Narratively Out Loud

Narratively Out Loud

narratively.com
The diverse human storytelling of Narratively.com, spoken out loud.


How Ted Bundy’s Killing Spree Launched a Legion of Feminist Karate Masters
Oct 22 • 23 min
When a serial killer terrorized 1970s Seattle, these women banded together to defend themselves. Now they’re teaching a new generation to take control.
The Pandemic Ruined My Poly Relationship—But Saved My Marriage
Oct 15 • 20 min
I should have expected my relationship with my boyfriend to crumble during quarantine. More surprising is that I fell back in love with my husband.
The Secret Sisterhood of Offshore Oil Workers
Oct 8 • 23 min
Living on a remote oil platform 60 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico is no easy assignment. Now imagine being one of the first women to ever step on board.
The Warriors of a Failed Revolution
Sep 30 • 40 min
Fifty years ago, young idealists swore to end American injustice. When their movement splintered, their lives diverged—from quiet college prof to infamous kidnappers to filthy-rich hotelier.
My Journey Into the Secret Subculture of Gays With Guns
Sep 24 • 25 min
With anti-LGBTQ hate crimes on the rise, groups like the Pink Pistols have seen membership soar. After an attack in my hometown, I understood their need to defend themselves.
My Dad, the Globetrotting Businessman, Paleographer…and Spy?
Sep 17 • 22 min
Growing up, I thought everyone’s parents told them bedtime stories about being chased by the secret police and dodging bullets. As an adult, I started to wonder just who Dad really was.
Food Fads Have Always Been Ridiculous. Just Ask the Great Masticator.
Sep 10 • 28 min
Horace Fletcher preached the gospel of fanatically chewing food until it completely dissolved in the mouth. Even celebs like Upton Sinclair and Franz Kafka drank the Kool-Aid.
I Professed My Love at Mile 15…But Not to My Husband
Sep 3 • 32 min
I married my childhood best friend when we were still young…then fell in love with my running partner. Welcome to a love triangle more intense than any marathon.
How to Subvert a Democracy, Stage 6: Cover Your Tracks
Aug 27 • 38 min
Once you have obtained the future you were fighting for, it’s time to rewrite history.
How to Subvert a Democracy, Stage 5: Showdown
Aug 27 • 18 min
After legitimizing your fake news channel, transition into all-out information warfare. (And bring in a few real guns, too.)
How to Subvert a Democracy, Stage 4: Divide and Conquer
Aug 27 • 27 min
You can rile up the public by confusing and polarizing them. The key is to exploit their own existing vulnerabilities.
How to Subvert a Democracy, Stage 3: Create Your Own News
Aug 27 • 10 min
To get the people on your side, you need to change the media narrative. A few hired hacks and a “passive sabotage program” will do the trick.
How to Subvert a Democracy, Stage 2: Condition the Masses
Aug 27 • 24 min
In advance of full-blown psychological warfare, seeds of doubt and conspiracy must be planted and watered.
How to Subvert a Democracy, Stage 1: Propaganda and Puppets
Aug 27 • 16 min
Before launching an information assault, build out a network of agents and scapegoats that will allow your own government to maintain “plausible deniability.”
The (Literally) Unbelievable Story of the Original Fake News Network
Aug 27 • 18 min
Once upon a time in Guatemala, the CIA hired a cocky American actor and two radio DJs to launch a revolution and oust a president. Their playbook is being used against the U.S. right now.
America’s Most Flamboyant Private Eye and the 8,000-Mile Manhunt
Aug 20 • 0 min
Jay J. Armes is a legendary and controversial Texan investigator with hooks for hands and six decades chasing criminals. This was his most epic murder case ever.
The Secret Life of Russia’s Remote Freedom Fighter
Aug 13 • 24 min
After being threatened with her life, this democracy activist packed up and fled. Now she’s fighting from afar—with one eye always over her shoulder.
My Lifelong Journey to Find Pee-wee Herman
Aug 10 • 14 min
My first attempt to meet him turned out to be a cover story for my parents’ messy split. Thirty years later, I decided to find Pee-wee on my own terms.
