Belarus' President, Alexander Lukashenko, is often defined in the media as "Europe's Last Dictator" - but despite his ruthless and totalitarian style of governance, his term in office has led to huge improvements in health for women and children. Sadly, this has come at a cost for Belarus' men, who suffer some of the highest rates of alcoholism & suicide in the world. Click here to read "Surviving Europe's Last Dictator" for The Moscow Times.
For the ongoing launch of Men's Health Magazine in the Middle East by ITP, my guide to surviving the region's harsh environment (desert & urban) is currently available to read in October's magazine. On sale via subscription & all good retailers across the United Arab Emirates/GCC.
Ryszard Kapuściński wrote that the region of Kolyma "will pass, together with Auschwitz, Treblinka, Hiroshima and Vorkuta, in the history of the greatest nightmares of the twentieth century." Click on the title above, to read my essay, "On the Road With the Ghosts of the Gulag" for The Wall Street Journal (Europe).
EPO use has ruined the careers of many professional cyclists - but injecting the hormone has allowed many sports cheats to win the world's toughest races. In the foot-steps of my fallen heros, I set out to investigate the murky world of blood-doping - meeting shady doctors & dealers - and testing shady products - with terrifying results. 'Blood Sport' has been translated & syndicated extensively. Click here to contact Will Nicoll or Natalie White with all enquiries.
My story on health experiences & adventures in the MENA region is one of several forthcoming features commissioned by ITP for the launch of Men's Health's 41st edition in the Middle East. Complimentary copies of September's magazine are currently available throughout the Gulf States & North Africa. For all email enquiries, please click here to contact me directly.
My long-form on Edinburgh's homeless was short-listed for the 2013 Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize by The Spectator, and published at feature-length by The Independent. Click on the title above to read the full essay for The Los Angeles Review of Books, or here to read "What's Waiting At Elm Tree Loan" which was short-listed for the 2012 prize.
Siberia's past is harrowing, but its potential is staggering. Click here to read my review of "Siberia: A History of the People", by Janet M. Hartley for The Spectator.
Kiev's annual cycling race, which was once a highlight of the Soviet era, offers fresh hope to a struggling nation. Click on the title above to read "The Other Race for Ukraine" from The Wall Street Journal (Europe).
Britain has among the harshest drug laws in Europe, and among the worst drug problems. Click on the title above to read "The Low-Down on Legal Highs" for The Wall Street Journal (Europe).
Esquire Weekly compiled a list of "essential" skills which every man should learn. I contributed 4 pieces - which included "how to" win a car auction, escape a rip-current, master a foreign language & learn to speed-read. For further details on this issue of the magazine, click here.
In Issue 45 of Esquire Weekly, contributors to the magazine wrote on "achievable" health, for men who want to make "realistic" changes to their diets, shapes & lifestyles, with little disposable time. Three of my pieces - on plastic surgery, finding a good GP and practical gadgets that really do make us lose weight - can be read in Issue 45.
After a cautious entry into the electronic cigarette market, the titans of the tobacco industry are consolidating, to control "new" nicotine. Their lobbyists are stalling European legislators; while their acquisitions teams bought approximately 67% of the market share during June 2014, alone. Click here to read "The E-Cigarette War" for Esquire Weekly (Issue 44).
Men's Health Magazine profiles a stash of the pills, potions and supplements that have the most powerful effects on your body. Tell the game-changing highs, from the health-threatening lows, with profiles of 50 substances. Some are commonly stocked in health food shops; others are experimental tonics, which could propel the average user into the unknown. Click here for syndication enquiries.
'Rezistență supraomenească, fără efort suplimentar. Te tentează? Men’s Health și-a propus să descopere ce rezultate poate să obțină un amator, dacă trișează la nivel profesionist. Află ce efecte are dopajul cu EPO asupra corpului tău.' Feature about EPO-use amongst amateur athletes, syndicated to Men's Health (Romania). For further re-production enquiries, please click here.
"…The 1990’s saw the Soviet rule-book torn to pieces, as the lawless east of Ukraine became a modern day wild west…smash-and-grab capitalism, saw rival factions engaged in a bitter fight over the country’s resources. It was a bloody struggle, as evidenced by the bullet holes that pepper the signposts near Donetsk..." Click here for re-productions of "The Battle for Ukraine" from Esquire Weekly (Issue 29).
Cross-border healthcare initiatives within the European Union, are allowing British patients to benefit from luxury facilities in Eastern Europe. The standard are high, and the relative costs - compared to U.S health insurance, or British private care are low. But would you seek weight-loss surgery in Poland, or dental treatment in Hungary? Women's Health Magazine sent me on a journey of discovery, to understand the relative risks and merits for myself. Click here for syndication enquiries.
"The back story of Clay vs. Liston is a troubling, acid-etched snapshot of a culture unable to atone for its role in slavery & segregation. For two men, and a helpless nation, fight night in Florida was both a realisation and desecration of the American Dream." Esquire Weekly (Issue 24) published "The Fight That Changed America" to mark the 50th anniversary of the most iconic fight in the Muhammad Ali story. For further re-production enquiries, click here.
Is it possible to medicate against life's pleasures, pressures, successes and excesses? I visited the Alice in Wonderland world of experimental mind-medication for Esquire Weekly. Click here for syndication enquiries.
...the garden echoed with Heidi's strange, soft syncopation, as her hair fell like tendrils of honey in the sun...
Short story, long-listed for the 2013 HISSAC and published in March's edition of The Warwick Review, alongside work by Louis de Bernières, Paula Bohince and many more.
In contemporary U.S & European drug culture, the chemist is king. Class As & Schedule 1 substances are having their molecular structures tweaked and made legally available, leaving the authorities flat-footed. On the 25th anniversary of Trainspotting's publication, we found out what legal highs are really doing to your body (using the first publicly available lab tests of Europe’s best known brands). Click here for syndication enquiries.
Click the title above to read an extract from work which was commended for the 2013 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine.
As Valium celebrates its 50th birthday, Prozac turns 25, and the Psychiatrist’s Bible’ is republished for the first time in 13 years, pharmaceutical companies are pinning hopes for their brightest drugs on female patients.
Click here to read the full article.
...perhaps pickings in that week’s British Medical Journal had been lean – or patients that day exasperating – because the topic of conversation was a newspaper article about a Swiss circus-master who had found a drug to calm his tigers…
Click here to read the full article.
Short-listed for The 2012 Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize
…Elm Tree Loan is the last stop in a cycle of cruelty and brutalisation. It’s a series of bleak, sunless rooms where all the world’s meannesses and cruelties seem to accumulate…
Click the title above to read an extract.
Many of us have been left with the mistaken belief that Valium is the preserve of the clinically bored, middle-aged housewife, when really the drug is killing Scotland's poorest men – detected in the bodies of 72 percent of all victims of drug-related death. Click on the title above to read the full article for Vice.