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What This Guy Wants to Do With Waste Is a Game Changer

Charles Vigliotti wants to turn discarded food into alternative energy on a huge scale

(Newser) - Elizabeth Royte recently headed out to a remote part of Yaphank, Long Island, to talk to a man she calls the "compost king of New York." His name is Charles Vigliotti, and Royte profiles him in the New York Times , explaining how the 63-year-old plans, through his American... More »

Numbers Guy Thinks He Can Spot Serial Killers

Thomas Hargrove has an algorithm on murderers

(Newser) - When he worked as a reporter, Thomas Hargrove was known as a numbers guy, a data cruncher. Now in retirement at 61, that's even more true. Hargrove has made a national database on murders, using data from the FBI and police departments, and he's created a system to... More »

The Small-Town 'Suicide' That Maybe Wasn't

Dead man's dad suspects it was a case of police brutality

(Newser) - In a Louisiana town with railroad tracks serving as a literal racial divide comes the story of a young black man who died after supposedly shooting himself on March 3, 2014—a "Houdini suicide" that cops say he pulled off while handcuffed in the back of a police car.... More »

Top Chef's Personal Secret: 'It's All About Pain'

'Esquire' profiles Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park

(Newser) - When the influential World's 50 Best Restaurants comes out with its new list in April, don't be surprised to find Manhattan's Eleven Madison Park at the top, writes Jeff Gordinier in Esquire . His profile, however, isn't about the four-star restaurant exactly, but its 40-year-old chef and... More »

Legend of Lost Treasure Ship Thrives in California Desert

Believers say it's out there, buried amid the rocks and sand

(Newser) - Alexander Nazaryan calls it "fake news for the romantic soul." Tales of a treasure-laden ship lost in the sands of California's Colorado desert that—though the details change—have persisted for at least 140 years. The Newsweek reporter takes a journey into the desert with a former... More »

Course Teaches Men to Avoid Sex-Trade Trap

Innovative program in Washington state aims to break stereotypes, the patriarchy

(Newser) - Ask a guy why he commissions a prostitute and he may come up with a variety of answers, or even a shrug and an "I'm not sure." But in King County, Wash., men who’ve been busted trying to pay for sex—many with girls they believed... More »

The Dark Underworld of Competitive 'Shroom-Hunting

Often-obsessive hobby can result in fatalities from poisoning, falls—even murder

(Newser) - What drives someone to head deep into the woods and spend hours foraging for fungi? Writing for Eater , the appropriately-named Joshua Hunt examines the seemingly obsessive quest for some of the world's rarest mushrooms. There's C. geaster, or "kirinomitake," for instance, which just one living person... More »

A Tragic Attack, a Dead Man's Mockery

Tommie Woodward allegedly said 'F--- that gator!' before gator killed him

(Newser) - Tommie Woodward gained fame in his death on a July night nearly two years ago, and his family has been trying to keep people from laughing about his demise ever since. Thomas Golianopoulos writes for BuzzFeed about the tragic end to the 28-year-old's life when he jumped into a... More »

How the Search for an Elusive Fish Led to Filmmaker's Death

Rob Stewart disappeared while diving off the Florida Keys

(Newser) - On Jan. 31, Rob Stewart surfaced from his third dive of the day off the Florida Keys and gave the OK sign. Three days later, the award-winning documentary filmmaker's body was found on the ocean floor . Outside dives into what went wrong and the one question that persists following... More »

No Easy Fix for Russian Hack That Scams Casinos

'Wired' dives into how St. Petersburg group figured out slot machine patterns

(Newser) - An iPhone and a few well-timed button pushes by a mysterious patron was all that was needed to make a Missouri casino's slot machine pay out lots of cash. But this wasn't just a random scammer who'd figured out how to play the machine: It was part... More »

MIA Vietnam Soldier Turns Up 40 Years Later—Sort Of

People really wanted to believe Dang Tan Ngoc was John Robertson, and so they did

(Newser) - The year was 1968, and John Hartley Robertson, a 36-year-old US Green Beret who worked in a top-secret unit, was in a chopper over the jungles of Laos when a Vietcong rocket shot into the sky and straight into the helicopter, which plummeted and exploded in a valley. Robertson's... More »

The Unidentified Man Who Maybe Should've Stayed That Way

BBC helps solve the mysterious, sad tale of Roger Curry

(Newser) - "Roger Curry" was all that the gentleman with the American accent said when asked his name, and he said it only once. Thus begins the strange story Darragh MacIntyre spins for the BBC , following the mysterious trail of a man found wandering a parking lot in England in late... More »

A Most Macabre Art Form on This Man's Back

Not the tattoo itself—what's going to happen to his back when he dies

(Newser) - It was a plan two years in the making, and it took 40 hours to execute, but Tim Steiner has finally fulfilled his dream: to become a walking, talking piece of art. Harry Low reveals Steiner's story for the BBC , which started when Steiner, a 40-year-old Swiss man who... More »

How the 'Worst Pitch' Ever Became HBO's Girls

On the eve of the show's final season, the 'definitive backstory'

(Newser) - A one-and-a-half page pitch written by a 23-year-old that doesn't name a single character or even discuss plot. If that doesn't exactly sound like the genesis of an HBO hit, meet the exception. In what it touts as the "definitive backstory" of Lena Dunham's Girls on... More »

He May Have Cracked Century-Old Music 'Enigma'

But not all scholars are convinced of Bob Padgett's theory

(Newser) - At the debut of his Variations on an Original Theme in 1899, English composer and cryptographer Edward Elgar hinted at a riddle of sorts hidden in the work. The idea is that the 14 variations in the piece are, in fact, variations of a particular piece of music. "So... More »

How to Tell If You're a Jerk

The key question from a philosophy prof: Are you surrounded by them?

(Newser) - A philosophy professor has dug into the nature of jerks—or "jerkitude"—in an essay at Aeon , and if you find yourself nodding along because you are positively surrounded by jerks every day, well, we've got some bad news for you: You're probably a jerk. So... More »

Shock Revelation From Woman Who Sealed Emmett Till's Fate

Author Timothy Tyson says Carolyn Bryant admitted to making up parts of her story

(Newser) - When 14-year-old Emmett Till walked into a Mississippi store in August 1955, the black teen had no clue that his entrance would lead to his untimely death. And little did anyone in 2017 anticipate that, decades later, the white woman whose words sealed his fate would partly recant her explosive... More »

Woman Terrified Dead Husband's Sperm Used for Other Women

Sara Robertson is suing the doctor who was supposed to keep his sperm safe

(Newser) - Sara Robertson is certain a fertility doctor used her deceased husband's sperm to impregnate other women without her knowledge. And while Robertson says it feels "like I'm in a nightmare," she's not the only one who may suffer. Her husband, Aaron, had Marfan syndrome, a... More »

How Scientists Are Cracking One of the World's Oldest Codes

Cognitive science and complex statistical processes are both playing into it: the Verge

(Newser) - Since the late 1800s, scientists have been stumped over small pieces of stone found buried in India and Pakistan, each carved with a line of symbols over a depiction of an animal—all evidence of the since-IDed Indus Valley Civilization, said to be the oldest Indian civilization known to exist.... More »

In Silicon Valley, Armageddon Is Taken Very Seriously

'New Yorker': Richest Americans are prepping for doomsday

(Newser) - Prepping for Armageddon is no longer monopolized by conspiracy theorists on the fringe. As a lengthy New Yorker story explains, it's actually quite common among the richest Americans in Silicon Valley. For the uber-rich, preparing for a breakdown in society, whether caused by an earthquake, a military attack, or... More »

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