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Cover: Illustration by Giacomo Marchesi
James Ridgeway ("Three Strikes, You're Old") reported on aging prisoners with support from the Gerontological Society of America.
Kevin Drum became interested in lead science ("Criminal Element") while reading how an eccentric geochemist measured Earth's age using meteoric isotopes; illustrator 3 Gérard DuBois grew up surrounded by lead—his stepfather was a typesetter.
4 Nick Baumann ("Too Fast to Fail") has $82 million riding on the emphatically low-stakes Hollywood Stock Exchange trading game; digital illustrator Giacomo Marchesi grew up in Los Alamos and fancies himself the "sixth- or seventh-best illustrator of whimsical robots in the northeastern US."
5 Kate Sheppard ("Keeping Choice Alive") interviewed two ob-gyns about Mississippi's last abortion clinic while eating catfish and guzzling sweet tea at Cracker Barrel; 6 Matt Eich took photos of protesters while listening to the Kanye West-blasting boom box the clinic had set up to drown out their hymns.