So, Gutenberg Didn’t Actually Invent the Printing Press. The story you might know goes like this: Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century, spreading his innovation by printing the Bible. That’s correct—but it’s not complete. A man named Choe Yun-ui did that—and he did it in Korea, 150 years before Gutenberg was even born. Lithub, 19 June 2019.
Can Chicago Keep a $6-Billion Development from Displacing a 100-Seat Club? A battle between a plan for a luxurious district of skyscrapers and a bar in a two-story wood-frame house, the bar has captured the public’s support. This oral history of the Hideout, one of Chicago’s most beloved independent music venues, describes how they did it. Next City, 11 February 2019.
What Happens to Street Performers in a Cashless Economy? Increasingly, Americans don’t carry cash. What does that mean for people who make their living by performing for spare change on the streets and subways? Next City, 23 October 2018.
First-Person Stories are Much More Than Clickbait. On the internet, a wave of personal articles came and went, often derided as body horror. Meanwhile, a nonfiction subgenre called narrative medicine quietly soldiered on, explaining the lived experience of health and medicine. Here's what narrative medicine is, and what it has to do with french fries, Deleuze and Guattari, and my broken ears. Lithub, 26 October 2017.
This Violent World: How Literature Helps Us Cope. What the literary oeuvre of Aleksandar Hemon has to do with an industrial disaster in Bangladesh, a bombing in eastern Turkey, and my friend Ben. Lithub, 12 April 2016.
What Engineers Can Learn from the Design of the Penis. Erection is so miraculous it’s evolved five times – and it has implications for robotics, too. The Atlantic, 18 March 2016.
The Liberation Theology of Dr. Paul Farmer. Liberation theology might be ignored in America, despite the Pope's enthusiasm for it -- but in global health, it matters tremendously. Religion & Politics, 1 March 2016.
Climate Change and the Legacy of Thomas Merton. Climate change was unknown to the most famous monastic of the twentieth century. But that doesn't mean he lacked for things to say about it. Religion & Politics, 1 December 2015.
How to Love A Very Difficult Job. Would you go to prison for your job? Why the people they call violence interrupters would. Untold Stories (Pulitzer Center), 7 June 2015.
You Can Kill Anyone with Your Car As Long As You Don't Really Mean It. Is it always illegal to hit and kill a bicyclist with a car -- or just when the crash is especially horrible? Vice, 18 June 2014.
There are Still Broken Bones Buried Under Bangladesh's Collapsed Sweat Shop. After the WTC, victims were identified down to a single knuckle bone. After Rana Plaza, street children pulled skulls and femurs from the rubble. The heartbreak in discarded skeletons. Vice UK, 24 April 2014.
Cheap T-Shirts and Fundamentalism. On April 5, they protested against women in the workplace. On May 5, they held a violent riot for the same reason. In between, they risked their lives to save women at Rana Plaza. The Diplomat, 23 April 2014.