Daughters of the Bomb: A Story of Hiroshima, Racism and Human Rights
Aug 6 • 32 min
On the 75th anniversary of the A-bomb, a Japanese-American writer speaks to one of the last living survivors—and traces connections from Malcolm X to the fight to end nuclear war.
The International Murder Case That Changed My Reporting Career
Aug 3 • 19 min
As a jaded TV news producer covering a murdered musician, a sexist mayor, and a brewing protest movement, I had no choice but to become a part of the story.
An American Tragedy: The Colorful Life and Shocking Death of Ovid Neal III
Jul 27 • 51 min
On the dark streets of a college town, two teenagers hoisted a rock and ended a man’s life. His loved ones want to know when we’ll finally value the lives of homeless people.
Longshot Dreams and Slapshot Fiends in the Ultimate ’90s Pro Sports League
Jul 23 • 23 min
In the age when Rollerblades were king, a crew of wide-eyed rookies and grizzled NHL vets brought hockey-on-wheels to the cusp of the big time.
My Wild Escape Into the Parrot Protection Program
Jul 20 • 16 min
I was the only woman on a volunteer crew sent into the jungle to defend a dwindling bird population from pet-trade poachers. And I saved my sense of self in the process.
Two Geniuses, One Wheelchair and an Audacious Plan to Swim with the Whales
Jul 16 • 18 min
When the oceanographer who discovered whale songs met the paralyzed disability rights leader, they began a quest that grew more dangerous and beautiful than they ever imagined.
The Dangerous Undersea Search for Missing Military Heroes
Jul 13 • 33 min
From the English Channel to the Pacific, one band of volunteer divers look for the remains of American M.I.A.s. I joined and discovered this mission can be perilous — even deadly.
The New Sisterhood of Black Female Homesteaders
Jul 9 • 22 min
From the South Side of Chicago to tiny off-the-grid Carolina farms, a growing number of Black women are reclaiming the land — and their mental and physical health in the process.
That Time I Spontaneously Flew Across the World for a Dead Rock Star
Jul 2 • 13 min
I was nursing a devastating breakup when I suddenly found myself in Switzerland, trying to talk my way into Freddie Mercury’s birthday party. It was the best decision I ever made.
Conscripted Into The Emperor’s Private Orchestra
Jun 30 • 29 min
What do a crew of talented musicians do when forced to serve at the pleasure of a notoriously cruel dictator? They play like their lives depend on it.
The Crime Victim Who’s Obsessed with True Crime Shows
Jun 25 • 13 min
After I was injured in a school shooting, I found unexpected comfort in binging grisly TV shows and podcasts. And I’m not the only one.
How the World’s Most Venomous Fish Convinced Me to Stop Working Myself to Death
Jun 22 • 18 min
I spent years practically glued to my computer. Then one heartstopping encounter left me thankful to be alive – and made me realize I wanted to live much differently.
The Quarantined Hippies Trapped in a Jungle Paradise
Jun 18 • 21 min
When COVID flared in Panama, 20 travelers from 18 countries holed up in this eco-village and shut the gates. Things in the outside world got worse, and now they might never leave.
My Father’s Fanatical Feud With the Bullies Next Door Became an All-Out War
Jun 15 • 22 min
When the neighbor boys harassed me, my dad grabbed his rifle and set booby traps. Cops were called. Death threats were made. One thing was certain: He would never let them win.
The King Who Ordered a Quarantine to Flatten the Curve 4,000 Years Ago
Jun 10 • 9 min
Little was known about the mystery disease that was ravaging the ancient kingdom of Mari. But King Zimri-Lim knew the key to stopping it was social distancing — and no small amount of patience.
The American Medical System Doesn’t Care How Much My Vagina Hurts
Jun 8 • 11 min
Living with a rare vulvic condition is painful enough. But the worst part is navigating the nightmarish health care maze that can make women feel invisible.
The Indigenous Woman Behind South America’s Biggest Male Chefs
Jun 4 • 13 min
Patricia Pérez uses her grandmother’s ancient map of the desert to forage for plants and herbs no one else on Earth can access.
