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The Sideshow Magician Who Inspired Ray Bradbury—Then Vanished

Experts have been unable to verify the existence of Mr. Electrico, whose 1932 electric chair act supposedly affirmed the young author's interest in writing

March 9, 2023 7:15 a.m.

Replicating the last leg of French explorer Alexandra David-Néel’s journey in the early 1900s, Elise Wortley hiked 108 miles from Lachen, in Sikkim, India, to Kanchenjunga base camp in 2017.

Adventurer Elise Wortley Recreates the Journeys of Famous Female Explorers

For historical accuracy, the 33-year-old Brit wears only the cotton dresses, yak wool coats and hobnail boots that her predecessors would have had

March 8, 2023

Many animals like corals release eggs and sperm into the water on just the right nights of the month.

How Lunar Cycles Guide the Spawning of Sea Creatures

Researchers are starting to understand the biological rhythms that sync worms and corals to phases of the moon

A just-hatched chick stands next to its egg.

Why Newborn Chicks Love Objects That Defy Gravity

A clever new study shows the cute critters will often scuttle toward a video of a rising ball

March 7, 2023

Alaska Railroad's main line stretches 470 miles between Seward and Fairbanks.

For 100 Years, the Alaska Railroad Has Been a Critical Artery Pumping Passengers and Freight Through the State

Along with celebrations, the centennial offers a chance to consider the effects the rail system has had on the state and its people

During World War II, Executive Order 9066 authorized the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans (above: In Los Angeles in April 1942, dozens of families wait for a train to Manzanar War Relocation Center in Owens Valley, California).

Japanese American Artists Recall the Trauma of Wartime Incarceration

Smithsonian podcasts explore the legacy of Executive Order 9066 and the camera that almost didn’t make it to the Juno spacecraft launch

Woodrow Wilson and his second wife, Edith, in 1916

Women Who Shaped History

How Edith Wilson Kept Herself—and Her Husband—in the White House

A new book about the first lady reveals how she and the ailing President Woodrow Wilson silenced their critics

A 1903 photograph of Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Brief but Shining Life of Paul Laurence Dunbar, a Poet Who Gave Dignity to the Black Experience

A prolific writer, he inspired such luminaries as Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes

March 6, 2023

"The Exhibit: Finding the Next Great Artist" premieres Friday, March 3 at 9 p.m. ET on MTV, and on the Smithsonian Channel Tuesday, March 7 at 9 p.m.

Behind the Scenes of the New Reality Series, ‘The Exhibit’

Seven artists compete for a $100,000 purse and an exhibition at the Hirshhorn in this ground-breaking show airing on the Smithsonian Channel

March 3, 2023

After nearly 40 years, desert lions are once again hunting marine prey along Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, where scientists believed the knowledge had been lost.

In Namibia, Lions Are King of the Beach

As the big cats return to hunting fur seals on the Skeleton Coast, a new project tries to keep people out of the way

Mina’s goal was to keep the home—and women—central in modern society. Building on the home economists who came before her, she sought to define women’s work as work rather than a vague, idealized calling.

Mina Miller Edison Was Much More Than the Wife of the 'Wizard of Menlo Park'

The second wife of Thomas Edison, she viewed domestic labor as a science, calling herself a "home executive"

A father shows his son the awful-smelling algae hugging the shoreline of the St. Lucie River during a summer bloom in Stuart, Florida, in 2016. The algae fouled coastal waterways, created angry communities, closed beaches and had an economic impact as tourists and others were driven away by the smell and inability to enjoy the waterways.

Florida’s Love-Hate Relationship With Phosphorus

The state has mined and abused the Devil's Element for decades, and now it is increasingly fouling precious coastal waters

March 2, 2023

Thousands of migratory birds, including snow geese, sandhill cranes and ducks make Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico their fall and winter home.

The Wonderful World of Birds

As the Smithsonian's National Zoo prepares to open its reimagined and beloved Bird House, explore the fascinating science of our feathery friends above

A brown-green vessel bearing the inscription, "A noble Jar for pork or beef / then carry it a round to the indian chief" made by the enslaved craftsman David "Dave" Drake, is now on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

For the Enslaved Potter David Drake, His Literary Practice Was His Resistance

This 19th-century vessel, made to store meat, carries a powerful backstory of Drake's defiance of the laws of enslavement

Astronomers and musicians have developed “sonifications” to bring the symphony of the cosmos to a wider audience.

What Does the Universe Sound Like?

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and other researchers have melded astronomy and music to offer a new oeuvre

March 1, 2023

Ella Hawkins’ stunning biscuit art emulates book covers, scalloped-edged Tiffany lamps, pottery shards, mosaic tiles, medieval manuscripts, Elizabethan fabrics and more.

The Timeless Draw of Decorating Cookies

Intricate designs painted by biscuit artist Ella Hawkins are part of a lengthy baking tradition

February 28, 2023

“A Window Suddenly Opens: Contemporary Photography in China” (above: Chinese Landscape Series No. 3 by Huang Yan, 1999) continues at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. through January 7, 2024.

A Window Opens on China’s Avant-Garde With This Explosion of Photographic Art

The Hirshhorn Museum displays dynamic works of Chinese self-expression

February 27, 2023

The Nenana Ice Classic tripod is on display alongside the Tanana River and the Alaska Railroad tracks, next to the community "watchtower" building. The tripod will be raised on the ice of the Tanana River on March 5, 2023.

The River That's Kept Alaska Guessing for More Than a Century

The Nenana Ice Classic, started in 1917, is a high-stakes guessing game over the date, hour and minute of the ice breakup on the Tanana River

One standout feature of the renovated Bird House at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is the chance for close-up, interactive experiences (above: a cedar waxwing).

Experience the Wonder of Migration at the National Zoo’s New Bird House

Following a six-year renovation, the revamped exhibition will open March 13 with three indoor aviaries

February 24, 2023

President John F. Kennedy meets with William Fitzjohn, Sierra Leone's charge d’affairs in Washington, in the Oval Office on April 27, 1961.

Untold Stories of American History

The African Diplomats Who Protested Segregation in the U.S.

Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy publicly apologized after restaurants refused to serve Black representatives of newly independent nations

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Illustration of Alaa Allawi on neon backdrop with bitcoin money and fentanyl

On the Trail of the Fentanyl King

Benoît Morenne

A portrait of Justin E. H. Smith a philosopher with a surreal smiley face on top of his face.

This Is a Philosopher on Drugs

Polymetallic nodule in abstract bioluminescent sea scene with faux plants and black sand

The Mining Industry's Next Frontier Is Deep, Deep Under the Sea

Reflected image of Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski

Keanu Will Never Surrender to the Machines

Pedro Pascal with a contemplative pose with his head lowered his hand resting on his chin and highlight reflections...

Unmasking Pedro Pascal, the Complicated New Face of Sci-Fi

A futuristic wrist function in your skin which helps you choose how you smell.

Six-Word Sci-Fi: Stories Written by You

WIRED Readers

Colorful red yellow and blue balloons

It’s Time to Fall in Love With Nuclear Fusion—Again

Virginia Heffernan

Illustration of a crowd of chatting characters and one character utterly confused

God Did the World a Favor by Destroying Twitter

Illustration of a scale a body pills a syringe and a candy bar

A New Drug Switched Off My Appetite. What’s Left?

Solgaard Purple Shoreline recycled watch

Our Favorite Products Made of Upcycled and Recycled Materials

Adrienne So and Medea Giordano

Illustration of person meditating in front of an oversized phone screen while sitting in flames

Mental Health Apps Won’t Get You Off the Couch

Meghan O'Gieblyn

Allison Williams

The Singularity of Allison Williams

Jordan Crucchiola

Illustration of a Paris scene in 1839 with crazed masses loading a large vintage camera onto steamships with railroad...

AI or No, It’s Always Too Soon to Sound the Death Knell of Art

Anthony W. Lee

An AI created cover done by a photographer who had taken a similar photo.

Classic WIRED Covers—Regenerated by AI


View of Georgetown Guyana.

The Quest to Defuse Guyana’s Carbon Bomb

Antonia Juhasz

Speedway Mini 4 Pro

The Best Electric Kick Scooters

Julian Chokkattu

egg on red fur backdrop surrounded by condoms cuffs and lube

Let Twitter Devolve Into Porn

stax wallet

Tony Fadell Is Trying to Build the iPod of Crypto

Steven Levy

An illustration of a teddy bear looking out of window with people with a view of people and cars at night.

The Hunt for the Dark Web’s Biggest Kingpin, Part 6: Endgame

Andy Greenberg

Illustration of a whimsical space craft

The Hibernator’s Guide to the Galaxy

Brendan I. Koerner

The words “time” “costs” and “production” being crushed in a press

Is Moore’s Law Really Dead?

Illustration of person being pinned on the ground by four other people and one person standing in the background

The Hunt for the Dark Web’s Biggest Kingpin, Part 5: Takedown

Illustration of a yellow stop hand with all kinds of other hands surrounding it

Why the Emoji Skin Tone You Choose Matters

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Picture Limitless Creativity at Your Fingertips

Kevin Kelly

Illustration of people in suits siting in a darkened room

The Hunt for the Dark Web’s Biggest Kingpin, Part 4: Face to Face


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The Busyness Trap: Activity is not a metric for success.

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What Most Companies Get Wrong About Managing Talent: They misjudge what really matters to employees.

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What Does Your Company Really Stand For? Getting that right is essential. Here’s how.

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Strategies for Turbulent Times: A new way to plan for the unknown

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Know What Your Customers Want Even Before They Do

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Designing Work That People Love: How to enhance engagement and commitment

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magazine , also called periodical , a printed or digitally published collection of texts (essays, articles, stories, poems), often illustrated, that is produced at regular intervals (excluding newspapers). A brief treatment of magazines follows. For full treatment, see publishing: Magazine publishing .

The modern magazine has its roots in early printed pamphlets , broadsides, chapbooks , and almanacs , a few of which gradually began appearing at regular intervals. The earliest magazines collected a variety of material designed to appeal to particular interests. One of the earliest ones was a German publication, Erbauliche Monaths-Unterredungen (“Edifying Monthly Discussions”), which was issued periodically from 1663 to 1668. Other learned journals soon appeared in France, England, and Italy, and in the early 1670s lighter and more entertaining magazines began to appear, beginning with Le Mercure Galant (1672; later renamed Mercure de France ) in France. In the early 18th century, Joseph Addison and Richard Steele brought out The Tatler (1709–11; published three times weekly) and The Spectator (1711–12, 1714; published daily). These influential periodicals contained essays on matters political and topical that continue to be regarded as examples of some of the finest English prose written. Other critical reviews treating literary and political issues also started up in the mid-1700s throughout western Europe, and at the end of the century specialized periodicals began appearing, devoted to particular fields of intellectual interest, such as archaeology, botany, or philosophy.

