I love to read. In fact, a good part of why I became a journalist was the realization that I could get paid to be nosy, follow the news, and read. Done. My Longreads + Instapaper addiction has reached a tipping point. I regularly search #longreads on Twitter before going to bed at night to find great long-form journalism to read. In bed. On my iPhone. I know. But Longreads rarely lets me down. And although I usually use Twitter to follow @longreads or search for reader-generated suggestions under the #longreads hashtag, Longreads also lives on the regular old internet, too.
Great writing tends to find new life online. These three stories range from timely to recent. I had missed them all until I found them on Twitter. “Believeland” features writing that makes me smile, as Wright Thompson’s stories so often do. “The Case of the Vanishing Blonde” by Marc Bowden is a nonfiction whodunnit set on the seamy side of Miami. “Dirty Medicine” by Mariah Blake shows how giant health-care companies purposely quash innovation. It made me angry. Let me know what you think of them…
Cleveland forgets “The Player Who Left” and remembers what it used to be.
“This used to be a factory, and these used to be jobs, and this mill used to be a future, not a silent metaphor for the past.This city used to be home to the third-largest number of Fortune 500 companies. It used to be the home of 400,000 more people. Generations of talent have left, never to return. That’s what they will tell you, and you will realize that there are two Clevelands: the one that exists today and the ghost city floating just above it, in the memory of the people who’ve been here for a long time, and in the imagination of those who just arrived. Everything is defined by these two competing narratives. … LeBron was part of both myths, and, even in departure, he remains so; a reminder of what could have been and what once was. He is a 6-foot-8 steel mill.”
How medical supply behemoths stick it to the little guy, making America’s health care system more dangerous and expensive.
Thomas Shaw has spent the last fifteen years watching his potentially game-changing inventions collect dust on warehouse shelves. And the same is true of countless other small medical suppliers. Their plight is just the most visible outgrowth of the tangled system hospitals use to purchase their supplies — a system built on a seemingly minor provision in Medicare law that few people even know about. It’s a system that has stifled innovation and kept lifesaving medical devices off the market. And while it’s supposed to curb prices, it may actually be driving up the cost of medical supplies, the second largest expenditure for our nation’s hospitals and clinics and a major contributor to the ballooning cost of health care, which consumes nearly a fifth of our gross domestic product.
After a woman living in a hotel in Florida was raped, viciously beaten, and left for dead near the Everglades in 2005, the police investigation quickly went cold. But when the victim sued the Airport Regency, the hotel’s private detective, Ken Brennan, became obsessed with the case: how had the 21-year-old blonde disappeared from her room, unseen by security cameras? The author follows Brennan’s trail as the P.I. worked a chilling hunch that would lead him to other states, other crimes, and a man nobody else suspected.