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The Pope in the Attic: Benedict in the Time of Francis

What’s it like for the first living ex-pope in 600 years to watch from up close as the successor he enabled dismantles his legacy?<p>These days, he is an <i>autoclaustrato</i>, a self-cloistered contemplative in an order with a membership of one.<p>His name is still Benedict, 15 months after he renounced the …

Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain

We see these wounded women everywhere:<p>Miss Havisham wears her wedding dress until it burns. <i>The bride within the bridal dress had withered like the</i> …

The Difficulties with Dirty Words

There are a number of difficulties with dirty words, the first of which is that there aren’t nearly enough of them; the second is that the people who …

Michael Lewis

A trip to the White House briefing room and Steve Bannon’s living room.<p>With key U.S.D.A. programs—from food stamps to meat inspection, to grants and …

New Orleans

Have You Met the New Pamela Anderson?

Boobs! Boyfriends! Baywatch! Pamela Anderson is iconic for her role as the ultimate babe. Now she would like you to know there are brains inside that body, thank you very much. But is this a woman on a quest to find her true self—or has Pam been one step ahead of us all along?<p>"Omigod!" Pamela …

Just Cheer, Baby

Fed up with working long hours for meager wages, a Raiderette named Lacy T. recently filed a lawsuit in search of fair pay. She might just end up …

Alameda County

The New Face of Heroin

The explosion of drugs like OxyContin has given way to a heroin epidemic ravaging the least likely corners of America - like bucolic Vermont, which …

“U Want Me 2 Kill Him?”

When a 14-year-old British boy was savagely stabbed, no one could have imagined the bizarre chat-room fantasy world that lay behind the attack. A story of a near-fatal Internet attraction.<p>Sometimes, as night falls over Greater Manchester, the ingenious adolescent returns to the place where he was …

Crime

The most trafficked mammal you've never heard of -- CNN.com

John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN Opinion and head of CNN's Change the List project. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. E-mail him at ctl@cnn.com. The opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author.<p>Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam (CNN)<p>Inside a metal vault here in …

This Is Not a Barbie Doll. This Is an Actual Human Being.

Not so long ago, images of a young girl washed over the Internet. She was impossibly blonde and impossibly shaped, and surely it was all a masterly work of Photoshop. Right? Michael Idov travels to meet with Eastern Bloc Barbie herself and discovers that her world is far more bizarre and twisted …

Exotic Pets

<b>All across the nation,</b> in Americans’ backyards and garages and living rooms, in their beds and basements and bathrooms, wild animals kept as pets live side by side with their human owners. It’s believed that more exotic animals live in American homes than are cared for in American zoos. The …

Russell Brand on What It’s Like to Be an Addict

Drugs and alcohol are not my problem, reality is my problem, drugs and alcohol are my solution.<p>If this seems odd to you it is because you are not an …

Sinners in the Hands

Andy and Patty Grove never planned to settle outside of Texas. Their roots in the state reach back many generations. Patty’s ancestors came to Texas …

Untested. Unregulated. Unsafe?

Chinese clinics are touting “miracle” stem cell cures—and they’re making millions off sick children.<p><b>TWELVE THOUSAND MILES.</b> That’s how far it is from …

Geel: where the mentally ill are welcomed home – Mike Jay

Half an hour on the slow train from Antwerp, surrounded by flat, sparsely populated farmlands, Geel (pronounced, roughly, ‘Hyale’) strikes the …

What Happens When One of Your Coworkers Dies

<i>by Michael Hobbes</i><p>The first thing that happens is someone tells you.<p>It’s Tuesday, it’s February, it’s my first day back at work after a week on …

Charles Manson Today: The Final Confessions of a Psychopath

He's nearly 80 and his Family is smaller, but darkness still surrounds America's most notorious criminal<p>In California's San Joaquin Valley, about …

How Selling Out Saved Indie Rock

Not long ago, the idea of selling a song for a commercial would have been seen as career suicide. Now, thanks to the music industry’s implosion and the rise of a new generation of artist-friendly ad execs, bands can barely survive without doing so. But has the bubble already burst?<p>It's 2 p.m., the …

The Prophet: Meet Dave Ramsey, America's Personal Finance Guru

39<p>SHARES<p>For a long time Tannie and Kenneth Ackley had more bills than they could keep track of. There was a debt to Sears and another to Home Depot. …

Personal Finance

That Goddamned Blue Bird and Me: How Twitter Hijacked My Mind

I joined Twitter, with very bad grace, on March 5, 2010. I was a few months away from publishing my first book, and my agent, editor, publicist, and …

The Plants Respond

At thirteen minutes, fifty-five seconds chart time, the thought entered my mind to burn the leaf. I didn’t verbalize the idea; I didn’t touch the …