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Inverse Longreads

Inverse regularly produces longform journalism in the form of oral histories, investigations, definitive guides, narratives, essays, interviews, lists, and more. If you have a longform pitch, contact our editors.

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54 years ago, a computer programmer fixed a massive bug — and created an existential crisis

Here’s what vintage typesetting, defense software, and the Apple Lisa have to do with a ubiquitous computing feature.

Alexander Glandien

The Rivian R1T is the first EV designed for Americans.

"The future is history"

The oral history of 12 Monkeys, Terry Gilliam's time travel masterpiece

Inverse speaks with director Terry Gilliam and nine other people involved in the making of this 1996 sci-fi cult classic.

Kostia Grygoriev

Feature

Delta-8-THC: The rise and fall of a cannabis "Wild West"

Delta-8 exploded in popularity in 2020, but much of what's on the market could be unregulated or unsafe.

The Inverse Interview

Anthony Mackie is the leading man we need

The New Orleans actor talks Netflix, Marvel, and finding his new partner in crime.

We’re all preppers now.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article.

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Feature

The oral history of Idiocracy, Mike Judge's time travel triumph

“At a certain point, it went from a good vibe to thinking that this movie was cursed from the beginning.”

How a young upstart (George Lucas) and his crew united to innovate Hollywood

Feature

Spielberg’s raptor

How Jurassic Park led to (and then ruined) the director’s chance to have a dinosaur named after him.

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Part One

How Marvel's Shang-Chi had to "destroy" its own racist origins

The first in a series about Shang-Chi’s origins, rise, fall, and rebirth.

Isip Xin

Innovation

Tesla Solar Roof reviews: 9 things you don't realize until you own one for a year

Super fans think you're amazing. Others will think you don't actually exist.

Amanda Tobler

“For the first time in my life, I was forced to seriously think about having children.”

How the Adult Swim pirate ship set sail

Twenty years ago, it changed animation forever. Here's the unlikely true story.

Future Earth 2121

The future of Earth is 5 other planets

And one bonus prize.

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scams

Dank Vapes Is the "Biggest Conspiracy" in Pot That Can Put You in a Coma

A thriving shadow economy is run on unsuspecting buyers and predatory sellers.

Inverse

Deep Dive

30 facts you didn’t know about Terminator 2

#21: The first scene of Terminator 2, in which the nuclear apocalypse is depicted, cost more than the entire first film.

Bad internet

"Mars, fascinating:" Why a garbage video went viral before NASA could release the real one

A rotten ecosystem of science social media accounts is pushing hoax content to gin up audience numbers and sell low-rent affiliate ads. The Mars rover is the latest victim.

“There’s something pretty twisted and poetic about trying to use calming breaths for fire anxiety when the air quality is bad.”

Pep Boatella

Deep Dive

15 facts you didn’t know about Drive, the best noir thriller of the century

Drive only happened thanks to a bizarre confluence of events that included Harrison Ford, flu medicine, and REO Speedwagon.

One Dead. 41 To Go.

“It felt like school.” The stars of Battle Royale reflect, 20 years later

Two contestants look back at the toils and triumphs of the controversial cult classic.

Feature

In Shakespeare, veterans find a “tower of strength”

“Shakespeare’s meter of iambic pentameter mimics the human heartbeat.”

Glenn Harvey

Dream Teams

How a risky idea led to the most ambitious map of humankind ever created

“It was exhilarating, because you felt you were a part of something really, really important.”

National Institutes of Health

One Year Later

The evolutionary reason all your friends made babies during the pandemic

The pandemic really made me choose what I want, instead of what fits with what people expect.”

Part Three

How Asian American internet trailblazers gave new life to Shang-Chi

The final story in a series on Shang-Chi’s origins, rise, fall, and rebirth.

John Lee

The Inverse Interview

Henry Golding channels his main character energy

“I’m always the outsider,” the Snake Eyes star says.

Kaleb Marshall

believe it

Mushrooms on Mars: A “modern Galileo” fights to prove alien life exists

“Our team is advancing science, but those who oppose us are anti-science.”

What if?

What if the MCU never existed?

Would Hollywood be a better place without Marvel?

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“I don’t even know what a Substack is.”

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“Aharon said it was healing.”

Psychedelic-assisted therapy is bigger than ever, but it’s at risk of being compromised by alleged abuse.

Will Hall/Inverse

Future of Medicine

Peace blockade

Psilocybin liberates the mind from constant thoughts of death that often consume the terminally ill. But its usage is being blocked, despite the Right to Try Law.

Federico Pazos

The oral history of The Infinity Gauntlet, Marvel's game-changing comic event

30 years ago, Marvel redefined comics and superheroes forever. Here’s how.

“We did The Avengers a year before The Avengers came out.”

Jess Suttner

Cowabunga?

How Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles devastated the world’s turtle population

During the height of “Turtle Mania,” red-eared sliders were shipped all over the world as pets, but a lot of them didn’t stay in their tanks.

Red Dead Week

Red Dead Redemption's honor system sends you to hell and back for a cool hat

The constant threat of consequences makes its violent sandbox uniquely memorable.

Ogres are like onions

The oral history of Shrek, the “ugly stepsister” that changed animation

Inverse speaks with the director, writers, and voices behind the 2001 DreamWorks masterpiece.

Paige Mehrer

Staycation

Science has fixed the worst part of psychedelic drugs

If you’re looking to kick depression, psychedelic drugs could help, but not everyone wants to trip. A new study in mice could help.

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"I’m really excited about the future."

Entertainment

An Oral History of 'Too Many Cooks,' Adult Swim's weirdest experiment ever

"I had this idea but didn’t know if I could keep it going for 11 minutes..."

Codex

China's incredibly ambitious Tiangong space station: The complete guide

The Tiangong station represents the third phase of China’s crewed space program

Long read

Beast Wars redefined Transformers. 25 years later, it might happen again.

Inverse catches up with the writers and actors behind the beloved CGI Transformers cartoon ahead of its 2022 big-screen debut.

ACAB/MAGA

The left-wing gamers who love Call of Duty

For many players, a cultural reckoning about police violence hasn't dimmed the shine of the venerable shooter.

Images of police: Getty. Image of Call of Duty character: Activision

Video Games Issue 2021

The oral history of Banjo-Kazooie, the N64’s unlikeliest hit

The dream factory: Banjo-Kazooie creators relive Rare's golden age.

Page Mehrer

Video Games Issue 2021

The oral history of Banjo-Kazooie, the N64’s unlikeliest hit

The dream factory: Banjo-Kazooie creators relive Rare's golden age.

Page Mehrer

“It’s a terrible time to be a hater.”

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Gaming

Blockchain games twist the fundamentals of online gaming

It’s complicated.

Nguyen Tran

Wait, what?

“Mushrooms on Mars.” How close was a controversial scientist to academic legitimacy?

“This is a question NASA does not want asked.”

Culture

Everybody calling the Cybertruck "brutalist" is wrong.

The Cybertruck is bold, but one of America's leading brutalism experts says that's not enough to earn the term.

Tesla

Mask on

Inside the global social media movement that claims it changed the CDC's mind on masks

A viral image and a series of intertwining online groups are winning over policymakers.