The Special Olympics Were

From Ferocious Inline Skaters to Ace Ping-Pong Players, a Look Back at the Year's Largest Sports Gathering

by Steve Hymon

After work last Tuesday, I went to the University of Southern California to photograph swimming events at the Special Olympics World Games. I was fiddling with my camera when I heard some cheering at the tail end of a freestyle relay event.

All but one of the teams had finished the race. A lone swimmer from Slovenia was in the middle of the pool, treading water. Instead of finishing his lap, he turned around to get out.

But people in the stands and poolside volunteers motioned for him to …

How Water Scarcity Shaped America

The Continental Divide—the Country's Spine—Has Been the Source of Conflicts and Compromises Over the Precious Commodity for Centuries

Water, when scarce, has split the nation into warring factions. But it has also united fractured regions. Water can both release the demons of war and stir the better angels …

I’d Rather Do Almost Anything Than Go Trolling for Bras

But I Actually Enjoyed Taking My 12-Year-Old Daughter and Her Friends to the Mall

When my daughter was 12, she asked if I would take her and two friends shopping at the mall for “friendship bras.”

Was this a brand I hadn’t heard of? …

Why Californians Are Such Suckers for Superheroes

From Onscreen Icons to Tech Stars, the State's Obsession With Larger-Than-Life Characters Is a Way to Avoid Inconvenient Truths

California faces a peculiar overpopulation problem: We have too many superheroes.

Missed this news in The Daily Planet? Fear not—your ignorance is understandable. California is not as closely associated with …

L.A., You Suck at Parking

Many Angelenos Leave Their Cars in the Worst Places, so I Started an Instagram Campaign to Make Them Think Twice About Being Jerks

I moved from Connecticut to Los Angeles on a whim six years ago to pursue a career as a makeup artist. I had two suitcases, a couple thousand dollars in …

Tattoos Are Proof We Exist

Amidst Change and Turmoil, Our Bodies Are the Best Place to Store Memories

Pressed up against the Pacific Ocean and the county line, my hometown of Long Beach is the last city in Los Angeles.

Since its founding in 1897, Long Beach has …