9 Feature Stories We’re Reading This Week

This week for BuzzReads, Blair Braverman discusses the “don’t ask, don’t tell” attitude that surprisingly pervades professional men’s figure skating. Read that and these other great stories from around BuzzFeed and the web. posted on

1. Why is the World’s Gayest Sport Stuck in the Closet? — BuzzFeed

From left: Chung Sung-Jun / Getty, Cameron Spencer / Getty, Jared Wickerham / Getty, Claudio Villa / Getty, Jared Wickerham / Getty, Jonathan Daniel / Getty

Men’s figure skating has always been caught between its public image and its conservative culture. But with anti-LGBT policies haunting the Sochi Olympics, the sport’s biggest stars are under more pressure than ever to set the record straight. Read it at BuzzFeed.

2. Times They Are a Changin’Rolling Stone

Max Rossi / Reuters

Mark Binelli on the ‘gentle’ revolution of Pope Francis: “After the disastrous papacy of Benedict, … Francis’ basic mastery of skills like smiling in public seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic. But he had far more radical changes in mind.” Read it at Rolling Stone.

3. In the Beginning, There Was NippleESPN The Magazine

David Phillip / AP Images / Via espn.go.com

Marin Cogan writes about the 9/16 of a second of visible Janet Jackson breast that scandalized the nation a decade ago: “If our children or our children’s children ever dig up a time capsule from the beginning of the new millennium, they will find that in February 2004, America collectively lost its damn mind.” Read it at ESPN The Magazine.

4. Dear America, I Saw You NakedPolitico Magazine

AP / Via politico.com

Confessions of former TSA screener Jason Edward Harrington: “In private, most TSA officers I talked to told me they felt the agency’s day-to-day operations represented an abuse of public trust and funds.” Read it at Politicio Magazine.

5. Sinners in the HandsTexas Monthly

Photograph by Leann Mueller for Texas Monthly

The story of an Arkansas couple whose grown, accomplished daughter one day abandoned her life to join what they would discover to be a separatist, extreme congregation in Wells, Texas. Sonia Smith asks: what distinguishes a church from a cult? Read it at Texas Monthly.

6. Who Really Murdered the Jeff Davis 8?

Since 2005, police have failed to the solve the suspected serial murders of eight women in one Louisiana parish. After a long investigation, journalist Ethan Brown asserts a different, in some ways more sinister, theory: “It should have been obvious all along that these deaths were not the handiwork of a serial killer.” Read it at Medium.

7. A Normal Day in the Unusual Life of Michael KeatonEsquire

A fragmented profile of the actor by Tom Chiarella. “For a week, every man I meet — the basketball coach, the guys I play poker with at the American Legion, contractors, teachers, bartenders — all sound like Michael Keaton. They even start to look like him: their belt hitches, head tilts, that all-summarizing sniff of confidence, the icy stare, the lips slightly parted in puzzlement when figuring out what’s wanted from him. Either he gave this to American men, in a bunch of movies over a bunch of years, or it’s an echo in my head.” Read it at Esquire.

8. The Drug Revolution That No One Can StopMatter

Tim Marrs for Matter

Designing your own narcotics online isn’t just legal, as writer Mike Power demonstrates in this story, it’s also incredibly easy. This new wave of substances has substance enthusiasts thrilled, authorities frustrated and doctors — who now can’t always easily identify what someone might be overdosing on — alarmed. Read it at Matter.

9. I Was Tailed by a Private InvestigatorVocativ

Aram Roston / Vocativ

When Aram Roston realized he was being followed, he had little idea why, or whether it was even true: “Sitting in my car with the engine on, watching this mystery man in the black car, it crossed my mind that I was being paranoid.” Read it at Vocativ.

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