What The Psychedelic Drug Ayahuasca Showed Me About My Life
For four consecutive nights, a group of 78 of us here at a retreat center in Costa Rica have been drinking a foul-tasting, molasses-like tea containing ayahuasca, a plant concoction that contains the natural hallucinogen known as DMT.
There’s A Better Way To Get Smarter Than Brain-Training Games
Most of the rapid cognitive enhancers currently being peddled are not very effective. Brain-training games like Lumosity and Posit Science (Brain HQ) won’t boost your IQ, but a host of strategies can improve your cognitive abilities one piece at a time.
The Internet Is Destroying Our Collective Attention Span
The length of time our “collective attention” is on any given event has grown shorter, and topics become popular and then drop out of public view at an accelerating rate. It’s no surprise if it feels harder and harder to dwell deeply on any topic.
The Frontier Couple Who Chose Death Over Life Apart
Artist Eric Bealer was living the remote, rugged good life in coastal Alaska with his wife, Pam, an MS sufferer, when they made a dramatic decision: to exit this world together, leaving behind precise instructions for whoever entered their cabin first.
Plane Stowaway: The Man Who Fell From The Sky
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.
Murder And Manifest Destiny On The Mosquito Coast
In 1999, a mysterious Greek entrepreneur bought and resold a series of tiny islands off the coast of Nicaragua, setting off a bizarre and tragic chain of events that included a reality-TV sensation and allegations of an insidious murder plot. The ensuing chaos brought to light a centuries-old question: Who does land really belong to?
The Saga Of Punkin’ Donuts
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.
Why Can’t The World’s Greatest Minds Solve The Mystery Of Consciousness?
Philosophers and scientists have been at war for decades over the question of what makes human beings more than complex robots. Why aren’t we just brilliant robots, capable of retaining information, of responding to noises and smells and hot saucepans, but dark inside, lacking an inner life?
The Fall Of New York And The Urban Crisis Of Affluence
I have never seen what is going on now: the systematic, wholesale transformation of New York into a reserve of the obscenely wealthy and the barely here—a place increasingly devoid of the idiosyncrasy, the complexity, the opportunity, and the roiling excitement that make a city great.
Muslims Of Early America
Muslims came to America more than a century before Protestants, and in great numbers. How was their history forgotten? Not just the language of Islam, but the religion itself likely arrived in America in 1492, more than 20 years before Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door, igniting the Protestant reformation.
How The English Language Is Taking Over the Planet
English is everywhere, and everywhere, English dominates. From inauspicious beginnings on the edge of a minor European archipelago, it has grown to vast size and astonishing influence. Almost 400m people speak it as their first language; a billion more know it as a secondary tongue. Is there any point in resisting?
The Stradivarius Affair
It isn’t every day that a street criminal—a high-school dropout with two felony convictions—is accused of stealing a centuries-old violin worth as much as $6 million. But nothing about the heist of the Lipinski Stradivarius, which galvanized the music world last winter, was normal, or even logical.
The Malaysian Job: How Wall Street Enabled A Global Financial Scandal
The story of possibly the largest fraud in financial history—in which, billions of dollars were diverted from a Malaysian sovereign-wealth fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad into covert campaign-finance accounts, U.S. political campaigns, Hollywood movies, and the pockets of innumerable other recipients.
How Much Would You Pay To Never Use Tinder Again?
One in four single people under the age of 35 use dating apps. Being single is very expensive, maybe paying a premium matchmaker thousands of dollars to meet someone isn’t so crazy.
The Secret Life Of A Professional Statue
For several years in my 20s, off and on, I was a professional statue. Statue was both a noun and a verb. I was a statue; statuing was what I did. My job was, basically, not to react. Unless one of the tourists gave me what I wanted — a tip in the plastic lemonade pitcher at my feet — I gave them nothing.
Alcohol vs Drugs: Which Is More Dangerous?
The social drug of choice in Western culture is alcohol. Yet drinking is estimated to kill 100,000 a year in the UK alone. Should we wean ourselves off alcohol or even ban it, and instead promote other less harmful but currently illegal alternatives?
How Small Farmers Are Fighting To Keep Vermont’s Identity Alive
Not much says “America” more than the small dairy farm, and Vermont has spent decades selling that image. Increasingly, it’s a relic of a bygone era. As of the third quarter of 2019, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets had accounted for only 675 dairy farms in the state.
Elon Musk, His Rocket, And The Grand Scheme That Tore Apart Boca Chica
SpaceX is dismantling a remote beach community at the southernmost end of Texas, one house at a time. Some residents took its money. Others refuse to leave. Still others are sticking around to see what happens.
How ‘The Five Love Languages’ Can Improve Your Relationships
Love languages let you in on what makes your partner tick. The idea is: we all express and feel love differently, and understanding those differences can seriously help your relationship. In fact, it’s one of the simplest ways to improve it. This term was coined by longtime relationship counselor Gary Chapman.
Buyers Club: The Network Providing People With Affordable Hepatitis C Medicine
In 2013, a cure was found for hepatitis C. It could save millions of lives, but its price tag of between $40,000 and $84,000 for 84 pills puts it far out of most patients’ reach. Greg Jefferys defied the US pharmaceutical company that holds the patent to set up a worldwide supply network for the generic version.
“This Plane Is Not Going to Land in Cairo”: Saudi Prince Sultan Boarded A Flight in Paris. Then, He Disappeared
Prince Sultan bin Turki II was cut off from the Saudi royal family’s cash flow after criticizing the regime. So he appealed to Prince Mohammed bin Salman for help—and was never seen again.