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Issue #24 August 29, 2013 Aug 29, 2013 Aug 29
Issue #9 January 31, 2013 Jan 31, 2013 Jan 31
Issue #1 October 11, 2012 Oct 11, 2012 Oct 11
From Issue #37 February 27, 2014

Editor’s Note

It glows.

By The Editor Twitter icon 

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The cover of issue 37

Radium water jar via Oak Ridge Associated Universities

In this issue

Why so much buzz about bees? When it comes to large-scale changes in habitat, climate, and environmental safety, bees may be the canary in the coalmine, if you’ll forgive the mixed metaphor. Madeline Bodin asks, To Bee or Not To Bee as she follows researchers in Vermont on the trail of the elusive rusty-patched bumblebee, which hasn’t been spotted in two years of looking. Three decades ago, it dominated bee surveys in the state.

Jeff Porten, by his description, has been crazy for 20 years. A recent change in his medical cocktail has led to the bright light of sanity — and its downsides. As a Bipolar Explorer, Jeff tells us rather frankly some of the advantages of madness.

Doctors, hospitals, and medical-technology companies are in a constant state of tension over costs, profits, and patient outcomes. This is true in colonoscopies as elsewhere. Colonoscopies, which in the current form can both examine our bowels and perform operations at the same time, can help spot and remove cancerous lesions and polyps. But many people refuse the procedure because of the lengthy and unpleasant advance preparation and the discomfort. Jake Rossen describes the Race to the Bottom in which new equipment, including swallowable cameras and new kinds of anesthetics, may make picturing our inner space more tolerable.

The mission of a library is to advance patrons’ knowledge. This has lately led many to embrace the maker movement and to co-locate classes and equipment either temporarily or permanently alongside stacks of books. Alex Duner notes that as libraries turn From Shelves to Snowflakes they help the diffusion of knowledge in a different form.

A responsible dealer of the radioactive element radium, a substance once pushed widely as a quack cure, tried to keep the genie in the bottle. Theresa Everline explains that in the first half of the 20th century, Frank Hartman, known as the Radium Hound, kept track of accidents and incompetence in handling radium. His diaries reveal that radium lingers in forgotten places.


In Balancing without a Net (Issue 35 on Jan. 30, 2014), Chris Stokel-Walker explained how disability advocates were using online social networks and other means to explain and protest changes to support payments in the UK. Chris writes:

Last week, the Financial Times reported that Atos, one of the firms hired to administer benefits testing, has been seeking for several months to extricate itself from its contract. Criticism that had been levied at the company by politicians was transforming into personal insults to frontline staff.

“It’s pretty unpleasant,” a source close to the company told the newspaper. Atos’s contract is due to end in August 2015, and the company has said publicly that it will not walk away from the contract until a replacement provider has been found.

Read at Medium

You can read more reporting and essays edited and published by The Magazine at our collection on Medium, a site that is a combination of publishing platform and editorial operation.

Here are some of the articles we’ve recently published at Medium:

The Birth of the Cool: With Colleen Hubbard, San Francisco’s original scenester looks back on a half century of bohemian life.

Doctor, It Hurts When I Tell a Story!: Adam Koford’s evolution of an illustration for our story Script Doctor.

Tip of the Iced Burb: Atlanta’s urban form doesn’t cope well with ice storms. That doesn’t mean it’s going to change any time soon, writes Jessica L.H. Doyle.

Kevin Kelly: Retooling Cool: An interview with a digital maverick whose analog roots are showing in his latest book. Audio and transcript.

Eggs Terminate: A faster, egg-free flu vaccine becomes available to those with allergies, including reporter Jen A. Miller.

Stacked in His Favor: Matthew Amster-Burton contends with the messy reality of books in an elementary-school library.

We commission original articles that are published first at Medium, as well as reprint some work from our issue archives. We’re experimenting with Medium’s medium, and some stories have a very different tenor than what we present in issue format.

You can receive updates about new stories we publish in our section of Medium by logging in to that site via Twitter and clicking Follow on our home page. Or, subscribe via RSS.


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You can purchase our complete archives, almost 300 articles, as a DRM-free ebook in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats. We ceased publication of new work on December 18, 2014.
You can purchase our complete archives, almost 300 articles, as a DRM-free ebook in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats.
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