Chris Rowell

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Billy Bragg’s Railroad Songs

Once, if you can imagine it, Presidential candidates stayed home. The campaign trail was unseemly. Then came William Henry Harrison, who took to the road to prove his good health and then, in 1840, proceeded to die a month into office, of pneumonia, at sixty-eight. William Jennings Bryan pioneered …

William Henry Harrison

The Anti-Helicopter Parent’s Plea: Let Kids Play!

It was a Friday afternoon at Mike Lanza’s house in Menlo Park, Calif., and the boys were going crazy. There were boys playing ball in the street, while in the backyard, boys were skittering along the top of the fence while others were wrestling on the trampoline. The house itself is nothing special …

What Michael Moore Understands About Hillary Clinton

“Michael Moore in TrumpLand” isn’t quite the film that I expected it to be, and that’s all to the good. Moore is, of course, a genius of political satire, deploying his persona—as a populist socialist skeptic with a superb sense of humor and a chess player’s skill at media positioning—to deeply …

Why Was a 26-Year-Old Computer Whiz from Ohio the Last Man Standing at Malheur?

When the time came for David Fry to come out with his hands up, he huddled inside a tent of blue and white tarps and flicked a lighter at an unlit cigarette. He held a cellphone at his ear. On the other end, thousands of people listened.<p>“OK, David,” said a voice on a bullhorn outside the tent.<p>Fry …

The lonely death of Chanie Wenjack

Charlie was 12, and Indigenous. He died as the white world’s rules had forced him to live—cut off from his people<p>In 1967, a <i>Maclean’s</i> cover story told …

Gord Downie

A Conversation with Appalachian Trail Record Holder Karl Meltzer

I called Karl Meltzer last Thursday, four days before he broke his friend and rival Scott Jurek's year-old Appalachian Trail speed record. It was 6:30 p.m. ET on a weekday, and the 48-year-old Utahn <b></b>known as Speedgoat Karl was somewhere south of Hot Springs, North Carolina, with more than two …

Ultramarathons

28 years a smeghead: back in deep space with the Red Dwarf crew

Bazookoids at the ready! Head behind-the-scenes as Lister, Rimmer and co buckle up for another ride in Starbug. Will the strap-on dreads survive the trip?<p>There’s a familiar shape lurking outside a side door at Pinewood Studios, tugging away on a cigarette. Leather jacket. Strap-on dreads. A bit …

The Free-Time Paradox in America

The rich were meant to have the most leisure time. The working poor were meant to have the least. The opposite is happening. Why?<p>"Every time I see it, that number blows my mind.”<p>Erik Hurst, an economist at the University of Chicago, was delivering a speech at the Booth School of Business this June …

John Maynard Keynes

Obama the Monument Maker

President Obama seems most comfortable outside on an 18-hole golf course, not hunting bear in Colorado, as Theodore Roosevelt did while president in 1905, or deep-sea fishing for tarpon in the Texas Gulf, as Franklin D. Roosevelt, an avid angler, did on a getaway from the White House in 1937.<p>Yet as …

Generation Dirt — Page 2

In football-frenzied Alabama, kids are choosing trails over turf, and racing mountain bikes with NICA.

Mountain Biking

The Original Underclass

Poor white Americans’ current crisis shouldn’t have caught the rest of the country as off guard as it has.<p>Sometime during the past few years, the country started talking differently about white Americans of modest means. Early in the Obama era, the ennobling language of campaign pundits prevailed. …

John Locke

It Was Just Another Texas Gun Deal, Except the Buyer Was Cop Killer Micah Johnson

Sporting short blond hair and a beard in need of a trim, Crews spent his days working at his uncle’s car dealership and his nights playing drums in …

Guns

I walked 170 miles to the RNC to talk to Trump supporters. They surprised me

I walked from Detroit to the Cleveland convention to talk to my fellow midwesterners. The verdict: people simply don’t care about Melania’s plagiarism when they’re worried about paying the mortgage<p>Fire! Clouds of teargas! Mass arrests! Armed black power militants facing off with assault …