My Secret Life as a Personal Assistant to “America’s Most Eligible Man”
Jun 1 • 24 min
The diverse human storytelling of Narratively.com, spoken out loud.
The Black Investigator Who Went Undercover as a White Man in the Jim Crow South
May 28 • 14 min
Walter Francis White helped the NAACP document the truth about lynchings in America. The fact that he could pass as caucasian came in very handy.
My Father, the QAnon Conspiracy Theorist
May 21 • 31 min
After my parents got divorced, Dad began a slow slide into isolation. Eventually he found consolation in the darkest corners of the web. Can I help him get back out?
My Unhealthy Obsession with My Dead Middle School Crush
May 18 • 17 min
We barely knew each other as kids, but years later I was still so fixated about his death that I got a tattoo of his name. At 30, I decided it was finally time to figure out why.
Meet the People Who Believe They’ve Traveled to a Past Life
May 14 • 30 min
Christopher was an ancient Egyptian prisoner. Stephanie’s dating the man who had her murdered. They and many others swear by the controversial benefits of past-life regression.
The Teenage Prank That’s Lasted 60 Years
May 11 • 26 min
I was a bored high schooler when I made up a harmless story about the creature from the sandpits. Decades later, its legend still haunts our small Southern town.
The Indigenous Rebel Who Took the Fight to White Settlers
May 7 • 20 min
As colonists spread across North America, Louis Riel took up arms against the state — and was demonized in Canada’s history books. After 150 years, it’s time to reevaluate his legacy.
The Secret Society of Self-Stingers
May 4 • 18 min
Nothing worked to ease the pain of chronic illness — until I discovered bee venom therapy. Now I’ve stung myself thousands of times, and found a community of people who became my closest friends.
Help! I Think I’m Falling in Love Over Zoom
Apr 27 • 21 min
I vowed to spend the coronavirus quarantine focused on looking inward and improving myself. Then I went on one virtual date and everything changed.
The Pirates of the Highways
Apr 23 • 28 min
On America’s interstates, brazen bands of thieves steal 18-wheelers filled with computers, cell phones, even toilet paper. And select law enforcement teams are tasked with tracking them down.
The King Who Became a Pirate
Apr 20 • 18 min
When King Erik VII of Denmark was forced from the throne, he did the only thing any self-respecting descendent of Vikings could: He joined the warriors of the sea, and hit right back at his enemies.
Where Journalists Prepare for the Worst the World Can Throw at Us
Apr 16 • 12 min
At these frighteningly realistic boot camps, reporters like me train to cover everything from endless war to deadly pandemics — and create camaraderie that we’ll carry to every assignment.
The First Family of Counterfeit Hunting
Apr 13 • 17 min
Robert Holmes taught his sons everything he knew about exposing black-market knockoffs. Now they take down the world’s biggest scammers while dodging threats from the mob.
The Black Widow Bank Robber’s Web of Secrets
Apr 8 • 18 min
Through a life of crime that spanned five decades, Linda Calvey’s husbands and lovers kept turning up dead. Now she’s out of prison, turning 72 today, and determined to clear her name.
Secret Life of an Anonymous Speechwriter to the Stars
Apr 6 • 19 min
At work, I’m a ghost: always heard, never seen. But mastering the voices of celebrities and politicians helped me learn to speak for myself.
The Astonishing Rise of “Blair the Flair”
Apr 2 • 37 min
He’s been a Beverly Hills rich kid, a teen on the run with his drug-kingpin dad, and a homeless father scraping to get by. Next stop for Blair Cobbs: world champion boxer.
My Secret Life as a Coronavirus Nomad
Mar 30 • 20 min
As a freelance journalist, I’ve struggled financially for years. Then the pandemic hit and I got thrown on the street. But I will go on — I always do.
Music Saved Her Life. Now She Wants to Save Yours.
Mar 26 • 17 min
After the loss of three loved ones, Jacqui McLoughlin was debilitated from grief. Then one moment at a Flaming Lips concert changed everything.
