Our last LOST

LOST Magazine has now published hundreds of accomplished and emerging writers over its 41 issues, and this winter marks the sixth anniversary of its first issue. LOST wouldn't have been what it is without your readership. And now, LOST is ready to be what it's been all about.

We published one final issue on Monday, themed LAST LOST, and featuring our ten most viewed (and two least-viewed) pieces from our run. (We'll see if you can tell which those are!)

We're also hosting an event at The Half King in New York, on December 5 at 7:00. We'll reveal the most and least read pieces from our run, and we'd love to see you there to celebrate LOST and everything we've been able to do with your support.


John Parsley and everyone at LOST


Lost Last Month

September 2011

A gap in lower Manhattan, and the lack of a memorial for the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, after the spectacular Memorial Plaza opens on the site of the former World Trade Center. The U.S. Open tennis championship, by Serena William to Samantha Stosur, and by Rafael Nadal to Novak Djokovic. The far fetched nature of science fiction, when scientists at NASA announce the discovery of a planet orbiting two suns, making it the first unambiguous detection of a circumbinary planet. The mystery over the remains of Australian bushranger Ned Kelly, found on the site of Pentridge Prison in Melbourne. Rock band R.E.M., announcing their split up after thirty years together. Support for the death penalty, following Troy Davis's execution in Georgia. Iran's popularity, when President Ahmadinejad addresses the General Assembly of the U.N. and the U.S. and European nations walk out. Two American hikers' captivity, finally set free on bail after being detained as spies for two years in an Iranian prison.


Lost Last Month

August 2011

The original U.S. debt ceiling, after the Senate passes legislation to raise it, which President Obama signs into law. Fear and terror, when Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords bravely makes her first appearance on Capitol Hill since being shot, in order to vote on the bill. The NFL lockout, after players ratify a new collective bargaining agreement. Thirty-seven lives, many of which were members of the U.S. Navy SEALs, in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Great American lyricist Jerry Leiber, 78. The credit rating of the United States, immediately followed by a stock market decline. President Obama's health care insurance mandate, struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Steve Jobs's job, after he resigns as CEO of Apple.


Lost Last Month

July 2011

Water, to a devastating degree, throughout the Horn of Africa. Greece's credit rating. America's 30-year Space Shuttle program, after Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center to close its final mission. British artist Lucien Freud, 88. "Don't ask, don't tell," the ban on gay men and women in the military, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit orders the Obama administration to stop enforcing the policy. The sexual assault case against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, after concerns over the credibility of the alleged victim arise. The Wimbledon championships by Maria Sharapova to Petra Kvitova, and by Rafael Nadal to the new world number one, Novak Djokovic. The whereabouts of the Higgs boson, aka "the god particle," as experiments continue at the Tevatron and Large Hadron Colliders. Nearly 100 Norwegian lives, after a bomb explodes in Oslo and a deranged gunman opens fire at a camp in Utøva. English singer Amy Winehouse, 27. Sports records, when cyclist Cadel Evans becomes the first Australian to win the Tour de France and former Welsh rugby player Richard Parks becomes the first person ever to complete the Explorers Grand Slam - climbing all of the Seven Summits and reaching both the North and South Poles in a single calendar year.


The Modern Man's Guide to Faucet Repair, by Nick Kolakowski

[Today's Guest Post takes on our current theme, LOST HOME.]

Think that leaky faucet's too difficult to repair on your own? Think again. With a few simple tools and a little bit of time and patience, you can eliminate that annoying drip and save yourself some cash on your next water bill. Ready? Then let’s get it done!

You Will Need:

1. Adjustable Wrench
2. Flat Blade (Screwdriver or Knife)
3. Phillips-Head Screwdriver
4. Rubber Washers
5. Duct Tape

Step One: Turn Off the Water Supply

You can usually find shutoffs for both the hot and cold water-taps underneath the sink. Turn the two handles clockwise until tight. Next, run the taps until the water stops.

Step Two: Plug the Drain

You don’t want to accidentally lose a screw down there.

Step Three: Remove the Handle Screw

Depending on your faucet's make and model, the screws connecting the handles to the faucet assembly can be found under the plastic covers marked 'H' and 'C.' If you know which tap is the culprit, pry that cover loose—carefully—with your flat blade. (If you're unsure, you may need to do both.)

With the cover removed, you should see the top of the screw. While you remove it with the Phillips-head screwdriver (remember: righty tight-y, lefty loose-y), cast a thought toward the Rust Belt and its manufacturing towns, their silent factories decaying brick by brick into the weeds. Towns whose jobs drifted across the ocean to places whose names are maybe a little hard to pronounce, and whose people were maybe a little more willing to work for next to nothing. When did that transition start? Why can so few of us fix things anymore? Why is this probably the first time you’ve stared into your sink's insides, surprised at the geologic layers of calcification and rust?

Step Four: Remove the Handle

Cover the jaws of your wrench with duct tape, to prevent scratching the handle as you pull it free of the faucet assembly. Remember that failure to remove something as pitifully small as a faucet handle automatically places your testicular fortitude at risk. You will pull and pull and pull, the handle still refusing to budge, and somewhere in the ether, your ancestors in their fur-lined armor will break into virile chortling at your weakness. Pull harder, little man! You risk shaming your very genes!

It's off? Excellent. You and your intact ego can proceed to the next step.

Step Five: Unscrew the Faucet Under-Assembly

Chances are pretty good your grandfather owned a garage and basement lined with well-tended (and much-used) tools. Your father and his brothers, we bet, spent years learning the manly arts of car and house repair. They followed in the footsteps of family members from the sepia-toned past, who could do everything from butcher pigs and plant crops to build their own outhouses—all before breakfast. People once knew how to maintain their things and keep them running, in the years before the rise of disposable culture and corporations dedicated to pumping out an endless stream of new-and-improved crap, which in turn trapped your own life in this endless cycle of toss and replace, toss and replace…

Oh, sorry. We're drifting everywhere today, aren't we? Use the wrench to unscrew the faucet under-assembly. Remember to set any loose screws and other parts in a safe place.

Step Six: Replace the Rubber Washer

What's the problem? The under-assembly's not coming loose?

No, it's okay. Try it again: tighten the wrench around that little bugger and turn. Harder. No, harder. Brace a foot against the side of the sink and turn with every ounce of strength you can muster. Remember: ancestors, laughter, spiritual emasculation, etc.

What was that popping sound? Your spine, you say? Based on your nonplussed expression, those vertebrae are probably bent worse than a Tetris piece. No, we’re kidding. Maybe. Do you have painkillers in that medicine cabinet, or a bottle of something high-proof downstairs? You’re not one of those pansies whose idea of a risky drink is an organic fruit smoothie with a "shot" of wheatgrass, are you?

Step Seven: Finally Call A Plumber, Okay? Please?

At least you can feel your legs. If you can manage the pain, it might be a good idea at this point to reassemble the faucet handle before phoning your friendly neighborhood pipe jockey. Wouldn't want anyone to think you'd failed at such a simple task, right? But make sure to keep the water shut off, to prevent that maddening drip-drip-drip. That'd be the sound of the house—yes, your humble abode, underwater mortgage and all—laughing at you.


Lost Last Month

June 2011

Stability in Greece, after Prime Minister Papandreou presents a plan for more austerity measures in an effort to avoid defaulting on its debt. In response, Greek unions initiate a general strike and protestors flood parliament, with similar protests bubbling up in Spain. The US government's stake in Chrysler, to Italian automaker Fiat. The dearth of Asian tennis champions, after Li Na of China becomes the first to win a major singles title when she takes the French Open. Meningitis cases in Africa, lowest in an epidemic season, after cheaper vaccinations are made available by an Indian generic drug maker in conjunction with a non-profit. The NBA Finals, by the Miami Heat to the Dallas Mavericks. Jack Kevorkian, 83. The life span of Ayman al-Zawahiri, named Osama bin Laden's successor as head of al-Qaeda. Outstanding business for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, when trial begins for accused war criminal Ratko Mladić. French war spoils, when ancient Korean royal books looted by troops in 1866 are returned to South


