The ‘Hidden Mechanisms’ That Help Those Born Rich To Excel In Elite Jobs
Sociologists Daniel Laurison and Sam Friedman have uncovered a striking, consistent pattern in data about England’s workforce: Not only are people born into working-class families far less likely than those born wealthy to get an elite job—but they also, on average, earn 16 percent less in the same fields of work.
The Stradivarius Affair
It isn’t every day that a street criminal—a high-school dropout with two felony convictions—is accused of stealing a centuries-old violin worth as much as $6 million. But nothing about the heist of the Lipinski Stradivarius, which galvanized the music world last winter, was normal, or even logical.
Schlitterbahn’s Tragic Slide
In the water park business, Jeff Hendry was considered a genius of sorts. He often said that his goal in life was to make customers of his family’s legendary water parks happy—“to put a smile on their faces, to give them a thrill or two.” It was a beautiful vision. Until it went horribly wrong.
Are Stem Cell Treatments A Type Of Miracle Cure Or Snake Oil?
Stem cells have taken on a mythic promise in the eyes of many who are ailing and desperate. But a new crop of treatments might be nothing more than costly placebos—or possibly dangerous.
Search and rescue teams train for the worst conditions. But the worst conditions are getting worse. Search teams are stretched. Rescuers are burning out. We are all less safe. Are search and rescue teams ready for the next big disaster?
The Invisible City: How A Homeless Man Built A Life Underground
After decades among the hidden homeless, Dominic Van Allen dug himself a bunker beneath Hampstead Heath, a vast open space that sits as a sort of green beehive haircut on top of metropolitan central London. His life would get even more precarious.
Your Plastic Addiction Is Bankrolling Big Oil
As the world transitions slowly but surely away from fuel-guzzling cars, gas-powered buildings, and coal-fired power plants, fossil fuel company execs must count on growth that comes from somewhere else—and they see their savior as plastics.
How IKEA Became Sweden’s National Brand
In 1950, Ingvar Kamprad began selling furniture. Seeing the logistical difficulty of shipping large items far away, Ingvar decided to flat-pack the furniture, which also reduced the chance of damage during transport. The company created a catalog that customers could browse through and order with from afar.
How One Company You’ve Never Heard Of Swallowed Tens Of Thousands Of Text Messages — Then Spit Them Back Out
People woke up to strange text messages from friends and loved ones. The messages had actually been sent months earlier, on Valentine’s Day, but had been frozen in place by a glitched server and were only shot out when the system was finally fixed nine months later.
When Does An Accident Become A Crime?
While driving through a dangerous curve in East Texas, James Fulton crossed into oncoming traffic and killed a young woman. The cops said the crash was an accident. But the Smith County DA saw it differently.
How To Spot A Perfect Fake: The World’s Top Art Forgery Detective
The incentive to be a proficient forger has soared; a single, expertly executed old master knockoff can finance a long, comfortable retirement. The technologies available to abet the aspiring forger have also improved. Forgeries have got so good – and so costly – that Sotheby’s has brought in its own in-house fraud-busting expert.
The Last Days Of John Allen Chau
In the fall of 2018, the 26-year-old American missionary traveled to a remote speck of sand and jungle in the Indian Ocean, attempting to convert one of the planet’s last uncontacted tribes to Christianity. The islanders killed him, and Chau was pilloried around the world as a deluded Christian supremacist who deserved to die.
The Rise And Fall Of Pan Am
Pan Am was once the largest international airline in the US. In 1970 alone, it carried 11 million passengers to 86 countries worldwide. But after 60 years of flight, decades of financial turbulence, and a devastating terrorist attack above the skies of Lockerbie, Scotland, Pan Am went bust.
The World’s Tallest Water Slide Was a Terrible, Tragic Idea
At nearly 169 feet tall, Verrückt was taller than Niagara Falls. Riders flew down the world’s tallest water slide at 70 miles per hour, challenging the laws of physics. Then, on August 7, 2016, 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was decapitated on the ride. What went wrong to cause such a horrific tragedy?
The Condensed Guide To Running Meetings
There’s plenty of advice out there on how to stop spending so much time in meetings or make better use of the time, but does it hold up in reality? Can you really make meetings more effective and regain control of your calendar?
How Vacation Became Just Another Thing We’re Working On
Something’s up with retreats. Isn’t this supposed to be the age of burnout? Don’t people deny themselves vacation days and spend all their leisure time working on their side-hustles? How are retreats so popular when regular, no-frills relaxation is elusive for so many people? Maybe retreats are the future of vacations.
For Cops Who Kill, Special Supreme Court Protection
The U.S. high court’s continual refinement of an obscure legal doctrine has made it harder to hold police accountable when accused of using excessive force. Sick with pneumonia, agitated and confused, Johnny Leija refused to return to his hospital room. Moments later, Leija was dead at age 34.
The Art World’s Mini-Madoff And Me
Inigo Philbrick made his money betting big on a rise in price for a few artists, notably Stingel, who is known for his seemingly endless series of indistinguishable paintings of wallpaper, and Wool, whose most famous text painting fittingly spells out the word FOOL.
How Mormons Built The Next Silicon Valley While No One Was Looking
Unglamorous, rapidly scalable businesses that play into a theme investors affectionately refer to as “the consumerization of enterprise.” Unsurprisingly, most of these companies are also headed by a young, white, Mormon guy.
The End Of Farming?
Over the past 20 years or so, ad hoc coalitions of politicians, activists and conscience-stricken billionaires, have rewilded millions of acres of mostly failed agricultural and grazing land. Their guiding philosophy upends the long-dominant view that land should be cleared, plowed and wrung ever more efficiently for food.