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kabul

Last Tango in Kabul by Matthieu Aikins

While war raged across Afghanistan, expats lived in a bubble of good times and easy money. But as the U.S. withdraws, life has taken a deadly turn

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north-pond-maine-hermit

The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend—or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Until one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest

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organized-konfusion

Stressed: The Life & Art of Matt Reid by Michael Gonzales

“it’s virtually impossible to talk about Organized Konfusion’s genre-busting album without waxing poetic about Matt Reid’s bold mix of graphic design, comic books, collage, sci-fi, animation and surrealism. Sharing rack space beside scores of eye-catching rap covers, including Daniel Hastings’ disturbing cover shots for Gang Starr (Hard to Earn) and Jeru the Damaja (The Sun Rises in the East), the far out beauty of Stress stood out. Before one even listened to the record, Reid’s image served as an introduction to the left-of-center urgency of the group.”

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polar-bear-grizzly

Should You Fear the Pizzly Bear? by Moises Velasquez-Manoff

As climate change alters habitats, once-disparate animals are shacking up, creating hybrids that challenge our notion of what it means to be a species.

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korean-royals-fan

A Fan Visits From Afar, and the Royals Come Alive by Rany Jazayerli

Lee Sung-woo, an avid Royals fan from South Korea, arrived last week for his first visit to Kansas City; since then, the team has lavished him with attention — and has won seven of eight games.

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snowden

The Most Wanted Man in the World by James Bamford

Edward Snowden: The Untold Story

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scarcella

The Tragedy of Louis Scarcella by Albert Samaha

How the face of NYC’s tough-on-crime era went from Supercop to scapegoat.

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wonder-years

The Wonder Years: An Oral History by Bonnie Stiernberg

Kevin & Winnie & Wayne & Paul & Karen & Jack & Norma

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socal-pools

The swimming pool, symbol of Southern California, takes a dip by Christopher Hawthorne

The private pool is well on its way to outré

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abu-dhabi

Slaves of Happiness Island by Molly Crabapple

Abu Dhabi and the dark side of high art

illustration by Molly Crabapple

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weird-al

Weirdly Popular by Sasha Frere-Jones

The enduring appeal of “Weird Al” Yankovic.

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patagonia-bio-rubber

At Patagonia, the Bottom Line Includes the Earth by Diane Cardwell

The company, which sells outdoor apparel and gear, has an unusual commitment to advancing sustainability, sometimes at the expense of its profit.

photo by stokeharvester

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minor-league-manhood

Minor League Manhood by Dirk Hayhurst

Lots of guys made their cases for why they should be considered the alpha male of a locker room in the low minors when this writer was down on the farm. But the biggest separator was one’s prowess with the opposite sex. It fostered a toxic culture of misogyny and exploitation.

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fashion-ad-controversy-wwd

Fashion Advertising: Controversy — Where Has It Gone? by Lisa Lockwood (with contributions from Cynthia Martens, Lauren McCarthy)
 
After shifts from the shocking and suggestive to the socially conscious and aspirational, the fashion industry has entered a new state of advertising: tame.

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secret-society-internet

How Secret Societies Stay Hidden On the Internet by Matt King

Inside the surreal recruitment process of a legendary club—or something like it—at New York University

Illustration by Miroslav Kostic

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eibar

A Tiny Club’s Uneasy Rise by Raphael Minder

Eibar, a small soccer team with a 5,250 seat stadium is entering Spain’s top division, La Liga. And it’s been a pain in the ass.

Photograph by Markel Redondo for The New York Times

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daniel-arnold
 
On the Prowl With Instagram’s Ultimate Street Photographer by Mary H.K. Choi

A Paparazzi for Strangers
 

Related: The Art of Tuning Back In – An Interview with Daniel Arnold

 

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double-agent-pujol-garcia

The Greatest Double Agent in History by Alex Mayyasi

For his valor during World War II, Juan Pujol Garcia received awards from both Adolf Hitler and King George VI.

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nifty-50

The Pickpocket’s Tale by Joseph Goldstein

As younger thieves turn to high-tech crimes, one of New York’s old-fashioned wallet snatchers recalls his decades-long career, from behind bars.

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