Jaeah is a former reporter at Mother Jones. Her writings have appeared in The Atlantic, the Guardian, Wired, Christian Science Monitor,Global Post,Huffington Post,Talking Points Memo, and Grist. She tweets at @jaeahjlee.
My father spent his life in this newsroom. Now I'm witness to how the business has forever changed.
Will Steacy , Brett Brownell, and Jaeah LeeJul. 19, 2013 6:00 AM
In July 2012, after enduring bankruptcy, plummeting circulation, staff buyouts, and waves of layoffs, the Philadelphia Inquirermoved out of the "Tower of Truth," the landmark building it had occupied since 1925. Photographer Will Steacy, the descendant of five generations of newspapermen—his father was laid off in 2011 after 29 years at the Inquirer—captured the newsroom before and after it downsized for the post-print era. Steacy went through volumes of family archives and recently recorded the following conversations with his father about the family's experiences in the newspaper business.
Click the arrows below to listen to audio clips and browse images.
The Tower of Truth
The home of the Philadelphia Inquirer for more than 80 years.
The Family Business
Will's father reminisces about Will's grandfather John, who was also a newspaper editor.
Will's father describes his first newspaper job.
First Big Story
Will's father and grandfather had similar "big breaks."
Tools of the Trade
Will's father describes paste pots, typewriters, and computers throughout the decades.
An interactive look at the more than 140 roads around the world named after the former president of South Africa.
Dave Gilson and Jaeah LeeJul. 18, 2013 3:05 AM
According to the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory, no fewer than 120 streets, roads, boulevards, avenues, bridges, and highways have been named after the first democratically elected president of South Africa, who turns 95 today. A thorough search turned up more than 140, including 50 in South Africa and 10 in the United States. Click on any icon for the full name and location of a Mandela-inspired roadway; zoom in to see the a street map.
This map include streets that carry Mandela's birth name, Rolihlahla, and clan name, Madiba. More streets named after Mandela are probably out there; if you know of one that's not on this map, leave a comment.
Major earthquakes thousands of miles away can trigger reflex quakes in areas where fluids have been injected into the ground from fracking and other industrial operations, according to a study published in the journal Science on Thursday.
Previous studies, covered in a recent Mother Jones feature from Michael Behar, have shown that injecting fluids into the ground can increase the seismicity of a region. This latest study shows that earthquakes can tip off smaller quakes in far-away areas where fluid has been pumped underground.
Fracking waste fluids "kind of act as a pressurized cushion," said a lead author on the study.
The scientists looked at three big quakes: the Tohuku-oki earthquake in Japan in 2011 (magnitude 9), the Maule in Chile in 2011 (an 8.8 magnitude), and the Sumatra in Indonesia in 2012 (an 8.6). They found that, as much as 20 months later, those major quakes triggered smaller ones in places in the Midwestern US where fluids have been pumped underground for energy extraction.
"[The fluids] kind of act as a pressurized cushion," lead author Nicholas van der Elst of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University explained to Mother Jones. "They make it easier for the fault to slide."
The finding is not entirely surprising, said van der Elst. Scientists have known for a long time that areas with naturally high subsurface fluid pressures—places like Yellowstone, for example—can see an uptick in seismic activity after a major earthquake even very far away. But this is the first time they've found a link between remote quakes and seismic activity in places where human activity has increased the fluid pressure via underground injections.
"It happens in places where fluid pressures are naturally high, so we're not so surprised it happens in places where fluid pressures are artificially high," he said.
The study looked specifically at Prague, Oklahoma, which features prominently in Behar's piece. The study links the increased tremors in Prague, which has a number of injection wells nearby, to Chile's February 27, 2010, quake. The study also found that big quakes in Japan and Indonesia triggered quakes in areas of western Texas and southern Colorado with many injection wells. The study is "additional evidence that fluids really are driving the increase in earthquakes at these sites," said van der Elst.
Animated GIF: fracked Up?
Drillers inject high-pressure fluids into a hydraulic fracturing well, making slight fissures in the shale that release natural gas. The wastewater that flows back up with the gas is then transported to disposal wells, where it is injected deep into porous rock. Scientists now believe that the pressure and lubrication of that wastewater can cause faults to slip and unleash an earthquake.
If you're one of 142 million Americans heading to the outdoors this year, there's a good chance you'll run into one of at least 250,000 rivers in the country. Much of the nation's 3.5 million miles of rivers and streams provide drinking water, electric power, and critical habitat for fish and wildlife throughout. If you were to connect all the rivers in the United States into one long cord, it would wrap around the entire country 175 times. But as a recent assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency points out, we've done a pretty bad job of preserving the quality of these waters: In March, the EPA estimated that more than half of the nation's waterways are in "poor condition for aquatic life."
Back in the 1960s, after recognizing the toll that decades of damming, developing, and diverting had taken on America's rivers, Congress passed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968 to preserve rivers with "outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition." Unfortunately, only a sliver of US rivers—0.25 percent—have earned federal protection since the act passed.
In the interactive map below, we highlight 21 rivers that, based on the conservation group American Rivers' reports in 2012 and 2013, are under the most duress (or soon will be) from extended droughts, flooding, agriculture, or severe pollution from nearby industrial activity. Find out which rivers are endangered by hovering over them (in orange). Jump down to the list below to read about what's threatening the rivers. For fun, we also mapped every river and stream recorded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It was too beautiful not to.
Ever since Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who went public with details about two government surveillance programs, fled for Hong Kong, many have questioned whether he made the right choice. Why didn't he go to WikiLeaks' former base of operations, Iceland, where some information activists are lobbying to grant him asylum? (Here's why Iceland may not have been a great option.) Why not France, which has an extradition treaty with the United States but, as Slate points out, also has a "history of reluctance to send people into the US criminal justice system"?
Since 2003, 137 countries have extradited or deported 7,066 people to the United States. Mexico, Colombia, and Canada are at the top of the list, according to data from the US Marshals Service. The number of extraditions by country varies widely and likely depends not just on relations with the United States but how many suspects flee there (Mexico and Canada clearly being favorites for fugitives making a run for the border). While Iceland did not send anyone back to the United States during this time, Hong Kong was number 18, with 47 extraditions.
Top 20 Countries that Extradite to the UNITED STATES