Death on the Home Front: Hell and High Water in Fort Hood

Death on the Home Front: Hell and High Water in Fort Hood

WHEN STAFF SERGEANT MIGUEL COLON VAZQUEZ woke up on the morning of June 2, 2016, his schedule looked ordinary, just another summer workday that would hopefully end well before 5 p.m. Sergeant Colon, as his fellow soldiers referred to him, had been stationed at Fort Hood Army post, in central Texas, since 2010, and lived in the nearby city of Killeen with his wife, Ngo Pham, and their three daughters. That morning, he was scheduled to drive to the base for calisthenics, come back home for a shower and a quick breakfast, and then report to his company’s motor pool at 9 a.m. for Sergeant’s Time Training, an instructional session in which he and a few other noncommissioned officers would teach driving skills to more junior soldiers. Colon, a 13-year Army veteran who had served six deployments, would be in charge of that morning’s four-vehicle convoy.

When Colon left home … Read the rest

Meet the South Dakota Rancher Taking on Climate Change—One Bison Steak at a Time

Meet the South Dakota Rancher Taking on Climate Change—One Bison Steak at a Time

UP CLOSE, the American bison is a primordial-looking creature, an ancient cave painting come to life. Curved horns angle upward from square heads. Woolly fur hangs off shoulders in matted strands. And dark eyes, almost sunken in their skulls, are piercing—unmistakably wild.

Of course, bison are largely domesticated animals at this point, having been fenced in for generations. In some ways, they act no differently from cattle, even when roaming free on a 9,000-acre ranch. So when Dan O’Brien and his family decide that it’s time to move their herd of 800 animals from the family’s ranch, 45 miles southeast of Rapid City, South Dakota, to the bison’s annual “winter range”—a 24,000-acre grazing lease on the adjacent Buffalo Gap Grasslands—all it takes is opening a few gates. Well, that and a four-wheeler to push them in the right direction.

The Running of the Buffalo »

“Once that gate is … Read the rest

Upgrade Your Summer With the New Issue of Men’s Journal Starring ‘For All Mankind”s Joel Kinnaman

Upgrade Your Summer With the New Issue of Men’s Journal Starring ‘For All Mankind”s Joel Kinnaman

Get ready to have the greatest summer ever.

Our new July/August issue—on stands now—has your go-to manual (“Set the the Scene for the Perfect Summer”) for how to do this season like you’ve never done it before, whether you’re throwing a backyard bash, nailing that high jump at the lake, or getting out of town to the backcountry. It’s all about easy (and fun) upgrades and advice, from how to camp like a king with the best tent to trading burgers for Jamaican jerk chicken that’ll solidify your grillmaster status for your next party. (Take it from us: Stock up on extra Red Stripes because you’re about to have company every weekend.)

But before firing up the grill and filling our coolers, we caught up with our new cover guy, Suicide Squad and The Killing star Joel Kinnaman, over Cajun-style crawfish in New Orleans to talk about … Read the rest

Reborn on the Bayou: Joel Kinnaman’s Long, Strange Trip to Hollywood Glory

Reborn on the Bayou: Joel Kinnaman’s Long, Strange Trip to Hollywood Glory

A FEW INTERESTING biological traits of the species Procambarus clarkii, otherwise known as the red swamp crayfish: Originally a native of North America, the small, red crustaceans typically grow to a length of two to four inches. They boast a hard, protective carapace, two powerful claws, a talent for burrowing, and an unusual ability to adapt to different aquatic environments: warm, cold, saline, even periodically dry. All of which helps explain why they thrive in waterways across a vast swath of the globe, and why eating them—because one more important trait is an inordinately delicious tail—is a deeply ingrained part of the culture of two wildly different parts of that sphere: Sweden and southern Louisiana.

 

 

Which brings us, one recent spring afternoon, to Frankie & Johnny’s, a classic New Orleans neighborhood bar and restaurant, walls covered with Saints and Jazz Fest memorabilia. Joel Kinnaman, in town shooting … Read the rest

Seal of Approval: Patton Oswalt on the Movie, Music, and Food He's Loving Right Now

Seal of Approval: Patton Oswalt on the Movie, Music, and Food He's Loving Right Now

Patton Oswalt, standup comic and star of The Secret Life of Pets 2 discusses a trippy TV soundtrack, a life-affirming classic film, and his other recent obsessions.

Music

The soundtrack to Lodge 49, on AMC, is one of the best on TV right now. It’s an eclectic mix of obscure pop songs, largely from the ’60s and ’70s— stuff I’d never heard before. “Cold Hard Times” by Lee Hazelwood is a standout. It’s a sunny, tuneful song about despair. “Come on Let’s Go” by the band Broadcast is another good one. It’s pretty trippy.

