The Birth of The New Journalism - God knows I didn’t have anything new in mind, much less anything literary, when I took my first newspaper job…
The Last American Hero Is Junior Johnson. Yes! - Ten o'clock Sunday morning in the hills of North Carolina. Cars, miles of cars, in every direction, millions of cars…
The Me Decade - The new alchemical dream is: changing one’s personality—remaking, remodeling, elevating, and polishing one’s very self … and observing, studying, and doting on it. (Me!)
Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s - I’ve never met a Panther—this is a first for me!
The Secret Vice - Real buttonholes. That’s it! A man can take his thumb and forefinger and unbutton his sleeve at the wrist because this kind of suit has real buttonholes there
What if He’s Right? - Suppose he is what he sounds like, the most important thinker since Newton, Darwin, Freud, Einstein, and Pavlov what if he is right?
The Tinkerings of Robert Noyce - Grinnell Iowa: the last town in America that people would have figured to become the starting point of a bolt into the future that would create the very substructure of life in the year 2000 and beyond
Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers - They sat back and waited for you to come rolling in with your certified angry militants, your guaranteed frustrated ghetto youth, looking like a bunch of wild men
Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died - Brain imaging was invented for medical diagnosis. But its far greater importance is that it may very well confirm, in ways too precise to be disputed, theories about the mind, the self, the soul, and free will
One Giant Leap to Nowhere - The space program, the greatest, grandest, most Promethean quest in the history of the world, died in infancy at 10:56 p.m. New York time on July 20, 1969
Pell-Mell - The American idea was born at approximately 5 p.m. on Friday, December 2, 1803…
The Rich Have Feelings, Too - I feel like boffing some bimbos in the Caribbean. Anybody like to come along?
Stalking the Billion-footed Beast - A Literary Manifesto for the New Social Novel
This Army of AI Robots Will Feed the World by Amanda Little - And it could do it while eliminating herbicides, replenishing topsoil, and reducing carbon consumption. If all goes to plan
The Robots Are Coming by John Lanchester - Whole categories of work will be transformed by the power of computing, and in particular by the impact of robots…
Our Automated Future by Elizabeth Kolbert - How long will it be before you lose your job to a robot?
The Great A.I. Awakening by Gideon Lewis-Kraus - How Google used artificial intelligence to transform Google Translate, one of its more popular services — and how machine learning is poised to reinvent computing itself
Will Robocars Kick Humans Off City Streets? by Ian Bogost - Self-driving cars could encourage policies that end public access to America’s roads
David Dobbs, one of our favourite science writers, has written a fascinating new article on an experimental approach to treating depression and the complexities of the clinical trial process:
Why a ‘Lifesaving’ Depression Treatment Didn’t Pass Clinical Trials … but could still be a groundbreaking therapy
Plus ten more excellent articles he wrote in the past:
Restless Genes - The compulsion to see what lies beyond that far ridge or that ocean is a defining part of human identity and success.
The Science of Success - Genes that create dysfunction in unfavorable contexts can also enhance function in favorable contexts (plus The Orchid Hypothes is A-bloom - a 2013 piece that expands on the theme explored in this article).
The Social Life of Genes - Inside the new social science of genetics.
Die, Selfish Gene, Die - The selfish gene is one of the most successful science metaphors ever invented. Unfortunately, it’s wrong.
Beautiful Brains - Moody. Impulsive. Maddening. Why do teenagers act the way they do? Viewed through the eyes of evolution, their most exasperating traits may be the key to success as adults.
The Gregarious Brain - What a rare genetic disorder can teach us about our brains.
A Depression Switch? - On a new, experimental surgery for treatment-resistant depression that involves planting electrodes in the center of the brain.
Kill Whitey. It’s the Right Thing to Do. - The trolley problem is a staple of moral psychology studies in which you ask someone to decide under what conditions it’s morally permissible to kill one person to save others…
The Tight Collar - The science of choking under pressure .
Free Science, One Paper at a Time - Librarians at the University of California system balked when the Nature Publishing Group raised the price of the scores of journals the huge library system subscribes to over $17,000 per journal. The librarians objected that it was ludicrous for universities to fund research and then pay to read it…
My Mother’s Lover - From her deathbed, the author’s mother revealed a secret she had kept for 60 years: her true love was not his father, but a man named Angus Zahrt. On his ensuing search for the full story.
We asked Pat Joseph, editor of California Magazine to pick some of his favourite stories from the magazine over the years. Here’s what he chose:
The Starship or the Canoe by Kenneth Brower - Where will our future adaptations be–down here or out there?
Song of Herself by Bridget Huber
- An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin About Growing Up in Berkeley
The Other Side of War by Tresor Bunker - “When your friends die, you never actually know what happens to them.”
The Teeming Metropolis of You by Brendan Buhler - Each of us is a colonized country, a host of multitudes, a reservoir of biodiversity
Splitsville by Vicki Haddock - California has withstood more than 200 secession attempts since it became a state
The Good, the Bad and the Robot by Coby McDonald - Experts are trying to make machines be ‘moral’
Death to the Fascist Insect by By Michael Taylor - Nothing symbolizes the violent radicalism of the ’70s like the SLA and its abduction of Patty Hearst
The Free Agent by Pat Joseph - Joe Kapp was the Curt Flood of the NFL. How come no one remembers?
Into the Deep Freeze by Chris A. Smith - What kind of person gets cryonically preserved?
