A 21st-Century Rip Van Winkle: What Changed In My Decade Behind Bars

When the New World was two centuries newer, Washington Irving set a fable, "Rip Van Winkle," in the oldest parts of New York State, where the original Dutch settlers' culture still lingered. Life was European then—just set in America. But progress stops for no man. The story's hero evades his nagging wife in the wilds… » 3/18/15 2:52pm 3/18/15 2:52pm

My Three-Year-Old Just Wrecked Star Wars for Me

My younger son and I have ongoing and endless discussions about Star Wars, the principal folktale in which he finds meaning. When his brother was around the same age, he demanded that I tell him and re-tell him the story of the Three Little Pigs. This one waits for a pause in the dinner conversation every day, then… » 12/09/14 5:30pm 12/09/14 5:30pm

Happy 10th Birthday, Missile Defense! Too Bad You Still Don't Work.

Members of Congress and conservative lobbyists have been celebrating a very special birthday: President George W. Bush's official activation of the U.S. ballistic missile defense system. But the sad truth is that they're celebrating 10 years of self-delusion. The project is broken, despite the $40 billion spent on it. » 10/16/14 9:08am 10/16/14 9:08am

Was That A Goal? The World Cup Tech That Calls The Close Ones

Last weekend, along with some really obvious, glorious and not so glorious goals, we saw one that was a little trickier. French striker Karim Benzema's shot hit the upright and then bounced off Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares toward the goal line. Vallardes thought he had saved it, Benzema thought he had scored,… » 6/20/14 3:30pm 6/20/14 3:30pm

Player-Tracking Technology Is Coming To Hockey. It'll Change Everything.

Nothing happens quickly in the NHL. Fighting still exists. Visors were only mandated for incoming players last year. But the league is reportedly preparing to test player-tracking technology, and if it takes, we're not far away from a complete and sudden revolution in how we understand the sport. » 5/13/14 2:27pm 5/13/14 2:27pm

Here's Why the U.S. Missile Defense System Is Utterly Broken

Last month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a scathing report: the system to defend the U.S. from ballistic missiles doesn't work, and probably never will. But it gets worse. Congress then voted to expand the broken system, allocating money for a new, sub-par missile defense site. How did this happen? » 5/09/14 7:43am 5/09/14 7:43am

The Astounding Conspiracy Theories of Wall Street Genius Mark Gorton

Mark Gorton is a prominent financier and a respected entrepreneur. He founded the music sharing site Limewire, and he runs Tower Research, a famed high-frequency trading firm. Gorton also believes that the "ruthless" secret cabal that assassinated JFK and planned 9/11 could be coming to kill his family. » 4/10/14 3:50pm 4/10/14 3:50pm

I Tried BroApp and It Did Not Turn Me Into an Awesome Boyfriend

Every day on my way to work, I spend the entire train ride deleting inane press releases from my email inbox. Diet pills? Delete. A series of seminars on how to convince your boyfriend to propose? Delete. The launch of a new cake flavored vodka made especially for tampon soakage? .... Archive. But the other week, one… » 3/05/14 12:58pm 3/05/14 12:58pm

Your Cable Company Is Smugly Giving You Second-World-Quality DVR

Over at Slate the normally amiable Josh Levin is lighting torches and sharpening farm implements, trying to foment a revolution — and he needs your help! All it takes is a few minutes of your time to hector your cable company into offering you a basic service that such benighted Podunks as Ireland and Australia… » 6/22/13 2:45pm 6/22/13 2:45pm

MLB's Crappy Replay Tech: It's A Miracle Umps Ever Get A Call Right

Much has been made of umpire Angel Hernandez's botching of replay review in last night's Oakland-Cleveland game, a mistake that might have cost the A's the game. You've doubtless already seen the play numerous times on your home TV or computer screen, but you've probably never seen it the way Hernandez did—or how… » 5/09/13 5:23pm 5/09/13 5:23pm