The British Once Built A 1,100-Mile Hedge Through The Middle Of India
There was nothing charming about what the British built. It wasn’t meant to protect anything except imperial revenue. It grew along the Inland Customs Line, a bureaucratic barrier that the British created to impose a high salt tax on the people living on one side of the line—the relatively saltless one.
Where Oil Rigs Go To Die
The world has a problem with its oil rigs. There are too many of them. When a drilling platform is scheduled for destruction, it must go on a thousand-mile final journey to the breaker’s yard. As one rig proved when it crashed on to the rocks of a remote Scottish island, this is always a risky business.
Social Distancing? You Might Be Fighting Climate Change, Too
“Any time you can avoid getting on a plane, getting in a car or eating animal products, that’s a substantial climate savings.” Many people trying to avoid the coronavirus are already two-thirds of the way there.
The Very Dramatic $3,000,000 Qantas Airlines Heist
Just after midday on May 26th 1971, Australian authorities received a call from a mysterious Mr. Brown claiming that a Qantas flight from Sydney to Hong Kong was carrying a bomb. He then claimed that he would disclose the location of the onboard bomb in return for a hefty sum.
The Collapsing Crime Rates Of The ’90s Might Have Been Driven By Cellphones
It’s practically an American pastime to blame cellphones for all sorts of societal problems, from distracted parents to faltering democracies. But the devices might have also delivered a social silver lining: a de-escalation of the gang turf wars that tore up cities in the 1980s.
The Secret History Of A Cold War Mastermind
The legend of Gus Weiss, hero of the Cold War, ends 11 stories below the balcony of his condo at the Watergate complex in Washington, DC, on November 25, 2003. A broken corpse on the sidewalk. He was a shrewd intelligence insider, pulled off an audacious tech hack against the Soviets in the last century. Or did he?
Cocaine, No Sleep And Deep Soul: The Story Of David Bowie’s ‘Young Americans’
‘His eyes didn’t look healthy but his voice might be better than on any other album’ – pianist Mike Garson and guitarist Carlos Alomar recall the sessions that featured soul greats like Luther Vandross and visitors John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen.
The Lie That Helped Build Nintendo
In 1981, a young Swede called Owe Bergsten strolled through Singapore to pass the time before his flight home. Passing a camera shop, he spotted a two-button LCD game called ‘Fire RC-04’ in the window. The story of a man, a lie, a video game handheld, and a business empire.
What Does A Cashless Future Mean?
Operating in cash costs countries about 0.5% of their GDP every year. But cost isn’t the only incentive to move towards a cashless future. Many countries are going cashless at great speed. What are the advantages of ditching hard cash and what are the dangers?
How Philadelphia Became “The First City That Bombed Itself”
In 1985, an armed standoff between Philadelphia police and members of a radical black liberation group, resulted in the deaths of eleven people. No police officers or city officials were ever charged for their role in what’s known as the MOVE bombing.
The Citarum: The World’s Most Polluted River
The Citarum River in Indonesia is the world’s most polluted river. One of the main polluters is the fashion industry: 500 textile factories throw their wastewater directly into the river. The filmmakers teamed up with international scientists to investigate the causes and consequences of this pollution.
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.”
Documenting Climate Change By Air, Land And Sea
The New York Times photographer Josh Haner has spent the past four years capturing the effects of climate change around the world and under water.
America’s ‘War’ Against Switzerland
The not very widely known aerial fighting and bombing that occurred between the United States and Switzerland during World War II.
History Remembers These People, Just Not Their Names
Throughout history, people have made a name for themselves without anyone actually knowing their name, from the protestor who stood up to a tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989, to notorious successful hijacker D.B. Cooper (almost certainly not his real name).
The Subtle Seduction Of The ‘Warm’ In Global Warming
In a report called “Most Like It Hot,” the Pew Research Center found that 57 percent of Americans prefer to live in a city with a hot climate, and only 29 percent prefer cold locales. Could our collective preference for balmy weather be lulling us into a false sense of complacency toward climate change?
Stunning Photographs Of A Pre-Fame Prince In 1977
In 1977 the photographer Robert Whitman was asked to take some promo shots of an unknown 19-year-old musician called Prince Rogers Nelson. Over a couple of days, he shot the 19-year-old musician all over Minneapolis. Whitman was the first professional photographer ever to shoot Prince.
How Air Conditioning Created The Modern City
The shopping mall would have been inconceivable without air conditioning, as would the deep-plan and glass-walled office block, as would computer servers. The expansion of tract housing in postwar suburban America relied on affordable domestic air conditioning units.
Montenegro’s Scenic Coast Spoiled By Greed
Montenegro is the only country in the world to describe itself as “ecological” in its constitution. But the exploitation of its Adriatic coastline, where developers are given free rein, tells a different story.
The Last Time Democracy Almost Died
The last time democracy nearly died all over the world and almost all at once, Americans argued about it, and then they tried to fix it. What can we learn from the upheaval of the 1930s?
“I Met The Walrus”, An Animated Interview With John Lennon
In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced him to do an interview. 38 years later, Levitan, director Josh Raskin and illustrators James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina have collaborated to create an animated short film.