Into The Unknown
It was December 14, 1912. Thirty years old, already a seasoned explorer, Douglas Mawson was the leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE), a 31-man team pursuing the most ambitious exploration yet of the southern continent. What followed was one of the most terrifying survival stories of all time.
The Sexual Assault Case That Shook Ancient Rome
It was more than 2,000 years before the #MeToo movement, but a scene similar to the ones we’ve witnessed so often lately was already playing out. A prominent politician was on trial for corruption and bribery, charges bolstered by dirt his enemies had dug up from his past: the violent sexual assault of a young girl.
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.
Chaos At The Top Of The World
It was one of the most arresting viral photos of the year: a horde of climbers clogged atop Mount Everest. But it only begins to capture the deadly realities of what transpired that day at 29,000 feet. These are the untold accounts of the people who were there.
China’s Man-Made Forest In The Desert
In 1986, the city of Aksu in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region began an ambitious tree-planting project that looked to turn swaths of desert into forest. The result was over 13 million acres of green that became the Kekeya greening project.
Schlitterbahn’s Tragic Slide
In the water park business, Jeff Hendry was considered a genius of sorts. He often said that his goal in life was to make customers of his family’s legendary water parks happy—“to put a smile on their faces, to give them a thrill or two.” It was a beautiful vision. Until it went horribly wrong.
Underground Photos From New York’s Seediest Years
The “Poet of Radical Photography”, Miron Zownir, captures the provocative energy and aggressive hedonism of New York City in the 80s.
Rubber Tires — A Dirty Business
The booming global tire market is worth billions – but this comes at a high price, both to humans and the environment. Over 50 million car tires are sold each year in Germany alone. But where does the natural rubber for them come from?
The Fight To Save Broad Beach
Malibu homeowners banded together to address sea level rise. A decade later, they are at war with the city, the surfers, and each other. The choices are clear: Do nothing and lose the coast. Stall by dredging in sand, bouldering up revetments and emergency sea walls. Or look at long-term solutions.
Russian Cows Fitted With Virtual-Reality Headsets
The grass is greener in a virtual world. That’s what Moscow region farmers were aiming for when they fitted their dairy cows with virtual-reality headsets to test their milk production. “Experts noted reduced anxiety and improved overall emotional mood in the herd” during the VR experiment, said the regional agriculture administration.
London Underground 1970-1980 By Mike Goldwater
The first thing that strikes anyone who regularly rides on the London Underground is how clean it looks in Mike Goldwater’s photographs. Homeward bound tourists keen to recapture the thrill of minding the gap and cooling their heels on overcrowded platforms are not offered a range of signature scents.
The Bomb Didn’t Beat Japan… Stalin Did
The US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when the Japanese finally succumbed to the threat of further nuclear bombardment and surrendered. The support for this narrative runs deep. But there are three major problems with it, and, taken together, they significantly undermine the traditional interpretation of the Japanese surrender.
Why 40% Of Vietnamese People Have The Same Last Name
The 14 most popular last names in Vietnam account for well over 90 percent of the population. The 14 most popular last names in the US? Fewer than 6 percent. In Vietnam, the most popular last name is Nguyen.
As Warming Waters Make Shellfish Toxic, A Way Of Life Becomes Deadly For Alaskans
Coastal states have developed statewide systems to keep their recreational and subsistence harvesters safe from paralytic shellfish poisoning. Alaska has no such system. State environmental health officials say the sheer length of its coast makes monitoring shellfish for the toxin impossible.
‘I Would Rather Win A Pulitzer Prize Than Be President’
Margaret Coit uncovered many new details about Kennedy’s literary obsession, including his direct involvement in pursuing a Pulitzer and in using his family’s wealth to keep his ghostwriter quiet. In the end, Kennedy got everything he wanted—the presidency and the Pulitzer both.
What Do We Do With Robert E. Lee?
The president of Washington and Lee University, Will Dudley, understood the depth of his problem the moment he turned on the television and saw hoards of white men in collared shirts and khakis carrying tiki torches as they marched through Charlottesville, Virginia, protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.
Henry Lee Lucas Was Considered America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer. But He Was Really a Serial Liar.
Henry Lee Lucas provided accounts that closed 197 murder cases, but now, a new five-part Netflix series is exploring the still-mounting evidence that almost all of these confessions were lies—and that hundreds of actual murderers have gone free.
The Last Giraffes On Earth
The planet’s tallest animal is in far greater danger than people might think. Until recently, giraffes have suffered from surprising scientific neglect. Few researchers have studied them in the wild, so even basic aspects of their lives remain mysterious.
The Deep Ocean Is The Final Frontier On Planet Earth
Only three people have ever reached the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean. The deep is a world without sunlight, of freezing temperatures, and immense pressure. It’s remained largely unexplored until now. Cutting-edge technology is enabling a new generation of aquanauts to go deeper than ever before.
Air Co’s Vodka Is Made Out Of Carbon Dioxide Pulled From The Atmosphere
To bring the spirit in-line with its contemporaries, Air Co. has applied a process that converts air-based carbons into pure ethanol using a proprietary, solar-based electrical procedure. The result? An 80-proof vodka that looks, tastes, and feels like the traditional spirit, but with a reduced environmental impact due to its specialized “distillation” process.
The Ancient Tombs Kept Under Lock And Key
A sense of mystery surrounds the keyhole-shaped kofun tombs in Japan. Although the iconic Mozu Tombs in Sakai city, Osaka have recently been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, surprisingly little is actually known about these intriguing monuments, kept under lock and key by the Japanese government.