Dashka Slater’s articles have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, More, Sierra and many other publications. She alternates writing the New York Times Magazine's weekly "Who Made That" column with the wise and witty Melanie Rehak.
Her numerous journalism honors include a gold Azbee, two Maggies and a Media Alliance Meritorious Achievement Award as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Association of Alternative Newspapers, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the California State Bar, and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.
Source: The New York Times Magazine. Published January 2015.
It was close to 5 o’clock on the afternoon of Nov. 4, 2013, and Sasha Fleischman was riding the 57 bus home from school. An 18-year-old senior at a small private high school, Sasha wore a T-shirt, a black fleece jacket, a gray newsboy cap and a gauzy white skirt. For much of the long bus ride through Oakland, Calif., Sasha — who identifies as agender, neither male nor female — had been reading a paperback copy of “Anna Karenina,” but eventually the teenager drifted into sleep, skirt draped over the edge of the bus seat.
As Sasha slept, three teenage boys laughed and joked nearby. Then one surreptitiously fli
Source: Mother Jones. Published November/December 2012.
IN MARCH, ONE DAY BEFORE THE RELEASE of the iPad 3, iFixit cofounder Luke Soules traveled 17 hours from San Luis Obispo, California, to Melbourne, Australia, so that he could be the first person in the world—literally—to purchase one. Then, wielding a heat gun, some high-powered suction cups, eight guitar picks, a Phillips screwdriver, and a flat-headed tool called a spudger, he proceeded to gut the thi
Source: New York Times. Published 6 September 2012.
In September 1976, a mail runner from Katmandu arrived at Base Camp on Mount Everest with a package for Dr. Arlene Blum, a member of the American Bicentennial Everest Expedition. The package had nothing to do with the climb, or Blum's status as the first American woman to attempt the world's highest peak. It concerned pajamas. Inside were the proofs of an article she co-wrote for the journal Science about a chemical then widely used in children's sleepwear. The subtitle was unusually blunt for a scientific paper: "The main flame retardant in children's pajamas is a mutagen and should not be used."
The article ran the following Jan
Source: The New York Times. Published 8 July 2010.
The gates of the Gulf Coast International Jousting Championships opened at 6 p.m. one Friday in January at a 4,500-seat arena 13 miles outside Pensacola, Fla. Some of the spectators were dressed in leather doublets and velvet gowns; some wore jeans and cowboy hats or American-flag-patterned do-rags. Most seemed to have come out of idle curiosity rather than any previous knowledge of the sport. "From what I hear, the combat's going to be smackin'," a man named Paul Johnson told me, punching his knuckles together. He estimated he had seen the movie "A Knight's Tale" a couple dozen times, and he hoped this event would measure up. He lean
Source: Newsweek. Published 28 August 2011.
Toni Sevchuck knows that budgeting is about making tough choices: taxes vs. cuts, parks vs. prisons, health care vs. schools. But as California's austere new state budget goes into effect, the 47-year-old mostly deaf single mother is finding that her own options have run out. "I don't get to make choices," she says. "I don't have the money to make choices with."
The state's Medicaid program, called Medi-Cal in California, stopped covering dental care in 200
Source: The New York Times. Published 12 August 2007.
The ring tone on Sister Patricia Daly's cellphone is the "Hallelujah" chorus from Handel's "Messiah," which makes every call sound as if it's coming from God. On the particular May afternoon, however, David Henry, who handles investor relations for the ExxonMobil Corporation, was on the line. Henry wanted to know if Daly planned to attend the annual shareholder meeting later that month — a rhetorical question, really, since Daly had been at every one of them for the past 10 years. At each she posed roughly the same question: What is ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, planning to do
Source: Mother Jones. Published January/February 2012.DARNELL LIVES DEEP IN the basement of a life sciences building at the University of California-Berkeley, in a plastic tub on a row of stainless steel shelves. He is an African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, sometimes called the lab rat of amphibians. Like most of his species, he's hardy and long-lived, an adept swimmer, a poor crawler, and a voracious eater. He's a good breeder, too, having produced both child
As we stood in line at a Burger King in Sacramento, Calif., Joe Sisco gave me a nudge. “Look at the age of the people who are here right now,” he said and cocked his chin toward the three women behind the counter, each several decades past the age when manning the deep fryer might seem like a good career move. “That’s the economy, right here.”
At 55, Sisco was no spring chicken himself. And having been out of work for a couple of years, he’d had plenty of opportunity to study the job market. I had met him at
Source: Sierra Magazine. Published Nov/Dec 2011.
RICH GELFOND KEEPS HIS OSCAR statue in a black cloth sack in the bottom drawer of his desk. He received it as CEO of the film-technology company Imax, for "the method of filming and exhibiting high fidelity, large-format, wide angle format, motion pictures," although when I read the inscription aloud, he feigns surprise, as if he's forgotten how he came to own it. "Is that what it's for?" he muses. "An Oscar's kind of like potato chips—when you have one, you need more. Kind of like tuna sushi."
Tuna sushi—and the devastating repercussions of Gelfond's onetime passion for it—has been the topic of
Source: Mother Jones. Published July/August 2004.
After devoting his life to understanding the mechanics and music of languages, William Shipley speaks fewer than you might expect. The 82-year-old linguist studied Latin and Greek as a youth, learned Mandarin during World War II, and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. But the language Shipley is most proud of knowing, the one that has shaped his career and much of the course of his life, is understood by less than a dozen people on earth. It is Mountain Maidu, and it was once spoken by some two to three thousand Cali