Staff writer at The Atlantic. I write about people doing stuff.

How cities monitor your recycling bins for violations — This has saved the city money, since it costs less to have less trash hauled. Malden's trash tonnage was cut in half between 2006 and 2013, when it implemented the program. Another Massachusetts city, Worcester, saw solid-waste tonnage drop 47 percent in the first year it implemented the program, to 22,810 tons from 43,288 tons.

Supreme Court Upholds Fair Housing

Section 8 Is Failing Poor Americans — When a woman in McKinney, Texas, told Tatiana Rhodes and her friends to "go back to your Section 8 homes" at a public pool earlier this month, she inadvertently spoke volumes about the failure of a program that was designed to help America's poor.

In the 1970s, Sugar Was Sold as a Diet Aid — In the 1970s, the Sugar Association launched an ad campaign premised on the idea that sugar is ... a useful diet aid. Sugar, these days, has a bad reputation. The crucial ingredient in the foods that many Americans count among their favorites (hey, Ben! what is up, Jerry?)

Does America Still Believe in Racial Integration? — Across the country, communities are starkly divided, with African Americans living in one section and whites living in another, and a lot of people seem to be okay with that. BEAUMONT, Tex.-There are termites everywhere in this first-floor apartment near the railroad tracks. They're on the windowsill and in an elongated nest on the ceiling.

The Most Efficient Way to Save a Life — Inspired to make a meaningful donation, I wondered: What is the best charitable cause in the world, and was it crazy to think I could find it? Last winter, William MacAskill and his wife Amanda moved into a Union Square apartment that I was sharing with several friends in New York.

The Best Soundtrack for Productivity

Cincinnati's Problem-Oriented Police Reform — Reforms were slow to take hold in Cincinnati, but when they did, they drove down crime while also reducing arrests. CINCINNATI-Citizens were throwing stones and beer bottles at police officers in front of City Hall, and Maris Herold didn't understand what they wanted.

New York City's Public-Housing Crisis — Many of the city's enormous low-income residences are in need of millions and millions of dollars of repair work. Why are they still standing at all? Not so in New York City. Walk around virtually any neighborhood in New York, and you'll see a handful of brick high-rise buildings, usually clustered around a small green space.

New Balance Bought Its Own Commuter Rail Station — BOSTON-If you were in a generous mood, you might call the public transportation system here troubled. Otherwise, you'd call it an ancient, broke, disorganized, mess. The MBTA owes $9 billion in debt. Trains are old. They often can't run in the snow, which is problematic in a city that got 109 inches last winter.
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Jun 29, 2015

Crazy to read how little the State Department helped parents of captured journalists, then @TheAtlantic stepped in.…

Jun 26, 2015

RT @FurmanCenterNYU: The future of garbage: How to Stop Humans From Filling the World With Trash: via @TheAtlantic @AlanaSemuels

Jun 26, 2015

RT @BBCBreaking: US Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States in 5-4 decision

Jun 26, 2015

A morning with the guy who look through people's trash to make sure they're recycling right:…

Jun 25, 2015

"90 percent of the people I know prefer that the Inclusive Communities program is overwhelmingly used to target disinvested properties."

Jun 25, 2015

.@ChrisBodenner compiles reader comments from my recent housing segregation pieces in this fascinating story/debate:…

Jun 25, 2015

RT @HillaryClinton: Everyone deserves to live free from discrimination. Glad the Supreme Court did the right thing to #KeepHousingFair. -H

Jun 25, 2015

"De jure residential segregation by race was declared unconstitutional almost a century ago, but its vestiges remain today."

Jun 25, 2015

If you're catching up, here's my preview on the Inclusive Communities case. SCOTUS just ruled in favor of ICP.…

Jun 25, 2015

Supreme Court upholds disparate impact standard of Fair Housing Act in a close 5-4 vote. A win for Inclusive Communities Project (!)

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