The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous

Its faith-based 12-step program dominates treatment in the United States. But researchers have debunked central tenets of AA doctrine and found dozens of other treatments more effective.<p>J.G. is a lawyer in his early 30s. He’s a fast talker and has the lean, sinewy build of a distance runner. His …

Mental Health

My Bike and White Privilege Revisited

A few weeks ago, I posted this about white privilege–explaining how riding a bike for transportation has helped me to understand it more. And it has …

Terse

In the Early 1900s, Robber Barons Bought Dozens of Centuries-Old European Buildings. Where is Medieval America Now?

Crates of monastery stones and statue of the King of Seville arrive in Miami. St. Bernard de Clairvaux was dismantled and shipped from Spain by …

History

So ready for whatever

Oh give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above. Don’t fence me in. Let me ride thru the wide open country that I Continue reading So ready …

Bikepacking

The Yosemite Horror

On Thursday morning, July 22, Dr. Desmond Kidd, Yosemite National Park's medical director, had just finished a busy 24-hour shift at the park's clinic—it was, after all, the height of the summer tourist season—and the 36-year-old physician was beat. But not long after he arrived back at the log …

Crime

The Life and Death of a Modern-Day Bonnie and Clyde

How a young couple's two-week crime spree took a violent turn, gained a cult following and ended in a hail of bullets<p>On January 31st, Kyle Dease, a …

Crime

An Army Buddy's Call For Help Sends A Scientist On A Brain Injury Quest

<i>Editor's note: This longform journalism project chronicles a soldier-scientist's quest to figure out how battlefield explosions injure brains. It was first published on Shots in June, and is running on NPR's Morning Edition on July 25 and Aug. 1. The project includes a second story on how the U.S.</i> …

The Brain

The Graying of Rural America

As young people increasingly move to cities, what happens to the people and places they leave behind?<p>FOSSIL, Oregon—It can be a pretty depressing proposition to start counting the deaths in this tiny town set among the hills and buttes of central Oregon.<p>Sherian Asher, 74, began keeping track a few …

Oregon

A controversial theory may explain the real reason humans have allergies

For me, it was hornets.<p>One summer afternoon when I was 12, I ran into an overgrown field near a friend’s house and kicked a hornet nest the size of a football. An angry squadron of insects clamped onto my leg; their stings felt like scorching needles. I swatted the hornets away and ran for help, …

Immunotherapy

Why I Choose to Challenge Climate Change Deniers

As you may know, I am very concerned about global warming and global climate change. The science of global warming is long settled, and one may wonder why the United States, nominally the most technologically advanced country in the world, is not the world leader in addressing the threats …

Size matters: why we’re all riding bikes that are too small - MBR

Chris Porter explains why he thinks mountain bike designers are getting it all wrong.<p>Mountain bike sizing is stuck in the Stone Age, and I think it’s …

Have Children? Here’s How Kids Ruin Your Romantic Relationship

Editor's Blog Photo credit: Bundles of joy. Family via www.shutterstock.com.Lots of women look forward to motherhood – getting to know a tiny baby, …

Parenting

How The Media Failed In Covering Donald Trump

So here we are. Noisily embraced by the plurality of Republican voters, not-so-quietly reviled by most Republican leaders, Donald Trump is all but assured that party's presidential nomination.<p>Journalists astonished at the result — and believe me, most are stunned by what has unfolded — find …

Journalism

The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans

Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them.<p>Since 2013, the Federal Reserve Board has conducted a survey to “monitor the financial and economic status of American consumers.” Most of the data in the latest survey, frankly, are less than …

Personal Finance

The Invisible Security of Canada's Seemingly Chill Border

For all the attention the country's border with Mexico is getting these days, it's worth noting that there's a far more permeable border to the …