Magazines on display in a store in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. There are more than 1300 English and French magazines that are published in Canada.

By the early 19th century a different, less learned audience had been identified, and new types of magazines for entertainment and family enjoyment began to appear, among them the popular weekly, the women’s weekly, the religious and missionary review, the illustrated magazine, and the children’s weekly. Their growth was stimulated by the general public’s broader interest in social and political affairs and by the middle and lower classes’ growing demand, in both cities and rural areas, for reading matter. Woodcuts and engravings were first extensively used by the weekly Illustrated London News (1842), and by the end of the 19th century many magazines were illustrated.

rock music magazine covers

Magazine publishing benefited in the late 19th and 20th centuries from a number of technical improvements, including the production of inexpensive paper, the invention of the rotary press and the halftone block, and, especially, the addition of advertisements as a means of financial support. Other developments since then have included a greater specialization of topics; more illustrations, especially those reproducing colour photographs; a decline in power and popularity of the critical review and a rise in that of the mass-market magazine; and an increase in magazines for women.

With the rise of the Internet in the late 20th century, more and more magazines put versions of their material online. During this time, other types of magazines became increasingly popular. These included electronic magazines, known as e-zines or zines. Often of casual design and produced by at most a few people, e-zines tended to be highly personal and irreverent . Another kind of magazine was the fanzine, which was generally produced for fans of a sport or a particular celebrity, among other subjects.

Technological advancements, however, also had a downside for the magazine industry. As people had easier—and often free—access to a wealth of content, traditional magazines faced declining readership. In addition, ad revenue dropped as advertisers increasingly turned to other online outlets. Such factors contributed to a number of magazines folding in the early 21st century, while others were forced to discontinue print editions and publish only digital versions.

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Ian Falconer, Creator of Olivia, the Energetic Piglet, Dies at 63

He was a stage designer noted for his work in opera when he hit the best-seller list in 2000 with the first in a series of books for children.

By Neil Genzlinger

what are magazine articles for

How to Run a Fashion Magazine in China in 2023

Margaret Zhang, an Australian-born influencer, got the top role at Vogue China in 2021, making her the youngest Vogue editor ever. Will Condé Nast’s gamble pay off?

By Elizabeth Paton

what are magazine articles for

An Office in Which Screaming Is Encouraged

At the Berlin headquarters of the art magazine Blau International, editor in chief Cornelius Tittel doubles as an instructor of Kundalini yoga classes.

By Gisela Williams

what are magazine articles for

Revenue Grew at Condé Nast Last Year, but Shy of Target

The chief at Condé Nast, which only occasionally discusses its financial results, said ad revenue grew year over year, while subscriptions and e-commerce fell short of goals.

By Katie Robertson

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Science Fiction Magazines Battle a Flood of Chatbot-Generated Stories

While the deluge has become a nuisance, the stories are easy to spot. The writing is “bad in spectacular ways,” one editor said.

By Michael Levenson

what are magazine articles for

Istvan Banyai, Illustrator Who Mined the Surreal, Dies at 73

His fantastical work for The New Yorker, New York and Playboy made him a hot commodity in the last golden era for magazines and their illustrators.

By Alex Williams

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Guest Essay

The death of the author (and the estate auction that follows).

André Leon Talley, Joan Didion, Elizabeth Wurtzel and the rise of author’s auctions.

By Carina Chocano

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Julian Wasser, the ‘Photographer Laureate’ of L.A., Dies at 89

In the 1960s and ’70s, he created indelible images of the city’s combustible mix of art, rock ’n’ roll, new Hollywood and social ferment.

By Penelope Green

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Vox Media Is Raising $100 Million From Penske Media

The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions and investments made by Penske Media, the owner of a swath of entertainment and trade publications including Rolling Stone and Variety.

By Benjamin Mullin and Katherine Rosman

what are magazine articles for

One Day They’ll Say This Was the Best (and Worst) Thing I Ever Made

It started with smirk and ended with a bang, and in between it changed the media universe.

By Elizabeth Spiers


The Magazine

March 13, 2023.

Silhouette of figure and flowers.

“Cultivated,” by Diana Ejaita.

How Russian Journalists in Exile Are Covering the War in Ukraine

Ekaterina Kotrikadze, TV Rain’s news director, at the studio in Latvia.

Dozens of media outlets have fled to the capital of Latvia, only to encounter a distrustful public and a set of strictly enforced laws and regulations.

By Masha Gessen

Biomilq and the New Science of Artificial Breast Milk

A baby sucks on a bottle attached to an intricate machine of pipes and beakers that form the silhouette of a breast-feeding mother.

The biotech industry takes on infant nutrition.

By Molly Fischer

Agnes Callard’s Marriage of the Minds

Agnes Callard and Arnold Brooks

The philosopher, who lives with her husband and her ex-husband, searches for what one human can be to another human.

By Rachel Aviv

The Fight Over Penn Station and Madison Square Garden

James Dolan sitting with his arm draped over Madison Square Garden

How the effort to renovate midtown Manhattan’s transit hub has been stalled by money, politics, and disputes about the public good.

By William Finnegan

The Critics

Why we never have enough time, in her new book, jenny odell argues that structural forces have commodified our moments, days, and years. can our lost time be reclaimed.

By Parul Sehgal

Briefly Noted

Fiona McFarlane’s book “The Sun Walks Down”

“Palo Alto,” “Life on Delay,” “The Sun Walks Down,” and “Collected Works.”

Eleanor catton wants plot to matter again.

The author Eleanor Catton

In “Birnam Wood,” the novelist suggests that choices—how they’re made, and the long, hidden trail of their consequences—are what lend a story meaning.

By B. D. McClay

Can HARDY Revive “Butt Rock”?

A color-pencil portrait of the singer "HARDY."

Onstage, the musician plays the role of a small-town boy who is too rock for country, and too country for rock and roll.

By Kelefa Sanneh

Medieval Romances by Kate Soper and Richard Wagner

Five faces cluster around a glowing rose, starting at it intently.

“The Romance of the Rose,” at Long Beach Opera, and Wagner’s “Lohengrin,” at the Met, both dwell on ancient mysteries of love.

By Alex Ross

A Minor Play by Lorraine Hansberry Gets Lost in a Major Revival

A window divides the silhouetted profiles of a man and woman's face. Beneath them is a lively scene in a Greenwich village apartment.

Oscar Isaac and Rachel Brosnahan star in “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window.”

By Helen Shaw

The Talk of the Town

Steve coll on the republican primary field; black panther posters; jamie dack’s portrait of a teen; secondhand private planes; jane lynch., the republicans begin to eye 2024.

A photograph of Donald Trump

It’s been a winter of garish factional disputes in the G.O.P., and Donald Trump remains a seismic force of instability.

By Steve Coll

Loud and Proud: Black Panther Party Ephemera

Es-pranza Humphrey in front of a Black Panther poster.

At Poster House, an exhibition called “Black Power to Black People” includes graphic gems that escaped the fate of the wheat-paste bucket.

By Adlan Jackson

Strawberry Doughnuts and Half-Smoked Butts

Portrait of Jamie Dack sitting in front of a donut.

The seventeen-year-old heroine of “Palm Trees and Power Lines,” the director Jamie Dack’s début feature film, navigates between bleak choices.

By Dana Goodyear

Zillow, but for Jets

Mike and Don Dwyer standing in front of a plane.

The private-aviation market is down, so a wannabe oligarch tries out the Guardian Jet Vault 4.0 to look for some deals.

By Adam Iscoe

Jane Lynch, Born Not to Serve

Portrait of Jane Lynch.

The actor, now starring in the reboot of “Party Down,” strolls around Central Park with a pal and details why she wasn’t cut out for catering.

By Rachel Syme

Shouts & Murmurs

I have questions for chatgpt.

A lady talking to a face made of O's and 1's.

Why didn’t I buy those expensive boots I really wanted? What are Birthday Cake Flavor Creme Oreos really like?

By Alyssa Brandt

“How I Became a Vet,” by Rivka Galchen

A dog’s eye

“The suicide dogs, like most of us, were not what they seemed.”

By Rivka Galchen

Puzzles & Games Dept.

The crossword: wednesday, march 1, 2023.

An owl with a crossword on its belly walks with a pencil in hand on a yellow background.

A lightly challenging puzzle.

By Aimee Lucido

“Guilt Mountain”

A man typing on the typewriter.

“Would he initial / ‘I agree’ after reading life’s / Terms?”

By Ishmael Reed

A cityscape with flowers.

“Too bad this poem wasn’t written / in a 12th-century monastic scriptorium.”

By Billy Collins

Goings On About Town

“life of pi” comes to broadway.

Hiran Abeysekera and a tiger puppet, from “Life of Pi”

In a stage adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel, a Bengal tiger called Richard Parker—operated by puppeteers—joins a boy named Pi, who is lost at sea, in a lifeboat.

Spring contemporary-music preview.

A variety of musicians and singers standing on different level platforms.

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour stretches Ticketmaster to capacity, the Boss sweeps through arenas, the Walkmen return to life, and more.

By Jay Ruttenberg

Spring Art Preview

People looking at a variety of large art pieces.

Sarah Sze turns the Guggenheim into a moon dial, Georgia O’Keeffe goes serial at MOMA, Lauren Halsey brings South Central L.A. to the Met, and more.

By Andrea K. Scott

Spring Dance Preview

People hanging off branches originating from someone's headband in the center.

Alexei Ratmansky’s sea-adventure ballet for New York City Ballet, new works for Kyle Abraham’s A.I.M, Martha Graham Dance Company, and more.

By Marina Harss

Spring Classical-Music Preview

People traversing through a portal with stars and bubbles.

Claire Chase and Alisa Weilerstein present new works, Gustavo Dudamel leads sold-out concerts of Mahler, and more.

By Oussama Zahr

Spring Theatre Preview

A classroom setting showing two people in a cube and people on a ship.

Adrienne Warren stars in “Room,” Rachel Chavkin directs the satire “The Thanksgiving Play,” accident-prone Brits put on “Peter Pan Goes Wrong,” and more.

