Repopulating A Japanese town
As the Japanese populace shrinks and ages, and young people leave the suburbs and rural areas for cities, more and more communities are becoming ghost towns. The municipality of Okutama, on the outskirts of Tokyo, has come up with a novel solution: Give away houses to young families for free.
Japan’s Lost-and-Found System Is Insanely Good
The scheme for reuniting unlucky people with their wayward valuables relies on a complex mix of infrastructure, carrot-and-stick legal encouragement, and cultural norms. Taken together, they form a shockingly efficient system that has long been a source of wonder for Western observers.
In San Francisco, Tech Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness
In the midst of a housing crisis, an injection of cash into the superheated real-estate market seems likely to cause an uptick in evictions and displacement.
The Empty Houses That Foreign Aid Built
After the devastation of the 2004 tsunami, aid agencies promised to rebuild Indonesia “better.” Fifteen years later, their failures are all too obvious. The disaster hit Aceh the hardest. The evacuation buildings are unmistakably the shiniest features of the city’s newly built landscape.
“Framed”, An Award-Winning Noir Tale In Stop-Motion
Who on Earth is handed a worse fate than toys and figurines? They are made to be controlled, with zero chance of gaining basic rights. Without a chance to speak unless a string is pulled or a button pushed, who will carry their voice for them? “Framed” tells the story of a clay pawn in a human’s game.
Tourism Is Eating The World
The number of international tourist arrivals has been increasing more or less exponentially since the mid-20th century, and totaled about 1.4 billion in 2018. Europe has seen the biggest share, but the Asia-Pacific region is growing fast.
How A Group Of Citizens Revived A British Era Lake In India
The lake was built by the British for irrigating nearby farmlands. But gradually it became a dumpsite for Salem’s municipal solid waste. In 2010 the Salem Citizen’s Forum (SCF) took over the work of cleaning the lake. Using the silt of the lake, the SCF created 45 small islands.
China’s Vanishing Mosques
The BBC has found new evidence of the increasing control and suppression of Islam in China’s far western region of Xinjiang – including the widespread destruction of mosques. Authorities provided rare access to religious sites and senior Islamic officials to support their claim that their policies only target violent religious extremism, not faith itself.
The One Route Ghost Airline Between Egypt & Israel
Air Sinai appeared on the Internet in February 2020 and for the scarce few who were in the know about Air Sinai, it was a real shock. What’s so special about this ghost airline and how come up until now it was impossible to book a flight without being transferred endlessly between travel agents?
Conman: The Life And Crimes Of Mark Acklom
Watch the full story of the cunning fraudster who posed as an MI6 agent to con his ex-girlfriend out of £800,000. The documentary features the first TV interview with Diana Acklom, his mother. In it, she has an extraordinary theory for her son’s prolific crimes.
The Law That’s Helping Fuel Delhi’s Deadly Air Pollution
The World Health Organization reported last year that 11 of the 12 cities in the world with the most pollution from PM2.5 were in India. A policy to conserve water resources led to the rise of a major source of air pollution, making breathing Delhi’s air as bad as smoking 50 cigarettes.
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.
Building Egypt’s $58BN New City In The Sand
Following a period of political instability that affected the progression of infrastructure projects, the country’s government took the decision to construct an entirely new capital in 2015. Located 45 kilometers east of the original Cairo, the as-yet-unnamed city has been under construction ever since.
A Lesson From Social Distancing: Build Better Balconies
Balconies symbolize new kinds of freedom — to embrace social isolation without feeling trapped, and to enjoy fresh air without worrying about breathing in the virus. A lack of private outdoor spaces in many cities is partly by design.
How ‘1917’ Was Filmed To Look Like One Shot
“1917” stars George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch and was filmed to look like one continuous shot. Cinematographer Roger Deakins explains how he and director Sam Mendes did it, from digging up a mile of trenches to attaching cameras to cranes and drones.
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.
The Rise And Fall Of Subway
With thousands of store closures in the last three years and petitions against Subway from its franchise owners, the fast-food chain with the most locations globally seems to be on the rocks. This video unpacks what’s going on and where Subway’s headed from here.
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.
Why Japan Is So Successful At Returning Lost Property
Cultural norms, complex religious influences and friendly neighbourhood police officers make losing something in Japan no big deal. But does this tell the whole picture about Japan’s relationship with honesty?
“The Shivering Truth”, A 6 Episode Dark Comedy
The omnibus of painfully riotous emotional parables dripping from the deepest caverns of your unconscious are lovingly animated in stop-motion. In other words, it is the Truth.
“Alternative Math”, A Teacher Trumped By Post-Fact America
Alternative Math is a multiple award-winning short film, tackling issues like fake news and alternative facts with a good sense of humor. The plot involves a well-meaning maths teacher coming under fire when she fails a young boy who gives some wrong answers on a test.