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Sep/Oct 2012

The Neurobiology of Fear

New clues into why some of us get stuck in a state of anxiety and others chill

Stephen Joseph-Illustration-by-Graham Smith

The Bag Man

Stephen Joseph’s Save the Plastic Bag Coalition maintains that the bags are actually good for the environment, not to mention the economy.

Sarwidi Versus the Volcano

An engineer’s radical idea to help people survive an eruption: stay put


Gangster Anthropologist

Jorja Leap / Youth violence researcher / University of California, Los Angeles

Book Reviews: How the Wealth Gap Damages Democracy

Two new books explain the rise of economic inequality, and suggestthe rich are different than you or me: they have more political influence.

Nelson Donna

Maven of Meth

The real-life chemist behind television's preeminent crystal cook

Save the Trees, We’ll Save Your Life

Can medical care motivate Indonesian villagers to protect the rain forest?


The Safe Race

Are South Asians the new "model minority" of American entertainment?

Ambrose Bierce Seated Under Tree

The Corrections

In 1896, William Randolph Hearst unleashed his pit-bull ace reporter, Ambrose Bierce, in the nation’s capital to expose the Railroad robber baron's grip on California’s Legislature. Reforms happened. The state was returned to its people. Trouble is, some of those fixes are bringing California to its knees.

Nicolas Berggruen

The Freethinking Homeless Billionaire and the Flat-Broke State

A long list of politicians and a whole industry of fix-it professionals have failed to restore California to its former glory. Did Nicolas Berggruen—Paris-born, art collector, global investor—and his Think Long committee, know how to rebuild the Golden State? And if so, Why didn’t anyone listen?


Do We Still Segregate Students?

Schools around the nation are 'detracking' classes, putting kids of all achievement levels in the same room. Does that sabotage higher achievers?

Jerry Brown

The Governor's Last Stand

California's Jerry Brown—now pragmatic, but still profane—is banking on a last-gasp proposal known as Proposition 30 to save the biggest economy in the nation.