That Time We Almost Built 8 Gigawatt-class Floating Nuclear Power Plants
In 1969, at the height of the First Nuclear Era, an engineer at New Jersey’s PSE&G utility company named Richard Eckert wondered, what if huge nuclear plants could be built in serial at a production facility, put on a barge, and floated to sites out at sea?
We are on the verge of perhaps the greatest innovation in the history of our species — a genetically altered future in which many of us will conceive our offspring in labs. If we want to control this future, now is the time to question what we want it to be.
How One American Citizen Was Forcibly Drafted Into The South Korean Army
Illinois-born Young Chun thought a stint teaching English in Korea would be a quick and easy way to pay off his mounting post-college debt. He could not have been more wrong. Chun became a victim of a collision between unforgiving bureaucracy and the meddling of an unknown family member thousands of miles away.
The Last Ditch Attempt To Save The USSR, August Coup Of 1991
One of the most important events in the decline and fall of the USSR was the August Coup of 1991 which saw its Vice President attempt to overthrow its president, Mikhail Gorbachev. It didn’t go too well and was hastily planned but the fact that it ended peacefully is frankly nothing short of miraculous.
Why Is An Ocean Current Critical To World Weather Losing Steam?
A conveyor belt of ocean water that loops the planet and regulates global temperatures could be heading for a tipping point. Arctic sea ice this summer was the second-lowest on record, and ocean changes in the Arctic could dramatically change the climate for much of the rest of the planet.
Light Dawns: Why Is The Speed Of Light The Speed Of Light?
We have fixed the speed of light in a vacuum at exactly 299,792.458 kilometres per second. Why this particular speed and not something else? Or, to put it another way, where does the speed of light come from?
The School Shooting That Austin Forgot
John Ray barely remembered the details of that day—May 18, 1978—when a friend at his Austin junior high school walked into class and, in front of Ray and twenty other eighth graders, shot and killed their teacher, Wilbur “Rod” Grayson. Ray and his classmates still wonder: What really happened?
MDMA Researcher Is Fixing The Bad Science That Sent Him To Prison
As a teenager, Christopher Medina-Kirchner went to prison for selling ecstasy, but now his MDMA research is debunking the bad science that got him there. He’s also creating a pipeline to help other formerly incarcerated people transition into scientific research.
Why The Brazilian Soccer Team Wouldn’t Wear White – Until Now
White is also the color that the Brazilian national soccer team was wearing in the infamous “Maracanazo” match, a decisive showdown against Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup. Nearly 70 years later Brazil is ready to tempt fate.
The Story Of The McBarge, The Floating McDonald’s Restaurant
Take a trip back to the mid 80’s when Vancouver hosted a World’s Fair event with one of the most unique fast food restaurants ever constructed. Friendship 500, or better known as The McBarge.
Religion Is About Emotion Regulation, And It’s Very Good At It
Sigmund Freud argued that we humans are naturally awful creatures – aggressive, narcissistic wolves. We have the civilizing influence of religion to steer us toward charity, compassion and cooperation by a system of carrots and sticks, otherwise known as heaven and hell.
The Curse Of The Ship Of Gold
How Tommy Thompson, a brilliant scientist, went from discovering a mother lode of treasure at the bottom of the sea to fleeing from authorities with suitcases full of cash.
The True History Behind ‘The Plot Against America’
Philip Roth’s classic novel, newly adapted by HBO, envisions a world in which Charles Lindbergh wins the 1940 presidential election. Roth’s account of a celebrity-turned-politician winning the presidency on a platform of fearmongering and “othering” proved more prophetic than he could have predicted.
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.
Cape Canaveral contains one of the greatest concentrations of colonial shipwrecks in the world. The discovery of a legendary, lost shipwreck in North America has pitted treasure hunters and archaeologists against each other, raising questions about who should control sunken riches.
The Canadian Genius Who Created Modern AI
For nearly 40 years, Geoff Hinton has been trying to get computers to learn like people do, a quest almost everyone thought was crazy or at least hopeless – right up until the moment it revolutionized the field. In this video, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ashlee Vance meets the Godfather of AI.
Ashes To Ashes, Dust To… Compost? An Ecofriendly Burial In Just 4 Weeks
Also known as “natural organic reduction,” composting burial is the brainchild of Katrina Spade, CEO of alternative burial company Recompose. The process involves decomposition of the corpse in soil—but not within a traditional cemetery.
Peter Hotez Vs. Measles And The Anti-Vaccination Movement
Texas is at risk of a deadly measles outbreak, and yet few have been willing to cast blame on the state’s combative anti-vaccine movement. Enter Peter Hotez, an affable, bow-tie-wearing scientist who decided he’d had enough.
Photos Of Leningrad (St Petersburg) In The Early 1960s
St Petersburg is situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. It is Russia’s second-largest city after Moscow. These fascinating color photos captured street scenes of Leningrad (St Petersburg) in 1961.
The Roman Wall That Split Britain Into Two Parts
Hadrian’s Wall was a 73 mile barrier stretching from coast to coast, splitting the warlike north of Britain from the more docile south. It was the Roman Empire’s way of imposing peace in a hostile land.
Nietzsche On How To Find Yourself And The True Value Of Education
Friedrich Nietzsche considered the journey of self-discovery one of the greatest and most fertile existential difficulties. “Any human being who does not wish to be part of the masses need only stop making things easy for himself. “Be yourself! All that you are now doing, thinking, desiring, all that is not you.”