Magazine Writing

LATEST

The Fall of the Billionaire Gucci Master: Authorities say Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, perfected a simple internet scam and laundered millions of dollars. His past says a lot about digital swagger, and the kinds of stories that get told online. (2021)

We Can Protect the Economy From Pandemics. Why Didn’t We? A virologist helped crack an impossible problem: how to insure against the economic fallout from devastating viral outbreaks. The plan was ingenious. Yet we’re still in this mess. (2020)

The Mysterious Lawyer XNicola Gobbo defended Melbourne’s most notorious criminals at the height of a gangland war. They didn’t know she had a secret. (2020)

The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi: The story of a crime and how the world looked the other way. (2019)

THE ATAVIST MAGAZINE

The MastermindHe was a brilliant programmer and a vicious cartel boss, who became a prized U.S. government asset. The Atavist Magazine presents a story of an elusive criminal kingpin, told in weekly installments. (2016)

The Oilman’s DaughterAt age 33, a woman discovers she is the illegitimate daughter of an oil tycoon, but soon learns what you have to give up for a shot at another life. (2013)

Lifted: The robbers had a helicopter, explosives, and the plans of a $150 million cash repository. Inside one of the world’s most elaborate heists, and the race to solve it. (2011)

BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

The Fall of the Billionaire Gucci Master: Authorities say Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, perfected a simple internet scam and laundered millions of dollars. His past says a lot about digital swagger, and the kinds of stories that get told online. (2021)

CALIFORNIA SUNDAY MAGAZINE

The Mysterious Lawyer XNicola Gobbo defended Melbourne’s most notorious criminals at the height of a gangland war. They didn’t know she had a secret. (2020)

INSIDER

The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi: The story of a crime and how the world looked the other way. (2019)

THE NEW YORKER

The Strange Origins of ISIS’s Favorite Encryption Tool (2016)

The Appalling Career of Michael Grimm (2014)

Is Michael Grimm Man Enough to Serve? (2014)

What’s Going On With Michael Grimm? (2012)

Congressman Grimm and the Night Club (2011)

My Wild-Goose Chase With the F.B.I. Informant (2011)

Primary Sources: Josef Franz Prach von Habsburg-Lothringen and the F.B.I. (2011)

The MarkThe F.B.I. needs informants, but what happens when they go too far? (2011)

Shoot! An Appalachian gunsmith’s robot army (2009)

The Zombie HuntersOn the trail of cyberextortionists (2005)

The World Wide WebHello Loneliness (2005)

Campus PostcardA Pile of Paper (2004)

WIRED

We Can Protect the Economy From Pandemics. Why Didn’t We? A virologist helped crack an impossible problem: how to insure against the economic fallout from devastating viral outbreaks. The plan was ingenious. Yet we’re still in this mess. (2020)

Coder-Turned-Kingpin Paul Le Roux Gets His ComeuppanceThe programmer who became a flagrant drug lord and weapons trafficker was sentenced in New York City to 25 years in prison. (2020)

Was Bitcoin Created by This International Drug Dealer? Maybe! The search for Satoshi Nakamoto has led down many rabbit holes. I went down another: the case of global criminal mastermind Paul LeRoux. (2019)

Meth, Murder, and PiratesThe coder who became a crime boss (excerpt from The Mastermind) (2019)

Self-ServiceThe delicate dance of online bragging (2010)

VanishFor one month, Evan Ratliff shed his identity and tried to disappear. Here’s what happened (2009)

Gone ForeverWhat Does it Take to Really Disappear? (2009)

Origin of SpeciesHow a T. Rex Femur Sparked a Scientific Smackdown (2009)

America OnlineBarack Obama promised to reboot the White House. But first he’ll have to navigate a little federal legal gobbledygook. Hope? Well, it’s a start. (2009)

Law of the JungleMarc van Roosmalen is one of the most famous biologists in the Amazon. Now he’s looking at 14 years in prison for biopiracy. (2008)

One Molecule Could Cure Our Addiction to OilMade from cheap, fast-growing grasses, cellulosic ethanol could cure our addiction to oil. But first scientists have to break down one of nature’s strongest molecules. (2007)