By Michael Schulman

Spring Movies Preview

Sitting on a couch at night, a musician stands in front of a stage, as a man leaves through a door with a large shadow.

Classic stories take the lead in a Judy Blume adaptation, a George Foreman bio-pic, and Nicolas Cage’s interpretation of Dracula.

By Richard Brody

Spring Television Preview

A girl on fire looking up at different life scenes.

“Succession” unveils its final season, Rachel Weisz plays psychotic twin gynecologists in “Dead Ringers,” Ali Wong and Steven Yeun star in “Beef,” and more.

Dynamite persian food at eyval.

A photograph of five colorful cocktails in a line, against an olive-green curtain.

In Bushwick, Ali Saboor offers spectacular cocktails and striking interpretations of traditional dishes such as kashke bademjan, kebab, and ghormeh sabzi.

By Hannah Goldfield

Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address, and daytime phone number via e-mail to [email protected] . Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium. We regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter.

Can Cats Get Dementia?

March/April 2023

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Science That Matters

Science is changing fast. Discover Magazine is here to be your guide.

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In This Issue

How everything became entertainment, activist short sellers, the French panic over le wokisme, and a nuclear-power reboot. Plus living with disability, a path forward for Republicans, Salman Rushdie, swearing, Gatsby, new fiction, and more.

Cover Story

Illustration: small abstract human figure stands in between rows of huge glowing smartphone screens

We’ve Lost the Plot

Our constant need for entertainment has blurred the line between fiction and reality—on television, in American politics, and in our everyday lives.

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Get the digital edition of this issue.

Black-and-white illustration of small figure casting long shadow in open doorway of large grid wall with stock data

The Man Who Moves Markets

Carson Block uses covert techniques to uncover fraud for profit. Now he’s under investigation himself. Is he the hero of Wall Street, or the villain?

Illustration of tricolor French flag with silhouette of person raising a protest sign

The French Are in a Panic Over le Wokisme

The nation’s vehement rejection of identity politics made me recalibrate my own views about woke ideology.

Photographs of a test nuclear unit on the left and the outside of the Kairos nuclear-power plant on the right in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Real Obstacle to Nuclear Power

It’s not environmentalists—it’s the nuclear-power industry itself.

detail of oil painting of face in shades of blue + green

Society Tells Me to Celebrate My Disability. What If I Don’t Want To?

On living with cerebral palsy

Black-and-white image of snow falling between buildings

The Third Law of Magic

A short story

Photo illustration of group of Republicans, including Donald Trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kevin McCarthy, and others, standing in a circle and shouting on red background

The GOP Is Just Obnoxious

It’s why the party keeps losing elections.

2 black-and-white photos: girl in floral dress and head scarf midair jumping on trampoline; boys in western shirts and jeans lean against the hood of a truck

Big-Sky Country

Photographs that capture traces of American industry, class divides, and westward expansion

Culture & Critics

illustration of mirror images of man in suit and fedora facing each other in black and white on red background

A New Way to Read Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald never explicitly states Jay Gatsby’s race.

A black-and-white photograph of Salman Rushdie sitting on a park bench.

The Miraculous Salman Rushdie

His enchanting new novel is a triumph.

Illustration: A colonial 13-star American flag forms a semicircle around blue sky with an enormous fire as background.

Did George Washington Burn New York?

Americans disparaged the British as arsonists. But the rebels fought with fire too.

A black-and-white photo of Soviet prisoners of war covering a mass grave at Babi Yar

The Masterpiece No One Wanted to Save

Censored and then forgotten, Anatoly Kuznetsov’s Babi Yar , about the Nazi occupation of Kyiv, is again painfully relevant.


Photo of December 2022 magazine open to the article "Monuments to the Unthinkable"

The Commons: How Germany Avoided Its Own ‘Lost Cause’ Movement

Readers respond to our December 2022 cover story and more.

Black-and-white drawing of smiling open mouth with "FUUUUC..." on the tongue on pink background

An Ode to Swearing

A well-turned curse can remind you of the power of language.

Illustration with words "on the fly," "tinged faint yellow," and "and lime" on black background with blurred yellow square

Latest Issues

March 2023

How to Write a Magazine Article

Last Updated: February 28, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Gerald Posner . Gerald Posner is an Author & Journalist based in Miami, Florida. With over 35 years of experience, he specializes in investigative journalism, nonfiction books, and editorials. He holds a law degree from UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley. He’s the author of thirteen books, including several New York Times bestsellers, the winner of the Florida Book Award for General Nonfiction, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. He was also shortlisted for the Best Business Book of 2020 by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 12 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 914,753 times.

Magazine articles can be a big boost for seasoned freelance writers or writers who are trying to jump-start their writing careers. In fact, there are no clear qualifications required for writing magazine articles except for a strong writing voice, a passion for research, and the ability to target your article pitches to the right publications. Though it may seem like magazines may be fading in the digital age, national magazines continue to thrive and can pay their writers $1 a word. [1] X Research source To write a good magazine article, you should focus on generating strong article ideas and crafting and revising the article with high attention to detail.

Generating Article Ideas

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Crafting the Article

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Revising the Article

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To write a magazine article, start by researching your topic and interviewing experts in the field. Next, create an outline of the main points you want to cover so you don’t go off topic. Then, start the article with a hook that will grab the reader’s attention and keep them reading. As you write, incorporate quotes from your research, but be careful to stick to your editor’s word count, such as 500 words for a small article or 2,000 words for a feature. Finally, conclude with a statement that expands on your topic, but leaves the reader wanting to learn more. For tips on how to smoothly navigate the revision process with an editor, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Article Types: What's the Difference Between Newspapers, Magazines, and Journals?

Magazine Article Characteristics

Life Magazine (an example of a magazine)

Analyzing a Magazine Article

Authors : Author names may or may not be listed. Many magazine articles are written by the magazine editors or staff writers and may not attribute responsibility to individual authors. Those articles that do list authors typically do not give the author qualifications.

Frequency of Publication : Magazines typically publish monthly or more frequently (there are exceptions). Magazines routinely will use specific dates on their issues, such as December 14, 2008, or July 2008.

Use of Everyday Language : Magazine articles are typically written with the average reader in mind, so the language used is easily read and simple to understand.

Use of Illustrations and Photographs : Articles published in magazines frequently are illustrated with drawings or photographs, often in full color. Other publications might also include illustrative materials, but magazines are the most likely types of publications to include them.

Bibliography : Bibliographies are typically not included in magazine articles or, if they are included, are usually fairly brief.

Brevity : Magazine articles tend to be much shorter than articles from journals. An article might be half a page or even a dozen pages, but typically not much longer than a dozen. Pictures are often interspersed throughout the text so the actual text, even for a 12-page article, would amount to far less than a dozen pages.

Subject Focus : Magazines might cover a wide variety of interests or might focus a particular interest. For example, magazines like Time and Newsweek will cover current events, politics, entertainment, art, music, a wide variety of interests. Articles might take note of research being done in medicine, for example, but they stop short of actually providing the full details of the research being done. Magazines like Car and Driver and Popular Science will focus on specific areas of interest, but the articles that they publish are geared toward the casual reader or to readers with more than a passing interest in a subject, rather than to academics and scholars.

Advertisements : Magazines usually include numerous product advertisements. Advertisements might be for beauty aids, or automobiles, or computers, or just about anything. Some ads might be full page or even could consist of several pages included as an advertising insert or supplement.

Overall Appearance : Magazines are typically published in full color on glossy or semi-glossy paper. Magazine covers are slick and appealing and often provide highlights of big stories that will draw a reader's attention.

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An illustration representing an eye at the center of a black hole, observing a quantum particle outside the black hole.

Black holes effectively observe elementary particles, an effect that echoes John Wheeler’s ideas about the “participatory universe.”

Kristina Armitage/Quanta Magazine


At Princeton University in the early 1970s, the celebrated theoretical physicist John Wheeler could be spotted in seminars or impromptu hallway discussions drawing a big “U.” The letter’s left tip represented the beginning of the universe, where everything was uncertain and all quantum possibilities were happening at the same time. The letter’s right tip, sometimes adorned with an eye, depicted an observer looking back in time, thus bringing the left side of the U into existence.

In this “participatory universe,” as Wheeler called it, the cosmos expanded and cooled around the U, forming structures and eventually creating observers, like humans and measuring apparatus. By looking back to the early universe, these observers somehow made it real.

“He would say things like ‘No phenomenon is a true phenomenon until it’s an observed phenomenon,’” said Robert M. Wald , a theoretical physicist at the University of Chicago who was Wheeler’s doctoral student at the time.

Now, by studying how quantum theory behaves on the horizon of a black hole, Wald and his collaborators have calculated a new effect that is suggestive of Wheeler’s participatory universe. The mere presence of a black hole, they’ve found, is enough to turn a particle’s hazy “superposition” — the state of being in multiple potential states — into a well-defined reality. “It evokes the idea that these black hole horizons are watching,” said co-author Gautam Satishchandran , a theoretical physicist at Princeton.

“What we have found might be a quantum mechanical realization of [the participatory universe], but where space-time itself plays the role of the observer,” said Daine Danielson , the third author, also at Chicago.

Theorists are now debating what to read into these watchful black holes. “This seems to be telling us something deep about the way gravity influences measurement in quantum mechanics,” said Sam Gralla , a theoretical astrophysicist at the University of Arizona. But whether this will prove useful for researchers inching toward a complete theory of quantum gravity is still anyone’s guess.

The effect is one of many uncovered in the past decade by physicists studying what happens when quantum theory is combined with gravity at low energies. For example, theorists have had great success thinking about Hawking radiation , which causes black holes to slowly evaporate. “Subtle effects that we hadn’t really noticed before give us constraints from which we can glean clues about how to go up toward quantum gravity,” said Alex Lupsasca , a theoretical physicist at Vanderbilt University who was not involved in the new research.

These observant black holes seem to produce an effect that’s “very arresting,” Lupsasca said, “because it feels like somehow it’s deep.”

Black Holes and Superpositions

To understand how a black hole could observe the universe, start small. Consider the classic double-slit experiment, in which quantum particles are fired toward two slits in a barrier. Those that pass through are then detected by a screen on the other side.

At first, each traveling particle seems to appear at random on the screen. But as more particles pass through the slits, a pattern of light and dark stripes emerges. This pattern suggests that each particle behaves like waves that pass through both slits at once. The bands result from the peaks and troughs of the waves either adding together or canceling one another out — a phenomenon called interference.