Searching for the Woman Who Saved My Immigrant Family from Homelessness
Mar 23 • 19 min
In this time of Islamophobia and hatred, I needed to understand what made a white stranger open her home to us.
The Acrobatic Immigrant Who Invented Pilates in a Prisoner of War Camp
Mar 19 • 22 min
Interned during WWI, circus entertainer Joseph Pilates used found materials and his fellow prisoners as his test lab, and imagined an exercise system that would captivate millions.
How Conquering the Disney Cosplay Universe Helped Me Finally Love My Body
Mar 16 • 17 min
As a kid, I thought I was too fat to dress up as my favorite cartoon characters. As an adult, I discovered a subculture that became one of the greatest joys of my life.
Lifelong Quests! Lawsuits! Feuds! A Super-Serious Story About Cereal.
Mar 12 • 24 min
The world’s most obsessive breakfast-food fans demonstrate just how far humans will go for the sweet taste of nostalgia.
My Name-Twin Was Arrested for Robbery…and Everyone Thought It Was Me
Mar 9 • 13 min
When I bumped into the other Davon Clark in college, it was funny. When friends confused our dating profiles, it was weird. When he got in trouble with the cops, my life started to fall apart.
The Woman Who Found a Snail in Her Soda and Launched a Million Lawsuits
Mar 5 • 12 min
Sixty-six years before the infamous spilled McDonald’s coffee, May Donoghue drank a ginger beer with a dead mollusk in it and changed personal-injury law forever.
My Secret Life Tracking Down Medical Debtors
Mar 2 • 17 min
Only in America does a friendly substitute teacher with a mountain of medical debt spend her nights serving summonses to other desperate people like me.
Unmasking the Spiritual Scammers of Paris
Feb 27 • 18 min
Legions of phony psychics have twisted an ancient West African tradition into a billion-dollar business that cons desperate and lovelorn people. One band of volunteers is determined to stop them.
The Million-Dollar Scammer and His Many Mormon Marks
Feb 24 • 36 min
How an audacious con man with fake ties to the pinnacles of the church ran an epic scheme and swindled those who trusted him most.
The 19th-Century Nurse Who Was Secretly a Serial Killer
Feb 20 • 14 min
“Jolly Jane” Toppan overcame a miserable Dickensian childhood to become a medical professional patients adored. She was also slowly murdering them one by one.
All Hail Yo-Yo, 4-Year-Old Mayor of the Cancer Ward Clowns
Feb 17 • 17 min
My mission as a hospital clown was bringing laughter to life’s darkest moments. One little kid in chemo taught me what the job was really all about.
The Donkey Farmer’s Magical Matchmaking Book
Feb 13 • 16 min
In the era of online dating, one septuagenarian Irishman clings tight to a method passed down through the generations—and thousands of happy couples are luckier for it.
How to Transition When Your Models of Masculinity Are Macho Biker Dudes
Feb 10 • 17 min
By night I was a queer butch artist. By day I worked with guys who were handy with a hammer and quick with a gay joke. Both worlds taught me about being a man.
This Millennial’s Alter Ego is a Forgotten Female Surgeon From WWI
Feb 6 • 10 min
Most war reenactors are older men, but 27-year-old Lillian Fehler stands out for designing uniforms that are historically accurate down to the tiniest details.
What I Learned About Life at a Company That Deals in Dead Bodies
Feb 3 • 15 min
My thankless, bizarre job made me feel like I’d be more valued if I just died at my desk and gifted them my corpse.
The Greatest Political Sh*tshow That Ever Was
Jan 30 • 34 min
Bribery! Impeachment! Drug smuggling! Gambling! Judges getting drunk in the chambers! The Florida Supreme Court scandals of the 1970s make today’s political circus look tame by comparison.
I Was Taught to Hate My Lesbian Neighbors. They Took Me In Anyway.
Jan 27 • 12 min
The summer my parents’ marriage was falling apart, my best friend’s two moms saved me—even though my dad said they were going to Hell.
The Unsung Black Musician Who Changed Country Music
Jan 23 • 20 min
From the moment DeFord Bailey stepped onto a stage in Nashville, country music would never be the same. It was decades after his death before he finally got his due.
