You may not have time to consume every season of prestige television, but here’s a simple goal to keep you primed for dinner party conversations: Stay up to date on the latest and best longform articles. Pocket readers have done the heavy lifting, identifying the pieces worth 10 (or more) minutes of your time.
Check back each week for new additions at the top, and save the stories that call out to you so they’ll show up in your own Pocket list. There, they’ll be available and primed for offline reading or listening the next time you have a blissfully free window of time. So whether you’re spending a cozy evening on the sofa or find yourself with unexpected stretch of time waiting for a late friend at lunch, dig into these long reads that will leave you feeling that you’ve spent your time and attention well.
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From August 2023: In 1981, Margy Palm was abducted by Stephen Morin outside a Kmart. She’s never told the whole shocking story—until now.
Clarence Thomas’ 38 Vacations: the Other Billionaires Who Have Treated the Supreme Court Justice to Luxury Travel [21 min]ProPublica
From August 2023: The fullest accounting yet shows how Thomas has secretly reaped the benefits from a network of wealthy and well-connected patrons that is far more extensive than previously understood.
From August 2023: The United States is pivoting away from fossil fuels and toward wind, solar and other renewable energy, even in areas dominated by the oil and gas industries.
From August 2023: How QAnon and Jan. 6 ripped the conspiracy theory world apart.
From August 2023: Laced across the cold depths of the world's oceans is a network of multimillion-dollar cables, which have become the vital connections of our online lives.
From August 2023: Jared Leisek carved a lucrative niche in the YouTube sleuthing community. Then the sleuths came for him.
From August 2023: Tired of relying on Big Tech to enable collaboration, peer-to-peer enthusiasts are creating a new model that cuts out the middleman. (That’s you, Google.)
From July 2023: Plenty of people will tell you the East Neuk of Fife in Scotland is the best place in the world to eat fish and chips. So what happens when its chippies—and chippies across the UK—start to close?
From July 2023: You drop off unwanted clothes at a thrift store. What happens next? GQ’s Oliver Franklin-Wallis traces the surprising global odyssey.
From July 2023: The “father of the atomic bomb” has long been misunderstood. Will the new film finally get J. Robert Oppenheimer right?
From July 2023: A new book, “The Measure of Our Age,” explores the growing problem of our graying nation.
From July 2023: Interviews and e-mails with expedition leaders and employees reveal how OceanGate ignored desperate warnings from inside and outside the company. “It’s a lemon,” one wrote.
From July 2023: What we know about them, what we don’t—and how to think about breakfast in the meantime.
From July 2023: The pandemic relief was the biggest bailout in history, and it opened the door to wide-scale fraud the likes of which no one had ever seen — more than three years later, we still don't know how much damage was done.
From July 2023: Male malaise in the United States goes back to the founders, and it is a preoccupation of elites in particular. They might teach us something about this current wave of manliness panic.
From July 2023: The global labor force of outsourced and contract workers are early adopters of generative AI — and the most at risk.
From June 2023: It’s fire-resistant but not bulletproof, and was developed with help from eighteen thousand female soldiers.
From June 2023: Lauren Davila made a stunning discovery as a graduate student at the College of Charleston: an ad for a slave auction larger than any historian had yet identified. The find yields a new understanding of the enormous harm of such a transaction.
From June 2023: Salon talks to comedians, producers and execs about how women-helmed shows have been passed over and left out.
From June 2023: A vast fungal web braids together life on Earth. Merlin Sheldrake wants to help us see it.
From June 2023: Automation, algorithms, and machine learning are taking over recruitment and hiring. How do we compete with the rise of robots?
From May 2023: Far from being a blueprint for an organism, genes are mere tools used by life’s true expert builders: cells.
From May 2023: And why local governments hate it.
From June 2023: The country has developed a lucrative specialty: cyberattacks for hire.
From June 2023: Three years ago, the FDA declared a manufacturing free-for-all. Now a noxious brew of leftover product is catching fire and making people sick.
The show was a groundbreaking smash, but behind the scenes it devolved into such toxicity that even co-showrunner Damon Lindelof now says of his leadership: “I failed.” A powerful excerpt from the new book Burn It Down.
From May 2023: The troubadour of mellow vibes has been one of the biggest acts in music for three decades. Now 56, Matthews has been singing about mortality for a long time, and he’s confronting its specter in new and surprising ways.
From May 2023: Research shows that counseling delivers great benefits to many people. But it’s hard to say exactly what that means for you.
