The Dictatorship Of Data
Big data is poised to transform society. Yet big data also exacerbates a very old problem: relying on the numbers when they are far more fallible than we think. Nothing underscores the consequences of data analysis gone awry more than the story of Robert McNamara.
Why Cruise Lines Keep Cutting Their Ships In Half
In a process called “stretching,” the Star Breeze is getting pulled apart to make room for a new, 84-foot, 1,250-ton prefab midsection addition. Think of it like unsnapping (or unwelding) two Legos and putting another block in between. But with a boat.
How Texas Instruments Monopolized Math Class
Some major textbooks feature illustrations of Texas Instruments–series calculators alongside the text, so students can use their Texas Instruments calculator with the lesson plan, emphasizing how deeply interwoven Texas Instruments remains with the educational hegemony.
100 Years Ago In Photos: A Look Back At 1919
A century ago, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, as much of the world was still recovering from the devastation of World War I. Rebuilding was just beginning, refugees were returning home, orphans were being cared for, and a global influenza outbreak was being battled.
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.
How An Obsession With Home Ownership Can Ruin The Economy
Many dream of owning their own home, and thanks to huge financial incentives in the rich world many have been able to so. But government policies to encourage home ownership were a huge mistake.
London Underground 1970-1980 By Mike Goldwater
The first thing that strikes anyone who regularly rides on the London Underground is how clean it looks in Mike Goldwater’s photographs. Homeward bound tourists keen to recapture the thrill of minding the gap and cooling their heels on overcrowded platforms are not offered a range of signature scents.
How Fish And Chips Migrated To Great Britain
When Portugal fell under Spanish rule, the Inquisition targeted individuals with Jewish lineage. As religious violence worsened, many Jews fled Portugal and resettled in England, bringing with them culinary treasures founded in Sephardic cuisine—including fish. Peshkado frito was one of them.
The Death Of The Hippies
Professional photographer Joe Samberg remembers how drugs destroyed Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue scene. Still, the hippies did end up having a lasting impact on American culture—even if it wasn’t quite the one they’d intended.
Big Tech Takes Aim At The Low-Profit Retail-Banking Industry
After years of timidity Big Tech, with its billions of users and gigantic war chest, at last appears serious about crashing the fintech party. Amazon and Apple introduced a credit card. Facebook announced a new payments system and Google said it would start offering current (checking) accounts in America.
Iran’s Economy Could Be Huge, But They Don’t Care
What has prevented Iran, teeming with natural resources and a young, educated population, from becoming a world-leading economy? How did it go from rapid growth to economic failure, and why is it still unable to fulfil it’s potential?
The Soviets’ Unbreakable Code
Created at the end of World War II and introduced in 1956, the Fialka replaced the Albatross, a Soviet cipher machine that was itself more complex than the Enigma. By the 1970s, Fialka encryption machines had been widely adopted by Warsaw Pact and other communist nations, and they remained in use until the early 1990s.
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.
Holocaust Survivor To Olympic Gold: The Remarkable Life Of Eva Szekely
The fascists came for Eva Szekely in the winter of 1944, when she was 17. She escaped and became swimming royalty, breaking six world records, winning 44 national titles, a gold in the 200m breaststroke at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 and a silver in the same event at Melbourne in 1956.
To Defy The United States, Fidel Castro Built The World’s Greatest Ice Cream Parlor
When the United States announced a total embargo in 1962, cutting Cuba off from the American dairy market, Castro found himself the leader of a milk-free island that was too warm for dairy cows. Undaunted, he demanded, in 1966, the construction of the greatest ice cream parlor the world had ever seen. Visitors to Havana can still eat there today.
‘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.
The Long-Lost Story Of The Longest Book Ever Written
For or a long time, Joe Gould thought he was going blind. This was before he lost his teeth, and years before he lost the history of the world he’d been writing in hundreds of dime-store composition notebooks, their black covers mottled like the pelt of a speckled goat, their white pages lined with thin blue veins.
The Bomb Didn’t Beat Japan… Stalin Did
The US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when the Japanese finally succumbed to the threat of further nuclear bombardment and surrendered. The support for this narrative runs deep. But there are three major problems with it, and, taken together, they significantly undermine the traditional interpretation of the Japanese surrender.
“Abandoned”, The Story Of The S.S America Vessel
In 1940, a stunning and iconic vessel was launched called the S.S America. A ship of pride for the United States and after a long career in her golden years, the vessel ended up in a state of limbo for a while. She was left abandoned floating aimlessly until she was bought out and renamed to the SS American Star.
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.
The Most Loved And Hated Classic Novels According To Goodreads Users
Reading classic literature is like going for a 6am jog. It has its loyal fans but few enjoy it. Curious to learn about what classics people actually enjoy, Daniel Frank delved into the Goodreads data to find what classics users love and hate the most.