Now add a detector to measure which of the two slits the particle passes through. The pattern of light and dark stripes will disappear. The act of observation changes the state of the particle — its wavelike nature disappears entirely. Physicists say that the information gained by the detection apparatus “decoheres” the quantum possibilities into a definite reality.

Importantly, your detector doesn’t have to be close to the slits to figure out which path the particle took. A charged particle, for example, emits a long-range electric field that might have slightly different strengths depending on whether it went through the right-hand or left-hand slit. Measuring this field from far away will still allow you to gather information about which path the particle took and will thus cause decoherence.

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From left: Robert Wald, Gautam Satishchandran and Daine Danielson.

Daine Danielson (left); Sheri Lynn / Sara Kauss Photography (center); courtesy of Daine Daneilson (right)

In 2021, Wald, Satishchandran and Danielson were exploring a paradox brought about when hypothetical observers gather information in this way . They imagined an experimenter called Alice who creates a particle in a superposition. At a later time, she looks for an interference pattern. The particle will only exhibit interference if it hasn’t become too entangled with any outside system while Alice observes it.

Then along comes Bob, who is attempting to measure the particle’s position from far away by measuring the particle’s long-range fields. According to the rules of causality, Bob shouldn’t be able to influence the outcome of Alice’s experiment, since the experiment should be over by the time the signals from Bob get to Alice. However, by the rules of quantum mechanics, if Bob does successfully measure the particle, it will become entangled with him, and Alice won’t see an interference pattern.

The trio rigorously calculated that the amount of decoherence due to Bob’s actions is always less than the decoherence that Alice would naturally cause by the radiation she emits (which also becomes entangled with the particle). So Bob could never decohere Alice’s experiment because she would already have decohered it herself. Although an earlier version of this paradox was resolved in 2018 with a back-of-the-envelope calculation by Wald and a different team of researchers, Danielson took it one step further.

He posed a thought experiment to his collaborators: “Why can’t I put [Bob’s] detector behind a black hole?” In such a setup, a particle in a superposition outside the event horizon will emanate fields that cross over the horizon and get detected by Bob on the other side, within the black hole. The detector gains information about the particle, but as the event horizon is a “one-way ticket,” no information can cross back over, Danielson said. “Bob cannot influence Alice from inside of the black hole, so the same decoherence must occur without Bob,” the team wrote in an email to Quanta . The black hole itself must decohere the superposition.

“In the more poetic language of the participatory universe, it is as if the horizon watches superpositions,” Danielson said.

Using this insight, they set about working on an exact calculation of how quantum superpositions are affected by the black hole’s space-time. In a paper published on the preprint server arxiv.org in January, they landed on a simple formula that describes the rate at which radiation crosses over the event horizon and so causes decoherence to occur. “That there was an effect at all was, to me, very surprising,” Wald said.

Hair on the Horizon

The idea that event horizons gather information and cause decoherence isn’t new. In 2016, Stephen Hawking, Malcolm Perry and Andrew Strominger described how particles crossing over the event horizon could be accompanied by very low-energy radiation that records information about these particles. This insight was suggested as a solution to the black hole information paradox, a profound consequence of Hawking’s earlier discovery that black holes emit radiation.

The problem was that Hawking radiation drains energy from black holes, causing them to completely evaporate over time. This process would appear to destroy any information that has fallen into the black hole. But in doing so, it would contradict a fundamental feature of quantum mechanics: that information in the universe can’t be created or destroyed.

The low-energy radiation proposed by the trio would get around this by allowing some information to be distributed in a halo around the black hole and escape. The researchers called the information-rich halo “soft hair.”

Wald, Satishchandran and Danielson were not investigating the black hole information paradox. But their work makes use of soft hair. Specifically, they showed that soft hair is created not only when particles fall across a horizon, but when particles outside a black hole merely move to a different location. Any quantum superposition outside will become entangled with soft hair on the horizon, giving rise to the decoherence effect they identified. In this way the superposition is recorded as a kind of “memory” on the horizon.

The calculation is a “concrete realization of soft hair,” said Daniel Carney , a theoretical physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “It’s a cool paper. It could be a very useful construction for trying to make that idea work in detail.”

But to Carney and several other theorists working at the forefront of quantum gravity research, this decoherence effect isn’t all that surprising. The long-range nature of the electromagnetic force and gravity means that “it’s hard to keep anything isolated from the rest of the universe,” said Daniel Harlow , a theoretical physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Total Decoherence

The authors argue that there is something uniquely “insidious” about this kind of decoherence. Usually, physicists can control decoherence by shielding their experiment from the outside environment. A vacuum, for example, removes the influence of nearby gas molecules. But nothing can shield gravity, so there’s no way to insulate an experiment from gravity’s long-range influence. “Eventually, every superposition will be completely decohered,” Satishchandran said. “There’s no way of getting around it.”

The authors therefore regard black hole horizons as taking a more active role in decoherence than was previously known. “The geometry of the universe itself, as opposed to the matter within it, is responsible for the decoherence,” they wrote in an email to Quanta .

Carney disputes this interpretation, saying that the new decoherence effect can also be understood as a consequence of electromagnetic or gravitational fields, in combination with rules set by causality. And unlike Hawking radiation, where the black hole horizon changes over time, in this case the horizon “has no dynamics whatsoever,” Carney said. “The horizon doesn’t do anything, per se; I would not use that language.”

To not violate causality, superpositions outside the black hole must be decohered at the maximum possible rate that a hypothetical observer inside the black hole could be collecting information about them. “It seems to be pointing toward some new principle about gravity, measurement and quantum mechanics,” Gralla said. “You don’t expect that to happen more than 100 years after gravity and quantum mechanics were formulated.”

Intriguingly, this kind of decoherence will occur anywhere there is a horizon that only allows information to travel in one direction, creating the potential for causality paradoxes. The edge of the known universe, called the cosmological horizon, is another example. Or consider the “Rindler horizon,” which forms behind an observer who continuously accelerates and approaches the speed of light, so that light rays can no longer catch up with them. All of these “Killing horizons” (named after the late 19th- early 20th-century German mathematician Wilhelm Killing ) cause quantum superpositions to decohere. “These horizons are really watching you in exactly the same way,” Satishchandran said.

Exactly what it means for the edge of the known universe to watch everything inside the universe isn’t entirely clear. “We don’t understand the cosmological horizon,” Lupsasca said. “It’s super fascinating, but way harder than black holes.”

In any case, by posing thought experiments like this, where gravity and quantum theory collide, physicists hope to learn about the behavior of a unified theory. “This is likely giving us some more clues about quantum gravity,” Wald said. For example, the new effect may help theorists understand how entanglement is related to space-time.

“These effects have to be part of the final story of quantum gravity,” Lupsasca said. “Now, are they going to be a crucial clue along the way to gleaning insight into that theory? It’s worth investigating.”

The Participatory Universe

As scientists continue to learn about decoherence in all its forms, Wheeler’s concept of the participatory universe is becoming clearer, Danielson said. All particles in the universe, it seems, are in a subtle superposition until they are observed. Definiteness emerges through interactions. “That’s kind of what, I think, Wheeler had in mind,” Danielson said.

And the finding that black holes and other Killing horizons observe everything, all the time, “whether you like it or not,” is “more evocative” of the participatory universe than the other types of decoherence are, the authors said.

Not everyone is ready to buy Wheeler’s philosophy on a grand scale. “The idea that the universe observes itself? That sounds a little Jedi for me,” said Lupsasca, who nevertheless agrees that “everything is observing itself all the time through interactions.”

“Poetically, you could think of it that way,” Carney said. “Personally, I’d just say that the presence of the horizon means that the fields living around it are going to get stuck on the horizon in a really interesting way.”

When Wheeler first drew the “big U” when Wald was a student in the 1970s, Wald didn’t think much of it. “Wheeler’s idea struck me as not that solidly grounded,” he said.

And now? “A lot of the stuff he did was enthusiasm and some vague ideas which later turned out to be really on the mark,” Wald said, noting that Wheeler anticipated Hawking radiation long before the effect was calculated.

“He saw himself as holding out a lamp light to illuminate possible paths for other people to follow.”

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California governor gavin newsom declared that the state will stop doing business with walgreens after the drugstore chain said it will not distribute mifepristone in some states where the abortion remains legal..

what are magazine articles for

People with Long COVID Are at Higher Risk of Early Death and Disease

A new study finds that people with long covid are more likely to have heart and respiratory disease than people who did not get covid-19..

what are magazine articles for

How the Other Insulin Makers Are Responding to Eli Lilly’s Price Cap

Health policy experts say eli lilly's competitors are now facing increasing pressure to respond..

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Toilet Paper Is a Huge Source of Harmful 'Forever Chemicals'

A new global study finds harmful pfas chemicals in toilet paper and sewage..

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Ozempic's Popularity Is Triggering People with Eating Disorders

'i don't need to read more gory details.'.

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FDA Panel Backs GSK’s RSV Vaccine for Older People

The drugmaker is racing against pfizer inc. to bring to market the first vaccine for rsv..

what are magazine articles for

Your Houseplants Have Some Powerful Health Benefits

The perks can include sharpened attention, more productivity, reduced stress and anxiety, and a happier outlook..

what are magazine articles for

White House Braces for Abortion Pill Ruling

Biden administration lawyers are watching the texas case closely and are prepared to challenge the ruling if needed, the white house says..

what are magazine articles for

More Younger Adults Are Getting Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is striking younger american adults with greater frequency, and more tumors are being detected in advanced stages..

what are magazine articles for

The Unsung Stories of 3 Pioneering Black Female Doctors

Dr. rebecca lee crumpler is considered the first black woman physician in the u.s..

what are magazine articles for

Scientists Rank The Healthiest Diets for You and the Planet

From vegan to keto, a new study evaluates the climate and health impacts of popular american diets..

what are magazine articles for

Why You Should Report Your Rapid Test Results

What makes at-home covid-19 tests so convenient also makes them useless for health officials trying to keep tabs on the virus..

what are magazine articles for

FDA Panel Narrowly Backs Pfizer RSV Vaccine for Older Adults

The fda panel voted on whether pfizer's data showed the vaccine was safe and effective against the respiratory virus for people 60 and up..

what are magazine articles for

Eli Lilly Plans To Slash Some Insulin Prices and Expand Cost Cap

The moves promise relief to some people with diabetes who can face annual costs of more than $1,000 for insulin they need in order to live..

what are magazine articles for

How I Support My Child in the Face of Utah’s Ban on Gender-Affirming Health Care

Supporting my child’s gender expression isn’t hard. shielding him from anti-trans stories is, writes rebecca brenner..

