The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign To Reelect The President
After the 2016 election, much was made of the threats posed to American democracy by foreign disinformation. Trump and his domestic allies were beginning to adopt the same tactics of information warfare that have kept the world’s demagogues and strongmen in power.
‘Astounding New Finds’ Suggest Ancient Empire May Be Hiding In Plain Sight
Evidence from Maya writing and art suggests Teotihuacan conquered Tikal outright, adding it to what some archaeologists see as a sweeping empire that may have included several Maya cities. Teotihuacan may have turned against Maya expatriates who had lived there peacefully for decades.
Highly Secretive Iranian Rebels Are Holed Up in Albania. They Gave Us a Tour.
In a valley in the Albanian countryside, a group of celibate Iranian dissidents have built a vast and tightly guarded barracks that few outsiders have ever entered. Depending on whom you ask, the Mujahedeen Khalq, or People’s Jihadists, are either Iran’s replacement government-in-waiting or a duplicitous terrorist cult.
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.
How Ultra-Processed Food Took Over Your Shopping Basket
Ultra-processed foods now account for more than half of all the calories eaten in the UK and US. These foods are convenient, affordable, highly profitable, strongly flavored, aggressively marketed. But is ultra-processed food making us ill and driving the global obesity crisis?
How Much Is A Human Life Actually Worth?
As a society we have historically been willing to incur costs to save lives. Government forces carmakers to reduce air pollution to help people with asthma, and the price of cars goes up. Laws prevent factories from polluting to save fisheries, and goods cost more. But that kind of tradeoff clearly has limits.
The American Restaurant Is On Life Support
The restaurant industry is in a scary place, one that fairly guarantees heartbreak. We’re eating at street-corner stalls and food trucks, in front of the TV and at the grocery—everywhere but restaurants. They might not be here when we get back.
The Cab Ride That Nearly Killed Me Changed How I Think About Ride-Hailing Apps
Were ride-hailing companies doing enough to protect passengers from negligent drivers? Maybe Grab’s growth and its perceived triumph over Uber the day before my accident had come at a cost. Was it possible that, for all the convenience ride-hailing services offered, they were making cities less safe?
Where The Bodies Are Buried
Mexico’s drug war has left tens of thousands of casualties in secret graves. Now, the mothers of the missing are digging them up, armed with iron rods and quadcopter drones.
Creatives Call For Mental-Health Warnings On ‘Toxic’ Magazines
A creative team in London is hijacking the covers of celebrity and gossip magazines to raise awareness of the harmful impact that media can have on people’s mental health. They were inspired by news that hair salons across the UK have boycotted “toxic” gossip magazines following the death of presenter Caroline Flack.
How Big Tech Plans To Profit From The Pandemic
As the coronavirus continues to kill thousands each day, tech companies are seizing the opportunity to extend their reach and power. Towards a future in which, for the privileged, almost everything is home delivered, either virtually via streaming and cloud technology, or physically via driverless vehicle or drone.
Teen Girl Invents Simple, Yet Innovative Way To Remove Blind Spots In Cars
Alaina Gassler built a prototype system with a webcam, projector, and 3D-printed materials to fill in the space the car frame blocks from drivers. She mounted the webcam outside the passenger side A-pillar on a car and then displayed the live video on the inside pillar from a projector.
How Eliud Kipchoge Broke Running’s Mythic Barrier
It was one of sport’s great question marks: Is it humanly possible to run 26.2 miles in under two hours? Then Eliud Kipchoge did it. What followed was international fame—and plenty of controversy. GQ flew to Kipchoge’s ultra-rarefied Kenyan training ground to meet the man who pulled off the impossible.
‘It’s Been Hell’: Inside The Town Where Trumpers Are Building A Private Wall
Either as a demonstration of loyalty to the president or, in the case of one developer, a bid for lucrative government contracts, some private citizens are furiously erecting their own barriers along the Southwest border. The latest iteration, the three-and-a-half-mile Rio Grande Valley wall, is now nearly complete.
The Fall Of New York And The Urban Crisis Of Affluence
I have never seen what is going on now: the systematic, wholesale transformation of New York into a reserve of the obscenely wealthy and the barely here—a place increasingly devoid of the idiosyncrasy, the complexity, the opportunity, and the roiling excitement that make a city great.
Inside The Booming Business Of Background Music
The background music industry – also known as music design, music consultancy or something offered as part of a broader package of “experiential design” or “sensory marketing” – is constantly deciding what we hear as we go about our everyday business. The biggest player in the industry, Mood Media, supplies music to 560,000 locations across the world, from Sainsbury’s to KFC.
How “Old School” Commodore And Nintendo Graphics Worked
The limitations of color on older 1980’s computers and game consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Commodore 64 explained.
The Pentagon’s Push To Program Soldiers’ Brains
The military wants future super-soldiers to control robots with their thoughts. The mission is to make human beings something other than what we are, with powers beyond the ones we’re born with and beyond the ones we can organically attain.
New Technology In China Turns Desert Into Land Rich With Crops
China was praised for a law it passed in 2002 — the world’s first integrated law dedicated to combating desert expansion. With this goal in mind, China has carried out several projects that have been successful, including at one desert in northern China.
What Does Uber Love More: Restaurants or Investors?
Eateries are getting squeezed by delivery apps. Restaurants can enjoy a 69% profit margin onsite, versus just 38% from deliveries. Uber could give up profit to keep them happy, but that’s not what IPO investors want to hear.