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.
The Secret History Of Facial Recognition
Sixty years ago, a sharecropper’s son invented a technology to identify faces. Then the record of his role all but vanished. He died on October 4, 1995. His obituary in the Austin American-Statesman made no mention of his work on facial recognition. Who was Woody Bledsoe, and who was he working for?
China’s Man-Made Forest In The Desert
In 1986, the city of Aksu in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region began an ambitious tree-planting project that looked to turn swaths of desert into forest. The result was over 13 million acres of green that became the Kekeya greening project.
How The Dumb Design Of A WWII Plane Led To The Macintosh
For all the triumph of America’s new planes and tanks during World War II, a silent reaper stalked the battlefield: accidental deaths and mysterious crashes that no amount of training ever seemed to fix. At first, pilots took the blame for crashes. The true cause, however, lay with the design. That lesson led us into our user-friendly age—but there’s peril to come.
These Skyscrapers Suck Pollution From The Air
A look inside Milan’s Bosco Verticale, a pair of residential high-rises designed by Stefano Boeri with greenery designed to suck pollution out of the air.
“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.
Buried In Sand For A Millennium: Africa’s Roman Ghost City
Timgad is a lost Roman city on the edge of the Sahara desert in Algeria that remained hidden beneath the sand for nearly a thousand years. Positively obscure compared to the international notoriety of Pompeii, this ancient city is nonetheless one of the best surviving examples of Roman town planning anywhere in the historical Empire.
Science Fiction Short Film: Others Will Follow
The lone survivor of the first mission to Mars uses his last moments to pass the torch of inspiration. Others Will Follow was inspired by a speech written for President Nixon to deliver in the event that the Apollo 11 astronauts were stranded on the moon.
Events That Changed The Course Of History, In Photos
Great documentary photography will capture turning points: moments that change the course of history on a global, national, or even personal level. The world’s best photographers pick out the most powerful images from their archives.
One Last Job: The Unlikely Story Behind The Hatton Garden Heist
The Hatton Garden Heist is one of the highest value burglaries ever to have taken place in Britain. The plot reads like a Hollywood movie and involved millions of pounds of diamonds and a group of ageing villains.
Reversing Ageing: New Studies Show It Can Be Done
The Horvath clock is extremely accurate at predicting how old you are and can even predict when you’ll die. The clock itself is part of the aging mechanism, hence physically being able to dial back the hands of the clock could mean becoming physically younger.
“I Live Alone In An Island Paradise”
In 1989, Mauro Morandi’s boat docked on Budelli Island off the northern coast of Sardinia, Italy. Discovering that the island’s caretaker was retiring within the next two days, Mauro decided to extend his stay indefinitely and step into the role himself.
In A Disaster, Humans Can Behave… Pretty Well, Actually
In his new book, Jon Mooallem tells the story of the Great Alaska Earthquake and Genie Chance, the woman whose voice on the radio held everyone together. It’s a beautiful exploration of how people tell stories on the radio, on stage, in books, and generally to each other.
Watch Picasso Make A Masterpiece
‘Le Mystère Picasso’ is a remarkable documentary film made by French director, Henri-Georges Clouzot, in which stop-action and time-lapse photography are used to capture Picasso at work. Not many of the works he created for the documentary survive but here’s how one of them came to be.
Before Tinder, There Was Dateline
Operation Match was a computer dating service started at Harvard in 1965 by two undergraduates, that paired students together for dates for $3 a pop. Students filled in questionnaires which were processed by an IBM 1401 before receiving the names and telephone numbers of their matches in the post.
Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later. He Had One Question.
Around them, death was everywhere. Still, the lovers planned a life together, a future outside of Auschwitz. They knew they would be separated, but they had a plan, after the fighting was done, to reunite. It took them 72 years.
The Lost Art Of Concentration: Being Distracted In A Digital World
We check our phones every 12 minutes, often just after waking up. Always-on behaviour is harmful to long-term mental health, and we need to learn to the hit the pause button. Experts are telling us that these interruptions and distractions have eroded our ability to concentrate.
How We’ll Forget John Lennon
The report, “The universal decay of collective memory and attention,” concludes that people and things are kept alive through “oral communication” from about five to 30 years. They then pass into written and online records, where they experience a slower, longer decline.
Inside China’s Ghost Cities
Australia’s 60 Minutes TV program visited China’s eerie ghost towns. An entire city – all the buildings, the roads, schools, hospitals, you name it – except the people. There is not a soul to be seen.
Could This Gorgeous Electric Plane Be The Tesla Of The Skies?
Called the “ZER0”, it’s an electric plane designed for efficiency rather than speed. The vehicle is only a concept, but it’s a compelling case study in how we might reconsider air travel to help the environment, developed by designer Joe Doucet.
How Silicon Valley Ruined Work Culture
More and more offices are adopting the work culture invented by the technology upstarts. These are not the offices where your grandparents worked, clocking out at 5 sharp, eyeballing the corner office. There is no corner office here—just “hot desks” and open floor plans, wide as the prairie.