Wrote Early, Wrote Often: Surveying the Essays (so far) of Alan Huffman

When LOST started publishing, over five years, 40 issues, and 300 contributors ago, a few things were clear. We were going to be an online-only magazine when that wasn't as often a writer's first choice. We wanted to put the writing before everything else. And we had no idea if we'd get a single submission after we launched.

Online magazines have proliferated since 2005. We're still putting the writing first. And we've been blessed with terrific submissions and by some frequent contributors.

Alan Huffman's work for LOST Magazine represents the kind of like-minds connection we only hoped for five years ago. It's not a question of whether we'd like to publish Alan; it's when. And in the case of our current issue, the entire theme was built around Alan's new piece, "Altorf," which came in before we'd decided what the theme should be. Because of this piece, which excavates in words a torn-down and well-remembered house, the issue is "HOME."

Take a look through Alan's work for us; the six pieces show tremendous range but always come back to an appreciation of the glanced-by, the stumbled-over. In his first piece, he showed that online publishing doesn't need to be short--in fact, the forum is ideal for longer works, especially in the case of Alan's essay on the art lost in Hurricane Katrina, one year after. "Katrina's Art" is a startling piece of lasting quality and power, and one we were most proud to publish.

Alan has ranged over a set of lost slave tags, the whereabouts and life of actor Jan Michael Vincent, the aftermath of the sinking of the Sultana, America's worst maritime disaster (an excerpt from his book on the same); and the details raised by every bite of his mother's Lemon Meringue Pie.

We'd love your thoughts on these essays, and we'd love to be able to experience them again for the first time, if that's what you're about to do.


Lost Last Month

May 2011

Osama bin Laden! The definition of a saint, after Pope John Paul II is beatified by Pope Benedict XVI. Having a busy month, Pope Benedict XVI also removes an Australian bishop for allegedly advocating the ordination of women. Clause Choules, 110, the last known combat veteran from World War I. IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn's travel plans, when he is arrested at JFK Airport for alleged sexual assault. A wellspring of jokes, after Donald Trump announces he will not run for president in 2012. The Oprah Winfrey Show, after 25 seasons. Peace of mind for Louisiana residents, when the Morganza Spillway on the Mississippi River is opened for the first time in 37 years, flooding 3,000 square miles of rural Louisiana in an attempt to save Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Logic and more, in Sudan, after Ahmed Haroun, wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, is re-elected governor having already served as the country's Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs. President Obama's month, starting off so strongly, but ending with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Queen Elizabeth both publicly correcting him.


Lost Last Month

April 2011

Six feet of plane, after a hole appears above the overhead compartment of Southwest Flight 812 en route to California while at 36,000 feet. (The plane lands safely in Yuma, Arizona.) The freedom of China's most famous contemporary artist, Ai Weiwei, taken by Chinese police just before boarding a flight. His accountant, studio partner, driver, and assistant also remain missing. Director Sidney Lumet, 86. Last chance to sport a burqa or niqab in France, after the law banning both comes into effect. Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus's job, after the Supreme Court of Bangladesh affirms his dismissal from his own Grameen micro-finance bank. Religious leader Sathya Sai Baba, 84. Almost 300 lives, following vicious tornados in Alabama and several other Southern states. Safety of the residents of Misrata, Libya, as the city is shelled by artillery, tanks, and snipers and their water supply
intentionally cut off by Gaddafi's forces. Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling's appeal against his conviction for fraud. The US's ambassador to Ecuador, expelled after diplomatic cables alleging corruption within the Ecuadorian police are leaked.


