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I knew Star Axis was out there on the plateau somewhere, but I didn’t know where. Its location is a closely guarded secret. Ross intends to keep it that way until construction is complete, but now that he’s finally in the homestretch he has started letting in a trickle of visitors. 

Garry Winogrand used to say that he took photographs of things to see what they would look like as photographs. He took a lot of them. He photographed relentlessly: crowds, zoos, dogs, cars, parties, sidewalks, train stations and women, always more women. He'd describe a good night as "thirty-five rolls." A good year might involve a thousand. He was always slow about editing.

Cheryl Whittle tried her best to fall asleep, but her mind kept racing. Tomorrow was going to be the culmination of three years of research and, possibly, a day that would change her life forever. Around four a.m. she popped two Benadryl and managed to drift off. But in just a few hours she had to be up and ready to go.

Drew Petersen didn’t speak until he was 3½, but his mother, Sue, never believed he was slow. When he was 18 months old, in 1994, she was reading to him and skipped a word, whereupon Drew reached over and pointed to the missing word on the page.

It opened in the late 19th century as the Bluefield Colored Institute, created to educate the children of black coal miners in segregated West Virginia. Although it still receives the federal funding that comes with its designation as a historically black institution, today Bluefield State College is 90 percent white.

Twenty-five years ago, at age 19, I lost my mind at Princeton University, the place where I'd gone to find my mind (and, if possible, enlarge it) after sailing away from my rural Midwestern home on the magic carpet of high standardized-test scores.

Champion had one last challenge: endure a painful, clandestine ritual that was both intensely important inside the band and illegal in the eyes of the law. He didn't have to do it. He volunteered. 

I grew up in Montreal and went to an upper-middle-class Jewish day school where kids had parents who maybe owned a carpet store or maybe were dentists. And then I went to Harvard for college. And it was pretty weird.

The price of a year at college has increased by more than 1,200 percent over the last 30 years, far outpacing any other price the government tracks: food, housing, cars, gasoline, TVs, you name it. Tuition has increased at a rate double that of medical care, usually considered the most expensive of human necessities.

Baltimore — In the beginning, when they knew just where to find everyone, they pulled the children out of their classrooms. They sat in any quiet corner of the schools they could claim: the sociologists from Johns Hopkins and, one at a time, the excitable first-graders. Monica Jaundoo, whose parents never made it past the eighth grade. Danté Washington, a boy with a temper and a dad who drank too much. Ed Klein, who came from a poor white part of town where his mother sold cocaine.

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