How Stripping in Gay Bars Brought Me Back to God
Jan 20 • 23 min
When I came out, I rejected the church before it could reject me. But an unlikely friendship formed over cash-stuffed briefs showed me a new way to have faith.
Two Gay Chinese Dads. One Long and Winding Trip to Fatherhood.
Jan 16 • 28 min
Their journey starts in a country where gay marriage and surrogacy are illegal, and spans four years, two continents, and hundreds of thousands of dollars—all to get a kid of their own.
I Survived My Own R. Kelly Story
Jan 13 • 24 min
At first it seemed like the talent scout genuinely wanted to help. Before I knew it, I was trapped in a middle-aged man’s house with creepy rules and sadistic, cult-like punishment.
The Deadliest Marksman’s Cold, Brave Stand
Jan 9 • 17 min
Eighty years ago this winter, a freezing Finnish farm boy took aim at the unstoppable Red Army — and became the greatest sharp-shooter the world has ever seen.
Secret Life of a Broke Personal Finance Guru
Jan 6 • 15 min
The diverse human storytelling of Narratively.com, spoken out loud.
I Quit My Job at 50 to Reinvent Myself. Pro Tip: Don’t Do This.
Jan 1 • 20 min
My fantasy was to escape from the corporate grind. After a taste of freedom and months of hare-brained schemes, I begged to be captured again.
The Invisible Boy Who Became Mr. Invincible
Dec 23, 2019 • 40 min
One man’s unlikely journey from servant and prisoner of war to bodybuilding champion — with an epic, trans-continental love story along the way.
The Pope Who Wrote an Erotic Novel
Dec 19, 2019 • 40 min
Before his rapid rise to the top of the Catholic Church, Pius II had a secret passion for scandalous stories. And they may have been inspired by his own life.
My Long, Strange Journey Writing About the Minecraft Universe
Dec 16, 2019 • 14 min
I was raising two young boys after my husband died, taking any writing gig I could. My 40 novels about dragons and exploding creepers helped connect us more than I ever imagined.
The Mystical, Mind-Sharing Lives of Tulpamancers
Dec 12, 2019 • 29 min
Drawing on ancient Tibetan practices and a very human need for companionship, these people believe they have figured out how to create sentient beings within their own bodies.
My Secret Lives in The Facebook Role-Playing Universe
Dec 9, 2019 • 23 min
As a shy teen, my cure for loneliness was a weird and wonderful world where we created fake celebrity profiles — and formed surprisingly intimate connections.
The Gruesome and Heroic Afterlife of Peter the Dog
Dec 5, 2019 • 17 min
The grisly murder of Athol McCowan gripped a sleepy coastal region in Australia. But even more shocking was how the killer’s exhumed pet dog served as star witness in the trial.
I Had a Postpartum Mental Breakdown—and Was Convinced I Was Dead
Dec 2, 2019 • 17 min
When I became a mom at 19, my depression spiraled out of control until I reached a delirious state. I was very much alive, but certain I’d been dead for years.
A Whaleship Full of Cannibals (Who Happen to Be My Family)
Nov 28, 2019 • 19 min
My parents love the tale of how our ancestors’ whaling ship capsized, turning the crew into cannibals. As an environmental reporter, there’s no story I dread hearing more.
My Secret Life as a Reporter for “Doll Reader” Magazine
Nov 25, 2019 • 18 min
The diverse human storytelling of Narratively.com, spoken out loud.
The First and Final King of Bloodless Bullfighting
Nov 18, 2019 • 20 min
He pioneered a version of this ancient sport in which animals aren’t hurt, drawing legions of fans to a sleepy Texas border town. His last wish: someone to carry on his legacy.
The Sea Farming Sisters in Recovery
Nov 14, 2019 • 11 min
How one enterprising Mainer is harvesting a new cash crop — and building a powerful support network for women who need it most.
How Living with Baboons Prepared Me for Living Through High School
Nov 11, 2019 • 18 min
The world of mean girls and cliques was a startling change from working alongside my primatologist parents. Fortunately, I’d learned a bit about navigating vicious social structures.