Lost Last Month

March 2011

Over 15,000 lives, with thousands more still missing, after a 9.0 earthquake hits Eastern Japan and produces a devastating tsunami. The force of the quake was so massive it shifted the Earth on its axis by 10 cm. John Galliano’s job as designer for fashion house Christian Dior, following a series of anti-Semitic comments. The fate of Tibet, after China forbids foreign tourists and the 14th Dalai Lama formally submits his resignation as political leader to the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile. Previews of the most expensive Broadway production in history, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, suspended in the wake of serious workplace safety violations. The beloved polar bear Knut, 4, at the Berlin Zoo. Chance for a Genesis reunion, when Phil Collins announces his retirement due to health concerns. Actress Elizabeth Taylor, 79.


Can You Identify These Films?

Lost Films is an initiative of Berlin's Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen which aims to crowdsource a catalog of early movies that have been lost or forgotten over time. Users can view -- and hopefully identify -- films that have been added, as well as add their own material.


Misplaced Objects

Check out Amy Jean Porter's gallery of misplaced household items at The Awl.


Censorship In Prisons

The prison system's censorship process of books and publications is more complex than it appears. It seems reasonable for some censorship of materials in prisons to ensure safety and security. Understandably how-to books about illegal activities seem sensible to ban to this population, but many books fall into a gray area. Some banned books are arbitrary: classics like James Joyce's Ulysses.

Prison Legal News founded by Paul Wright in 1993, has been censored in more than twenty one states and has an interesting history of providing information and unique struggles for a publication:

The incarcerated in America have limited Internet access, so one might imagine that it's still possible to produce a profitable print publication when your target readership resides in jails and prisons. But like the print industry in general, publications focused on prison policy have struggled. Their advertising and subscription numbers are declining even as the prison population -- and by extension, the number of people with family members in prison -- increases.

"Look at the number of prison magazines there were in the 1970s, when the prison population was like an eighth of what it is today," Wright says. The educational level of the average inmate is also a factor. "You're targeting a population that, depending on the state, is 60 to 80 percent functionally illiterate," Wright shrugs. "On its face, this isn't a good demographic for a magazine."

Adam Serwer explores Books Behind Bars in The American Prospect this week.


Shipping Containers Become Part of the Ocean Floor

The words "sunken treasure" don't conjure up images of modern shipping containers, but these industrial packages have become a part of the undersea landscape in recent years. And they're being accepted by the local wildlife:

Cargo ships regularly lose these containers overboard — they write them off and collect insurance. But now marine biologists have found one off the coast of California and have decided to study how it may affect sea life. Already, they've discovered that the container has become a new type of habitat on the muddy ocean floor, attracting its own suite of creatures.
Read the full story from NPR here.


WWII Bombs Resurface in Germany

Joshua Hammer writes in this month's Atlantic about the problems that German construction companies face due to unexploded ordnance left behind from World War Two. Once discovered, the aging weaponry still poses risks:

In the past, most unexploded armaments could be successfully defused and taken to disposal facilities. But as the munitions age and the fuses grow more brittle, the risk of uncontrolled detonations has increased. Last June, a bomb-disposal team in the central German town of Göttingen attempted to cut through the acid fuse of a 1,100-pound bomb discovered during the construction of a sports arena. The bomb exploded, killing three members of the disposal team and critically injuring six more.
Read the full story here.


Hitting the Wall

Gone are the days of free endless New York Times content online. As of yesterday, the New York Times is allowing access to 20 free articles a month. After reaching the quota, a pop-up window requests that in order to keep reading a subscription is required. The subscription ranges in price, between $15-35 for a month of unlimited content depending on which platform or platforms you are viewing from (mobile device, laptop, etc).
It is rumored that the New York Times spent $40 million dollars installing this paywall and several holes have already been found enabling people to surpass their alloted 20 articles a month.