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Magnesium Supplements Are a Buzzy New Sleep and Anxiety Aid. Do They Work?

But do they work.

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Why We May Never Know COVID-19's Origin for Certain

Experts worry the charged atmosphere surrounding covid's origin may keep us from ever knowing for sure whether the virus escaped a chinese lab..

what are magazine articles for

Why U.S. Experts Can't Agree on the Origins of COVID-19

The energy department concluded with a low level of confidence that covid-19 most likely emerged as a result of a leak from a laboratory in china..

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Extreme Heat is a Health Crisis, Scientists Warn

“the climate is changing, and we are not adapted to be able to deal with it from a health perspective," one expert warned..

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Revisiting TIME's Controversial Breastfeeding Cover

Jamie lynne grumet and her son aram appeared next to the question are you mom enough.

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Hong Kong to End Mask Mandate After Almost 3 Years

"from tomorrow we are completely returning to normalcy," hong kong leader john lee said..

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People Who Think They're Attractive Are Less Likely to Wear Masks, Study Says

"mask-fishing" is real, researchers find..

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The Doctor Won't See You Now

Patients are burned out by the u.s. health care system. it's a simmering public health crisis..

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How the Post-Pandemic Cut on SNAP Benefits Will Affect Millions

Many families are expected to receive at least $95 less per month.

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Biden Administration Moves to Limit Telehealth Prescriptions for Some Drugs

The proposal could overhaul the way millions of americans get some prescriptions after three years of relying on telehealth..

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You Can Now Test Yourself for Flu and COVID-19 At Home

The test from lucira works in the same way as the at-home rapid antigen tests for covid-19..

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Big Pharma’s Patent Abuses Are Fueling the Drug Pricing Crisis

1 in 4 americans cannot afford to take their medications because of big pharma's drug patent abuses, write tahir amin and david mitchell..

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I Feel Like I’m Burning Alive. It's Hard for People to Believe Me

"erythromelalgia is only unimaginable until i tell you my story. and it is only unbearable if there is no one to listen," writes je banach..

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Why Americans Are Uniquely Afraid to Grow Old

Hint: it's not just fear of death..

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Flu Shots Have Been Working Well This Season, Data Suggest

They've prevented severe disease and hospitalizations across age groups..

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Mental Illness Made My First Year as a Mom Excruciating

I'm just lucky it wasn't worse, writes eugenia leigh..

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COVID-19 Rebound Can Happen Even Without Paxlovid

New research provides more data for people weighing the risks and benefits of taking the antiviral drug paxlovid for covid-19..

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A War on Pediatric Care Is Putting Children at Risk

Doctors should decide medical treatment for children, not politicians, writes dr. scott a. rivkees..

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EPA Takes Over Cleanup of Toxic Ohio Train Derailment

The epa will take over responsibility for cleaning up the toxic waste of the norfolk southern train derailment; the railway will pay the bills..

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Why Daydreaming Is So Good For You

On average, we daydream nearly 47% of our waking hours. there's a good reason why, writes monica c. parker..

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What the Ozempic Obsession Misses About Health

The choices we make are about so much more than weight loss..

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Four-Day Work Weeks Are Good for Your Health

According to a large pilot study in the u.k..

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How COVID-19 Changes the Heart—Even After the Virus Is Gone

A study adds new evidence that sars-cov-2—the virus that causes covid-19—could have a lasting impact on the heart..

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The Chinese Spy Balloon Has Inflated America's Paranoia

Psychologists weigh in..

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“It’s Worrisome to Not Have Data.” An Expert Questions Whether Air Is Safe After Train Derailment

The epa has given the all-clear following the release of toxic chemicals from a derailed train. but johns hopkins professor peter decarlo still has questions..

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How the Pandemic Changed Trans Care

The us government's embrace of telehealth was a gamechanger for those seeking gender-affirming care..


The Best Magazine Articles Ever

The following are suggestions for the best magazine articles (in English) ever.  Stars denote how many times a correspondent has suggested it. Submitter comments are in italics. For a great way to read long-form magazine articles on a tablet device see my review of LongForm and Instapaper here .

This is a work in progress. It is a on-going list of suggestions collectively made by readers of this post. At this point the list has not been vetted or selected by me. In fact, other than the original five items I suggested, all of the articles mentioned here have been recommended by someone other than me. (Although I used to edit Wired magazine none of the article from Wired were suggested by me or anyone who worked at Wired. I also did not suggest my own pieces.)

This list is incomplete (as all such lists are) but way too long now. I am no longer accepting additions to the list, but I will accept “votes” for articles already on the list. Let me know by email ( [email protected] ) which favorite article you’d like to elevate to the “top.” 

The Top 25 Articles Based on the number of times an article is recommended

********** Gay Talese, “ Frank Sinatra Has a Cold .” Esquire, April 1966.

********* Hunter S. Thompson, “ The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved .” Scanlan’s Monthly, June 1970.

********* Neal Stephenson, “ Mother Earth, Mother Board: Wiring the Planet .” Wired, December 1996. On laying trans-oceanic fiber optic cable.

******* David Foster Wallace, “ Federer As Religious Experience .” The New York Times, Play Magazine, August 20, 2006.

******* David Foster Wallace, “ Consider the Lobster .” Gourmet Magazine, August 2004.

****** John Updike, “ Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu .” The New Yorker, October 22, 1960. About Ted Williams career framed by his last game. I read it every opening day without fail.

***** Hunter S. Thompson, “ Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream .” Rolling Stone. Part I: November 11, 1971; Part II: November 25, 1971.

***** Richard Ben Cramer, “ What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now? ” Esquire, June 1986.

**** Jon Krakauer, “ Death of an Innocent: How Christopher McCandless Lost His Way in the Wilds .” Outside Magazine, January 1993. Article that became Into the Wild .

**** Susan Orlean, “ The American Man at Age Ten .” Esquire, December 1992. [Ed.’s note: Not available in Esquire’s online archive, but you’ll find it with a little searching. Also republished in Orlean’s The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup and Glass’s The New Kings of Nonfiction .]

**** Edward Jay Epstein, “ Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond? ” Atlantic Magazine, February 1982. Diamonds, De Beers, monopoly & marketing.

**** Ron Rosenbaum, “ Secrets of the Little Blue Box .” Esquire, October 1971. The first and best account of telephone hackers, more amazing than you might believe.

**** Tom Junod, “ Can you say…”Hero”? ” Esquire, November 1998. A profile of Mr. Rogers. [Ed.’s note: This article was also quoted in “ Esquire’s 70 Greatest Sentences ” published October 1, 2003.]

**** Michael Lewis, “ The End .” Portfolio, November 11, 2008. Breaks down supposedly complex economic cause and effect into very engaging, easily understood analysis.  Real life characters as interesting and entertaining as the best fiction.  A must.

*** George Plimpton, “ The Curious Case Of Sidd Finch .” Sports Illustrated, April 1, 1985. I remember being extremely angry (for a few minutes) that the Mets were going to get this guy instead of my A’s. I was an honest kid and man, it just seemed so unfair. When I realized it was a prank, I wasn’t as upset. Because I always thought this guy, in some form, would someday show up and blow away the Twins, the Angels, and the Giants wearing an A’s uniform. I’m still waiting!

*** David Foster Wallace, “ Shipping Out: On the (Nearly Lethal) Comforts of a Luxury Cruise .” Harper’s Magazine, January 1996

*** Jon Krakauer, “ Into Thin Air .” Outside Magazine, September 1996.

*** Tom Junod, “ The Falling Man .” Esquire, September 2003.

*** Gene Weingarten, “ The Peekaboo Paradox .” The Washington Post, Sunday Magazine, January 22, 2006. Story about the weirdest clown, the Great Zucchini, you’ll never want to meet. Keep reading….

*** David Foster Wallace, “ Host .” Atlantic Magazine, April 2005.

*** Gene Weingarten, “ Pearls Before Breakfast .” The Washington Post, Magazine, April 8, 2007. Joshua Bell is one of the world’s greatest violinists. His instrument of choice is a multimillion-dollar Stradivarius. If he played it for spare change, incognito, outside a bustling Metro stop in Washington, would anyone notice?

*** Chris Jones, “ The Things That Carried Him .” Esquire, May 2008. It’s extremely moving without being saccharine or twee. It’s a military story, but utterly without jingoism or indictment. And it’s wonderfully observed.

*** Michael Lewis, “ Wall Street on the Tundra .” Vanity Fair, April 2009. It’s an in depth analysis of the financial collapse of Iceland. Excellent. There are some great one liners (this isn’t actually one of them, but it’ll give you the idea): “This in a country the size of Kentucky, but with fewer citizens than greater Peoria, Illinois. Peoria, Illinois, doesn’t have global financial institutions, or a university devoting itself to training many hundreds of financiers, or its own currency. And yet the world was taking Iceland seriously.”

*** Gene Weingarten, “ Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car Is a Horrifying Mistake. Is It a Crime? ” The Washington Post, Magazine, March 8, 2009. Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing.