The Secret Life of a Professional Statue
Nov 7, 2019 • 16 min
How staying perfectly still for tips — despite tourists’ bewildering lack of boundaries — taught me to stand my ground in life.
My Father Scared Me Speechless. Here’s How I Got My Voice Back.
Nov 4, 2019 • 16 min
After years of terror and abuse, the simple act of speaking paralyzed me with fear. Now I will never be silent again.
No Sex in the Bunkbeds! Tales from the Most Intimate Sharing Economy Startup Yet
Oct 31, 2019 • 21 min
Privacy is rare, quiet hours are sacred, and don’t even think about hooking up. Meet the grown-ups who call the glorified dormitories of PodShare home.
Diary of an Awkward Teenage Balloon Artist
Oct 28, 2019 • 14 min
Entertaining kids with inflated animals is tough—and when you’re a math-team nerd competing for gigs against your charismatic crush, it can blow up your entire life.
The Secret Revenge of an Assault Survivor
Oct 21, 2019 • 26 min
At 11, Estella killed her rapist and fled to the U.S. Fifty years later, she’s revealing the story that made her the resilient woman she is.
Confessions of a Fainting Man
Oct 14, 2019 • 14 min
My whole life, any time something has unnerved me — from high school math to childbirth class — my heart rate slows, the blood stops pumping to my brain, and I drop like a rock.
The Day the Native Americans Drove the KKK Out of Town
Oct 14, 2019 • 13 min
The North Carolina Klan thought burning crosses would scare the Lumbee tribe out of Robeson County. That’s not how things went down.
The Pen Pal Who Changed a President
Oct 10, 2019 • 28 min
When corruption threatened the administration of Chester A. Arthur, one ordinary woman put pen to paper. Julia Sand’s passionate letters caught his attention, and rewrote history.
My Secret Life as an Underage Massage Therapist
Oct 7, 2019 • 18 min
As my hands addressed their aches and pains, my clients shared their fantasies and fears with 15-year-old-me. Little did they know, I was dealing with family drama of my own.
The Diver Who Brings Up the Bodies
Oct 3, 2019 • 12 min
So many Indian farmers are killing themselves that bodies pile up at the end of one long canal. Gurbaksh Singh helps their families find closure.
That Time I Conducted an Autopsy Without Any Medical Training
Sep 30, 2019 • 15 min
I thought it was hilarious when my friend in medical school snuck me into the exam room—until I was asked to lead the procedure.
The Swift and Merciless Execution of Corrine Sykes
Sep 26, 2019 • 24 min
When a wealthy white woman turned up dead in 1944, Philadelphia wasted no time sending her black maid to the electric chair. But did anyone care about the truth?
My Secret Life as a Mysterious Multimillionaire’s Personal Assistant
Sep 23, 2019 • 19 min
It started with a simple Craigslist ad. Before long I was being sent on sketchy tasks, pocketing wads of cash, and trying not to think about where his money came from.
The 11-Year-Old Girl Taking Skateboarding By Storm
Sep 19, 2019 • 13 min
Sky Brown wowed the internet with her jaw-dropping videos before she even hit grade school. Her next trick: earning a spot in the 2020 Olympics.
Stand-Up Comedy Saved My Life. Literally.
Sep 16, 2019 • 9 min
I had a gun in my hand when I decided to finally give that open-mic night a shot. Seven years later, I’m a professional comedian.
The Great Everywoman Outfit Contest of 1915
Sep 12, 2019 • 22 min
A century ago, a cadre of women demanded to be freed from the tyranny of fashion. Their innovative ideas and radical demands—pockets!—took the country by storm.
The Unlikely Style Icon Teaching Older Women to Be Fashion Rebels
Sep 11, 2019 • 20 min
Judith Rizzio has spent a lifetime on the frontlines of feminism. She thinks there’s nothing more radical than women of a certain age declaring fashion is for them, too.
I Escaped the Cult. But I Couldn’t Escape the Cult Mentality.
