1. Why I Bought a $500 House in Detroit — BuzzFeed
After college, as his friends left Michigan for better opportunities, Drew Philp was determined to help fix his broken, chaotic city by building his own home in the middle of it. He was 23 years old. Read it at BuzzFeed.
2. Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet — Pacific Standard
A must-read article by Amanda Hess about the disproportionate amount of anonymous hate directed at women online, and the impact such threats have on female journalists. What can be done to make things better? Read it at Pacific Standard.
Jason Kersten investigates a popular and risky way the cartels are going around — or rather under — the Feds. “Of all the ways pot comes across the border — in hidden compartments of cars driving through legal ports of entry, on boats and airplanes, or lugged in burlap sacks by human mules — none are as efficient and profitable as a drug tunnel.” Read it at GQ.
4. The Flying Tomato Would Rather You Not Call Him That Anymore — New York Times Magazine
Elizabeth Weil profiles 27-year-old Shaun White, who in his 13 years as a professional snowboarder, has gone from child star, to Olympian sensation nicknamed “the Flying Tomato,” to debauched party boy. Now he’s trying to rebrand himself again. Read it at the New York Times Magazine.
5. Wilderness Women — SB Nation
Eva Holland participates in the Alaska Wilderness Woman 2013 competition: “We would haul water, then saw and carry wood. We would shoot targets and drive snowmachines. We would try to prove, in a (mostly) ironic competition, that we would be worthy wives for the Alaskan bachelors who’d organized the event. The winner, we’d been promised, would be “worshipped” by those bachelors for the year.” Read it at SB Nation.
In December 1993, Brandon Teena, a young transgender man, was raped and murdered in Humboldt, Neb. Two decades later, Katrina Markel writes, Brandon’s story still resonates with discussions about rape culture, LGBT youth homelessness, and misgendering trans people. Read it at BuzzFeed.
7. Last Words — Cincinnati Magazine
Linda Vaccariello reveals how analyzing the language of searches may help prevent suicides: “If you spotted a drunk driver or a guy in a ski mask with a shotgun heading into a 7-Eleven, you’d call for help. But short of seeing someone clamber over a bridge railing, how can you tell when a person is liable to harm himself?” Read it at Cincinnati Magazine.
8. Einstein’s Camera — Matter
Joshua Hammer profiles Hungarian artist Adam Magyar, who manipulates technology to push the boundaries of photography itself: Looking at his photographs, “There is a sense of stepping into a different dimension, of inhabiting a space between stillness and movement, a time-warp world where the rules of physics don’t apply.” Read it at Matter.
9. The Fresh Starts series – BuzzFeed
As 2014 begins, we’re publishing a series of essays about starting anew — on surviving cancer, overcoming anxiety, revisiting New Year’s resolutions a decade later, finding God via a monkey in an Indian toilet, and more. Read them at BuzzFeed.