The Origins Of The Sicilian Mafia
The Sicilian Mafia, referred to by its own members as Cosa Nostra, a phrase meaning “our thing”, is an infamous association of criminal syndicates. They are famous for their heavy-handed role in protection racketeering, alcohol and drug smuggling, and other organized illegal activities across the world.
I Survived the Warsaw Ghetto. Here Are the Lessons I’d Like to Pass On.
As a Polish Jew born in 1925, who survived the Warsaw ghetto, lost my family in the Holocaust, served in a special operations unit of the Polish underground, the Home Army, and fought in the Warsaw uprising of 1944, I know what it means to be at the sharp end of European history – and I fear that the battle to draw the right lessons from that time is in danger of being lost.
Why China’s First Military Base Abroad Is In Africa
For many countries, the Republic of Djibouti has become the central anchor point in the region. It hosts military bases from France, the United States, Japan, Italy and, since 2017, China. The fact that so many countries want to be present here has to do with the location, which is important for a lot of reasons.
The Last Ditch Attempt To Save The USSR, August Coup Of 1991
One of the most important events in the decline and fall of the USSR was the August Coup of 1991 which saw its Vice President attempt to overthrow its president, Mikhail Gorbachev. It didn’t go too well and was hastily planned but the fact that it ended peacefully is frankly nothing short of miraculous.
The True Story Of Erroll Garner, The First Artist To Sue A Major Label And Win
You have to dial back to 1960 to find the major precedent: when star jazz pianist Erroll Garner sued Columbia Records for breaking his contract — and won after a nearly three-year battle in a New York Supreme Court decision. It was a landmark case that has been largely forgotten.
When The Sahara Was Green
The climate of the Sahara was completely different thousands of years ago. And we’re not talking about just a few years of extra rain. We’re talking about a climate that was so wet for so long that animals and humans alike made themselves at home in the middle of the Sahara.
Former Secret Service Agent Explains How to Detect Counterfeit Money
Former Secret Service Agent Jonathan Wackrow explains how the Service keeps counterfeit currency out of circulation. The Secret Service was installed to combat counterfeit money during the Civil War, and the Service still to this day works tirelessly to suppress counterfeits.
The Canadian Genius Who Created Modern AI
For nearly 40 years, Geoff Hinton has been trying to get computers to learn like people do, a quest almost everyone thought was crazy or at least hopeless – right up until the moment it revolutionized the field. In this video, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ashlee Vance meets the Godfather of AI.
The Strange Neuroscience Behind Our Understanding Of Free Will
Do we really have free will? In a three-part series, the BBC explores the hidden powers behind the choices we make. This episode looks at the neuroscience behind our understanding of free will.
What Happened To Donald Trump’s $365 Million Airline?
For a short time in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Donald Trump owned an airline. In 1989, Trump raised $365 million to purchase the Eastern Shuttle. Within 18 months, the airline lost over $125 million, and by 1992, Trump decided it was time to walk away.
The Economic Failure Of Venezuela
In terms of countries that had it easy Venezuela by all counts should be at the top of the list, it is home to the largest oil deposits in the world, easily beating out the typical oil giants like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab eremites. But they squandered it.
“I Bought An Abandoned Ghost Town”
My name is Brent and with my friend Jon, I purchased the former mining town of “Cerro Gordo”. The town was originally established in 1865 and by 1869 they were pulling 340 tons of bullion out of the mountain for Los Angeles. The silver from Cerro Gordo was responsible for building Los Angeles.
The Internet’s Second Revolution
The second half of humanity is joining the internet. People in countries like India will change the internet, and it will change them. You have a whole bunch of languages that don’t enjoy very good support in terms of web browsers or input. And you have a whole bunch of people who can’t actually read or write.
The Chaotic Story Of Dexys Midnight Runners & “Come On Eileen”
When faced with the phrase “One Hit Wonder” Dexys Midnight Runners would be one of the first bands to come to most minds. Their megahit “Come On Eileen” is one of the eternal dancefloor fillers. So who were Dexys Midnight Runners? Why did they go through sixteen members before their worldwide smash?
The Road That Links China And Pakistan, A Journey Across India & Pakistan
Adnan Sarwar drives along the Karakoram Highway, one of the highest paved roads on Earth to Attabad Lake. Babita’s journey takes her into the state of Jammu and Kashmir, a region which is still being fought over by India and Pakistan, who both claimed it at Partition.
The Violent Eviction That Transformed San Francisco
In 1968, a group of predominantly Filipino elders in San Francisco launched a battle to protect their home from eviction. Their fight for their neighborhood would evolve into a nearly decade-long protest with thousands of supporters and become a symbol of the campaign for affordable housing for decades to come.
Italy’s Crumbling Motorways: How The Genoa Bridge Collapse Exposed A National Scandal
The state of Italian motorways is a national scandal. There are about twenty badly-damaged motorway bridges in Italy currently under investigation. There are also 200 illegal tunnels, which don’t comply with European standards and 1,000 viaducts which haven’t been monitored for years.
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.
“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.
“This Land Is Your Land”, The Story Behind America’s Best-Known Protest Song
On its most basic level, “This Land Is Your Land” is a song about inclusion and equality—the American ideal broken down into simple, eloquent language and set to a melody you memorize on first listen. But there’s more to “This Land Is Your Land” than many people realize.
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.