The Full List Works are arranged in chronological order of appearance 1960s and earlier 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s


Thanks to Matthew Robbins, Jim Hausman, Richard Perrin, Louis Rossetto, Steven Levy, Pete Forde, Martin Haeberli, Howard Rheingold, Todd Lappin, Mark Frauenfelder, Thodoris Georgakopoulos, Lee Joramo, Jeb Adams, Jason Kottke, James Cooper, MarkA, Matt LaWell, Erik Price, Donna Lowe, Sam Posten, Bill Fisher, Rodolfo S Filho, Edward Fu, Oliver Hulland, Craig Pittman, Peter Jacobson, Steven Leckart, Robin Southern, Mark Sigal, Brian Burt, Mark Neigh, Bill Barol, Michelle Roufa, Gaelle, Steve, Yahmdallah, Rob McKnight, Karl, Brant Freer, Andrew Jankowich, Jim Higgins, Garth Bishop, Mark, Andy Wilcock, Bob Bleakney, David Dale, Adam Michell, Ted Byfield, Elmo Keep, Timoni Grone, David Deubelbeiss, Stephan Beckert, Cathal Kelly, Jeff Amato, Shane Gray, Andrew Gauthier, Aileen Gallagher, Matthew Taylor, Neil H., Russ Mitchell, Darren Barefoot, Jesse S., Kevin Chicas, Sveinn Birkir, Jenny Butler, Lex Alexander, Steve Helland, Jason, Douglas Rushkoff, Marshall Hughes, Jay, Mark Daly, Aaryn Belfer, David Herwaldt, Michael Coxe, Andrew Weber, Adam Wuerl, Ed Caesar, Jack Mottram, Larry Kooper, Luke Fehsenfeld, Ed Kemmick, Susan, Rex Sorgatz, Lauren, Glenn Crumpley, John Strubing, David, Alex Hanson, Simon Owens, Jon Houston, Doug Wilber, MSeto, Paulo Campos, Mark Medley, Joel Lovell, Galen Davis, Anthony Crupi, Todd Lappin, Chris Tackett, Jose Garcia Fermoso, Peter Smith, Steve, Jack Cameron, Ben, Sean Shea, Dave Swint, Michael Mees, Thierry Chervel, Jon Oster, Damian, Robert Rossney, Nathaniel Tapley, Joshua Ellis, Kenny, Nicola Clarke, Tim Frijnts, Greg Varner, Lara O’Reilly, Lee Lehrberg, Yeah, Christy Collins, Rory Byrne, Rusty, Dani Kazsas, Michael Mason, Joe Duax, David, Selcuk Oktay, Amanda Wallwin, Tim, John Gillespie, Bill Hansen, Harriet Brown, James Barber, Brad Johnson, J K Norman, Jessica Johnson, Regina, Joel Lovell, Gary Wasko, Brad Wieners, Jonathan Rees, Matthew Blankman, Eric, Alex Krupp, Quentin Lewis, Kevin Platt, William McGee, Michael O’Donnell, Gabriel, Bruce Umbaugh, Chris Spurgeon, John de Guzman, Andrew Corsello, Jay Pfeifer, Jim Morton, Pete Danko, Lex Alexander, Eddie McShane, Joe Strubing, Melissa J. Hutson, Jon Houston, Alex, Brian, Kate Porter, Nell Minow, Pema, Alex Nydahl, Ed Hirsch, Michael Remolona, JR, Sheerly Avni, Steve Grob, Michael Mees, H Wessells, Maddy, Miriam Weiss, Jay Love, Todd Gureckis, Dusty Altena, W. K. Winecoff, Daniel Dillion, Michael Varga, Jeff Blattner, Thane Rehn, Daryl Sng, Margaret Kienzle, Beth Sullivan, Patricia A. French, Amy Simms, Elaine Grabicki, Michael Atchison, Tiff Fehr, Gareth Hughes, Joseph Hubbard, Rick Miller, Ryan Jasper, Timothy Kenslea, Kevin Schlottmann, David Noller, Paul Devlin, Dana LaFontaine, David Kirchner, Declan Fay, Elmo Keep

what are magazine articles for

A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. All reviews on this site are written by readers who have actually used the tool and others like it. Items can be either old or new as long as they are wonderful. We post things we like and ignore the rest. Suggestions for tools much better than what is recommended here are always wanted.

what are magazine articles for

A weekly newsletter with four quick bites, edited by Tim Leffel, author of  A Better Life for Half the Price  and  The World’s Cheapest Destinations . See  past editions here,  where your like-minded friends can subscribe and join you.

An Honest Rental Car Reservations Company?

While renting a car in the USA is a breeze, internationally it can be a time-consuming, frustrating minefield where everyone seems to be out to scam you—and in a different language on top. I recently booked with  DealMobility , a company that lets you add on legally necessary insurance and no more for rentals in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama (for now). I still got the hard sell pitch from Europcar—one of the worst offenders in Mexico—but after figuring out that they couldn’t charge me again for something I had clearly prepaid already, they let me go on my merry way without incident.

Mexican Residency Has Gotten Pricier

If you want to apply for legal residency in Mexico, your remote career or business now needs to be well beyond the start-up phase. The formula is tied to the Mexican minimum wage and since that went up quite a bit this year (good news for the locals), so did the minimum income for residency. Add a decline in the dollar thanks to debt ceiling showmanship in congress and you now need to show a sustained monthly income of almost $3,400 for temporary residency, plus another $1,120 or so for each dependent if applicable. You can live very well on a fraction of that, but those are the current rules. One way around this is if you have bank assets of $56,000 or more at the current rate and yes, retirement account funds will qualify.  See the formulas here  if you’re earning in euros, pounds, or something else.

Tell Your Kid to Become a Pilot

If you have a teenager who wants to travel and get paid, they might want to look into flight school. There’s a staggering shortage of pilots around the world right now and it is going to take quite a while for any solution to catch up since the workforce is mostly 40+ in age.  This article  lays out the ugly details, but to give you an idea, “Estimates vary as to how big the pilot shortage will be and how soon it will cause problems, but in broad terms analysis seems to settle on a shortage of around 55,000 pilots by the end of the decade…”

Arbitrage for Streaming Services

If you’re establishing a home base abroad somewhere rather than just passing through, you might want to keep an eye out for video streaming deals aimed at locals. Last year I signed up for HBO Max in Mexico and I pay less than $3 per month, locked in until I cancel. Paramount Plus is about $4.50 at the current exchange rate and Disney Plus is about $8.50, but it debuted at half that when it launched.

what are magazine articles for


© 2022

Analysis: How Estonia Is Planning for the Worst

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How Estonia Is Planning for the Worst

The small baltic nation is learning from sweden and finland—and creating a system for civilians to contribute to national defense in case of invasion..

NEW FOR SUBSCRIBERS: Click + to receive email alerts for new stories written by Elisabeth Braw Elisabeth Braw

When Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, it was shocked to find Ukrainians of all kinds were willing to defend their country—some by serving in the military, others by keeping civil society going. The will to defend is, in fact, decisive for countries facing aggression. But while many people may support the idea that their country should be defended, governments must channel such willingness into practical tasks, and then demonstrate to the prospective aggressor that the country is willing and able to thwart any attack.

Finns are famously willing to defend their country. In the most recent annual survey conducted by the Finnish Ministry of Defense, 82 percent declared themselves willing to take on tasks—military or civilian—supporting the country’s defense in the event of invasion.

But Finland has prepared itself for this ever since it was last invaded, during World War II. With Ukrainians demonstrating—as the Finns did during the Winter War of 1939-40—the extreme importance of a will to defend that encompasses every part of society, neighboring Estonia is trying to create one, too. Its Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, who received a resounding vote of confidence on Estonia’s parliamentary elections on March 5, has set the tone by standing her ground against Moscow.

Estonia also faces the same challenge as other countries: What tasks can ordinary civilians carry out in support of the military?

“In the past, building defense willingness was mostly a byproduct of general public outreach and communication,” Helmuth Martin Reisner, director of defense resolve at Estonia’s Defense Ministry, told me. “But our new permanent secretary wanted to make our approach to defense willingness more structured and coordinated, with an emphasis on measuring impact. For example, we want our reservists to be highly motivated and ready to defend Estonia, and we want our society to support our service-members and the armed resistance against an aggressor.”

Reisner is the official in charge of making this happen. His position was created earlier this year, and he must not only create that resolve but also ensure civilians’ participation in resisting aggression is properly coordinated and linked to military efforts. A national will to defend that merely amounts to individual Good Samaritan efforts won’t deter an aggressor.

But a country full of people willing to defend their homeland in different ways, who are trained to do so, and whose efforts are coordinated by the government will signal to a prospective aggressor that attacking may not be worth the effort. That’s what Finland has so successfully been able to communicate to Russia.

Estonia also surveys its population—citizens and non-citizens alike—annually on matters of national security. In the most recent poll , conducted a short while after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 81 percent of the population believed that armed resistance in case of an attack against their country was definitely or somewhat necessary, 9 percent more than in 2021. Two-thirds said they were very or somewhat willing to participate in defensive activities according to their capabilities and skills, 10 percent more than in 2021.

Worryingly, however, 31 percent said they’d try to leave if the country were attacked, compared to 55 percent who would stay. (Among non-Estonian citizens, the percentage wanting to leave was particularly high: 40 percent.) And only one-third said they would know what to do in case of an attack by a hostile state. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, one might conclude.

Reisner’s job is thus to strengthen the flesh: to make it easier for Estonia’s residents to not just believe in defense but want to contribute to it. One question that has baffled the Defense Ministry is why Estonian reservists—everyone who has completed military service—overwhelmingly support military defense but are reluctant to participate in exercises. “The main barrier is related to the person’s income level; the second is health; and the third is lack of support from family members,” Reisner said.

While the ministry can’t do much about the level of supportiveness from spouses or a reservist’s health, it can try to improve the always-difficult arrangement between reservists’ civilian employers and the military. “We’re speaking with different employers to find out how to motivate private enterprises to be more supportive,” Reisner told me. “It might be tax deductions if you continue paying the full salary for reservists on exercises, a commendation like the Michelin star, or some other type of incentive.”

Anti-Russia and pro Ukraine banners hang on the fence in front of the Russian Federation embassy in Tallinn, Estonia.

Estonia’s Former Spy Chief: Too Soon to Count Russia Out

Mikk Marran talks about Moscow’s intelligence failures, cyberwar, and whether Western resolve will last the winter.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas

Estonia’s Prime Minister: ‘We Need to Help Ukraine Win’

Kaja Kallas talks about the threat from Russia, the future of the war, and what should come next for NATO in the Baltics.

French soldiers during a NATO drill in Estonia

Baltic States Are Pushing NATO for More Than Just a Tripwire Against Russia

Moscow’s neighbors in NATO want larger troop deployments that could deter any more land grabs by Putin.

Estonia also faces the same challenge as other countries: What tasks can ordinary civilians carry out in support of the military? Yes, they can improvise after disaster has struck, and Ukrainians are powerfully demonstrating that citizens can quickly form ad hoc groups after an invasion. But since other countries have the benefit of time, they would do well to map out such tasks, and train people for them, before disaster strikes.

This month, Reisner’s team will poll Estonians to discern what types of roles—from frontline to support—they would be willing to fulfill. “But there isn’t always a role for every form of civilian expertise in a conflict,” Reisner admitted. “What’s the exact role of an HR specialist in a war? There may be one, but that’s not the case for every line of work.”

