The World Through The Eyes Of The US
There is always that one country on America’s collective conscious. After looking at 741,681 section front headlines of The New York Times, Russell Goldenberg found out which countries around the world have preoccupied Americans the most each month since 1900.
The Chaotic Story Of Dexys Midnight Runners & “Come On Eileen”
When faced with the phrase “One Hit Wonder” Dexys Midnight Runners would be one of the first bands to come to most minds. Their megahit “Come On Eileen” is one of the eternal dancefloor fillers. So who were Dexys Midnight Runners? Why did they go through sixteen members before their worldwide smash?
The Day The Music Died: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens And The Big Bopper
When Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson passed away on February 3rd, 1959 after a small plane crash, rock and roll lost some of its most notable early pioneers. Singer-songwriter Don McLean called this moment in music history “The Day the Music Died,” in his song “American Pie.”
Fifty Years After The ‘Black 14’ Were Banished, Wyoming Football Reckons With The Past
It had been nearly 50 years since the University of Wyoming banished 14 black players from its football team, but the decades-old dispute was all Tom Burman could think about as he guided his car across the grain-colored plains stretching from the Denver airport to campus.
Why Socialism Failed in Africa
Considering capitalism to be equal to colonialism, Africa’s founding fathers rejected it and adopted marxist-socialism in the 1960s. Foreign companies were nationalised, state-owned enterprises were created and all sorts of controls on rents, prices, imports and foreign exchange.
How A Single Mom Created A Plastic Food-Storage Empire
The story of Tupperware is a story of innovation and reinvention: how a new kind of plastic, made from industrial waste material, ended up a symbol of female empowerment. The product ushered women into the workforce, encouraging them to make their own money, better their families, and win accolades and prizes.
The Last Time Democracy Almost Died
The last time democracy nearly died all over the world and almost all at once, Americans argued about it, and then they tried to fix it. What can we learn from the upheaval of the 1930s?
When The Sahara Was Green
The climate of the Sahara was completely different thousands of years ago. And we’re not talking about just a few years of extra rain. We’re talking about a climate that was so wet for so long that animals and humans alike made themselves at home in the middle of the Sahara.
Cocaine, No Sleep And Deep Soul: The Story Of David Bowie’s ‘Young Americans’
‘His eyes didn’t look healthy but his voice might be better than on any other album’ – pianist Mike Garson and guitarist Carlos Alomar recall the sessions that featured soul greats like Luther Vandross and visitors John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen.
When The iPhone Nearly Killed A Nation
Nokia dominated the first decade of the cellphone boom, becoming a beloved brand around the world and pumping billions of dollars into the Finnish economy. Then, along came Steve Jobs and his iPhone in 2007 and ruined everything. Tens of thousands of jobs were lost. Nokia sold its phone business to Microsoft. And Finns took a serious hit to their country pride.
How A Volcanic Eruption Helped Create Modern Scotland
Over seven terrible years in the 1690s, crops failed, farming villages emptied, and severe famine killed up to 15% of the entire population of Scotland. Soon after, the formerly independent nation joined Great Britain. Now, researchers suggest volcanic eruptions thousands of kilometers away may have helped spark this political transformation.
The Dictatorship Of Data
Big data is poised to transform society. Yet big data also exacerbates a very old problem: relying on the numbers when they are far more fallible than we think. Nothing underscores the consequences of data analysis gone awry more than the story of Robert McNamara.
To Defy The United States, Fidel Castro Built The World’s Greatest Ice Cream Parlor
When the United States announced a total embargo in 1962, cutting Cuba off from the American dairy market, Castro found himself the leader of a milk-free island that was too warm for dairy cows. Undaunted, he demanded, in 1966, the construction of the greatest ice cream parlor the world had ever seen. Visitors to Havana can still eat there today.
Mikhail Gorbachev’s Pizza Hut Thanksgiving Miracle
Since his involuntary retirement, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has raised money for worthy causes, attempted to make a comeback in Russian politics, and, notoriously, made an advertisement for Pizza Hut.
How Philadelphia Became “The First City That Bombed Itself”
In 1985, an armed standoff between Philadelphia police and members of a radical black liberation group, resulted in the deaths of eleven people. No police officers or city officials were ever charged for their role in what’s known as the MOVE bombing.
Flat 13: Facing Down Apartheid
This is the story of the apartment in downtown Johannesburg that, between the late 1940s and early 1960s, became a hub of resistance against apartheid.
A Dictator’s Birthday Present To Himself
In 1968, Albanian Communist dictator Enver Hoxha did what any leader espousing equality among all people would naturally do. He demanded his name be written into a mountain. It was a birthday present that he was giving himself.
How The Dumb Design Of A WWII Plane Led To The Macintosh
For all the triumph of America’s new planes and tanks during World War II, a silent reaper stalked the battlefield: accidental deaths and mysterious crashes that no amount of training ever seemed to fix. At first, pilots took the blame for crashes. The true cause, however, lay with the design. That lesson led us into our user-friendly age—but there’s peril to come.
Before Beauty Vlogging, There Were Renaissance ‘Books of Secrets’
So-called Books of Secrets were a new and wildly-popular literary genre during the Italian Renaissance. Written in vernacular Italian, they instructed an increasingly literate public in the pursuit of alchemy, making secrets previously circulated in Latin manuscripts amongst the educated elite more broadly accessible.
The City Where They Murdered Yugoslavia
The Bosnian War happened because a war criminal in waiting didn’t care where his ideology led him. Ratko Mladic did not believe in Yugoslavia. But he did believe in the unity of his people. And in his attempt to get to that natural dead end, he would destroy the dream of Gavrilo Princip. He would destroy all the work of Tito.