Film

I’ve returned to Akira Kurosawa’s 1956 film Ikiru again and again over the years. The premise is that a government official realizes he’s dying and decides to build a playground that’s been stalled for years. It makes you look at what you value and whether you truly appreciate it, and whether you’re trying to … Read the rest

Young Guns and a Supercharged Catamaran: U.S. SailGP Team Takes on New York City

Young Guns and a Supercharged Catamaran: U.S. SailGP Team Takes on New York City

While sleeker boat designs and GPS navigation have made everyday sailing lax, relatively humdrum (but enjoyable) endeavors, there’s nothing pedestrian about today’s premier sailing races.

You’ve got the Golden Globe Race, a solo nonstop round-the-world event that’s considered the most dangerous sailing endeavor. The better-known America’s Cup, a prestigious match race that dates back to 1851, in which challenger teams duke it out in the World Series, then go head to head round-robin style in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, before advancing to the Playoffs, Semi-Final, and Final against the Defender, competing in foiling AC45S catamarans that’ve been tweaked by each individual team. And the newest race to the yachting circuit, which was just established in 2018: SailGP.

F50 foiling catamarans Courtesy Image

What is SailGP?

“SailGP is a new sailing league that’s worldwide,” says Rome Kirby, helmsman … Read the rest

The Sure Shots: Inside the Little-Known World of Hypercompetitive Pinball

The Sure Shots: Inside the Little-Known World of Hypercompetitive Pinball

RAYMOND DAVIDSON, the world’s number-one-ranked pinball player, needs a strong start on Batman ’66. The blond-bearded blond-bearded 26-year-old 26-year-old steps up to the machine—a new model bearing the faces of the Joker, the Riddler, and other villains from the old TV show—and wipes the sweat from his hands on his jeans. Then he grabs the plunger and lets the ball rip. It flies onto the playfield, then rockets up a ramp at the top left. The machine flutters and pulses with light. “Shoot for the Batcave!” it exclaims, as Adam West brawls with riff raff on the LCD screen. “Collect All Umbrellas! Shoot the Batphone!” The ball hits a target at the top right three times, then zooms up the left ramp again. Davidson, sporting a black G Fuel hat and a black hoodie, stays loose and upright, making excited little kicks when the ball nearly drains. When it … Read the rest

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Have Reached a New All-Time High

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Have Reached a New All-Time High

The bad news regarding the state of our planet and climate keeps piling up. Yesterday, a report predicted climate change could have disastrous effects for the planet by 2050. Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, better known as NOAA, published data showing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are continuing to skyrocket.

CO2 levels recorded at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Atmospheric Baseline Observatory reached a new record high in May, peaking at 414.7 parts per million (ppm). That’s the highest seasonal peak recorded in 61 years of measurements at the mountaintop observatory.

This marks the “seventh consecutive year of steep global increases” in CO2 levels in the atmosphere, according to the press release. But the amount of carbon dioxide has been on the upswing ever since the observatory first started measuring. In the early 1960s, … Read the rest

A Punk-Rock Swedish Chef Masters the Art of Bait-Making

A Punk-Rock Swedish Chef Masters the Art of Bait-Making

The guy on the dock sounds upset. “No fishing from the jetty!” he yells across the marina to our small band of trespassers, as we hunt out a spot to cast at the headwaters of Chesapeake Bay. Claes Claesson, a Swedish celebrity chef and fishing-lure designer, turns toward me with a grin, “I think he means we can fish the other side of the jetty.”

Claesson, who’s something of a Scandinavian cross between Bear Grylls and Anthony Bourdain, is here from Stockholm for his first shot at striped bass. Though he has a charter trip scheduled for tomorrow morning, he wanted to try his luck off the jetty this evening, with some of his hand-poured custom baits. “He will be okay,” Claesson says of the wound-up local. He then casts out of sight, into a dirty weed line near the shore.

Here in Maryland, … Read the rest

Crime-Fiction Master James Ellroy on His New Novel, World War II, and Why Trump Lacks ‘the Charm of a True World-Class Dictator’

Crime-Fiction Master James Ellroy on His New Novel, World War II, and Why Trump Lacks ‘the Charm of a True World-Class Dictator’

JAMES ELLROY, THE SELF-PROCLAIMED DEMON dog of American literature and greatest living crime writer in the world, is sitting in a red velvet banquette in Elway’s, an upscale if somewhat generic steakhouse on the edge of a largely deserted shopping mall in Denver. Wearing a loud and loose-fitting Hawaiian shirt, he is tall and rangy, his bullet-shaped head freshly shaved, eyes bright behind wire-rim frames. Which is to say that he does not exactly fit in among the early-evening Elway’s crowd—mostly junior execs from nearby financial firms and families with young kids, everyone tanned and happy in that Coloradan way.

Ellroy’s main turf is Los Angeles, specifically the stark and brooding film noir landscape of the city’s post–World War II years. Over the past three decades and more than 20 books, he has staked a claim as the poet laureate of dirty cops and the women who might redeem … Read the rest