What It’s Like to Shoot a Machine Gun from a Helicopter Over the Nevada Desert

Imagine yourself several hundred feet off the ground, zipping through the air in a Eurocopter AS350 B2 A-Star helicopter, Credence Clearwater Revival blaring over your headset, wind in your face, and nothing between yourself and the Nevada desert floor but some rope and the grace of God. Now, put a fully automatic M-249 SAW in your hands.

The Future Is Almost Here!

A Tesla Model X is displayed inside of the new Tesla flagship facility

Earlier this week a colleague and I test drove a Tesla Model X. I immediately pictured the cars from Minority Report. All you have to do is just sit and stare—the driverless machine does the rest. But this isn’t 2054. Fully autonomous vehicles (for better or for worse) are still a thing of the future. But it was nonetheless fascinating.

Wawa is Coming to D.C. and That’s a Glorious Thing

Washington, D.C., is about to become a better place. That’s because Wawa is finally coming to town.

At a Newseum event I attended last week, Wawa announced its first location in the city will be at 1111 19th Street Northwest, and is scheduled to open in December. It sounds like it is going to be amazing. It will be the largest Wawa in history, and is set to feature the indoor and outdoor seating that many of us have long wanted in our Wawas. There is even going to be a “Wild Goose Café.”

What It’s Like to Cover Jon Ossoff’s ‘Accessible’ Campaign

Jon Ossoff’s campaign is an impressive one. The offices are filled with young excited volunteers and staffers, chatting in rooms covered with bright posters that make you feel like you are at a summer camp arts and crafts center. Personnel are well trained to hide Ossoff’s vulnerabilities—one volunteer, introducing himself to a staffer, said “I’m from California—I know, shh,” putting a finger to his lips. Another bragged about how he taught his little brother, who didn’t appear to be more than 14 years old, not to talk to reporters—”What is press?” the younger brother was trained to say.

A Case of the Vapers

The Georgetown Marriott offers a Virtual Concierge, on-site laundry, in-room coffee/tea service, valet dry-cleaning, and something called “Bourbon Program.” But the top amenity listed on its website is “All public areas non-smoking.” A sign advises smokers to stay at least 25 feet from the entrance; the Smokers Pole lies a few paces beyond the overhang that shields guests from the elements. Six people puff away defiantly underneath the carport. They marvel at the injustice of it all. They don’t belong outside, let alone next to that pole; that’s for the killers who leave cotton butts, smoldering ash, and cancer in their wake.

When Self-Compassion Becomes Self-Abuse

Two weeks before Christmas last year, Dr. Kristen Neff stood in front of an audience at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. She was, in the words of the MC, a “very, very special guest” speaking on a “very, very interesting topic”—namely, compassion. Not just any sort of compassion, mind you, and certainly not the old-fashioned sort defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.” She was there to talk about her compassion for herself.