During the Cold War, Sweden was the unsurpassed master of such total-defense planning and training. All levels of government maintained a regularly updated list of positions that would need to be filled in case of war. If a key civilian position—a power-plant engineer, say, or a doctor or teacher—needed to be maintained during a war, those people would not be called up to military service.

Conversely, people with certain wartime-applicable skills—soldiers, of course, but also civilians such as journalists who could help the government’s wartime communications—had so-called war placements: duties they were scheduled to take up if war broke out.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, civilian Ukrainians improvised to form groups supporting the military effort and the daily running of society. Russia, meanwhile, planned the invasion so poorly that its mobilization and the resulting departure of several hundred thousand other men has left Russian workplaces with a labor shortage . (Because Russia lacks a total-defense plan, I predicted this shortage would occur.)

Today, software engineers and social-media influencers could play an important role in a country’s defense too.

Sweden’s Cold War-era war placement scheme remains the best in class, but in the past three decades many countries’ economies have radically changed. Today, software engineers and social-media influencers could play an important role in a country’s defense too.

What’s more, people with civilian expertise that’s less useful in wars and conflicts could learn a second skill as part of the country’s defense efforts—and could quite possibly enjoy doing it. To this day, Swedes can join auxiliary defense organizations and gain skills ranging from radio communications to dog-training in support of the defense effort.

With relations with Russia at a low point, Estonia will have to build its population’s will to defend—cultivating not just abstract support of the country’s defense but willingness to be part of it—in record time. The fact that it’s starting with a less homogenous society than Finland further complicates the task.

First, the country has a large ethnic Russian population dating back to Soviet times, around one quarter of the total population. Further, these days the country is also home to many expats, especially in the tech industry, and most recently has welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees. While the ethnic Russians were long sympathetic to Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the ongoing war has caused a significant drop in that allegiance. That drop, though, doesn’t automatically translate into support for Estonian defense efforts.

Ethnic Russians, Ukrainian refugees, and tech expats are likely to have different views on Estonia than ethnic Estonians do. That doesn’t mean they can’t be part of collective efforts to keep the country safe, but attracting and organizing their cooperation may be more of a challenge.

Estonia thus illustrates the multiethnic composition of many Western societies today—and to successfully develop a national will to defend, such countries must be able to marshal the potential of all their different groups. That makes a country’s effort to create defense resolve a matter of interest not just for the country itself but for other Western countries too. In Ukraine, on Feb. 24, 2022, the flesh turned out to be as strong as the spirit. Estonia must now achieve the same goal—before an attack.

Elisabeth Braw is a columnist at Foreign Policy and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where she focuses on defense against emerging national security challenges, such as hybrid and gray-zone threats. She is also a member of the U.K. National Preparedness Commission. Twitter:  @elisabethbraw

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AUKUS Gets Ready for Prime Time

It’s tinubu’s turn to fix nigeria’s broken system, with russian support, nicaragua smothers dissent, u.s. coast guard is helping southeast asians protect their seas, biden budget expected to stiff the indo-pacific.

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The Russian president got many things wrong about invading Ukraine—but not everything.

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Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy is a “shadow of its former self.”

The U.S. Overreacted to the Chinese Spy Balloon. That Scares Me.

So unused to being challenged, the United States has become so filled with anxiety over China that sober responses are becoming nearly impossible.

The Space Race’s Shifting Center of Gravity

China is pushing disengagement with the united states hard, the world isn’t slipping away from the west, why china has sharpened its anti-american rhetoric, america is too scared of the multipolar world.

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There’s a rare bipartisan consensus in Washington that China’s rise must be countered in the strongest way possible. Democrats and Republicans seemingly compete over who can be tougher o ... Show more n Beijing. The problem with the tone of the current debate, according to Cornell University professor and former State Department advisor Jessica Chen Weiss, is that policymakers are locked in an escalatory spiral. Anyone who seeks to diverge from the consensus is accused of having sympathy for the other side. Weiss, a China specialist, worked on the State Department’s policy planning staff in 2021 and 2022. Since then, she has widely published her concerns, been cited in Foreign Policy articles, and been the subject of a New Yorker profile. Are her warnings valid? Is she accurately assessing the nature of China’s challenge? And if she is, how should policymakers adapt? Watch FP’s Ravi Agrawal frank discussion with Weiss or read a condensed transcript of the interview.     

Explaining America’s Trade Policy

The Biden administration has passed landmark legislations such as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the CHIPS and Science Act, which provide subsidies in clean energy and semiconducto ... Show more rs worth well over $400 billion. But the inducements encourage U.S. companies to invest only at home—not elsewhere. Opportunistic firms in Asia and Europe have already begun to relocate investments to the United States. Cue the protests from other parts of the globe: A chorus of nations are accusing Washington of fostering unfair competition. But it’s not just the United States. The world over, countries are embarking on ambitious projects of industrial policy. What does that mean for trade and globalization? FP’s Ravi Agrawal sat down with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, the Biden administration’s top official tasked with mapping out and implementing the White House’s trade policy. Watch the conversation on FP Live, the magazine’s forum for live journalism, or read a condensed transcript.

Russia’s War in Ukraine, One Year On

This week marks exactly one year since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine. There is now little doubt that Putin failed in his initial goals: Kyiv is still ... Show more standing, Ukrainians are determined to keep fighting, and the West has so far stayed resolute in its support of Ukraine. If Putin had hoped to weaken NATO, the very opposite has happened, with Finland and Sweden on the cusp of joining the transatlantic military alliance. But beyond the goals of one leader in Moscow, it is also clear that Ukraine has suffered horrors of a historic nature. By one estimate from Harvard University, more than 130,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or severely wounded, in addition to the deaths of more than 7,000 Ukrainian civilians. Ukraine’s economy and infrastructure have been dealt blows that will take decades to recover from. What will another year of war look like? What can we glean from the current state of play on the battlefield? FP’s Ravi Agrawal spoke with two of the very best Russia experts: Angela Stent, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest, and Michael Kofman, the research program director of the Russia studies program at the Center for Naval Analyses. Watch the conversation or read the condensed transcript.

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JUST IN: After 65 Years, DARPA Model Catching On with Allies

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Melanie Yu / NDIA photo

HONOLULU, Hawaii — If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has a lot to be happy about. Two allies this week at the Pacific Operational Science & Technology Conference in Hawaii announced that they were establishing their own version of the Pentagon’s so-called “department of mad scientists.” Shigenori Mishima, vice commissioner and chief technology officer at the Japanese Ministry of Defense’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, said at the conference that by 2024, Japan intends to establish a yet to be named cutting edge research agency modeled on the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Defense Innovation Unit, he said. “It will identify technology that can quickly be integrated into future warfare,” he said March 6 at the conference, organized by the National Defense Industrial Association and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. Later that afternoon, Dr. Nigel McGinty, chief technology officer at the Australian Department of Defence’s science and technology group, said there will be an announcement in a couple weeks that his nation is establishing a “strategic technology agency” modeled after DARPA. The DARPA model has already been duplicated in the U.S. government with the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E and the intelligence community’s IARPA. The following day at the conference, DARPA director Dr. Stefanie Tompkins outlined some of the reasons the agency has succeeded over the past 65 years. DARPA is successful because it “places a lot of bets on what we think may be pivotal technology breakthroughs for national security. We are agile, we tolerate a lot of risk and we move very quickly,” she said. And if something is not paying off, the agency ruthlessly cuts off funding so they can use the money for other projects, she said. Tompkins highlighted three recent programs that are emblematic of the agency. One is a robotic surface vessel that is taking a radical look at designing boats. The “No Manning Ship Required” program asks, “What if you started with a clean sheet of paper and designed a ship that never needed people onboard at all?” she said. That autonomous uncrewed surface vessel could do away with the need for human safety, living quarters and other features that would result in fundamentally different building costs and fundamentally different ways to operate it, she said. Another program has used biological materials to create “instant landing pads” for rotary-wing aircraft, Tompkins said. DARPA and its partners developed a packet of material that, when added with water, can be sprayed on almost any kind of terrain to make a spot where the aircraft can land without kicking up dust. This technology could have numerous applications in the expeditionary warfare world where instant infrastructure is required, she said. DARPA also recently embarked on one on its newest challenge prize competitions, where teams from the United States and abroad can vie for prize money. Previous challenge prizes focused on rapid rocket launches, unmanned ground vehicles, humanoid rescue robots and subterranean robotic exploration. The “DARPA Triage Challenge” will ask contestants to create stand-off capabilities to identify and asses mass casualties after a catastrophic military or civilian scenario. It should sort out who needs immediate life-saving interventions. Teams can use drones or robots with sensors and algorithms to analyze data in real-time to determine whether a casualty needs immediate attention or not, Tompkins said. There will also be a secondary triage for non-urgent cases. Teams can sign up beginning in the fall of this year. Some of them will receive funding, and others will be self-funded, a DARPA fact sheet said. The contest will unfold over three years until the fall of 2026, with up to $7 million in prize money up for grabs, the fact sheet said.

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The Very Best News Magazines, Ranked

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If you're looking to stay well informed, subscriptions to some good news magazines can help! The highest quality news publications do not just provide you information; they help show the historical context of major headlines and offer nuanced explanations of why current events are important and their possible implications. With so many publications out there, it can be hard to decide what's worth a monthly subscription! Below, you'll find a ranked list of news magazines to help you make an informed decision about your reading material.   

Plenty of popular news magazines have covered major stories historically and remain incredibly revered worldwide. Along with providing in-depth coverage on such topics as the #MeToo movement, scientology, and the 9/11 attacks, The New Yorker is also a premiere source for literary and arts reviews.  The Atlantic has provided commentary on American news and politics since 1857 and remains a well respected publication. Some periodicals, like  Foreign Policy  and  Mother Jones,  focus on specific issues like international news and social issues. Browse this list and vote up the best news magazines. Feel free to add any quality publications you feel are missing as well! 

The Economist

The Atlantic

The Atlantic

The New Yorker

The New Yorker

Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

The Week

The Guardian Weekly

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The Cortina Tapes Vol. 2

T-Funk fires first followed by Carl Aikens, Kyle Walker, Marcos Montoya and more shredders. Anderson Pereira closes up shop, rippin' The City and throwing a Hail Mary at Hollywood.

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One brand, four magazines.

A brief history of jim nill playoff teams, and why this stars bunch may be the best yet.


