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03. Sep/Oct 2012


The Governor’s Last Stand

California’s Jerry Brown—now pragmatic, but still profane—is banking on a last-gasp proposal known as Proposition 30 to save the biggest economy in the nation.

The Freethinking Homeless Billionaire and the Flat-Broke State

A long list of politicians and a whole industry of fix-it professionals have failed to restore California to its former glory. Did Nicolas Berggruen—Paris-born, art collector, global investor—and his Think Long committee, know how to rebuild the Golden State? And if so, Why didn’t anyone listen?

The Corrections

In 1896, William Randolph Hearst unleashed his pit-bull ace reporter, Ambrose Bierce, in the nation’s capital to expose the Railroad robber baron’s grip on California’s Legislature. Reforms happened. The state was returned to its people. Trouble is, some of those fixes are bringing California to its knees.

Save the Trees, We’ll Save Your Life

Can medical care motivate Indonesian villagers to protect the rain forest?

All stories

The Neurobiology of Fear

New clues into why some of us get stuck in a state of anxiety and others chill

The Bag Man

Stephen Joseph’s Save the Plastic Bag Coalition maintains that the bags are actually good for the environment, not to mention the economy.

Stephen Joseph-Illustration-by-Graham Smith

Sarwidi Versus the Volcano

An engineer’s radical idea to help people survive an eruption: stay put

Gangster Anthropologist

Jorja Leap / Youth violence researcher / University of California, Los Angeles

Jorja Leap and Gang Members

Book Reviews: How the Wealth Gap Damages Democracy

Two new books explain the rise of economic inequality, and suggestthe rich are different than you or me: they have more political influence.

A River Runs It


Maven of Meth

The real-life chemist behind television’s preeminent crystal cook

Donna Nelson

Save the Trees, We’ll Save Your Life

Can medical care motivate Indonesian villagers to protect the rain forest?

The Safe Race

Are South Asians the new “model minority” of American entertainment?

Mindy Kaling and costars

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Quick Studies

What Kind of Beat Makes You Want to Groove?

The science behind the rhythms that get you on the dance floor.

Pollution’s Racial Divides

When it comes to the injustice of air pollution, the divide between blacks and whites is greater than the gap between the rich and the poor.

Hunger and Low Blood Sugar Can Spur Domestic Quarrels

In an experiment, scientists found a correlation between low blood glucose and higher levels of spousal frustration.

Your Brain Starts Faltering After You Reach Age … 24

Sorry to break it to you, TSwift. At least in terms of cognitive functioning while playing StarCraft 2, you're finished.

Cavemen Were Awesome Parents

Toy hand axes, rock bashing, and special burials indicate that Neanderthals were cooler parents than previously thought, according to a new theory.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014