A Look at an Abandoned Detroit

The Huffington Post features several images from the forthcoming book, The Ruins of Detroit, by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre,


Legendary Lost Albums

Now that the original recordings of The Beach Boys' Smile sessions may finally get an official release, there's one less infamous "lost" record for music nerds to hunt down online. Flavorwire provides a list of ten other rock records that remain missing, starting with the possibly-now-leaked David Bowie album, Toy:

Toy is one of many albums over the course of musical history that for one reason or another got delayed, shelved or otherwise waylaid. There’s often a mythology that grows up around such albums, and although the story can sometimes outweigh the actual music – after all, often albums get canned for a reason — there are some that warrant the attention they attract. Here’s our pick of 10 of music’s best lost records — or the ones that sound like they would be the best, if only we could hear them…

Read the list here.


Lost Marriage

Dana Adam Shapiro created a collective oral history of relationships breaking up, which lead to the film, "Monogamy." "Monogamy" opens across the country this weekend. The film centers on how and why relationships falter leading to divorce. This New York Times Magazine article explores the premise of the film.


Lost Last Month

February 2011

Hosni Mubarak's job, after sweeping protests in Egypt force the president to step down after 30 years, and inspire similar calls for reform in Bahrain, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Djibouti and elsewhere. Human intelligence, after two of Jeopardy!'s most successful contestants are defeated by IBM's AI program, Watson. A bookstore giant, when Borders files for bankruptcy and immediately starts closing 200 stores. Valentine's Day in Malaysia, after Islamic morality people arrest over 80 Muslims for attempting to celebrate the holiday. Hometown pride, when the Cleveland Cavaliers match the NBA record for a single-season losing streak. The White Stripes, announcing they are disbanding. The last surviving American veteran of World War I, Frank Buckles, aged 110. The inexplicably beloved Two and a Half Men, cancelled by CBS after lead actor Charlie Sheen goes spectacularly off the deep end.


Losing the Dollar Bill?

Salon puts forward a compelling argument for the dollar coin to replace dollar bills in the United States.


Was Robert Ludlum murdered?

Robert Ludlum, the bestselling author of the Jason Bourne series, as well as many other books, asked his relative Kenneth Kearns to write his biography. In doing so, Kearns found himself dogged by questions surrounding Ludlum's death in 2001.

[L]ong ago, Robert asked me to write his biography, a project that I finally began, following his death aged 73. I had hoped to publish a tribute to the man and his achievements. And it is that same sense of loyalty and friendship that means - knowing what I know now - that I am determined to bring the circumstances of his death to as wide an audience as is possible.

Read the full article by Kearns in the Daily Mail.


Imagination Cures Cancer

David Seidler won a best original screenplay Oscar on Sunday for The King's Speech. Seidler also suffered from bladder cancer, but claims he was able to cure the disease by visualization techniques and taking supplements to strengthen his immune system. Doctors have previously studied the mind/body connection between thinking and disease, but this miraculous recovery is remarkable.


Frank Woodruff Buckles, WWI's Last Surviving American Veteran, Dies at 110

The New York Times reports that Buckles passed away on Sunday, at age 110.

He was only a corporal and he never got closer than 30 or so miles from the Western Front trenches, but Mr. Buckles became something of a national treasure as the last living link to the two million men who served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France in “the war to end all wars.”
In our 2007 theme issue, "Lost at War," we featured a piece by Buckles. Read his story here.


February 27, 2010

A year ago today, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile resulting in hundreds of thousands of damaged homes, major losses to the fishing industry and 521 deaths. The Boston Globe posted some of the most powerful images taken immediately after the earthquake.


Borders Declares Bankruptcy

The Bankruptcy of Borders mega bookstore comes perhaps as no surprise and is a blow to the publishing industry. New York Daily News explores the issue, arguing that "Borders' meltdown suggests a deeper unwillingness of the American reader to partake in the cycle of poorly written books rushed to the market, wildly hyped and then prompty turned into so much blank paper again."

Lost Eye Sight

Ingrid Ricks wrote a poignant essay published in the Salon Life Stories column about her struggles as a young mother with retintis pigmentosa, a rare degenerative eye disease that causes blindness.