Sep 9, 2019 • 23 min
After leaving the Children of God, I was so proud to join the Army. But then I had to ask myself: Was I trading one culture of blind obedience for another?
The Mysterious Evacuation of Sunspot Observatory
Sep 6, 2019 • 29 min
A year ago today, the FBI suddenly shut down a remote mountaintop observatory with no explanation. The Internet went wild with theories.
I Wrote Erotica Before I Ever Had Sex
Sep 2, 2019 • 14 min
My detailed fantasy life began with explicit X-Files fan fiction in junior high. It took a long time for real-life sex to catch up.
The Rapid Rise and Sudden Fall of a Kratom Kingpin
Aug 29, 2019 • 25 min
He built at $60,000-a-month business selling opioid alternatives out of his apartment. His clients say he saves lives. The government wants to shut him down.
How My Song Became an Unlikely Protest Anthem—in Hong Kong
Aug 26, 2019 • 15 min
I’d given up on a music career when a song I posted online took on a strange new life. Suddenly I had a #1 hit, and an entire new life on the other side of the world.
The Curse of Playing the Wicked Witch of the West
Aug 22, 2019 • 11 min
After nearly dying while filming “The Wizard of Oz,” Margaret Hamilton spent the rest of her career trying to escape her character’s evil shadow.
Confessions of a Professional White Asshole
Aug 19, 2019 • 30 min
How I built a lucrative career (and gradually sold my soul) playing caricatures of awful white dudes on black TV shows.
The Secret Order of Swiss Medical Saviors
Aug 15, 2019 • 12 min
In a country known for being modern and precise, an ancient healing practice passed down from the heavens has surprising staying power.
Confessions of a Misfit on the Dog Show Circuit
Aug 12, 2019 • 14 min
Being a young, tattooed queer person in this hoity-toity world hasn’t always been easy. But I’ve found a way to follow my passion while letting my freak flag fly.
Meet the Paranormal Moms Society
Aug 8, 2019 • 15 min
These suburban mothers are deadly serious about chasing ghosts.
How Theme Parks Kept My Globetrotting Family Grounded
Aug 5, 2019 • 19 min
Through diplomatic placements that sent us all over the world and a scandal that changed everything, we always returned to Disney World.
The Pregnant Scientist Who Raced Against Death to Transform Physics
Aug 1, 2019 • 21 min
In 1749, Emilie du Châtelet feared bearing a child at 42 would be the last thing she did. In her final year, she worked furiously on a magnum opus that would change the world.
Risking Life and Limb to Catalog the World’s Plants
Jul 29, 2019 • 23 min
“Plant collection” may not sound perilous, but while scaling boulders and dodging snakes, I learned just how much these intrepid explorers risk to help understand our world.
Secret Life of a Leftist Doomsday Prepper
Jul 25, 2019 • 17 min
When it comes to preparing for the end of civilization, gun-loving red-staters aren’t the only ones taking matters into their own hands.
The Man with the Golden Airline Ticket
Jul 22, 2019 • 58 min
My dad was one of the only people on Earth with a good-for-life, go-anywhere-you-choose pass from American Airlines. Then they took it away. This is the true story of having—and losing—a superpower.
The Chinese Park Where Senior Citizens Go Looking for Love
Jul 18, 2019 • 14 min
In a country where wealth and divorce are increasingly common, older people are preparing for their leisurely retirements—by searching for spouses in a public park.
My Secret Life as The World’s Worst Professional Matchmaker
Jul 15, 2019 • 18 min
I don’t know how I landed this job. But the most surprising part is that instead of helping my clients find love, they helped me get out of an abusive relationship.
The Tow Truck Turf War and the Driver Left for Dead
Jul 11, 2019 • 13 min
In Pittsburgh, the tow truck business is notoriously cutthroat. This winter, two rivals arrived at the same wreck and the feud crossed a line.
The Curious Case of the Socialite Who Sterilized Her Daughter
Jul 8, 2019 • 21 min
Did Maryon Cooper Hewitt want to suppress “bad genes” or steal her child’s inheritance? Their battle over genetics and motherhood riveted the nation in 1936.