From May 2023: All hail the jobless employed.
From May 2023: A multi-day descent into AI madness.
From May 2023: Sure, the US secretary of transportation has thoughts on building bridges. But infrastructure occupies just a sliver of his voluminous mind.
From May 2023: The sociologist Matthew Desmond believes that being poor is different in the U.S. than in other rich countries.
From May 2023: HomeVestors of America, the self-proclaimed “largest homebuyer in the U.S.,” trains its nearly 1,150 franchisees to zero in on homeowners’ desperation.
From May 2023: Increasing interest rates, inflation, and supply chain disruptions notwithstanding, the McMansion is alive and well. Far from being a boomtime fad, it has become a durable emblem of our American way of life.
From May 2023: Growing up, I thought being named after Connie Chung made me unique. Then I found out about the rest of us.
From May 2023: How a small-town auto mechanic peddling a green-energy breakthrough pulled off a massive scam.
From May 2023: The attackers were in thousands of corporate and government networks. They might still be there now. Behind the scenes of the SolarWinds investigation.
A Trucker’s Kidnapping, a Suspicious Ransom, and a Colorado Family’s Perilous Quest for Justice [24 min]5280
From May 2023: A community of freelance truckers known as transmigrantes transport used cars and other goods from the United States to Central America. When one of them from Colorado got kidnapped, an international investigation shifted uncomfortably close to home.
From May 2023: Bulgaria in the 1980s became known as the ‘virus factory’, where hundreds of malicious computer programs were unleashed to wreak havoc. But who was writing them, and why?
From May 2023: Can you tell the difference between a $10,000 Chanel bag and a $200 knockoff? Almost nobody can, and it’s turning luxury fashion upside down.
From May 2023: Publishing companies like Primary Wave and Hipgnosis are making old hits new again. And again. And again.
From April 2023: Andy Hunter’s ecommerce platform was a pandemic hit. Now he’s on a mission to prove that small businesses can scale up without selling out.
From April 2023: Studies show a mysterious health benefit to ice cream. Scientists don’t want to talk about it.
From April 2023: The pediatrician and best-selling author on the perils of excessive individualism, the moralization of baby sleep, and why when it comes to newborns he’s “a little bit like a priest.”
From April 2023: ‘Fringe’ research suggests the insects that are essential to agriculture have emotions, dreams and even PTSD, raising complex ethical questions.
From April 2023: Computers have been digital for half a century. Why would anyone want to resurrect the clunkers of yesteryear?
From March 2023: A Slate investigation into the past 70 years of action movies.
From March 2023: A century ago, Thomas Midgley Jr. was responsible for two phenomenally destructive innovations. What can we learn from them today?
From March 2023: We've looked at natural cycles and causes. None of them can produce this warming.
From February 2023: For the ultra-wealthy and the super-famous, regular therapy won’t do.
From February 2023: Scientists are deciphering how the brain choreographs immune responses, hoping to find treatments for a range of diseases.
From February 2023: It sounds like a hippie fantasy: a kind of super yoga that can supposedly extend your lifespan, give you clairvoyant powers, and help you control your reality. But in a dark moment on a desert retreat, I became a believer.
From February 2023: When you use supermarket discount cards, you are sharing much more than what is in your cart—and grocery chains like Kroger are reaping huge profits selling this data to brands and advertisers.
From February 2023: Workers describe a peak production season marred by labor protests and Covid-19 chaos, right as Apple reconsiders its China supply chain.
From February 2023: The causes of long COVID, which disables millions, may come together in the brain and nervous system.
From February 2023: Tech geniuses, nation builders and famous artists have praised the benefits of a Montessori education – but does it hold up to scientific scrutiny?
From February 2023: Need to call Facebook? Frontier? Good luck.
From January 2023: Some people say their thought takes place in images, some in words. But our mental processes are more mysterious than we realize.
From January 2023: Depression has often been blamed on low levels of serotonin in the brain. That answer is insufficient, but alternatives are coming into view and changing our understanding of the disease.
From January 2023: Scientists are abandoning conventional thinking to search for extraterrestrial creatures that bear little resemblance to Earthlings.
From January 2023: What started as an experiment has turned into a habit I hope will inspire others.
From January 2023: The recent spike in shoplifting is both overblown and real. And almost everyone is profiting from it (including you).
From January 2023: Glimpses of humanity in an unlikely corner of the internet.
From January 2023: Confident or shy, our temperament is mostly baked-in from birth. But how that influences our lives is up for grabs.