The Story Of A Baltimore Panhandler Murdering A Woman Made National News. The Truth Didn’t
Jacquelyn Smith was murdered, and not by the man on which her husband cannily tried to pin the crime—a homeless and powerless man. Baltimore’s most powerful institutions put a bizarre story to use for their purposes, shedding light on who counts in the city, and why.
Thirty-Six Thousand Feet Under The Sea
For more than a year, the team trying to reach the deepest point in every ocean faced challenges as timeless as bad weather and as novel as the equipment they invented. This is the story of the explorers who set one of the last meaningful records on earth.
Iceland’s Big Bitcoin Heist
With its cheap geothermal energy and low crime rate, Iceland has become the world’s leading miner of digital currency. Then the crypto-crooks showed up. The thieves weren’t robbing banks. They were stealing the presses that print digital money.
Uber Wars In Argentina
Since Uber arrived in Argentina in 2016, taxi drivers have come out in force, torching ride-share cars, beating drivers, and shaming passengers. There have been more than 1,041 fights — that have been reported to police, anyway.
Unlearning The Myth Of American Innocence
For all their patriotism, Americans rarely think about how their national identities relate to their personal ones. In recent years, however, this national identity has become more difficult to ignore. Americans can no longer travel in foreign countries without noticing the strange weight we carry with us.
Hollywood Is Quietly Using AI To Help Decide Which Movies To Make
AI will tell you who to cast and predict how much money you’ll make. Despite skepticism about specific applications, the tide might be turning. A single factor has convinced Hollywood to stop dismissing big data: Netflix.
Inside The All-Star Café Baseball Card Heist
A Coen Brothers-esque tale about knuckleheaded kitchen staffers at the All-Star Café, a Hollywood A-lister, the Mona Lisa of baseball cards and a plan that went horribly wrong.
Puff, Puff, Pass: A New Vape With Hazy Origins Takes Juul’s Place
Due to their popularity with teenagers, flavored vapes fell directly into regulator’s crosshairs. Pod-based vape companies, like JUUL, are now banned from selling any flavored pods, aside from menthol and tobacco. Now, Puff Bar’s popularity is surging, but no one knows anything about the mysterious company.
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?
Skin Cancer Prevention Campaign Painted Sunblock On All The Faces On Billboards Along A Main Highway
Peru has the highest UV radiation levels in the world. So to highlight the need for sunblock, agency McCann Lima partnered with 21 brands that advertise on the Panamericana Sur, the busiest highway linking Lima and the country’s beaches, to hijack their billboards with the addition of sunblock.
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 Criminalization Of The American Midwife
New York midwife Elizabeth Catlin faces 95 individual felony counts at her upcoming trial. For what? For doing her job. Politics and patriarchy make the work of many credentialed, experienced midwives illegal — to the detriment of women and underserved communities.
The Woman Who Lives 200,000 Years in the Past
Lynx Vilden is a 54-year-old British expat who, for most of her adult life, has lived wholly off the grid. She doesn’t have cell service or WiFi. Until about ten years ago, Lynx also possessed no credit card, nor fixed address; her previous abodes had neither electricity nor running water.
The Traffic Merchant
Google Chrome extensions promised useful tasks like converting webpages into PDFs. But once installed, they injected ads and generated massive amounts of invalid traffic, the ad industry’s term for fake or manipulated views, users, or clicks. More than 60 of those extensions were owned by Daniel Yomtobian.
How North Korean Hackers Rob Banks Around the World
North Korean hackers have carried out a systematic effort to target financial institutions all over the world. They scored $80 million by tricking a network into routing funds to Sri Lanka and the Philippines and then using a “money mule” to pick up the cash.
Will The American Dirt Fiasco Change American Publishing?
What lesson are book publishers taking away from the controversy raised by American Dirt, Jeanine Cummins’ novel about a Mexican woman and her son seeking to cross the border? Will the furor change the way editors think about acquiring novels, or does the book’s sales success obviate those concerns?
How A Volcano In Hawaii Became A Battleground For Astronomy
Native Hawaiians are protecting the mountain of Maunakea, at the heart of Hawaii’s Big Island, from the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) at its summit, where the facility would join venerable observatories like the twin Keck domes and NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility.
The Very Dramatic $3,000,000 Qantas Airlines Heist
Just after midday on May 26th 1971, Australian authorities received a call from a mysterious Mr. Brown claiming that a Qantas flight from Sydney to Hong Kong was carrying a bomb. He then claimed that he would disclose the location of the onboard bomb in return for a hefty sum.
The Case Against Boeing
In the wake of the 737 MAX disasters, caused by a software feature, Boeing and regulators initially placed blame on the planes’ pilots. Since Samya Stumo’s death in a 737 MAX crash, her parents and her great-uncle, Ralph Nader, have devoted themselves to proving that the company put profit over safety.
Down And Out In the Gig Economy
Gig economies are ersatz structures, designed to skirt labor laws and offload risk and expense onto workers themselves. They serve the whims of capital.
MDMA Researcher Is Fixing The Bad Science That Sent Him To Prison
As a teenager, Christopher Medina-Kirchner went to prison for selling ecstasy, but now his MDMA research is debunking the bad science that got him there. He’s also creating a pipeline to help other formerly incarcerated people transition into scientific research.