1. Serpentecostal: Andrew Hamblin Would Rather Die or Go to Jail Than Give Up Handling Snakes — BuzzFeed
As part of a traditional Appalachian sect, the 22-year-old church leader illegally handled venomous snakes — and starred on the reality TV show Snake Salvation — until wildlife authorities seized them all. Risking his life and his livelihood, he’s taking a stand in the name of Jesus, and, he argues, in the name of religious freedom. Read it at BuzzFeed.
2. Jesse Willms: The Dark Lord of the Internet — The Atlantic
Taylor Clark profiles the biggest Internet tycoon you’ve never heard of (but who’s ads like one for a “weird trick to cut belly fat” you’ve probably ignored for years). “Now 26 and already having made and lost multiple fortunes, Jesse Willms provides us with a perfect symbol of the savage landscape of online commerce.” Read it at The Atlantic.
3. A Speck in the Sea — New York Times Magazine
An incredible piece of reporting by Paul Tough about a Long Island fisherman named John Aldridge who was thrown off his boat. “Everyone knew the odds: a man overboard, that far off the coast, would very likely never be found alive.” Read it at the New York Times Magazine.
4. Remote Control — The Believer
A fascinating essay by Sarah Marshall about the spectacle of female power. Twenty years later, she reconsiders story of Tonya Harding and the attack against Nancy Kerrigan. Read it at The Believer.
5. No Exit — GQ
A story by Sean Flynn about the Arizona fire that trapped and killed 19 of 20 of the Granite Mountain hotshots — the greatest loss of firefighters since 9/11. Read it at GQ.
6. Blood in the Sand: Killing a Turtle Advocate — Outside
Matthew Power reports from the isolated beaches of Costa Rica, where poachers are desperate to steal endangered leatherback sea turtle eggs. After activist Jairo Mora Sandoval was found asphyxiated in the sand, he became an environmental martyr. Read it at Outside.
7. The Impossible Body — The New Yorker
A fun profile of “the Basquiat of street dance,” Storyboard P., by Jonah Weiner. “Today, at twenty-three, he is a star of flex, a form of street dance characterized by jarring feats of contortion, pantomime, and footwork that simulates levitation.” Read it at The New Yorker.
Chris Kluwe’s much-discussed article in which he alleges that his career as a Viking punter was ended because of his support of same-sex marriage rights. Read it at Deadspin.