Macau: The Story Of China’s Golden Child
On December 20th, 1999 the 25 square kilometer Portuguese colony on China’s southern coast was returned to China becoming the Macau Special Administrative Region. In the 20 years since the handover, Macau has transformed into the gambling capital of the world while some call it the Las Vegas of the East.
Africa’s Richest Man Makes A $17 Billion Bid For Immortality
Aliko Dangote’s plan to reduce Nigeria’s dependency on fuel imports will carve out an even bigger slice of the nation’s $376 billion economy for his empire. Dangote’s future—and, as he likes to say, that of the entire continent’s economy—lies to the south on the Nigerian coast: the construction of a vast oil refinery.
Japan’s Yakuza: Inside The Syndicate
With at least 50,000 members, Japan’s Yakuza gangs form one of the world’s largest criminal networks. Anton Kusters, a Belgian photographer, was allowed a rare glimpse inside a Yakuza family in early 2009. He documented the family for two years.
Investigating The Dangerous New Mafia Taking Control In Italy
The mafia is one of Italy’s most famous international business brands, with an estimated annual turnover of $250 billion a year. But its market share is being challenged by a group of ruthless new players. This documentary is about the growing power of Nigerian organized crime in the birthplace of the Italian mafia.
Cults: The Holy Business of Being A God
As a god, your disciples don’t view you as ruling over them even though you are, but as their benevolent leader showing them the light to salvation. A leader that though figuratively and literally followed to the ends of the earth. Now, that is real power.
The True Story Of The White Island Eruption
In December 2019, around 100 tourists set out for New Zealand’s Whakaari/White Island, where an active volcano has attracted hundreds of thousands of vacationers since the early 1990s. Then the volcano exploded. What happened next reveals troubling questions about the risks we’re willing to take when lives hang in the balance.
The Diamond Cartel: History’s Greatest Monopoly
A cartel is a group of companies coming together to fix the price of a product. Like how major oil countries come together as the cartel OPEC, to fix the price of crude oil, except with a diamond. Once these locals catch on to how profitable the diamond trade is, they’ll started trading diamonds and smuggling it.
The Unhackable Email Service
Ladar Levison built an encrypted email service called Lavabit that counted a prominent figure among its users: Edward Snowden. When the FBI demanded Levison decrypt Snowden’s communications, he had two options, either hand over the encryption key or destroy his servers. He chose the latter.
Buried In Sand For A Millennium: Africa’s Roman Ghost City
Timgad is a lost Roman city on the edge of the Sahara desert in Algeria that remained hidden beneath the sand for nearly a thousand years. Positively obscure compared to the international notoriety of Pompeii, this ancient city is nonetheless one of the best surviving examples of Roman town planning anywhere in the historical Empire.
“Locker Room”, Thought-Provoking Short Film About Teenage Friendships
A teenage girl discovers her male friends’ secret group chat, forcing her to question her friendship with them. Through the lens of neither a perpetrator or survivor, Locker Room draws attention to the social responsibility of bystanders to bad behavior and the pressures that can cause them to turn a blind eye.
Drought And Floods — The Climate Exodus
More people around the world are fleeing from climate change than from war. If human-induced climate change continues at the current rate, the World Bank warns that by 2050 there could be as many as 180 million climate refugees.
Italy’s Crumbling Motorways: How The Genoa Bridge Collapse Exposed A National Scandal
The state of Italian motorways is a national scandal. There are about twenty badly-damaged motorway bridges in Italy currently under investigation. There are also 200 illegal tunnels, which don’t comply with European standards and 1,000 viaducts which haven’t been monitored for years.
Thailand: Turning Straw Into Gold
Huge amounts of rice straw are left over after the harvest in Thailand. Farmers often burn it, which is terrible for the environment. A young entrepreneur has found a new use for the material. Turned into paper, it can replace plastic food packaging.
Apps Have Changed The Way We Date
The online dating industry is projected to be worth $9 billion by 2025 and according to eHarmony, most people will find a partner via an app or website by 2035. Tinder is one of the most popular swiping apps with more than 5 million subscribers and it’s launched a whole new language of love.
‘Anumeric’ People: What Happens When A Language Has No Words for Numbers?
Cultures without numbers, or with only one or two precise numbers, include the Munduruku and Pirahã in Amazonia. Researchers have also studied some adults in Nicaragua who were never taught number words. What can these anumeric cultures teach us about ourselves?
These Death-Defying Human Towers Build On Catalan Tradition
Catalonia is ruled by the Spanish government, but its people have been constructing independent kingdoms for centuries. By climbing up backs and balancing on shoulders, Catalonians of all ages stack their bodies on-top each other to build castells, or human towers.
How Singapore Solved Housing
Because 80% of the population lives in one of its one million public apartments, they carry no social stigma and are enjoyed by the rich and poor alike. Singapore has adopted such a unique set of policies that the usual measures fail to accurately capture just how far ahead it is.
Why Caviar Is So Expensive
Caviar is one of the most expensive foods in the world. Selling for up to $35,000 per kilo, it’s revered and relished by aristocrats across the globe. But it’s an acquired taste. Turns out, caviar wasn’t always so valuable.
Abandoned Places: The Pontiac Silverdome
Just outside of Detroit, in Pontiac Michigan, sits one of the most famous and iconic abandoned structures in the country. At one time the largest NFL stadium and host to SuperBowl 16. This is the Pontiac Silverdome.
“I Live Alone In An Island Paradise”
In 1989, Mauro Morandi’s boat docked on Budelli Island off the northern coast of Sardinia, Italy. Discovering that the island’s caretaker was retiring within the next two days, Mauro decided to extend his stay indefinitely and step into the role himself.
The Madness Of Airline Élite Status
When you fly a lot for work, as I do, you check your frequent-flier mile balance often, to provide data for competitive commiseration. Frequent fliers sometimes go to great lengths to keep their airline élite status, and those efforts are often completely out of proportion to the perks.