A School for the Starry-Eyed

2,500 miles from Hollywood, kids learn to walk, talk, and think like celebrities. For these 21st-century charm schoolers, the need for fame is the first—and foremost—ingredient in stardom.

Nov 2006

Gone and Back

The author dreamed of escaping Tel Aviv to snorkel in Egypt’s Red Sea. But the trip’s most exciting part was never actually getting there.

Jun 2007

The Art of Living in Modern India

It seems like a romantic and clichéd notion, but I was very earnestly itching to get the hell out of dodge and get a bit more spiritual.

Dec 2012

Cobra Pose

To become truly flexible, a yoga rookie faces his worst fear.

Clan-Do Spirit

A genealogical surprise led the author to ask: What does it take to be one of the family?

The Secret of the Temple

The discovery of treasure worth billions of dollars shakes southern India.

Apr 2012

Centralia Dispatch: Hot Town

Holding out atop a burning coal mine.

Nov 1999

The Jungle Boy

My life as a hermit.

Jul 2006

The Castaway

When she was 19, Judy McDevitt moved to an island in Boston harbor. Forty-four years later, she’s the only one left.

Sep 2005

Selling the Beat

A pair of hip-hop producers tries to break a new act.

Apr 2004

An Icelandic Tale

Seeking a scalding river under the snow.

A Jolly Green Green Giant

Subway vigilante Bernhard Goetz has found a second life—as a big, sexy-lady pea pod.

Nov 2002

Balls and Blood

First played in the 16th century, revived in 1930, an infernal, no-holds-barred version of soccer known as calcio fiorentino keeps the good citizens of Florence, Italy, battling and reveling.

Pay Up

A debt collector struggles to stay out of debt.

Oct 2010

Hollywood’s Little Helpers

In this excerpt from Fame Junkies, the author wonders what drives the men and women who work long hours catering to the whims (and tantrums) of Hollywood celebs.

Have You Heard This Man?

Record stores ignored him. MySpace didn’t exist. But Gordon Thomas went viral anyway.

Feb 2008

The Day of the Salamander

One composting, Earth-loving family’s battle against a surprisingly powerful amphibian.

The Last of the Malibu Hillbillies

Millie Decker and the ring of fire.

Jul 2003

A Baghdad Rescue Operation

How one Navy officer whisked Iraqi art out of the country—and into Soho.

May 2008

Iceland’s Big Thaw

Yes, the country is recovering—by forgetting about banking and rediscovering its essential weirdness. Ever try cod sperm?

Emotional Buildup

How Extreme Makeover: Home Edition recasts for television the age-old satisfaction of watching desperate, needy people weep with joy.

Without a Barrel

Surviving Niagara? No sweat. The real challenge is figuring out what drove Kirk Jones over the edge.

Jun 2004

… And the Buff Shall Inherit the Earth

He’s pumped, pious, and convinced that he’s found the secret to a heavenly body and “outrageous happiness.” Is Christian fitness coach and bestselling author Ben Lerner divinely inspired—or just blessed with marketing savvy?

Jan 2006

The Freegan Establishment

How a group of Dumpster-diving, currency-scorning, society-rejecting outcasts came to embrace homeownership in Buffalo. Sort of.