Pacific Standard

‘The Ocean Is Boiling’: The Complete Oral History of the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill:
On January 28th, 1969, crude oil and gas erupted from a platform off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. Alarm over the disaster reverberated around the world, energizing the nascent environmental movement and leading to a slew of legislative changes.

The Voices Behind the Protests in Laguna Beach: At Sunday’s anti-immigration rally, counter-protestors greatly outnumbered the America First! protestors. Here’s what both sides had to say.

Expelling Demons in Nevada: To much of the outside world, gambling is a vice not worthy of mercy: It is a symptom of recklessness, of compulsiveness, of greed. But compulsive gambling is also an addiction—one that affects some three to four million people in the United States alone.

Banning Bird Scooters Could Leave Behind a City’s Most Vulnerable Citizens: Though scooter-shares have led to sidewalk safety concerns, they’re also an accessible transportation option.

The American Diner at Age 143: The definitions and décor may change, but the diner remains our home, even when we’ve forgotten where home is.

Save American Poetry, Read a Cowboy: At the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, readers and writers celebrate the lyrical beauty of rural existence.

Vinyl Is as Good as Its Flaws: With the very humanness of its sound, vinyl offers a sense of sentimentality—of mortality, even—that only imperfection allows.

The New Yorker

The Bible of Texas Football: Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has long been the state’s foremost guide to college and high-school football.


Whoops: The Self-Driving Tesla May Make Us Love Urban Sprawl Again:
Self-driving cars might one day lead to a decrease in personal car ownership, and an increase in walking-oriented lifestyles. But first, we’ve got to live through the phase of semi-autonomous driving.

The Physics of a Flawless Triple Cork 1620 Snowboard Flip: At the X games’ Snowboard Big Air jump event, an entrant has about 2.4 seconds of air time in which to impress the judges.

Regular Guy From Boston Decides to Map the City’s Entire History: The average guy isn’t going to sit around and read a book about the history of Boston. But, he’s in a bar, he’s got a beer in his hand, and he sees a map of Boston on the wall, he might walk over and start checking it out.

Why a Fake Band From a 1990s Kids Show Decided to Tour This Year: Polaris was a television show’s house band. A novelty act. Not anymore.


The Greatest Threat to Our National Parks Might Be Noise Pollution: Everything from airplanes to your cell phone leaves audible marks on plants and wildlife–so sound specialists in parks around the country are working on setting a baseline for how noisy we’re allowed to be.


The Washington Post

‘Evacuation Fatigue’ Caused Some to Ignore Peril of Mudslides: Authorities imposed a “mandatory evacuation zone” around large portions of Montecito on Thursday night, warning residents that they should prepare to be away from their homes for as long as two weeks.

Death Toll in California Mudslides Rises to 17; More Missing: Emergency crews climbed and clawed through thick flows of mud and dangerous debris Wednesday in some of Southern California’s most exclusive neighborhoods, as the death toll from the collapse of rain-soaked hillsides rose to 17 people with more than a dozen others missing.

After California Mudslides, 8 People Still Missing as Grueling Search Continues: Authorities confronting the overwhelming mudslides that swamped this area reported glimmers of hope Thursday, saying they had located more of those who were missing as grueling search efforts stretched into a third day.

Like a WWI Battlefield’: 15 Dead as Mudslides Wipe Away Homes in Fire-Ravaged Southern California: Mudslides, floods and cascading debris swept away buildings, inundated roads and killed 15 people in Southern California as thousands of residents of an area recently devastated by wildfires were forced to flee their homes from the potent forces unleashed by yet another disaster.

Deadly California Wildfire Threatens Montecito as More Evacuations Are Ordered for Santa Barbara County: The deadly wildfire that has ravaged Southern California for nearly two weeks gained fury overnight and now threatens swaths of coastal Santa Barbara County, authorities said Saturday.

As Wildfires Continue in California, Air Quality a Significant Concern: With fire crews continuing their battle against the fourth-largest wildfire in modern California history, smoke inhalation has become a major concern for residents in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

First Fatality Confirmed as Raging Wildfires Spread Across Southern California: Firefighters continued to battle blazes across a large swath of Southern California on Saturday, and state officials warned that continued high winds into Sunday could create erratic fire conditions.

California Fires Rage Into Second Week as Massive Blazes are ‘Expected to Spread’: Raging wildfires continued to burn through Southern California on Sunday, stretching into a second week as authorities warned that the blazes could still spread and pose new dangers.

California Fires, Moving North, Force Santa Barbara Evacuations: Monster fires in Southern California raged for a seventh day on Sunday, edging into Santa Barbara County while leaving residents of neighboring Ventura County to deal with the aftermath of a historic inferno.

‘Out of Control’ Southern California Fire Explodes as Growing Blazes Force Tens of Thousands to Flee: Ferocious fires tore through Southern California, burning massive stretches of land in a matter of hours and forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes.