Best Long Reads and Long-Form Articles on the web • Discoverology

Long Reads

Read the best long reads from around the internet, including outstanding long-form articles leading publishers like The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, LA Times, Washington Post and many more.

The Day The Pirates Came

The Day The Pirates Came

Business, Long Reads

For Sudeep Choudhury, work on merchant ships promised adventure and a better life. But a voyage on an oil tanker in West Africa, in dangerous seas far from home, would turn the young graduate’s life upside down. His fate would come to depend on a band of drug-fuelled jungle pirates – and the whims of a mysterious figure called The King.

For Cops Who Kill, Special Supreme Court Protection

For Cops Who Kill, Special Supreme Court Protection

Crime, Long Reads

The U.S. high court’s continual refinement of an obscure legal doctrine has made it harder to hold police accountable when accused of using excessive force. Sick with pneumonia, agitated and confused, Johnny Leija refused to return to his hospital room. Moments later, Leija was dead at age 34.

The Secret History Of Page Six

The Secret History Of Page Six

Long Reads, Media

For more than four decades, Page Six has ruled the world of gossip about the famous and powerful. In an era when celebrities control the narrative and “power” is a dirty word, can it survive?

Plane Stowaway: The Man Who Fell From The Sky

Plane Stowaway: The Man Who Fell From The Sky

Crime, Long Reads, World

It was sunny and warm on 30 June as residents in south London finished their lunch and unwound on a leisurely Sunday afternoon. But the peace was shattered in Offerton Road with a terrifying thump. A man occupied a crater in one of the back gardens after falling through the sky for a kilometer.

Trump’s Art Of The Steal

Trump’s Art Of The Steal

Long Reads, Politics

How Donald Trump rode to power by parroting other people’s fringe ideas, got himself impeached for it—and might prevail anyway. Trump mines Twitter, plucking what he wants, “very comfortable with half thoughts,” “always looking for tidbits of information that he can use to his advantage.”

Why Do We Work So Hard?

Why Do We Work So Hard?

Business, Economics, Health, Long Reads

Work, in this context, means active, billable labour. But in reality, it rarely stops. It follows us home on our smartphones, tugging at us during an evening out or in the middle of our children’s bedtime routines. It becomes our lives if we are not careful. It becomes us.

The Saga Of Punkin’ Donuts

The Saga Of Punkin’ Donuts

Business, Long Reads

The Dunkin’ Donuts that used to be at the northwest corner of Belmont and Clark earned its nickname in the 80s and 90s. How a doughnut-shop parking lot became a confluence of Chicago youth subcultures—and what killed it off.

Bashir Sultani

Inspiration
Bashir Sultani
The My Generation: An Oral History Of Myspace Music

The My Generation: An Oral History Of Myspace Music

History, Long Reads, Media

At Myspace’s height, the website changed the way artists and fans found each other and how record labels and buzz-seeking blogs found fresh meat. Artists like Panic! At The Disco, Arctic Monkeys, Soulja Boy, Lily Allen, and Colbie Caillat would become pop stars in part because of their presence on the site.

The Jungle Prince Of Delhi

The Jungle Prince Of Delhi

Long Reads, Politics, World

For 40 years, journalists chronicled the eccentric royal family of Oudh, deposed aristocrats who lived in a ruined palace in the Indian capital. It was a tragic, astonishing story. But was it true?

How To Fight Lies, Tricks And Chaos Online

How To Fight Lies, Tricks And Chaos Online

Explainers, Long Reads, Media, Tech

It took me years to really understand where all the information I saw online was coming from. So this isn’t just a guide to spotting when something is fake. It’s a system for slowing down and thinking about information — whether that information is true, false, or something in between.

The Myth Of The Ethical Shopper

The Myth Of The Ethical Shopper

Business, Economics, Long Reads

What has happened in those sweatshops since they became a cultural fixation three decades ago? All sources led to the same conclusion: Boycotts have failed. Our clothes are being made in ways that advocacy campaigns can’t affect and in places they can’t reach. So how are we going to stop sweatshops now?

‘The Big House And The Picket Fence’

‘The Big House And The Picket Fence’

Crime, Long Reads

Tonya Crowder still dreams that she and her fiance, Roosevelt Myles—who’s been in prison for decades fighting what he says is a wrongful conviction—will one day build a life together somewhere “nice, quiet, and simple.”

The Air Conditioning Trap: How Cold Air Is Heating The World

The Air Conditioning Trap: How Cold Air Is Heating The World

Long Reads, Nature

Warmer temperatures lead to more air conditioning; more air conditioning leads to warmer temperatures. The problem posed by air conditioning resembles, in miniature, the problem we face in tackling the climate crisis. The solutions that we reach for most easily only bind us closer to the original problem.

