The Strange Persistence Of First Languages
Czech was the only language I knew until the age of 2, when my family began a migration westward, from what was then Czechoslovakia through Austria, then Italy, settling eventually in Montreal, Canada. Along the way, a clutter of languages introduced themselves into my life.
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 Secret Life Of A Professional Statue
For several years in my 20s, off and on, I was a professional statue. Statue was both a noun and a verb. I was a statue; statuing was what I did. My job was, basically, not to react. Unless one of the tourists gave me what I wanted — a tip in the plastic lemonade pitcher at my feet — I gave them nothing.
Red Sea Diving Resort: The Holiday Village Run By Spies
Arous was an idyllic holiday resort in the Sudanese desert, on the shores of the Red Sea. But this glamorous destination was also a base for Israeli agents with a secret mission. The events inspired a newly released Netflix film, Red Sea Diving Resort – and the real story is in many ways more remarkable.
Africa’s Richest Man Makes A $17 Billion Bid For Immortality
Aliko Dangote’s plan to reduce Nigeria’s dependency on fuel imports will carve out an even bigger slice of the nation’s $376 billion economy for his empire. Dangote’s future—and, as he likes to say, that of the entire continent’s economy—lies to the south on the Nigerian coast: the construction of a vast oil refinery.
Macau: The Story Of China’s Golden Child
On December 20th, 1999 the 25 square kilometer Portuguese colony on China’s southern coast was returned to China becoming the Macau Special Administrative Region. In the 20 years since the handover, Macau has transformed into the gambling capital of the world while some call it the Las Vegas of the East.
China’s Man-Made Forest In The Desert
In 1986, the city of Aksu in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region began an ambitious tree-planting project that looked to turn swaths of desert into forest. The result was over 13 million acres of green that became the Kekeya greening project.
Can A Desert Be Reclaimed For Human Habitation?
Despite horrific sandstorms and arid soil, Han Meifei is among those seeking to rejuvenate the land. His innovative procedures have developed ways of growing plants without water, preventing the dry desert from spreading, and preserving the seeds of plants close to extinction for a greener future.
Scraping By In The Gig Economy As A Guy Without A Bank Account
In 2017, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) found that 8.4 million households in the U.S. were without bank accounts. Nearly 53 percent of these households listed “not having enough money” to put into an account as the reason why, while another 30 percent cited not trusting banks.
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.
Blood And Soil In Narendra Modi’s India
The Prime Minister’s Hindu-nationalist government has cast two hundred million Muslims as internal enemies. The lack of journalistic scrutiny has given Modi immense freedom to control the narrative. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the months leading up to his reëlection.
Is The Hidden Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia Ready To Open To The World?
The ‘hidden kingdom’ of Saudi Arabia has been mostly closed to journalists and travelers…until now. In a glitzy PR push, the country wants to promote itself as a tourist destination. Foreign Correspondent rides the magic carpet to extraordinary sites, thousands of years old, holding mysteries archaeologists are just beginning to uncover.
The Whale Arctic Visitor Center By Dorte Mandrup
300 km North of the Arctic Circle, on the tip of the island Andøya lies Andenes. A small town located amid dramatic landscapes – both above and below the ocean’s surface. The new Arctic attraction, The Whale, tells the story of the big inhabitants of this underwater world, rising as a soft hill on the rocky shore– as if a giant had lifted a thin layer of the crust of the earth and created a cavity underneath.
How I Finally Learned To Sleep
For decades, Kate Edgley struggled with insomnia. She tried everything, but nothing seemed to work… Here, she reveals the terrible toll it took on her life – and how she eventually realised her dreams.
What Makes A Person Charismatic?
Why do some people so clearly have it and others don’t? Why do we fall so easily under its influence? Charismatics can make us feel charmed and great about ourselves. They can inspire us to excel. But they can also be dangerous. They use charisma for their own purposes, to enhance their power, to manipulate others.
How Much Would You Pay To Never Use Tinder Again?
One in four single people under the age of 35 use dating apps. Being single is very expensive, maybe paying a premium matchmaker thousands of dollars to meet someone isn’t so crazy.
Ferry Tales In Japan
Far removed from the ultra-fast Shinkansens and myriad of metro lines that dominate Japan’s major cities, photographer Arnaud Montagard focuses his lens on a much more leisurely commute – Japan’s ferries.
Abandoned Russia: Stunning Urbex Photography By Alexei Polyakov
Outstanding abandoned places in Russia by Alexei Polyakov, a gifted self-taught photographer, and urbex explorer from Saint Petersburg. Alexei focuses mainly on abandoned, landscape, and drone photography.
How Earth Would Look If All The Ice Melted
As National Geographic showed us, sea levels would rise by 216 feet if all the land ice on the planet were to melt. This would dramatically reshape the continents and drown many of the world’s major cities.
Iraq’s Social Media Martyrs
Huge nationwide protests against corruption have been making headlines, but these young millennials are taking on power in a different way, by celebrating beauty, fashion and rap. They’ve got millions of followers, but, as Unreported World finds out, fame can have deadly consequences.