The Remote ‘Democratic’ Oasis Of Soviet Russia
The academic town of Akademgorodok in Siberia was created by Russian mathematician Mikhaïl Alekseïevitch Lavrentiev, who wanted to install a safe haven for scientists in the middle of Siberia. Such isolation from Moscow created a fertile scientific and cultural nest away from the influence of the State and its politics.
Why Is Chicken So Cheap?
Chickens are the most populous bird on the planet. There are 23 billion of them at any given time – that’s ten times more than any other bird. It’s by far the fastest growing meat product but pound for pound the price of chicken has fallen sharply. How has this happened?
Welcome To The Monkey House
Between the end of the Korean War and the early 1990s, more than one million Korean women were caught up in a state-controlled prostitution industry that was blessed at the highest levels by the U.S. military. They worked in special zones surrounding U.S. bases—areas licensed by the South Korean government.
The Brutal Reality Of Life Inside One Of The World’s Most Polluted Cities
In Quintero, oil leaks and pollution from heavy industry is taking a heavy toll on the health of local citizens. The air often tastes metallic, rather than of the sea. Even the beach looks darker than it should be. Now the fight is on to clean up one of Chile’s so-called “sacrifice zones”.
The Secret Rules Of The Internet
Many US-based companies continue to consign their moderators to the margins, shipping their platforms’ digital waste to “special economic zones” in the Global South. The murky history of moderation, and how it’s shaping the future of free speech.
Muslims Of Early America
Muslims came to America more than a century before Protestants, and in great numbers. How was their history forgotten? Not just the language of Islam, but the religion itself likely arrived in America in 1492, more than 20 years before Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door, igniting the Protestant reformation.
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.
Is Big Tech Good For Your Health?
Health care is in the midst of a digital revolution and it is generating an ocean of data. Tech giants including Google and Microsoft want to work with hospitals and health-care systems to improve lives. But should people trust them with their medical data?
“Vert”, Short Film About Unearthing A Husband’s Secret Through VR
Emelia and Jeff are an open-minded couple celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary by venturing into the virtual reality world of ‘Vert’ together. Vert presents them with a character that is their ‘ideal self’ and what is supposed to be re-awakening for them as a couple becomes the unearthing of Jeff’s secret.
Why Prices Differ Around the World
If you have ever traveled somewhere, especially to countries that are either a good deal richer or poorer than your own, you might have noticed that some places are certainly a lot more expensive than others. There seems to be a strong correlation between the average wealth of a country and the cost of goods and services.
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?
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.
People With Extreme Political Views Have Trouble Thinking About Their Own Thinking
Your super liberal and super conservative relatives might all have one thing in common. Radicals can’t question their own ideas the same way more moderate individuals can.
How Half A Tonne Of Cocaine Transformed The Life Of An Island
In 2001, a smugglers’ yacht washed up in the Azores and disgorged its contents. The island of São Miguel was quickly flooded with high-grade cocaine – and nearly 20 years on, it is still feeling the effects.
We Are Living In A Failed State
When the virus came here, it found a country with serious underlying conditions, and it exploited them ruthlessly. Chronic ills—a corrupt political class, a sclerotic bureaucracy, a heartless economy, a divided and distracted public—had gone untreated for years. We had learned to live, uncomfortably, with the symptoms.
The British Once Built A 1,100-Mile Hedge Through The Middle Of India
There was nothing charming about what the British built. It wasn’t meant to protect anything except imperial revenue. It grew along the Inland Customs Line, a bureaucratic barrier that the British created to impose a high salt tax on the people living on one side of the line—the relatively saltless one.
The First State-Approved North Korean Novel In English
“Friend” by Paek Namnyong was first published in 1988 in North Korea where it became a bestseller and a television series. Thirty years later, Friend has become the first state-sanctioned North Korean novel to be published in English. It is, most surprisingly, a novel about love, marriage, and divorce.
“The Shivering Truth”, A 6 Episode Dark Comedy
The omnibus of painfully riotous emotional parables dripping from the deepest caverns of your unconscious are lovingly animated in stop-motion. In other words, it is the Truth.
Life At The End Of American Empire
The 2008 crisis and the government’s response made obvious the extent of economic and political inequality in the United States, and the absolute decline in wealth and well-being for a growing fraction of Americans. Evidence of decline is manifest to those of us living in America in the first decades of the 21st century.
‘Anumeric’ People: What Happens When A Language Has No Words for Numbers?
Cultures without numbers, or with only one or two precise numbers, include the Munduruku and Pirahã in Amazonia. Researchers have also studied some adults in Nicaragua who were never taught number words. What can these anumeric cultures teach us about ourselves?