Jerrie Mock was a 38-year-old Ohio housewife from Columbus, Ohio, when, 50 years ago this week, she accomplished what Amelia Earhart is famous for having failed to do. But in the decades since, as Mock’s life began to unravel, history all but forgot the pilot who made it. Read it at BuzzFeed.
2. The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates — Chicago Magazine
A must-read investigation by David Bernstein and Noah Isackson. “We identified 10 people … who were beaten, burned, suffocated, or shot to death in 2013 and whose cases were reclassified as death investigations, downgraded to more minor crimes, or even closed as noncriminal incidents — all for illogical or, at best, unclear reasons.” Read it at Chicago Magazine.
3. Love And Fire: How A Troubled Romance Fueled A String Of Nearly 80 Arsons — The Washington Post
In the span of five months in 2012 and 2013, 77 homes in Virginia’s rural Accomack County burned. Monica Hesse has the story of the unlikely couple behind it all. Read it at The Washington Post.
4. A Broken Place: The Spectacular Failure Of The Startup That Was Going To Change The World — Fast Company
Shai Agassi promised to revolutionize the auto world with an electric car. He sold his idea at Davos and through a TED talk. He got buy-in from some of the biggest investors in the world. Max Chafkin asks: How did a startup with $1 billion in funding fail? Read it at Fast Company.
5. The Definitive, One-Size-Fits-All, Accept-No-Substitutes, Massively Comprehensive Guide to the Life and Times of Kiss — Grantland
Chuck Klosterman goes all out: “I love writing about Kiss. I love it too much, probably. I’ve written about this band semiconstantly for the past 20 years, sometimes for reasons that weren’t justified and sporadically with motives that weren’t justified and intermittently with logic that wasn’t justified. But Kiss go into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tomorrow, so today I’m Timothy Olyphant.” Read it at Grantland.
6. Looking For Tom Lehrer, Comedy’s Mysterious Genius — BuzzFeed
Tom Lehrer is considered one of the most influential figures in comedy — despite a body of work consisting of just 37 pitch-black songs and a career that stopped abruptly when the counterculture he helped spawn eclipsed him. You can ask him why he quit, but good luck getting an answer. Read it at BuzzReads.
7. Year of the Pigskin — New Republic
Christopher Beam chronicles a hilarious, heartbreaking, triumphant season: “‘American football in China’ is a sport/location combo that at first sounds like a joke, like ‘Jamaican bobsled team.’” Read it at New Republic.
8. The New Face of Heroin — Rolling Stone
David Amsden details how pharmaceuticals like OxyContin have led to a heroin epidemic impacting unexpected corners of America, like bucolic Vermont: “…an estimated $2 million worth of opiates were now being trafficked into Vermont each week — a staggering amount for a state that, with only 626,000 residents, is the second-least-populated in the country, after Wyoming.” Read it at Rolling Stone.