Germany’s First Postwar Army
In 1951 Germany’s first postwar armed forces unit was formed – the Bundesgrenzschutz or Federal Border Guard. Until the formation of the Bundeswehr in 1955, it was effectively Germany’s army. Armed and equipped from the old wartime Wehrmacht, the BGS guarded the inner German border between East and West Germany.
What Makes A Masterpiece?
What do we mean when we call an artwork a masterpiece? Who gets to decide what becomes one? Who makes them? And is it still a constructive label to dole out when we talk about art? What Makes a Masterpiece?
When Artists, Engineers, And Pepsico Collaborated, Then Clashed At The 1970 World’s Fair
A year and a half in the making, the Pepsi Pavilion drew eager crowds and elicited effusive reviews. Just a month after the opening, the partnership with Experiments in Art and Technology—E.A.T.—collapsed amidst a flurry of recriminating letters and legal threats.
The Jewish Racing Driver Who Beat The Nazis
In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler funded the most powerful racing program in the world. An American heiress, a Jewish driver, and a struggling French automaker banded together to defeat them on the racetrack.
“The Jigsaw”, Award-Winning Horror Short Film
The purchase of a mystery Jigsaw Puzzle from a strange and unsettling vendor leads a man to an evening of frightening consequences. “The Jigsaw” is a short horror film that won over 30 awards worldwide.
The Origins Of The Sicilian Mafia
The Sicilian Mafia, referred to by its own members as Cosa Nostra, a phrase meaning “our thing”, is an infamous association of criminal syndicates. They are famous for their heavy-handed role in protection racketeering, alcohol and drug smuggling, and other organized illegal activities across the world.
The ‘Lost Rambos’ Of Papua New Guinea: How Weapons And Hollywood Changed Tribal Disputes
Tribal fighting has long been present in the Papua New Guinea highlands, but the influx of modern automatic weaponry in the 1990s turned local disputes into lethal exchanges. Bootleg copies of the American film Rambo circulated in remote communities, becoming a crude tutorial on the use of such weaponry.
In 1933, Two Rebellious Women Bought A Home In Virginia’s Woods. Then The CIA Moved In.
The year was 1933, and Northern Virginia was still the countryside, even with Washington just across the Potomac. So it was the ideal retreat for Florence Thorne and Margaret Scattergood, two pioneers of the American labor movement who defied the gender expectations of their time.
What Happened To MoviePass?
MoviePass tried to change the moviegoing experience altogether, with a simple idea. For a monthly fee, subscribers could go to the cinema once a day, every day. Ironically, too many subscribers would eventually be a bad thing. MoviePass went from being a hit to entirely collapsing, in just 3 days. How?
The Mysterious Origins Of Mastermind, The Codebreaking Board Game
Invented in 1970, Mastermind would sell 30 million copies before that decade was up, and boast a national championship at the Playboy Club, a fan in Muhammed Ali, official use by the Australian military for training, and 80% ownership amongst the population of Denmark.
The Secret Soviet Radar Hidden In Chernobyl’s Shadow
In a remote forest, a few kilometres from the Chernobyl power plant, the huge Duga-2 radar tower stands as relic of Soviet mismanagement.
The Rise Of Nintendo
Nintendo hasn’t always made video games. It was founded over a century ago and at one point sold ramen noodles and operated a taxi service. Today, Nintendo is part of a crowded video game market, up against companies like Sony, Microsoft, Apple and Google. When Nintendo first got into the home console business in the 80s, it dominated.
“Abandoned”, The Story Of The S.S America Vessel
In 1940, a stunning and iconic vessel was launched called the S.S America. A ship of pride for the United States and after a long career in her golden years, the vessel ended up in a state of limbo for a while. She was left abandoned floating aimlessly until she was bought out and renamed to the SS American Star.
The Ingenious System Bringing Water To The Chinese Desert
The Karez is a modern-day engineering marvel and a prime example of a native people working with, not against, the forces of nature to deliver their needs – in this case, water. Today, this system nourishes an area called Grape Valley, once an oasis for weary travelers along the Silk Road.
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.
“Dominion”, How Animals Are Used And Abused By Humans
Dominion exposes the dark underbelly of modern animal agriculture, questioning the morality and validity of humankind’s dominion over the animal kingdom. While mainly focusing on animals used for food, it also explores other ways animals are exploited and abused by humans, including clothing, entertainment and research.
The Celebrity Airport Lost In Time
In the early years of aviation, the Gander Airport in Newfoundland, Canada served as an obligatory stop for refueling between Europe and America. This made the small town of Gander into an unlikely international hub, hosting celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and the Queen of England.
Small Cities, Big Challenges
From building in a crowded capital threatened by rising sea levels to creating modern housing alongside historic landmarks, this is how small cities around the world are overcoming some remarkable challenges.
Short Film: “Dirty Machines: The End Of History”
“Dirty Machines: The End of History” a highly polished sci-fi teaser for a longer-form series that envisions a future where time travel has become a form of tourism. It’s stylish, but beyond the undeniable aesthetic panache, Matthew Olson’s film feels completely transformative as a world-building exercise.
“Balloonfest”, The Spectacle That Became A Tragedy
In September 1986, the city of Cleveland attempted to set a special record: the simultaneous launch of 1.5 million balloons. But fate intervened, and the result was both crazier and more tragic than anyone could have imagined.