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  • No Way Out
  • In Iran, I was thrown into solitary with no lawyer, no way to defend myself, no idea when it would end. I didn’t know the same thing happens to countless people back home.

Killer App
Killer App
Rare earths make your smartphone smart. But just how radioactive is the process of refining them?
Screen Savers
Screen Savers
Apple wants you to replace your iPhone every couple of years. These guys can make it last forever.
The Great Right Hope
The Great Right Hope
Ted Cruz has been hyped as the future of conservative America. Will the tea party’s boy wonder turn the Senate upside down?
Drill, Baby, Drill
Drill, Baby, Drill
Oilman Harold Hamm’s speed-fracking operation is transforming North Dakota. Up next: Washington, DC.

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The Frankenfood referendum; Millionaires for clean elections; Men defining rape: a timeline; The right to bear sabers, switchblades, and shivs; One nation, under gun; Bedtime around the world.

Mixed Media

Philip Pullman gets Grimm; A pop-up magazine?; Podcasts en español with Daniel Alarcón; Barry Levinson’s eco-horror flick; plus book, film, and music reviews.

Food + Health

Cover: Illustration by Tim O’Brien


Seven months after being released from an Iranian prison, Shane Bauer went back behind the wire to investigate solitary confinement in California (“No Way Out“).

1 Gary Taubes (“Sweet Little Lies“) has won three top awards from the National Association of Science Writers; coauthor 2 Cristin Kearns Couzens “drilled, filled, and billed” about 5,000 cavities in her six years as a dentist. Oil painter and late-night candy shopper 3 Chris Buzelli illustrated their story.

While reporting on pollution from rare-earth refining in Malaysia (“Killer App“), senior editor 4 Kiera Butler was accosted mid-interview by a persistent used-towel hawker. (Her trip was supported by the Society of Environmental Journalists.)

Author Richard Grant (“Blade Runners“) opens mail at his Mississippi Delta address with a four-inch military knife.

Dashka Slater, who profiled the tech tinkerers at iFixit (“Screen Savers“), prefers to repair with duct tape; photographer 5 Chris Leschinsky has shot for Forbes and the Surfer’s Journal.

6 Jason Holley, who drew frack magnate Harold Hamm (“Drill, Baby, Drill“), was born near Texas oil country; after following Hamm’s trail to North Dakota, Josh Harkinson filed an expense report claiming $40 for a round of drinks and a strip club cover charge.

Cristin Kearns Couzens
Gary Taubes Chris Buzelli
Kiera Butler
Chris Leschinsky Jason Holley