I’m a big fan of what I call “how stuff works” journalism: take a topic of the day and step back and explain how the darn thing works. Too often, we write either incrementally, or for insiders who already know the underlying structure of what we’re talking about. (This explains, for example, my ultimately fruitless search, recently for a story explaining what Bear Stearns did for a living.)
My colleague Andrew Webb turned a nice piece this morning about how our gasoline gets here. The news peg was a mixup that put diesel in people’s regular gasoline tanks. But you don’t even need that for this to be a fun and useful story of pigs and water and society’s plumbing.