The Mysterious Origins Of Mastermind, The Codebreaking Board Game
Invented in 1970, Mastermind would sell 30 million copies before that decade was up, and boast a national championship at the Playboy Club, a fan in Muhammed Ali, official use by the Australian military for training, and 80% ownership amongst the population of Denmark.
The Lonely City: Adventures In The Art Of Being Alone
Loneliness is difficult to confess; difficult too to categorize. Like depression, a state with which it often intersects, it can run deep in the fabric of a person, as much a part of one’s being as laughing easily or having red hair.
Counterspy: The Russian Plot To Take Over Hollywood
They wanted a spy at the center of the industry. He had bigger ambitions. The wild true story of wheeling and dealing double agent Boris Morros and the woman who became his nemesis.
My Life Under Armed Guard
Since 2006, Italian journalist Roberto Saviano has faced constant threat of death for exposing the secrets of the Naples mafia in his book Gomorrah. Is the price of life under armed guard too much for a writer to pay?
What Happened To American Childhood?
The percentage of 12-to-17-year-olds who had experienced a major depressive episode in the previous year shot up from 8 percent to 13 percent. Among girls, the rate was even higher; in 2017, one in five reported experiencing major depression. Here’s what we can do about it.
How A Hot $100 Million Home Design Startup Collapsed Overnight
The untold story of how Homepolish’s extremely Instagrammable house of cards came tumbling down. Instead of building a design juggernaut, the founder constructed something much more precarious — a fear-based culture where sound strategy couldn’t flourish, and where the pressure to grow led to reckless decision-making.
The Race To Understand Antarctica’s Most Terrifying Glacier
Thwaites Glacier has long been the subject of dark speculation. If this mysterious glacier were to break down into icebergs and eventually collapse into the ocean—it might be more than a scientific curiosity. It might be the kind of event that changes the course of civilization.
A Parallel Neighborhood Of Unhoused People Has Grown Up Around The Existing Community
In Koreatown, the homeless live on sidewalks, in alleyways, parks—and anyplace else they can find. Dilapidated tents bound together with rope create strange formations amid the city’s mix of modern and Art Deco architecture. They awkwardly jut from the sidewalks like poorly crafted spaceships.
The Frontier Couple Who Chose Death Over Life Apart
Artist Eric Bealer was living the remote, rugged good life in coastal Alaska with his wife, Pam, an MS sufferer, when they made a dramatic decision: to exit this world together, leaving behind precise instructions for whoever entered their cabin first.
‘The Intelligence Coup Of The Century’
For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company, Crypto AG, to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA.
The Case Of The Empty Frames Remains Art World’s Biggest Mystery
What happened at the Gardner Museum has become the most famous art heist ever, not only because of the money involved—$500 million, making it the largest art theft in history—but also because of the countless FBI agents, private detectives and art dealers who’ve tried and failed to solve it.
Will Upzoning Neighborhoods Make Homes More Affordable?
Housing affordability is a growing issue in America, and there’s a battle over how to fix it happening on blocks across the country. Zoning—the rules that govern how cities use their land—is on the front line. Cities and states across the country are proposing new upzoning laws to combat the housing crisis. Will they work?
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.
Inside The Booming Business Of Background Music
The background music industry – also known as music design, music consultancy or something offered as part of a broader package of “experiential design” or “sensory marketing” – is constantly deciding what we hear as we go about our everyday business. The biggest player in the industry, Mood Media, supplies music to 560,000 locations across the world, from Sainsbury’s to KFC.
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.
Did A Violin Teacher From Texas Solve The World’s Greatest Classical Music Mystery?
What is that enigmatic theme that supposedly runs through the entire work but is never played? Edward Elgar, who died in 1934, never said. For decades, musicologists, cryptologists and music lovers have offered up innumerable solutions for the phantom melody.
Old Tech’s New Wave, Or Why We Still Love Faxes, Pagers And Cassettes
Once seen as cutting edge, many of yesterday’s gadgets are – surprisingly – still in use or are making a comeback. But why is it that we are turning to retro solutions more frequently?
Going The Distance (And Beyond) To Catch Marathon Cheaters
Derek Murphy investigates runners whose times seem suspicious, which is what brought him to a 70-year-old doctor named Frank Meza. He’d run an exceptional time of 2 hours, 53 minutes that day, setting a record for the fastest marathon ever run by a man his age.
The Bizarre Social History Of Beds
Groucho Marx once joked, “Anything that can’t be done in bed isn’t worth doing at all.” You might think he was referring to sleeping and sex. But humans, at one time or another, have done just about everything in bed. And yet, they’re more of an afterthought.
Inside The Strange World Of Kidnap And Ransom Survival Schools
Risks Inc. is one of a few dozen private companies I had found that offer kidnap prevention and survival courses. Costs range from about $600 to a couple thousand dollars. Some are entirely in a classroom; others include role-playing.
The Price Of Dominionist Theology
Because my father believed that debt was sinful, and believed God wanted him and my mom to have as many kids as possible, they were too broke to help me pay for college. Because of this anti-debt theology, I wasn’t allowed to take out student loans, and had to attend a really conservative Christian college because it was so cheap.