The Invention Of Money
When the Venetian merchant Marco Polo got to China, he saw many wonders. One of the things that astonished him most, however, was a new invention, implemented by Kublai Khan, a grandson of the great conqueror Genghis. It was paper money, introduced by Kublai in 1260.
The Homeownership Obsession
There are two different tales we tell ourselves about houses. The primary story is about bright futures, long lives, children, grandchildren, and hard-earned success. The second story, the darker story, is about the horror of being trapped.
‘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 Man Who’s Going To Save Your Neighborhood Grocery Store
American food supplies are increasingly channeled through a handful of big companies: Amazon, Walmart, FreshDirect, Blue Apron. What do we lose when local supermarkets go under? A lot — and Kevin Kelley wants to stop that.
How The U.S. Betrayed The Marshall Islands, Kindling The Next Nuclear Disaster
Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs on, in and above the Marshall Islands — vaporizing whole islands, carving craters into its shallow lagoons and exiling hundreds of people from their homes.
How North Korean Hackers Rob Banks Around the World
North Korean hackers have carried out a systematic effort to target financial institutions all over the world. They scored $80 million by tricking a network into routing funds to Sri Lanka and the Philippines and then using a “money mule” to pick up the cash.
The Start-Ups Building ‘Dark Kitchens’ For Uber Eats And Deliveroo
Venture capitalists have all aligned on the best solution: kitchens that only serve delivery customers, known as “cloud”, “ghost” or “dark” kitchens, that use a combination of advanced food preparation, underused real estate and algorithm-driven optimisation to lower overheads and increase output.
Can $500 A Month Change Your Life?
A California-based experiment in universal basic income considers the mundane, and potentially transformative, power of a little extra cash. It’s not a new idea, dating as far back as Tudor England. Thinkers ranging from Martin Luther King Jr. to Milton Friedman have backed it.
The Best Hike In Every American State
Alpine scrambles and beach-front strolls; multi-day singletrack adventures and quick urban escapes; soaring trees and rolling sand dunes—every state in the country has something to offer intrepid hikers.
The Heart Of Today’s Billion-Dollar Sneaker-Collecting Boom Is 35 Years Old
Nowadays, sneakers aren’t just for wearing. They’re an asset class, on display at museums, and fueling an increasingly profitable resale market. Much of that traces back to Nike putting a superstar rookie’s name on a new pair of kicks in 1985.
The Everything Town In The Middle Of Nowhere
On any given day, thousands of packages from Walmarts, Targets, and stores around the country travel north along a two-lane road out of Billings, Montana — past the Tumbleweed Saloon, past cows grazing on empty rangeland, past the Busy Bee Cafe and stands of short pines — to the town of Roundup, where they will be unboxed, re-boxed, and sent off to Amazon.
‘Anyone Popular At School Has Muscles’: The Rise Of The Ripped Teen
Charlie, 13, starts his morning with 40 press-ups; William, 15, spends an hour a day working out. But when does a healthy interest become a dangerous obsession?
How The English Language Is Taking Over the Planet
English is everywhere, and everywhere, English dominates. From inauspicious beginnings on the edge of a minor European archipelago, it has grown to vast size and astonishing influence. Almost 400m people speak it as their first language; a billion more know it as a secondary tongue. Is there any point in resisting?
‘I Would Rather Win A Pulitzer Prize Than Be President’
Margaret Coit uncovered many new details about Kennedy’s literary obsession, including his direct involvement in pursuing a Pulitzer and in using his family’s wealth to keep his ghostwriter quiet. In the end, Kennedy got everything he wanted—the presidency and the Pulitzer both.
The Secret History Of Page Six
For more than four decades, Page Six has ruled the world of gossip about the famous and powerful. In an era when celebrities control the narrative and “power” is a dirty word, can it survive?
Why Airplane Boarding Got So Ridiculous
Airlines were focused on finding the fastest possible boarding method, so planes can spend less time at gates and more time in the air, making money. They might have stuck with that aim if it weren’t for the other change, which has to do with the fight for overhead bin space.
Revisiting An American Town Where Black People Weren’t Welcome After Dark
Anna is a city of a little more than 4,000 people located in the middle of Union County, where soybean fields and flatlands to the north give way to the forests and sandstone canyons of southern Illinois. Most people I met, wish the racist lore behind the city’s name would go away. So why hasn’t it?
The Fight To Save Broad Beach
Malibu homeowners banded together to address sea level rise. A decade later, they are at war with the city, the surfers, and each other. The choices are clear: Do nothing and lose the coast. Stall by dredging in sand, bouldering up revetments and emergency sea walls. Or look at long-term solutions.
How A Good Scam Can Bypass Our Defences
Scammers exploit cognitive errors, like “optimism bias.” Most people think they’re a little bit charmed, a little luckier than average. We harbour a personal fable that things are likely to go well for us.
One Woman’s Instagram-Fueled Ascent To ‘Boss Lady Status’
For New Orleans entrepreneur Jesseca Dupart, social media isn’t just a tool for building her business—it’s a platform for inspiring other black women to do the same. She started as a simple hair salon in 2012, now her beauty products are available in stores in every state, as well as Canada, the Caribbean, and the UK.
This Company Hired Anyone Who Applied. Now It’s Starting A Movement
Greyston Bakery uses a practice of open hiring: filling positions on a first-come, first-served basis, no questions asked. Now it wants to teach other companies how to do the same. Open hiring creates a pipeline for careers on the bakery’s manufacturing floor and throughout the rest of the company’s operations.