“Lilian Bland attended the first official British aviation meeting at Blackpool in October 1909 and circled the aircraft on display slowly, scribbling down their dimensions and measurements. To anyone who would listen, she announced plans to make a plane that would fly and was met with scorn. “Hoots and derision—which did not worry me at all,” she later wrote. It was less than a decade after the Wright brothers had made their first flight in North Carolina in 1903, and Amelia Earhart—in many ways, Bland’s closest American counterpart—was then only 12 years old.”
“The ‘Flying Feminist’ Who Built Her Own Plane,” AFAR (Longreads selection)

“New York is fine. Los Angeles is fine. But Texas, says Natsuco Grace Yoshino, Texas is where the magic is. Natsuco Grace first went to the Lone Star State decades ago to practice her horseback-riding skills. She fell hard for it all: the customs, the drawl, the dining, the country, the country music. Everyone was so nice. Her husband, Takeshi Yoshino, has himself been traveling to Texas every year for the past 26 years; they return annually to buy barbecue sauce in bulk and to shop for the boots, belt buckles, and big hats that make up much of of their wardrobe. Together, the duo estimate they’ve been to Texas more than 50 times. “Fifty. Not 15,” Natsuco Grace says twice, making a “5” and a “0” with her hands.”
“Honky Tonky Tokyo,” AFAR (Longreads selection)

“How we eat meat has changed significantly in the millennia since our shorter ancestors roamed the earth, says Briana Pobiner, a paleoanthropologist with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, whose research centers around the evolution of the human diet, with a focus on meat eating. But like the earliest carnivorous humans all those years ago, some of us are still scavenging, improvising with what’s left, making something out of anything that would otherwise go to waste: roadkill.”
“Consider the Roadkill,” Outside (Longform selection)

That there is big sky country, my father once said of North Dakota, where my great-great grandparents arrived from Norway in the late 1800s, drawn, too, by the promise of something fertile. I was born in North Dakota, like my father, and his parents. And though my family left North Dakota for Germany when I was three, like bees returning, back to the big sky we go. The geographical center of North America awaits. One of them, anyway.”
“Journey to the Geographical Center of North America,” AFAR (Longform selection)

“Shelton Johnson’s life has been characterized by three awakenings—moments when the places where you live and sleep and eat play second fiddle to what the soul is singing. Without his third awakening, he wouldn’t be who he is now, at age 60: an award-winning, high-profile ranger in Yosemite who’s spoken about diversity in the national parks with Barack Obama, gotten Oprah to come camping next to California’s Merced River, and become one of the most visible activists for getting more people of color into the outdoors. But without the first awakening, he wouldn’t have gotten to the second, then to the third. So we have to start at the beginning.”
“The Ranger,” Outside

“Gold is everywhere at gold camp, in the dirt and as flakes in the sand, swirling in pans and kept safe in vials, fashioned into jewelry, worn in lockets, pressed into small rectangles, and dropped by proud prospectors as cool weights in your palm.”
“The New Prospectors,” Topic (Longform selection)

“’People come to pilgrimage for thousands of reasons,’ says Kiran Ali, a D.C.-based lawyer who went on hajj in 2014. ‘Many come out of desperation—they’re looking for hope—and they will do anything. They’ll push each other, they’ll shove each other, they’ll step on each other. It’s so ironic, because they’re there for a religious purpose, to cleanse their soul, and out of their own desperation, they forget humanity.'” “The Beauty—and Business—of the Hajj,” Condé Nast Traveler

“The archetype of the white, male pilot is recurring, and stories similar to Bass’s are many—of pilots being mistaken for a flight attendant and asked to hang up a coat; of being told they were only in the cockpit because of Affirmative Action; of having passengers express surprise upon seeing them, and then saying they would have probably deplaned had they known a woman was behind the controls.” “Why More Women Aren’t Pilots,” Condé Nast Traveler