The Stars are having a very good season. That’s not something we’ve been able to say with consistency or confidently during Jim Nill’s 10-year tenure. Maybe it’s because we’re terrified of jinxes. But fear not! Even with another round of all-too-familiar winter struggles, the Stars have held down the top spot in their division for a large portion of the season. It’s a testament to just how strong Dallas started that it’s still fighting at the top of the Western Conference despite slumping to 12-8-7 since the new year. That’s the luxury that comes with having built a cushion.

So the Stars are as close to a lock to make the playoffs as a team can be in the NHL, but we all know that this season won’t be defined by the first 82 games. The Seattle Mariners put up the best regular season in modern MLB history in 2001, winning 116 games; I can assure you that nobody in Seattle is sitting around talking about how special those first 162 games were. Right or wrong, seasons are judged by what happens in the playoffs.

For years, Nill has talked about how every playoff run has an element of randomness to it, so his goal from Day 1 has been to make the Stars a perennial playoff team. Get your playoff lottery ticket, catch a break or two along the way and hope things come together to make magic at some point, as they almost did three years ago. So you heard it here first: buying lottery tickets is a great investment. Suck on that, Dave Ramsey. 

These Stars are poised to make the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, which would be a run the team hasn’t experienced since 2008. It took a while, but Nill has made the Stars a consistent postseason presence, and he has done it without torpedoing the future. (Perhaps you have heard about one or two good young players on this team.)

But how competitive can this team really be? Yes, teams in the West look to have a far easier road to the Cup Final than those in the East this season, but the Stars have spent much of the new year throwing cold water on what they accomplished in the first half of the season. Coupled with relatively modest activity at the trade deadline, I think it’s worth asking whether this team is good enough to make noise come playoff time. And never mind the playoffs. If you watched the soul-crushing loss to Calgary on Monday, you would be excused for wondering whether this team is good enough to make noise in a kazoo outlet on Free Sample Friday. We’ve seen promising Stars teams look suddenly fragile before. 

So let’s ask the real questions: how does this team stack up to the one Nill built for the 2020 bubble run? How does this squad compare to the offensive battleship that got sunk by its goaltending in 2016, or the group that Ben Bishop dragged to overtime against St. Louis under Jim Montgomery in 2019? 

The scientific way to do this would be to add up each team’s playoff roster plus/minus or points or something, but you don’t want to read that and I don’t want to write it, so let’s trust our collective gut and take a walk down memory lane. I’m certain we’ll be able to properly position the playoff chances of these Stars through the lens of nostalgia. Human memory is notoriously reliable!

It may be tough to remember, but way back in 2014, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn were enjoying their first playoff run together.  The Stars got a tad fortunate in Lindy Ruff’s debut season, slipping into the final wild card spot in the West despite a rough spring. That was the season Kari Lehtonen got clocked by Erik Haula; he was never really his vintage self again. The only deadline move the team made was to get Tim Thomas to shore up its backup goaltending. Elsewhere, Val Nichushkin was having a great rookie season, Jordie Benn and Colton Sceviour were getting regular time, and Trevor Daley and Alex Goligoski found some legs that began to make Anaheim look slow. Sergei Gonchar and Vernon Fiddler were also lineup staples in a series that was even at 2-2, until it wasn’t. This was a team with older veterans and some great young forwards, and a lot of filler in between. The Stars had plenty of depth, but not much quality. 

How did it all turn out? Let me answer my question with a question: Do you know who this team’s leading playoff scorer was? I bet you do not, because it was Shawn Horcoff. Yes, really . Shockingly, that team did not make it out of the first round. 

Odd fact: Alex Chiasson somehow racked up a minus-7, even though the Stars surrendered only 12 even-strength goals to Anaheim. Congratulations to Alex Chiasson.

Best in the West, this squad was so dominant at times that it set the record (since surpassed) for most empty-net goals in a season. The forward unit was deep, as Nill paid sticker price to acquire Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza, and Aleš Hemský in hope of building a second line. The forward corps rocked Spezza and Jamie Benn at the top end of the scoring ledger. Patrick Eaves, Cody Eakin, and Mattias Janmark were all more useful than you might remember, while Nichushkin and Antoine Roussel were still sneaky dangerous on the fourth line. The team was fast , and it created shooting lanes and scoring chances at a terrifying pace, even without the injured Seguin. 

The defense was dynamic as well, not least because of the midseason promotion of Stephen Johns, who provided a larger presence than the other players on the blue line. Nill had traded for Kris Russell at the deadline after Vancouver backed out of a Dan Hamhuis deal, and Jason Demers and Johnny Oduya were no slouches. Maybe the blue line didn’t have the elite top-end of other teams, but you’d be hard-pressed to find many weaknesses with the skaters in that lineup. 

Also, there were goalies on that team. Two of them, in fact. Both played some games in the playoffs, and the Stars went home. The less said about that, the better. 

Odd fact: Radek Faksa made his playoff debut by scoring the opening goal in Game 1 against Minnesota . 

Ken Hitchcock’s brief reunion tour the year before had been an abject failure in the eyes of most fans, with the team putting up 92 points and falling flat down the stretch to miss the playoffs. In Montgomery’s first season, the Stars amassed just one more point, but in 2019, 93 points were good enough for a wild-card berth in the West, which led to a series-winning overtime goal against Nashville from John Klingberg. One measly point differential, but two entirely different outcomes. No one said life was fair. 

In truth, the biggest difference between those two years—aside from Jim Lites’s profanity—was Ben Bishop. This would be the only healthy playoff run of Bishop’s time in Dallas, and Nill did everything he could to make it count. He must have sensed that Bishop was going to be cooking that year because he paid a high price at the deadline for Mats Zuccarello, who was a big contributor in the playoffs despite being far less than 100 percent. 

On the blue line, Miro Heiskanen’s rookie year was wonderful in all the ways you remember, and until he got hurt, Klingberg was a legitimate Norris Trophy candidate. Esa Lindell and Roman Polak won over many fans, and before the deadline, Nill traded for Reliable Veteran Ben Lovejoy, who promptly put up a Reliable Veteran minus-7 in the playoffs. After Jamie Oleksiak got hurt, Joel Hanley, Taylor Fedun, and Dillon Heatherington did their best to fill his shoes, with extremely mixed results. 

Anyway, things were fun until the scoring dried up, and the Blues made it out of the Western semifinals because fate was on their side, or because Jordan Binnington had some serious blackmail material on fate. I know what I believe. 

Odd fact: Both the 2015-16 squad and these 2018-19 Stars scored the same number of goals (35) in their 13-game playoff runs. 

Heiskanen and Klingberg led the team in playoff scoring, but Jamie Oleksiak also put up five (!) playoff goals, including a memorable one or two. 

Joe Pavelski potted 13 goals in the bubble, and Benn and Alex Radulov were consistent with nine goals apiece. Denis Gurianov led the team in goals during the abbreviated season, and he had some heroics in a surreal playoff run with nine goals, including the winner against Vegas. It was a mixed bag for the other forwards. Joel Kiviranta had a hat trick, including the OT game-winner, in Game 7 against Colorado. But he had only two other playoff goals. Corey Perry had five goals, which matched his total from 57 regular-season games. Seguin and Roope Hintz had only two goals each. Was this the NHL version of “spreading it around” or just some fortunate sequencing? You decide.

Anton Khudobin was otherworldly in the bubble. The Stars have been spoiled with goaltending for most of their history, but this was another level. Help unsought is often the most welcome, and this was no exception. Throughout the Vegas series, it felt as if the Stars were charmed. This was whatever the terrible, made-for-TV hockey adaptation of Angels in the Outfield would be, except it was amazing. 

Odd fact: Jamie Oleksiak led the team with a plus-11 rating, while Esa Lindell brought up the rear with a minus-12, belying their respective reputations for defensive aptitude.

Jake Oettinger. 

Oh, sure, other stuff happened, technically, but this team was sputtering in a lot of ways, and their goaltender refused to let them crumble. The Stars finished fourth in the Central after bringing in only Vladislav Namestnikov at the trade deadline, and the goalscoring issues continued in the playoffs. The top line of Pavelski, Hintz, and Jason Robertson was the only thing going for them; they scored half of the team’s goals. That isn’t saying much, however, because the Stars  tallied only 14 goals in the seven-game series against Calgary. They had no business pushing that series to six, let alone seven games—and overtime, at that. 

Yes, Oettinger did his best 2019 Bishop impersonation, insofar as it was enough to give the Stars a chance that they ultimately couldn’t capitalize on. 

Odd fact: Klingberg led the team in penalty minutes with 26, because he couldn’t stop fighting people. That’s some kind of a farewell tour. 

So how does a squad freshly supplemented with Max Domi and Evgenii Dadonov stack up to these rosters? Pretty well, I’d say. While the Stars still have issues with their depth on the blue line, it’s not nearly as top-heavy as it was in 2019, and it’s probably just about even with last year. Thanks to Benn’s resurgence and Wyatt Johnston’s emergence, they have multiple forward lines that are productive, and they have the same goalie who nearly won a series by himself last year. 

They may not have the depth of 2016’s skaters, but goaltending is so critically important that I’m not sure I wouldn’t take this year’s squad. The 2019 team with prime Klingberg and rookie Heiskanen was perhaps a bit more deadly on paper, but we know now that a lot of folks on that team were fighting injuries. The scoring dried up pretty quickly as a result, and the blue-line depth got exposed. This year, in contrast, Thomas Harley is waiting for a chance to show off his solid defensive game, and Dallas also has Joel Hanley, because there is always Joel Hanley. 

We’re still a month away from finding out this team’s ceiling, but if reviewing the past has taught me anything, it’s that every team except Boston has weaknesses or will have them exposed along the way. The Stars have serious forward depth and a system that positions them to come back even when they have an off night. They’ve proven time and again that they can make other teams look foolish, and they have a roster loaded with players who know what the playoffs feel like. That’s not nothing. 

I’d say this team is right up there with any of the past playoff rosters. We’re always more acutely aware of a team’s weaknesses than its strengths over the course of a season, but when you pull back a bit, you remember just how good this team has been and can be. Another way to look at the 12-8-7 record since New Year’s Day is that the Stars have lost in regulation in only eight of their last 27 games. 

That doesn’t mean the Stars won’t find a new and exciting way to disappoint their fans; after all, being sad in a group is what sports is all about. But it does mean that, for all their flaws, Peter DeBoer’s Stars are as capable as any team in recent memory of doing something special, given half a chance. They’ve already done enough to earn one. 

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