The High Priest of Heavy Metal
Jul 3, 2019 • 11 min
First he found God. Then he found death metal. But Father Robert Culat believes there’s no reason the two can’t co-exist.
Confessions of a 30-Something Hanson Fanatic
Jul 1, 2019 • 15 min
How rediscovering the boy band I obsessed over when I was 12 —and connecting with other super-fans from all over the world—helped me navigate life as an adult.
The Outcasts of Drag Have a New Kind of Queen
Jun 28, 2019 • 8 min
As this once fringe cultural scene goes mainstream, women and gender-nonconforming artists like Ata Racks are challenging notions of who can take the stage.
I Spent My Childhood Helping My Mom Sell Dead People’s Junk
Jun 26, 2019 • 16 min
I was only 8 when I began working as an undercover security guard at estate sales. Among the dusty trinkets and used shampoo bottles, I learned a lot about human nature.
The Revival of a Bloodthirsty Obsession
Jun 21, 2019 • 16 min
Leeches were once a popular medical treatment for everything from headaches to hemorrhages. Now a subculture of true believers is reclaiming this ancient practice.
Secret Life of a Mermaid
Jun 20, 2019 • 12 min
Their lavish costumes and group swims provide a community they could never find on land — so much so that they don’t identify as human.
How Starting a Pet Euthanasia Business Saved My Life
Jun 17, 2019 • 20 min
I was devastated when I lost my dream job as a mortician. But I found a new sense of purpose guiding pet owners through the worst days of their lives.
The Curse of the Ship of Gold
Jun 13, 2019 • 59 min
How a brilliant scientist went from discovering a mother lode of treasure at the bottom of the sea to fleeing from authorities with suitcases full of cash.
Confessions of an Outsider in Elite Black America
Jun 7, 2019 • 12 min
As a scholarship student at a fancy private school, I gained entry to a world few Americans see: rich, privileged and black. I decided I wanted no part of it.
History’s Greatest Horse Racing Cheat and His Incredible Painting Trick
Jun 6, 2019 • 22 min
In the sport’s post-Depression heyday, one audacious grifter beat the odds with an elaborate scam: disguising fast horses to look like slow ones.
Secret Life of a Children’s Party Princess
Jun 3, 2019 • 16 min
I thought a summer job at the Princess Academy would be a carefree escape. But I learned some hard lessons about real life while playing make-believe.
The Real Story of Black Martha’s Vineyard
May 30, 2019 • 14 min
Beyond the beautiful beaches and glitzy galas, Oak Bluffs is a complicated community that elite old families, working-class locals and social-climbing summerers all claim as their own.
An Accidental Sailor Vs. the Storm of the Century
May 27, 2019 • 21 min
I had zero experience when I signed up for a week at sea on an ancient wooden vessel. I got enough to last a lifetime.
The Book Thief of Monastery Mountain
May 23, 2019 • 15 min
When priceless texts began disappearing from a seventh-century hilltop abbey, the police were mystified. They were even more befuddled when they finally caught the culprit.
They’re Fed Up With America’s Racism. So They’re Moving to Africa.
May 20, 2019 • 14 min
Ghana’s capital is home to a booming economy, a thriving tech scene, and a growing number of professionals who’ve decided to stop chasing the American dream.
Rapper on the Run
May 16, 2019 • 22 min
When Spanish authorities sentenced this provocative musician to prison for “glorifying terrorism,” his dedicated fans helped him make a daring escape across the border.
A Casino Card Shark’s First Time Getting Caught
May 13, 2019 • 17 min
As a struggling grad student, I happened upon a lucrative side hustle with an elite team of card-counters—and found the community I’d been looking for.
American Doctors Are Reconstructing the Youngest Faces of a Brutal War
May 10, 2019 • 16 min
These Syrian children survived attacks that left them burned beyond belief. One program thousands of miles from home is offering them life-changing treatment.
My Secret Life as a Rogue Romance Writer
May 10, 2019 • 11 min
I thought penning steamy books about sex-crazed werewolves was the dumbest job ever. With a little subversion and a huge thesaurus, I learned to love it.