The Weird Power Of The Placebo Effect, Explained
Placebos seem to have the greatest power over symptoms that lie at the murky boundary between the physical and psychological. Placebos seem to move the needle on pain, nausea, asthma, and phobias, with more inconsistent results for outcomes like smoking, dementia, depression*, obesity, hypertension, insomnia, and anxiety.
The Secret Of Scooby-doo’s Enduring Appeal
Why has Scooby-Doo—described by the New York Times film critic A. O. Scott in 2002 as “one of the cheapest, least original products of modern American juvenile culture”—outlasted not only such Hanna-Barbera brethren as The Flintstones and Yogi Bear, but also pretty much everything else on television?
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 Climate Crisis Isn’t Coming, It’s Already Here
The climate crises will spell our doom, a disaster that’s not merely on its way—it’s already here. Rosecrans Baldwin embeds with the government agents and the doomsday experts preparing now for the plagues, and the panics, and the fast-approaching day when life on our warming planet finally falls apart.
How The ‘Rugby Rape Trial’ Divided Ireland
After a trial that dominated the news, the accused were all found not guilty. But the case had tapped into a deeper rage that has not died down. The #MeToo movement was in full flow, and women from all over the island of Ireland were telling painful stories of sexual humiliations at the hands of men.
Uncatchable: The Story Of Fugitive George Wright
George Wright, America’s most elusive fugitive, ran for forty years. He ran from the cops after escaping from prison. He ran from the feds after the most brazen hijacking in history. He ran from the authorities on three continents, hiding out and blending in wherever he went.
Catch Me If You Can: The Global Pursuit of a Fugitive Ship
Authorities believe the STS-50 operated illegally for 10 years or so and looted up to $50-million worth of the fish. Interpol had issued a purple notice for the vessel. But the vessel’s owners and captain had been evading authorities for years with a typical bag of tricks
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?
The Decade Disney Won
The control Disney has on pop culture is kind of terrifying. Marvel’s superhero movies and Star Wars are two of—if not the—biggest franchises in the world. Add those to Pixar’s beloved library of films and its own perennially popular movies, and Disney is effectively in charge of what people watch.
The Primal Pleasure And Brutal History Of Sugar
In the Western imagination, sugar is pleasure, temptation, and vice — and in modern history, it is original sin. How a taste for sweetness, developed for survival, became a stand-in for everything good — and evil — about our culture.
The New Mind Control
The internet has spawned subtle forms of influence that can flip elections and manipulate everything we say, think and do. Most of the vacuous thoughts and intense feelings our teenagers experience from morning till night are carefully orchestrated by highly skilled marketing professionals working in our fashion and entertainment industries.
Why Burger King Is Proudly Advertising A Moldy, Disgusting Whopper
Burger King unveiled a global ad campaign aimed at highlighting its commitment to dropping all artificial preservatives. The chain’s anti-preservatives pledge breaks just about every rule in advertising.
What Happens When Bitcoin Miners Take Over Your Town
Miners now pouring into Eastern Washington are building sites with tens of thousands of servers and electrical loads of as much as 30 megawatts, or enough to power a neighborhood of 13,000 homes. And in the arms race that cryptocurrency mining has become, even these operations will soon be considered small-scale.
Fake It Till You Make It: Meet The Wolves Of Instagram
To thousands of young millennials from humble backgrounds, Jordan Belfort’s Wolf of Wall Street story became a blueprint for how to escape an unremarkable life on low pay. Their social media feeds display super-rich lifestyles, but what are these self-styled traders really selling?
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?
Beyond The Growth Gospel
The Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert symbolizes the very empire these adherents of “degrowth,” as the movement is known, wish to overthrow: consumption, wealth, inequality, travel, and cement, the whole modern industrial condition.
What Facial Recognition Steals From Us
In just the past five years, the meaning of the human face has quietly but seismically shifted. That’s because researchers at Facebook, Google, and other institutions have nearly perfected techniques for automated facial recognition.
The Murder House
A mysterious mansion. A murder-suicide. Paranormal activity. This is the true story of 2475 Glendower Place. Before the Internet, it retained its anonymity, hiding at the foot of Griffith Park, at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. Now it’s becoming an Amityville horror for the Facebook generation.
Meet The Americans Who Moved To Europe And Went Awol On Their Student Loans
The amount of money adults in the US owe due to educations is over $1.3 trillion and jumps up by more than $2,000 every second. The average borrower owes $28,000. Some cash-strapped former students are choosing to leave America behind in order to avoid paying off their giant debts.
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?