Clifford Stoll in Four Dimensions by Martin Snapp - How a Berkeley eccentric beat the Russians, doused dot-com euphoria, and became a leading manufacturer of totally useless, wonderful objects
The Accidental Get Away Driver - How one man drove right into the center of a daring and dangerous crime
Recognition - How a travesty led to criminal-justice innovation in Texas
The Truth about Suicide Bombers - Are they religious fanatics? Deluded ideologues? New research suggests something more mundane: They just want to commit suicide.
Midwestern Nice Paul Kix - A tribute to a sincere and suffocating way of life
The Shocking Truth - At the Judge Rotenberg Center, students who misbehave receive electric shocks powerful enough to sear their skin…
And make sure you check out Kix’s new book The Saboteur, a fast-paced thriller that’s better than fiction!
Young Women Are Convinced Motherhood Is Going To Suck by EJ Dickson - Working parenthood is going to suck, most of the time. You maybe want to reconsider your options…
Channel B by Megan Stielstra - For the first few months after my son was born, I called him The Baby…
The Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Paul Ford - When it comes to IVF, in-vitro fertilization, nothing is normal. Your world is upside-down. Your doctor compliments your wife on her monkeys. Then, when every dollar and exertion has gone toward a single hour of hope, it begins to snow
Forty Thoughts on a Fourth Daughter by Mark Oppenheimer - On becoming a father for the fourth time
The Case Against Kids by Elizabeth Kolbert - Is procreation immoral?
The Case Against Breast-Feeding by Hanna Rosin - The actual health benefits of breast-feeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates…
Does My Baby Only Like Me for My Boobs? by Meaghan O'Connell - My tits are no longer life and death – they’re shifting back to their old role
How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby? by Jean Twenge - Deep anxiety about the ability to have children later in life plagues many women. But the decline in fertility over the course of a woman’s 30s has been oversold. Here’s what the statistics really tell us—and what they don’t
I Was Pregnant, And Then I Wasn’t by Laura Turner - In the aftermath of a miscarriage, the loss of someone I never knew has been more devastating than I could have imagined
The Scary Truth About Childbirth by Kiera Butler - Having a baby left you with a horrible, debilitating, embarrassing injury? You’re not alone
Why Good People Turn Bad Online by Gaia Vince - Meet the scientists finding out how we can defeat our inner trolls and build more cooperative digital societies
Sad as Hell by Alice Gregory - The sadness of life online
User Behaviour by Michael Schulson - Websites and apps are designed for compulsion, even addiction. Should the net be regulated like drugs or casinos?
A Nation of Echo Chambers by Will Leitch - How the internet closed off the world
My Outrage Is Better Than Your Outrage by James Hamblin - Even when a dentist kills an adored lion, and everyone is furious, there’s loftier righteousness to be had
Lab Rats by Clare Dwyer Hogg - We’re all part of the social experiment
The Machine Zone by Alexis C. Madrigal - This is where you go when you just can’t stop looking at pictures on Facebook
Is the Web Driving Us Mad? by Tony Dokoupil - Who cares if the internet is making us stupid, is it driving us mad?
The IRL Fetish by Nathan Jurgenson - The deep infiltration of digital information into our lives has created a fervor around the supposed corresponding loss of logged-off real life
Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? by Stephen Marche - A report on what the epidemic of loneliness is doing to our souls and our society
How Life (and Death) Spring From Disorder by Philip Ball - What’s the difference between physics and biology?
Attitude by Margaret Atwood - You may not be able to alter reality, but you can alter your attitude towards it, and this, paradoxically, alters reality.
The Capital T Truth by David Foster Wallace - Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon College commencement address: a stark but hopeful perspective on life’s fundamental questions
This Is the Life Annie Dillard - You enjoy work and will love your grandchildren, and somewhere in there you die
Why Go Out? by Sheila Heti - At home, you can wear your pyjamas. When you’re out, you could be snubbed, or disappointed. The scotch is not cheap…
Phoning It In by Stanley Bing - She gave me this long and involved story about a huge slight that was inflicted on her operation by some other entity someplace, and I was looking out the window and thinking, whoa, look at that BMW Z8
Scars by David Owen - A life in injuries
Learn How to Trust Your Future Self by Jeff Wise - Being a human is hard. We know the sorts of choices we ought to make, and we earnestly intend to make them, but when the time comes, we don’t…
How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett - You wake up in the morning, and lo! your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours….
No One ‘Has It All,’ Because 'Having It All’ Doesn’t Exist by Lindy West - Look at me, “eating” my “cake”! And that “other” “cake” too!
The Onset by My Ngoc To - When I was about six weeks old and still inside my mother, my milk lines formed…
About a Boob or The Hermeneutics of a Woman’s Body by Lidia Yuknavitch - Let’s talk about boobs
Does My Baby Only Like Me for My Boobs? Meaghan O'Connell - My tits are no longer life and death – they’re shifting back to their old role…
Pointless Shame by Conor Friedersdorf - The English-speaking world’s issue with breasts
A Few Words about Breasts by Nora Ephron - I was boyish. I wanted desperately not to be that way, not to be a mixture of both things, but instead just one, a girl. As soft and as pink as a nursery. And nothing would do that for me, I felt, but breasts
Plus check out our 10 Great Essays about Body Image
Examples of college application essays that worked for each of the common app prompts…