in Africa.

apple

The Afterlife of Big Ideas in Education Reform

How one high school—mine—explains why we keep making the same mistakes in our education policy.

20161013PS_NJP00008

Cat Fight: Inside the Struggle to Save the Latest Migrants Crossing the U.S-Mexico Border

Jaguars are crossing the border into the United States, causing a stir among scientists, mining interests, and those bent on building a wall.

Author and political commentator Van Jones.

A Politics of Compassion: An Interview With Van Jones

The author and vocal CNN commentator on Donald Trump, spirit quests, and the Nelson Mandela factor in political activism.

Culture Pages

Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women's Self-Defense Movement.

The Origins of the Women's Self-Defense Movement

In her new book, martial artist Wendy Rouse digs into the history of women fighting back.

A cover for Jenny Zhang's collection of short fiction, 'Sour Heart.'

PS Picks: 'Sour Heart,' a Book of Short Stories Exploring Race, Class, and Identity

PS Picks is a selection of the best things that the magazine's staff and contributors are reading, watching, or otherwise paying attention to in the worlds of art, politics, and culture.

The Gang's All Queer: The Lives of Gay Gang Members.

Derailing Stereotypes of Masculinity, Queerness, and Gang Violence

In her new book, Vanessa Panfil offers a detailed and nuanced portrayal of homosexual life among gangs in Ohio.

Jenny Hval

Musician Jenny Hval on Feminism and the Body as a Political Space

We spoke to Jenny Hval about what she recommends reading, watching, and listening to.

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman.

PS Picks: 'Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman,' a Documentary That Upends Stereotypes

PS Picks is a selection of the best things that the magazine's staff and contributors are reading, watching, or otherwise paying attention to in the worlds of art, politics, and culture.

IMG_0225-tl

What Makes a Community Cry Witch?

As political instability roils the Central African Republic, neighbors are accusing neighbors of practicing the dark arts.

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 11.53.37 AM

Objects That Matter: Concrete

More than 130 Berliners died trying to cross the "death strip," the no-man’s-land between two massive concrete walls that divided their city for nearly 30 years.

Woman watches a YouTube chef on her laptop.

PS Picks: '(Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love,' a New Book That Depicts Vlogging as Aspirational Labor

PS Picks is a selection of the best things that the magazine's staff and contributors are reading, watching, or otherwise paying attention to in the worlds of art, politics, and culture.

EvaKor-final

A Holocaust Museum Where Talking Is Encouraged

Eva Kor survived Auschwitz and Josef Mengele. Today, she's healing by telling her story.

Jim Crow Terminals: The Desegregation of American Airports.

The Desegregation of American Airports

A new book by a German historian looks at the conflicting history of segregation in commercial air travel.

An image from Star Trek: Discovery.

PS Picks: 'Star Trek: Discovery' and a More Optimistic Vision of the Future

PS Picks is a selection of the best things that the magazine's staff and contributors are reading, watching, or otherwise paying attention to in the worlds of art, politics, and culture.

golden-record-feature

How to Make Friends in Outer Space

When Carl Sagan's team sent two gold-plated records into space in 1977, it wanted to make alien contact. Forty years later, those time capsules are hurtling beyond the reaches of the Solar System, still seeking intelligent life.

The Fix

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 11.55.43 AM

Engineering the End of Malaria

Intellectual Ventures has put some of the profits from licensing patents into developing breakthrough health-care technologies that nobody else has been able to pursue.

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 1.40.22 PM

How to Improve the Primary Process? Make It Less Democratic.

It sounds counterintuitive—and would be a hard sell—but making the way the two major political parties nominate candidates less traditionally democratic could also make it more open to compromise and negotiation.

Field Notes

A policeman walks past the Higher Regional Court in Dresden, Germany.

Letter From Dresden, Germany: What It's Like to Be a Refugee in Germany's Conservative Stronghold

"There is a TV crew here from Texas called Infowars. They are the good ones—they are for Trump. Be nice to them."

In 2012, miners launched a rocket at Spain's civil guard, which, according to press reports, was attempting to halt protests against the government's decision to reduce coal subsidies.

Field Notes: Launching a Rocket at the Spanish Civil Guard

San Martín Del Rey Aurelio, Spain: In 2012, miners launched a rocket at Spain's civil guard, which, according to press reports, was attempting to halt protests against the government's decision to reduce coal subsidies.

At a funeral in a remote corner of Indonesia, water buffalo are sacrificed in order to help carry the deceased to the afterlife.

Field Notes: A Sacrifice for the Afterlife in Indonesia

Tana Toraja, Indonesia: At a funeral in a remote corner of Indonesia, water buffalo are sacrificed in order to help carry the deceased to the afterlife.

An aerial picture shows the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu on February 1, 2017, during its reopening following renovation after earthquake damage. Boudhanath Stupa was among hundreds of historic monuments damaged during the 7.8-magnitude quake that hit Nepal in April 2015, killing nearly 9,000 people.

Letter From Kathmandu, Nepal: The Omnipresence of Dust

Each time the electricity powers off in Kathmandu, thousands of diesel generators rumble to life, spewing noxious particulate matter, or PM2.5.

From a perch in the Matthews Range, members of the Samburu, a tribe of semi-nomadic pastoralists, look down at the Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy, which they're working to protect from elephant poachers.

Field Notes: Looking Out Over Matthews Range in Kenya

Matthews Range, Kenya: From a perch in the Matthews Range, members of the Samburu, a tribe of semi-nomadic pastoralists, look down at the Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy, which they're working to protect from elephant poachers.

Primer

Hillary Clinton.

Political Deviance Is Still a Luxury Reserved for Male Candidates

Men are allowed to be mavericks, but women are expected to toe the party line.

ps-logo-on-white

Overheard: The Conversation, in Context

"Only a small percent actually ventured out to slit our collective throats with their votes."

GettyImages-114989439

The Myth Behind Painkilling Lettuce

Some doctors' manuals from the 19th century do list Lactuca virosa as a pain reliever, but there's little evidence that it works.

GettyImages-1608142

Smarter Kids Are More Open to Experimentation With Drugs and Alcohol

A study found that 11-year-olds who demonstrated medium or high academic ability were more likely to smoke cannabis at ages 18 to 20.

15_KNOW_0809-1b

Stalled Out: How Social Bias Is Segregating America's Bathrooms

Public restrooms are sparking moral panic nationwide, and not for the first time. What, exactly, makes shared bathrooms so ripe for controversy? And what can we do about it?

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 4.59.27 PM

There's a Name for That: The Emotional Seesaw

According to a recent research, law enforcement often leverages a powerful psychological susceptibility—the "emotional seesaw effect"—that potentially has widespread application.

Stacked concrete blocks.

Letter From the Editor: Concrete Results

Introducing Pacific Standard's August/September 2017 issue.