Lost Last Month

January 2011

Six lives in Tucson, Arizona, after a deranged gunman opens fire during a town hall meeting conducted by U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, herself sustaining a bullet wound to the head, and now on the road to recovery. 5,000 Red-winged Blackbirds and 100,000 drum fish, in Arkansas, for reasons as yet unknown. One more chance to make a name in astronomy, after 10-year-old Canadian Kathryn Gray becomes the youngest person ever to discover a supernova. Peace and order, in the Ivory Coast, as clashes arise between incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and political rival, Alassane Ouattara. Desire to shop in England, when the VAT tax reaches a new height of 20%. The importance of an advanced degree, after Liverpool Hope University awards its first Master's in The Beatles. Any regret over holding on to your Titian, when a 450 year-old Madonna and Child sells at Sotheby's for a record breaking $16.9 million.


Lost Last Month

December 2010

Jim Morrison's conviction for indecent exposure dating back to 1970, after Florida governor, Charlie Crist, posthumously pardons the singer. Brett Favre's record of consecutive regular-season starts, running since 1992 with a total of 297 games, due to an injury to his throwing shoulder. Don't Ask Don't Tell, repealed by the House. Nick Madoff, 46, son of Bernie Madoff, by suicide. Fuss over the Kindle, when a copy of Birds of America, by John James Audubon, sells at auction for a record $10.3 million. The WikiLeaks website, as the U.S. Government begin attempts to shut it down. The mystery of Julian Assange's whereabouts, when he is arrested in London for his alleged sexual misconduct in Sweden. Three decades' worth of great music, marked by the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder. Any possible financial concerns of a retired French electrician and his wife, when they reveal Pablo Picasso, for whom they installed burglar alarms in the 1970s, gifted them with 271 works.


Lost Last Month

November 2010

Royal resistance to social networking, when Queen Elizabeth II starts a Facebook page, although no one is allowed to "poke" or "friend" her. Keith Olbermann's journalistic objectivity and job security, after he is suspended by MSNBC for making political donations to Democratic Party candidates. Italian treasure, and Italian honor, when The House of the Gladiators at Pompeii collapses due to the government's neglect of the site. The running world's great ambassador, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who retires after failing to complete the New York Marathon. The absence of Coco, as talk show host Conan O'Brien debuts his TBS late night show. Job as Speaker of the House, by Nancy Pelosi to John Boehner. Famed Italian film producer Dino De Laurentiis, 91. The eternal rest of 16th century astronomer Tycho Brahe, as scientists exhume his remains in Prague in order to solve the mystery of his sudden death. A longstanding Burmese injustice, when opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is released after 15 years of house arrest.


The End of Fairy Tales?

This NPR article examines the evolution of Fairy Tales. Walt Disney revealed it has no plans to make another animated fairy tale (likely because Tangled wasn't too successful), yet this has been met with backlash from fans. There is conflicting data with the success of the fairy tales because there have not been successful traditional fairy tales (in the same vein of Snow White, The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty) yet, fairy tale hybrid movies that appeal to a wider audience than little girls, like Shrek were very successful.


The Internet May Cause Uncharacteristic Rudeness?

In Jeff Pearlman's article entitled "Tracking Down My Online Haters" he writes of the dichotomy of people's manners on the internet compared with more personal forms of communication. He calls someone who sent him pornographic hate mail and has a pleasant telephone conversation. With all this talk of politician's hateful language causing issues, is the internet also to blame for the general loss of American civility?


Joan Rivers's appearance on Fox News Cancelled

Fox News has cancelled Joan Rivers appearance to the channel to promote Rivers's new reality show allegedly because she called Sarah Palin stupid to a video camera over the weekend.


Looks that Need to Say Goodbye

The New York Times Fashion & Style section compiled a list of ten looks they would like to see get lost in 2011. They included Transparency and Denim Diapers.


10 musicians lost in 2010

Glide Magazine's "Hidden Track" blog pays tribute to 10 musicians we lost in 2010. Read it here. The worst news for me was Captain Beefheart: