Federal documents show Harper’s Conservatives are thwarting scientists’ efforts to keep Canadians informed on Arctic ice levels

Federal scientists who keep a close eye on the Arctic ice would like to routinely brief Canadians about extraordinary events unfolding in the North.But newly released federal documents show the Harper government has been thwarting their efforts.In 2012, as the... Read More

My Thoughts on an American Flashpoint

“…It was the corroboration of their worth and their power that they wanted, and not the corpse, still less the staining blood.”  James Baldwin, “To Be Baptized,” from No Name in the Street, 1972 I have been asked by many... Read More

Who Is the Greatest \”Saturday Night Live\” Cast Member Ever?

A friend told me a funny story the other day: On a routine subway ride headed uptown, he spotted a slumped-over man who resembled Jon Lovitz. He gazed at the man, trying to get his attention. Then, in an egregious violation... Read More

Reading List: On Ferguson, Race, Class, Poverty

White privilege, and male at that, remains a powerful force in our culture.  And personally, before I get too sold on my own accomplishments, it is always helpful to remind myself that I started, via a genetic lottery, with a... Read More

Enough With the Rankings, Already

Poetry is a strange corner of the literary world. When we’re not wringing our hands about whether poetry is dead, dying, or undead, we’re coming up with elaborate but poorly-thought-out ways of quantifying its importance in contemporary society. This week’s... Read More

On James Foley (and Freelancers as Humans)

Photo Credit: Nicole Tunghttp://www.nicoletung.com/ When I was in journalism school, I read and heard from a lot of  journalists with a hunger to chase the biggest, most important, and most dangerous stories around the world. They chose the reporter path to... Read More

Tired of All These Autism and ADHD Brats

When I was a kid they didn’t call it “Behavioral Disorders.”  They called it “Being a little brat!”  This is just ONE of many memes I have seen on my social networks. They are shared by my friends and family.... Read More

I Will Not Be Returning to Ferguson: On Journalism and Disillusionment

I had been on the ground helping Al Jazeera America** cover the protests and unrest in Ferguson, Mo., since this all started last week. After what I saw last night, I will not be returning. The behavior and number of journalists there... Read More

Rights and Wrongs: On Guilt and Giving Birth

This afternoon I saw this tweet, and, in replying, came here to find the piece I was sure I’d written on the subject in the past, only to find I never had- despite spending a huge amount of time talking and thinking... Read More

I Am (Not) Mike Brown

A man at a protest holds a sign expressing his solidarity – and commonality – with Mike Brown. “I AM MIKE BROWN” Mike Brown is dead. Mike Brown was shot to death. Mike Brown was 18 years old. Black. Unarmed.... Read More

Poetry by David Howard

Photo (CC) takomabibelot @ Flickr .  * . And Her The morning did what mornings do, left us alone – although ‘us’ implies some consolation from gossip, hugs, love of the common. But no each perception is private, essential, isolating... Read More

\”It\’s About Staying Inspired\” — Exclusive Memoir by Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams, with Benjamin Hedin  | Radio Silence | March 2014 | 11 minutes (2,690 words) Radio SilenceFor this week’s Longreads Member Pick, we are thrilled to share a first-time-ever memoir by the great Lucinda Williams from Radio Silence, a... Read More

The Personal Brand: Performing Propaganda

In the summer of 2013, I became the Esthermachine. It was a performance, a ‘personal brand’ as the phenomena had come to be known – and the audience was comprised of a few thousand followers on twitter.com. The Esthermachine herself... Read More

Elizabeth Gaskell’s Inbox

We recently entered our Carcanet Press Email Preservation Project for one of this year’s Digital Preservation Awards. Each institution was asked to supply up to three images to accompany their entry. We chose to submit one of the beautiful network... Read More

Meanwhile, Just Outside of Ferguson…

I followed a trail of blood up the concrete steps as Deja vu overtook my thoughts. I’d been here before, just a few short months ago, doing the same exact thing, following a trail of blood to an open front... Read More

Professional Jealousy and the Interpreter

Dear colleagues: In the past we have discussed the human relations of the interpreter on a professional level; this time I want to share with you an experience that I had quite some time ago with another colleague. It involves... Read More

I Love Math and I Hate the Fields Medal

I’ve loved math since I can remember. When I was 5 I played with spirographs and learned about periodicity, which made me understand prime numbers as colorful patterns on a page. I always thought 5-fold symmetry was the most beautiful.... Read More

Spires and Gherkins: Ideology in Architecture

The writer Jonathan Meades once remarked that cathedrals (in this case Salisbury Cathedral) serve to facilitate “the dessication and snobbery of the clergy”. Thankfully this barbed, typically Meadesian remark does not characterise his overall assessment of the building – he goes on... Read More

The Road Less Traveled in Yunnan

I discovered Lushi (鲁史) while reading about the ancient Tea and Horse road (茶马古道). Nested in the Wuliang Mountains (无量山), south of Dali ancient town and the Erhai Lake region, Lushi is a well-preserved village steeped in history which is... Read More

Tony Judt’s Life with ALS: A Reading List

The Ice Bucket challenge has raised millions for ALS research, not to mention awareness about the disease: the motor neuron disorder, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects thousands of Americans. It’s also served as a reminder about the work... Read More