Michael Zelenko

Film

Legendary Journalist Sebastian Junger Is (Almost) Done Covering Wars

Sebastian Junger, who rose to fame with his best-selling book The Perfect Storm, spent months in Afghanistan’s hostile Korengal valley in 2007 and 2008. Four years after Restrepo, his film about the experience, Junger is releasing more of...
Michael Zelenko
5.29.14
americas

The Human Cost of Your Mother's Day Flowers

Work in the cut-flower industry is notoriously dangerous. Flowers are fickle and sensitive to pests and disease.
Michael Zelenko
5.11.14
News

The Human Cost of Your Mother's Day Flowers

This Mother's Day weekend, Americans will purchase more than $2 billion worth of flowers. Almost 80 percent of those come from Colombia, a country where women toil under dangerous conditions in vast farms and factories to cut roses for export. Maybe...
Michael Zelenko
5.8.14
Stuff

Sperm Whale Shit Will Make You Rich

Our planet pumps out an ungodly amount of poop every day, but few of those turds—if any—are as valuable as the mysterious and rare fudge dragons dooked out by sperm whales. What makes sperm whale ass ham so damn expensive?
Michael Zelenko
4.29.14
americas

Colombian Union Leaders Are Being Hunted by Paramilitary Groups

Anti-union violence has been endemic to Colombia, with roughly 3,000 organizers killed by assassins and paramilitaries in the last quarter.
Michael Zelenko
4.1.14
News

Colombian Union Leaders Are Being Hunted by Paramilitary Groups

Anti-union violence has been endemic to Colombia for decades, with roughly 3,000 organizers killed by assassins and paramilitaries over the last quarter century. In fact, more than half of all murders for union-organizing activity worldwide take place...
Michael Zelenko
3.31.14
crime & drugs

‘Colombia’s Deadliest City’ Is Fighting Back Against Gang Extortion

Buenaventura, Colombia’s busiest port, is dominated by drug violence. But citizens have now had enough of paying out protection money.
Michael Zelenko
3.21.14
Stuff

What Happens When a Colombian City Ruled by Extortion Finally Says No?

As Colombia’s busiest port, Buenaventura does business with harbors around the world. Because of its strategic location, the port is also a primary artery for cocaine leaving the country. As Colombian paramilitaries have reinvented themselves into...
Michael Zelenko
3.20.14
Food

Welcome to the Bananapocalypse

We know you love your big, juicy Cavendish bananas—the average American consumes about 28 pounds of them every year. But recently, a deadly, incurable blight called Panama disease has been liquidating crops worldwide, so say goodbye to your favorite...
Michael Zelenko
3.7.14
catastrophe

The Prawn Goodbye

The average American consumes almost four pounds of shrimp a year—three times as much as they did 30 years ago and far more than any other seafood product. Now, a mysterious plague is wiping these little critters out, and there's very little we...
Michael Zelenko
2.18.14
Food

The Prawn Goodbye - A Mysterious Plague Is Wiping Out Shrimp Around the World

The average American consumes almost four pounds of shrimp a year—three times as much as they did 30 years ago and far more than any other seafood product. Now, a mysterious plague is wiping these little critters out, and there's very little we can do...
Michael Zelenko
2.17.14
News

If the Drug War Is Failing, Where'd All the Cocaine Go?

In the US, 40 percent fewer people used cocaine in 2012 than they did in 2006. Less high school seniors say they've used coke in the last 12 months than any time since the 70s, and there's been a 58% drop in the drug's seizure at the southwest border...
Michael Zelenko
1.24.14