The Salt King of America
Bloomberg Businessweek (Sept. ’19)
Ben Jacobsen wants people to think differently about the power of salt.
The Corn That Grows Itself
OneZero (Jun. ’19)
How microbes could upend America’s toxic dependence on nitrogen fertilizer.
The Giving Trees
Popular Science (May ’19)
Urban forests are dying. Baltimore shows us how to bring them back.
Postindustrial (May ’19)
Mined Minds aimed to turn cash-strapped Appalachians into computer programmers. But in a lawsuit, two former students say the coding boot camp was a far cry from what they were promised.
The Science Behind the Mental Clarity Diet
Elemental (Apr. ’19)
Butter coffee, keto, intermittent fasting. Does eating to prevent brain fog actually work?
The Futures We Were Promised
Popular Science (Mar. ’19)
No jetpacks. Zero flying cars. Where is the cool transportation technology we were promised?
The Brain That Remade Itself
OneZero (Feb. ’19)
Doctors removed one-sixth of Tanner Collins’ brain. Then the miraculous happened: He was fine, and his brain literally changed.
(Included in the 3/3/19 edition of The Sunday Long Read newsletter.)
What I Learned from a Month on the Carnivore Diet
Outside (Jan. ’19)
In September 2018, I joined the ranks of “Carnivore King” Shawn Baker’s all-meat cult for 30 days. Here’s what happened.
Meet ‘NoSurf,’ the Self-Help Group That Told Us to Log Off Before It Was Cool
Medium (Jan. ’19)
How an online community dedicated to combatting the endless scroll of the internet’s social media feeds got huge.
Craig Newmark’s New Hit List
Medium (Dec. ’18)
The internet mogul behind Craigslist was vilified for destroying journalism. Now he’s setting out to save it.
How Guns Became the New Free Speech
Medium (Nov. ’18)
Defense Distributed, champion of the 3D-printed handgun, took on the State Department and won — by arguing that publishing computer code, even code that can make a working gun, is a 1st Amendment right.
I Took ‘Adulting Classes’ for Millennials
CityLab (Oct. ’18)
Inside the curious cottage industry devoted to teaching young adults how to act like grown-ups.
America Isn’t Ready for the Lanternfly Invasion
Bloomberg Businessweek (Oct. ’18)
A bizarre pest from Asia is spreading fast and putting billions of dollars’ worth of resources at risk.
Can Apple stores be public spaces?
Curbed (Oct. ’18)
The tech giant wants to be the new town square. Can Apple be an effective steward of the commons?
The Kid Recoding the Beltway
MIT Technology Review (Aug. ’18)
Meet Tim Hwang, the 26-year-old founder of FiscalNote, the newest D.C. player shaking up the glad-handing, back-slapping, reception-cruising world of Washington lobbying.
When Working in Virtual Reality Makes You Sick
Medium (Aug. ’18)
If it’s your job to build imaginary, escapist tech, the side effects can be real.
A Day With Mark Quartiano, the Darth Vader of Shark Fishing
Popular Science (Jul. ’18)
Mark "the Shark" Quartiano unabashedly catches and kills sharks. Over 40 years, he's hooked 50,000 of them. Now marine ecologists are taking notice.
The Forever Man
Popular Science (May ’18)
Bill Faloon has pursued immortality for decades. Now he's got lots of company, but is there any truth to anti-aging schemes?
The Gray Area of Brain Training
Popular Science (Mar. ’18)
Greg Ortman suffered from post-concussion syndrome after years of football—until he started brain training. But is it real science or self-improvement fantasy?
(Included in the 4/1/18 edition of The Sunday Long Read newsletter.)
Curbed (Mar. ’18)
Bitcoin's young investors put their digital currency to work in the physical world.
Why have Baltimoreans been hoarding this rye whiskey?
The Washington Post Magazine (Jan. ’18)
It's last call for Pikesville Supreme — a beloved Maryland whiskey that dates back to the 1890s.
Where is all the good affordable furniture?
Curbed (Nov. ’17)
In the Ikea era, makers and buyers face a disconnect.
The Joy of Ax
Men's Health (Oct. ’17)
Inside Matt Cogar's quest to become the greatest lumberjack in the world.
How Cities Are Coping With the E-Commerce Boom
CityLab (Apr. ’17)
A siege of delivery trucks is threatening to choke cities with traffic. But not everyone agrees on what to do about it.
The Rise and Fall of the Everyman Tycoon
Wired (Dec. ’16)
MakerBot made a bold bet that 3D printers would become as common as microwaves. Just one problem: No one else shared that dream.
Meet Charpu, the Drone-Racing Megastar Who Doesn't Feel Like Racing
Wired (Sept. ’16)
A drone-racing ace charts his own course as the sport goes mainstream.
(Selected as a piece of "Notable Sports Writing" in The Best American Sports Writing 2017.)
Can these former felons save Freddie Gray's violent neighborhood?
The Washington Post Magazine (cover story) (Jul. ’16)
In Baltimore's Sandtown neighborhood, a group of ex-cons are trying to stop shootings before they ever start.
Welcome to the Uber Wars
Politico Magazine (Sept. ’14)
Maryland is the first state to rule the Silicon Valley startup a transportation company, not an app. Will Uber fight back?
Why Isn't It a Crime To Kill a Cyclist?
Next City (Feb. ’14)
In Mississippi, cyclist Jan Morgan was hit by a passing car. She got short-term memory loss; the driver got a $50 fine.
The Business of Lacrosse
Baltimore Style (cover story) (Jan. ’14)
How Paul Rabil became the first professional lacrosse player worth $1 million.
How Paul Reed Smith Went From Guitars to Spy Technology
Washingtonian (Apr. ’19)
The legendary luthier is a favorite of Carlos Santana — and the U.S. Special Operations Command.
A tour of what may be the nation’s most gerrymandered district
The Washington Post Magazine (Feb. ’19)
Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District is a tortuous, expansive district — one that’s nicknamed the Praying Mantis because of its shape.
Maximal Opus: Why Some People Invest So Much Into Their Smart Homes
New York (May ’18)
Meet the home-automation obsessives who have dozens, even hundreds, of smart-home devices.
Why Are Newspaper Websites So Horrible?
CityLab (Apr. ’18)
Clunky navigation! Autoplaying video ads! The reasons why newspaper websites suck so much.
This Man Wants to Open-Source Your Car
Fortune (Aug. ’17)
Meet George Hotz, the 27-year-old hacker taking on Tesla in the race to make a self-driving car.
An Illustrated Guide to Ben Lecomte's Nightmares
Outside (Feb. ’15)
A Frenchman plans to swim across the Pacific Ocean. Yes, that's as crazy as it sounds.
The Right Suit
The Atlantic (Jul. ’12)
A new space suit is designed to let a skydiver fall from 120,000 feet. Could it also save astronauts' lives?
Building a Home
Los Angeles Review of Books (Jul. ’17)
On rehabbing a house and finding community in Drew Philp's "A $500 House in Detroit: Rebuilding an Abandoned Home and an American City."
How Cherokee Territory Became the 'Deep South'
Los Angeles Review of Books (Jun. ’15)
On the fight over Cherokee lands in the American South in Steve Inskeep's "Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab."