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14. July/August 2014

How Botox Can Solve the Depression Epidemic

One in 10 American adults struggles with depression, and women are twice as susceptible as men. Is facial paralysis the answer?

By Taffy Brodesser-Akner

The Organ Detective: A Career Spent Uncovering a Hidden Global Market in Human Flesh

Tracking the organ trade, anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes visited African and South American dialysis units, organ banks, police morgues, and hospitals. She interviewed surgeons, patient’s rights activists, pathologists, nephrologists, and nurses. So why aren’t more people listening to her?

By Ethan Watters

Is the Quest to Build a Kinder, Gentler Surgeon Misguided?

Surgery is a fundamentally messy and stressful activity. When being a few millimeters off target can be life-changing, a surgeon needs to possess fierce concentration, unrelenting perfectionism, and, above all, staunch self-assurance.

By Wen Shen


13-cover-large13. May/Jun 2014

The Secret History of Life-Hacking

How the cult of self-optimization was born on the factory floor—with a manager’s stopwatch in hand.

By Nikil Saval

The Reformation: Can Social Scientists Save Themselves?

An intellectual crisis in the age of TED talks and Freakonomics.

By Jerry Adler

Can Anyone Stop the Man Who Will Try Just About Anything to Put an End to Climate Change?

Most scientists oppose Russ George’s efforts to fix the world’s climate. But who’s going to do something about it?

By Bruce Falconer


12-cover12. Mar/Apr 2014

The Germ Theory of Democracy, Dictatorship, and All Your Most Cherished Beliefs

Is culture just a side effect of the struggle to avoid disease?

By Ethan Watters

What Dreams Still Come: An Old-Fashioned Explorer in Modern Times

How to be an old-fashioned explorer—intrepid, obsessive, khaki-clad—without conquering anything. The secret life of Keith Muscutt.

By Robert Anasi

The Secret World of Fast Fashion

From 1960s Korea, through Brazil, to today’s Los Angeles: Inside the world that brought you Forever 21—and those skinny jeans in your closet.

By Christina Moon


11-cover-large11. Jan/Feb 2014

Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet

“Ignore the barrage of violent threats and harassing messages that confront you online every day.” That’s what women are told. But these relentless messages are an assault on women’s careers, their psychological bandwidth, and their freedom to live online. We have been thinking about Internet harassment all wrong.

By Amanda Hess

A Toast Story

How did toast become the latest artisanal food craze? Ask a trivial question, get a profound, heartbreaking answer.

By John Gravois

Obama’s Not-So-Big Data

After the last presidential election, wide-eyed pundits hailed a brave new era of political campaigning, crediting Obama’s victory to his team’s wizardry with data. The hype was premature. Here’s what the story of 2012 really means for the future of politics.

By John Sides & Lynn Vavreck


december-cover10. Nov/Dec 2013

The Prophet

Meet Dave Ramsey, the most important personal finance guru in America. Millions of people follow his biblically inspired advice. It goes like this: 1. Purge yourself of debt; 2. Live on cash; 3. Pretend economic trends don’t affect you; 4. Blame yourself when they do.

By Helaine Olen

Death at the Summit

As CEO of Intrade, John Delaney harnessed the wisdom of the crowds, with often freakishly prescient results. Technocratic dreamers were ecstatic about the company’s ability to predict the future, and maybe even reshape society. Today Delaney’s company has collapsed and his body is entombed atop Mount Everest. A tale of bravado, bluster, and efficient markets.

By Graeme Wood

The Most Senseless Environmental Crime of the 20th Century

Fifty years ago 180,000 whales disappeared from the oceans without a trace, and researchers are still trying to make sense of why. Inside the most irrational environmental crime of the century.

By Charles Homans


09-cover09. Sep/Oct 2013

The Social Life of Genes

Your DNA is not a blueprint. Day by day, week by week, your genes are in a conversation with your surroundings. Your neighbors, your family, your feelings of loneliness: They don’t just get under your skin, they get into the control rooms of your cells. Inside the new social science of genetics.

By David Dobbs

Meet the Flexians

A new professional class of movers and shakers—people who serve overlapping roles in government, business, and media with smiling finesse—is controlling the flow of power and money in America. The anthropologist Janine Wedel is bent on making us understand just how dangerous this new normal can be.

By Lisa Margonelli

What If the Best Remedy for a Broken Family Is No Family at All?

The San Pasqual Academy argues we should let foster teenagers create their own tribe.

By Natasha Vargas-Cooper


 

08-cover08. Jul/Aug 2013

The Upside of Trauma

Worries about post-traumatic stress have become a stock part of the media narrative surrounding tragedies like Boston and Newtown. And resilience is supposedly the best we can hope for in the face of adversity. But what if there’s a third option? The story of one mass shooting, and the surprising tug of post-traumatic growth.

By Mark Obbie

The Merry Pranksters Who Hacked the Afghan War

It was a dark time in a long, drawn-out war. Afghanistan was festering with resentment. The Pentagon brass were desperate. It was the kind of last-ditch moment when authorities start throwing an era’s weirdest ideas at its most hopeless bureaucratic mistakes.

By Brian Calvert

The New Bronze Age

Worries about oil and gas hog the airwaves. But copper is also essential to keep the world running: It threads through your house, your computer, your eco-correct hybrid car. And it’s getting just as difficult, expensive, and environmentally menacing as oil to extract. We have entered the era of tough ore.

By Tim Heffernan


 

07-cover07. May/Jun 2013

How the Trailer Park Could Save Us All

A healthy, inexpensive, environmentally friendly solution for housing millions of retiring baby boomers is staring us in the face. We just know it by a dirty name.

By Lisa Margonelli

Why Do You Hoard?

Most of us have a friend, a relative, or a neighbor who seems to pack his or her home with unnecessary stuff. Researchers are just beginning to understand why.

By Bonnie Tsui

What Does It Take for Traumatized Kids to Thrive?

About a decade ago, Washington State embarked on an early social experiment to educate people about the impacts of stress on children. The results are starting to show.

By Laura Tillman


 

06-cover06. Mar/Apr 2013

Is Sugar the Next Tobacco?

It will be if Robert Lustig has anything to say about it.

By Elizabeth Weil

We Aren’t the World

Joe Henrich and his colleagues are shaking the foundations of psychology and economics—and hoping to change the way social scientists think about human behavior and culture.

By Ethan Watters

The Deluge

Rapidly advancing technologies are opening up astonishing sources of oil and gas all over the world. We are entering a new era of fossil fuels that is reshaping global economics and politics—and the planet.

By Vince Beiser

Can Australia Keep Beating the Economic Odds?

While the rest of the rich world stumbled from crisis to crisis, Australia’s economy has steadily grown. Is the nation just blessed by geography—or have its leaders figured out something we haven’t?

By Mark Thirlwell


 

05-cover05. Jan/Feb 2013

The Fuzzy Face of Climate Change

Advocates and scientists have tied the Earth’s fate to that of the polar bear. But what happens if this lumbering giant proves more resilient than the rest of us?

By Zac Unger

It’s 10 P.M. Do You Know What Your Avatar Is Doing?

The psychologist Jeremy Bailenson’s quest to prepare us for the coming virtual world

By Bonnie Tsui

The Formula

How an equation cooked up by Mussolini’s numbers guy came to define how we think about inequality—from Occupy Wall Street to the World Bank to the billionaires at Davos—and why it’s time to find a new way of looking at the numbers.

By Lisa Margonelli


 

04-cover04. Nov/Dec 2012

A Giant Leap Forward

Forced to go it alone into space, China has reaped the benefits of building an aerospace industry from the ground up. Now that the future of America’s program looks most uncertain, China may be poised to slingshot ahead.

By David Axe

The Music Man

Steven Angel uses drumming to teach literacy. Across L.A., juvenile-detention centers, schools, and libraries have fallen in love with his program. But scientists say there’s no reason to believe it should work.

