How Our Home Delivery Habit Reshaped The World
The great trick of online retail has been to get us to do more shopping while thinking less about it – thinking less, in particular, about how our purchases reach our homes. This divorce of a product from its voyage to us is perhaps the thing that Amazon has sold us most successfully.
The Saga Of Punkin’ Donuts
The Dunkin’ Donuts that used to be at the northwest corner of Belmont and Clark earned its nickname in the 80s and 90s. How a doughnut-shop parking lot became a confluence of Chicago youth subcultures—and what killed it off.
The Lockdown Has Exposed The Fatal Flaw In Deliveroo’s Business
It wasn’t coronavirus that hobbled Deliveroo: it was its small margins and the crippling costs of competing both in its home market and abroad. In the UK, there are three big players in the market, in the US there are half a dozen, in Europe there are over 20.
A Trip To The Cirque Of The Unclimbables
It’s among the most beautiful eyefuls of landscape I’ve ever seen — its rock walls more overpowering than Zion’s, in Utah, its evening light more perfect than Hawaii’s, its peaks more menacing than Denali, and its stillness more complete than the deep rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula.
With a Simple Twist, A ‘Magic’ Material Is Now The Big Thing In Physics
The stunning emergence of a new type of superconductivity with the mere twist of a carbon sheet has left physicists giddy, and its discoverer nearly overwhelmed.
How Ring Went From ‘Shark Tank’ Reject To America’s Scariest Surveillance Company
Amazon’s Ring started from humble roots as a smart doorbell company called “DoorBot.” Now it’s surveilling the suburbs and partnering with police. Although there’s no credible evidence that Ring actually deters or reduces crime, claiming that its products achieve these things is essential to its marketing model.
Hunger Is Psychological — And Dieting Only Makes It Worse
We all feel hungry before dinner and full after a banquet, but those moments are the tip of the iceberg. Hunger is a process that’s always present, always running in the background, only occasionally rising into consciousness. It’s more like a mood.
The War On Coffee
Epicurean coffeehouses in the United States numbered in the hundreds in 1989, and in the tens of thousands by 2013. A lot of that is Starbucks, but not all. Roasters in Italy went from exporting twelve million kilograms of espresso in 1988 to more than a hundred and seventy million in 2015.
The Drone Boat Of ‘Shipwreck Alley’
Divers flock from all over the world to see the wrecks for themselves each year — and last spring, they were joined by an unusual interloper: an autonomous boat named BEN. BEN is a self-driving boat that’s been tasked with making maps, and to help lay bare the long-lost secrets of the lakebed.
The Future Of Energy Storage Beyond Lithium-Ion
Over the past decade, prices for solar panels and wind farms have reached all-time lows. However, the price for lithium-ion batteries, the leading energy storage technology, has remained too high. So researchers are exploring other alternatives, including flow batteries, thermal batteries, and gravity-based systems.
Inside The Most Watched YouTube Channel In The World
India’s T-Series built an online empire from Bollywood. Now it has to survive Netflix. Bhushan Kumar argues that T-Series has no reason to fear this invasion, and not just because it sits behind a moat filled with more than 200 million YouTube subscribers.
The Hate Store: Amazon’s Self-Publishing Arm Is A Haven For White Supremacists
Extremism flourishes on Amazon’s self-publishing arm. The company gives extremists and neo-Nazis banned from other platforms unprecedented access to a mainstream audience — and even promotes their books.
Revisiting An American Town Where Black People Weren’t Welcome After Dark
Anna is a city of a little more than 4,000 people located in the middle of Union County, where soybean fields and flatlands to the north give way to the forests and sandstone canyons of southern Illinois. Most people I met, wish the racist lore behind the city’s name would go away. So why hasn’t it?
Swarms of Teeny Robo-Tractors Will Outmaneuver Tesla’s Driverless Cars
While Elon Musk’s Tesla and Waymo Cars get all the attention — and regulations — autonomous vehicles for farming face fewer tech barriers and could be just as important.
iPhones Are Being Turned Into Ultrasound Devices To Diagnose Patients
The world’s first handheld ultrasound device, Butterfly iQ, will give hope to 4.7 billion people who don’t have access to medical imaging, revolutionizing modern medicine. Butterfly Network founder Dr Jonathan Rothberg invented the tool, a battery-operated device the size of an electric shaver that diagnoses abnormalities within seconds.
The Lawyer Whose Clients Didn’t Exist
A well-known attorney helped land a $2 billion settlement for Gulf Coast seafood-industry workers after a BP oil rig 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana, had exploded. But who was he really representing?
The Case Of The Empty Frames Remains Art World’s Biggest Mystery
What happened at the Gardner Museum has become the most famous art heist ever, not only because of the money involved—$500 million, making it the largest art theft in history—but also because of the countless FBI agents, private detectives and art dealers who’ve tried and failed to solve it.
An Ode To Being Old
Success in business, even in the fast-paced start-up world, isn’t just about age-related smarts. Wisdom, a deeper kind of knowing that can only be gained through experience, matters too. And apparently, it matters quite a bit.
The Long-Forgotten Vigilante Murders Of The San Luis Valley
For more than a century, historians, writers, and artists were guilty of creating a mythologized version of the American West. How history forgot Felipe and Vivián Espinosa, two of the American West’s most brutal killers—and the complicated story behind their murderous rampage.
The Controversy Behind Nike’s Vaporfly Running Shoe, Explained
Nike’s Vaporfly shoes have become a popular choice for both elite and amateur runners. But the shoes may soon be banned in professional competitions if World Athletics, the world governing body of track and field, decides they offer an unfair advantage.
She Was The PTA Mom Everyone Knew. Who Would Want To Harm Her?
Kelli Peters, 49, with short blond hair and a slightly bohemian air. As the volunteer director of the Afterschool Classroom Enrichment program at Plaza Vista, she was a constant presence on campus, whirling down the halls in flip-flops and bright sundresses. Who would want to harm her?