Nikolay Schegolev

Inspiration
Nikolay Schegolev
Ponzi Schemes, Private Yachts, And A Missing $250 Million In Crypto: The Strange Tale Of Quadriga

Ponzi Schemes, Private Yachts, And A Missing $250 Million In Crypto: The Strange Tale Of Quadriga

Business, Crime, Long Reads

When Canadian blockchain whiz Gerald Cotten died unexpectedly last year, hundreds of millions of dollars in investor funds vanished into the crypto ether. But when the banks, the law, and the forces of Reddit tried to track down the cash, it turned out the young mogul may not have been who he purported to be.

Under The Weather

Under The Weather

Health, Long Reads, Nature

As psychiatrists and philosophers begin to define a pervasive mental health crisis triggered by climate change, they ask who is really sick: the individual or society?

The People Who Shaped The World Wide Web

The People Who Shaped The World Wide Web

History, Long Reads, Tech

Thirty years ago, the world wide web was a way for scientists to share data. Since then, it’s become a critical force for industry, and how the world connects. But this didn’t happen all at once. The web’s evolution has been shaped by the geography of its creators and users.

The SoftBank Effect: How $100 Billion Left Workers In A Hole

The SoftBank Effect: How $100 Billion Left Workers In A Hole

Long Reads, Tech, World

Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s chief executive, was hailed as a kingmaker in 2016 when he unveiled the Vision Fund. Using the cash hoard, Mr. Son poured money into fledgling companies across the world, many of which have a business model of hiring contractors who deliver their services. Above all, he urged these start-ups to grow as fast as possible.

The Art World’s Mini-Madoff And Me

The Art World’s Mini-Madoff And Me

Art, Crime, Long Reads

Inigo Philbrick made his money betting big on a rise in price for a few artists, notably Stingel, who is known for his seemingly endless series of indistinguishable paintings of wallpaper, and Wool, whose most famous text painting fittingly spells out the word FOOL.

Can Computers Ever Replace The Classroom?

Can Computers Ever Replace The Classroom?

Innovation, Long Reads, Tech

Derek Haoyang Li is the founder of Squirrel AI, an education company that offers tutoring delivered in part by humans, but mostly by smart machines, which he says will transform education as we know it. Other entrepreneurs are making similarly extravagant claims about the power of online learning.

Faith, Friendship, And Tragedy At Santa Fe High

Faith, Friendship, And Tragedy At Santa Fe High

Long Reads

Sabika Sheikh, a Muslim exchange student from Pakistan with dreams of changing the world, struck up an unlikely friendship with an evangelical Christian girl. The two became inseparable—until the day a fellow student opened fire.

Michael Crichton

Inspiration
Michael Crichton
The Last Days Of John Allen Chau

The Last Days Of John Allen Chau

Crime, Long Reads, Nature, World

In the fall of 2018, the 26-year-old American missionary traveled to a remote speck of sand and jungle in the Indian Ocean, attempting to convert one of the planet’s last uncontacted tribes to Christianity. The islanders killed him, and Chau was pilloried around the world as a deluded Christian supremacist who deserved to die.

As Warming Waters Make Shellfish Toxic, A Way Of Life Becomes Deadly For Alaskans

As Warming Waters Make Shellfish Toxic, A Way Of Life Becomes Deadly For Alaskans

Food, Long Reads, Nature

Coastal states have developed statewide systems to keep their recreational and subsistence harvesters safe from paralytic shellfish poisoning. Alaska has no such system. State environmental health officials say the sheer length of its coast makes monitoring shellfish for the toxin impossible.

The Fukushima Surf Revival

The Fukushima Surf Revival

Long Reads, World

“If Fukushima was a book, the cover would be about radiation. But the contents would be totally different. Of course, people never read the contents.” How surfing was revived alongside a community in the wake of a tsunami and nuclear disaster.

Schlitterbahn’s Tragic Slide

Schlitterbahn’s Tragic Slide

History, Long Reads

In the water park business, Jeff Hendry was considered a genius of sorts. He often said that his goal in life was to make customers of his family’s legendary water parks happy—“to put a smile on their faces, to give them a thrill or two.” It was a beautiful vision. Until it went horribly wrong.

The Invention Of Money

The Invention Of Money

Business, Economics, History, Long Reads

When the Venetian merchant Marco Polo got to China, he saw many wonders. One of the things that astonished him most, however, was a new invention, implemented by Kublai Khan, a grandson of the great conqueror Genghis. It was paper money, introduced by Kublai in 1260.

The Strange & Curious Tale Of The Last True Hermit

The Strange & Curious Tale Of The Last True Hermit

Crime, Long Reads

For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend—or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real.

The Race To Develop The Moon

The Race To Develop The Moon

Long Reads, Science

For science, profit, and pride, China, the U.S., and private companies are hunting for resources on the lunar surface. It’s not difficult to imagine moon development, like all development, proceeding less than peacefully, and less than equitably.

The Race To Understand Antarctica’s Most Terrifying Glacier

The Race To Understand Antarctica’s Most Terrifying Glacier

Long Reads, Nature

Thwaites Glacier has long been the subject of dark speculation. If this mysterious glacier were to break down into icebergs and eventually collapse into the ocean—it might be more than a scientific curiosity. It might be the kind of event that changes the course of civilization.

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