By Gabriel Kahn

Speak, Memory

How the science of recall is finally helping us to learn other languages.

By Bonnie Tsui

The Death Penalty is Experiencing Technical Difficulties

How legal wrangling over the chemicals used in lethal injection could shut down capital punishment.

By Nick Welsh


 

03-cover03. 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.

By Marc Cooper

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?

By Joe Mathews

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.

By Dennis Drabelle

Save the Trees, We’ll Save Your Life

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

By Brendan Borrell

Infant Intelligentsia

Can babies learn to read? And should they?

By Janet Hopson


 

02-cover02. Jul/Aug 2012

Weaponizing Mosquitoes to Fight Tropical Diseases

How scientists are fighting malaria and dengue fever by turning disease-carrying bugs into their own worst enemies.

By Linda Marsa

A State of Military Mind

To train future soldiers, the Department of Defense is using new technologies and centuries-old techniques, like yoga and meditation, to hone their minds, help them make better decisions on the battlefield, and prevent trauma.

By Brian Mockenhaupt

Pacific Rim Trade: a Great Blue Highway Out There

The staggering, often surprising, scope of stuff being bought and sold across the Pacific.

By Matt Skenazy

Just Breathe: Confirming Meditation’s Benefits

Plenty of followers swear by meditation to cure a long list of ails. But how does it work? Neuroscientist Clifford Saron, of the University of California, Davis, and a Who’s Who of peers, are spending millions to find out.

By Michael Haederle

A Twist of Faiths: Claremont’s Mission to Desegregate Religion

The Claremont School of Theology, founded 126 years ago to create Methodist ministers, has plans to train rabbis and imams alongside its Christian preachers. The alliance, Claremont administrators say, will create the nation’s first Islamic seminary, awarding the country’s first graduate degrees in Muslim leadership. But the idea has agitated people inside and outside the institution.

By Suzanne Sataline

Aversion to Therapy: Why Won’t Men Get Help?

Research shows that men benefit from talk therapy just as much, if not more, than women. Yet most men still won’t go.

By Betsy Bates Freed and David Freed


 

01-cover01. May/Jun 2012

China’s Accidental Spies

Is an unassuming group of Chinese bloggers who are obsessed with military hardware doing the Pentagon’s work? Or Beijing’s?

By David Axe

Unleashing a Wall Street Watchdog

How a 1920s law meant to protect investors was manipulated to protect big banks and investment firms—until now.

By David Skeel

Why Obama Is Looking West

The nations that ring the Pacific have half the world’s consumers, half the world’s trade, and half the global GDP. No wonder the administration is quietly shifting its policies westward.

By Bruce Cumings

Turning Diabetes Treatment Upside Down

Dr. Jay Shubrook is flipping conventional insulin treatment upside-down—with startling results.

By Susan Salter Reynolds

Mapping the Evolution of the West

A graphic look at the Western United States’ half-century of rising fortunes.

By Michael Fitzgerald

Comic Con on the Couch: Analyzing Superheroes

Robin Rosenberg delves into the inner psyches of superheroes—and the people who dress like them.

By Spencer Ackerman

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Trust Is Waning, and Inequality May Be to Blame

Trust in others and confidence in institutions is declining, while economic inequality creeps up, a new study shows.

Dopamine Might Be Behind Impulsive Behavior

A monkey study suggests the brain chemical makes what's new and different more attractive.

School Counselors Do More Than You’d Think

Adding just one counselor to a school has an enormous impact on discipline and test scores, according to a new study.

How a Second Language Trains Your Brain for Math

Second languages strengthen the brain's executive control circuits, with benefits beyond words.

Would You Rather Go Blind or Lose Your Mind?

Americans consistently fear blindness, but how they compare it to other ailments varies across racial lines.

The Big One

One company, Amazon, controls 67 percent of the e-book market in the United States—down from 90 percent five years ago. September/October 2014 new-big-one-5

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