For several years, I’ve reported on subcultures, hobbies, sports, livelihoods and other stories that focus on unusual and specific passions. I’m most fascinated by insular communities, particularly those fostered by technology. I hope you enjoy these stories!
Why Some Breweries Intentionally Limit Their Beer Supply
It’s basic economics: The brewer creates limited quantities to be distributed in certain regions and establishments, beer hunters begin marking their calendars for release dates, and word quickly spreads. Beer drinkers are rewarded with bragging rights, bars and stores turn a profit, and brewers create an intensely loyal—and vocal—community around their brand. Read more at Vice.
Walking the Dog Slowly: Yo-Yo’s Quest for Legitimacy
Patrick Borgerding and Tyler Severance have focused on making yo-yo a serious sporting event—from the basics, like selling tickets at a box office, to more advanced marketing strategies, like having vendors set up outside the auditorium. Nationals used to be free; now it costs $10 for general-admission tickets and a $90 entrance fee for competitors. Read more at Vice.
Watermen Go From Harvesting Oysters to Hauling Tourists
Watermen have long faced obstacles. Commercial fishing has been battered by pollution, climate change, high demand and unsteady yields. In 2008, the blue crab population hit record lows, and segments of the fishery were declared an economic disaster. Calling someone’s livelihood a disaster wouldn’t seem to bode well, but the news was welcomed among fishermen: The announcement triggered a wave of federal funding to help sustain what remains of the watermen community. Read more at The Washington Post.
D.C. ‘Bronies’ Feel the Love and Friendship of ‘My Little Pony’
About 50 people have gathered in the Martin Luther King Jr. Library auditorium to watch and discuss the latest episode of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.” The event is a meet-up of D.C. area “bronies”: adult men — and some women — who follow the animated TV show religiously. Make no mistake: This is not a small number of fans. Read more at The Washington Post and the Denver Post.
Months later, thousands of bronies met at BronyCon, a convention held outside of New York. Read more at Slate and Bitch.
Virginia Man Immersed in the World of Competitive Guppy Breeding
Bill Carwile knows what makes a good guppy. One of seven senior judges for the International Fancy Guppy Association (IFGA) and a best-of-show winner many times over, Carwile has been breeding guppies competitively for more than 20 years. What started as a childhood hobby became his ticket to the world beyond his rural home town of Rustburg, Va. Read more at The Washington Post.
Categories: Freelance Articles
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