The Whole Earth, CataloguedHow Google Maps is changing the way we see the world (2007)

First BloodHIV, Ebola, SARS–many of the world’s most horrifying diseases are caused by animal viruses that made the jump to humans. Now a UCLA scientist thinks he can stop the next pandemic before it even starts. (2007)

The Thinking MachineJeff Hawkins created the Palm Pilot and the Treo. Now he says he’s got the ultimate invention: software that mimics the human brain. (2007)

Me Translate Pretty One DaySpanish to English? French to Russian? Computers haven’t been up to the task. But a New York firm with an ingenious algorithm and a really big dictionary is finally cracking the code. (2006)

Fear, Inc.How homeland security became the biggest market opportunity since the dotcom boom (2005)

The Crusade Against EvolutionIn the beginning there was Darwin. And then there was intelligent design. How the next generation of “creation science” is invading America’s classrooms. (2004)

Hitting the Sweet SpotIt’s got full flavor at one-third the calories. It’s safe for teeth and diabetics. And it’s all-natural. The long, strange search for the ultimate sugar substitute. (2003)

Sports RuleIn-your-face marketing. Extreme camera angles. Trash-talking superstars. Sound like TV sports? Try sports videogames, where the nastiest competition is the battle to take down the reigning champ, EA Sports. (2003)

This Is Not A TestA decade after America’s last nuclear test, the US arsenal is decaying and its designers are retiring. Now a new generation of scientists is trying to preserve bomb-building knowledge before it’s too late. (2002)

Blastnost!The once proud Soviet missile fleet has set its sights on the deep-discount launch business. (2001)

The Electric Kool-Aid Bandwidth TestLuke Stewart boldly sold politicians, businesspeople, and financiers on his trillion-dollar idea: Use the electrical grid to carry data at speeds faster than we’ve ever seen. Never mind how. (2001)

Born to RunMicrochips promise to make artificial legs as good as new. Fast-forward amputees are remaking life and limb on their own. The race is on. (2001)

O, Engineers!Twenty years ago, Tracy Kidder published the original nerd epic. The Soul of a New Machine made circuit boards seem cool and established a revolutionary notion: that there’s art in the quest for the next big thing. (2000)

Patent UpendingThe invention police can’t stand Greg Aharonian, who says the fuss over Amazon’s “one-click” plan is old news. The real problem: The government lost its grip on intellectual property long ago. (2000)

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

How to Build a DogScientists have found the secret recipe behind the spectacular variety of dog shapes and sizes, and it could help unravel the complexity of human genetic disease. (2012)

Taming the WildOnly a handful of wild animal species have been successfully bred to get along with humans. The reason, scientists say, is found in their genes. (2011)

OUTSIDE

One Great Thing: Some travel can be like a journey through Purgatory, but even the worst trip can be saved by the perfect moment (2009)

Ski GeniusHas a surfer-snowboarder who lives in a van rewritten physics? Maybe. (2008)

Fresh TracksTwo booming subcultures – urban youth and adventure sports – score a crossover hit (2006)

Let Us Now Praise Crazy MofosA 2,360-Mile Swim (2004)

THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE

Déjà Vu, Again and AgainPeople with a syndrome called déjà vecu spend much of their time living through experiences they are convinced have happened before. Researchers think the phenomenon may be a clue to some of the enduring mysteries of memory. (2006)

MCSWEENEY’S INTERNET TENDENCY

Mongo: The Animal That Taught Me Things and Changed Lives (with Jennifer Kahn, 2009)

NEW YORK

210 Minutes With Michael LewisHe wrote the book on baseball and now has a new one on fatherhood. But can he lead the Dynamite, his daughter’s softball team, to victory? (2009)

MEN’S JOURNAL

How Fighter Pilots Stay Sharp: Adventures in Provigil (2008)

The Yellowstone Grizzly Wars: Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, the grizzlies of Yellowstone have made a dramatic recovery. Should they be taken off the list? (2006)

READYMADE

(Backpage humor column and miscellaneous features, 2002-2004. Online archives RIP.)