The True Story Of The White Island Eruption
In December 2019, around 100 tourists set out for New Zealand’s Whakaari/White Island, where an active volcano has attracted hundreds of thousands of vacationers since the early 1990s. Then the volcano exploded. What happened next reveals troubling questions about the risks we’re willing to take when lives hang in the balance.
A ‘Thrilling’ Mission To Get The Swedish To Change Overnight
“Thrilling” is the word repeatedly used by Jan Ramqvist to describe how he felt about participating in a nationwide mission to get all Swedish motorists and cyclists to change the habits of a lifetime and begin driving on the right-hand side of the road for the first time.
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.
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.
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.
Can Computers Ever Replace The Classroom?
Derek Haoyang Li is the founder of Squirrel AI, an education company that offers tutoring delivered in part by humans, but mostly by smart machines, which he says will transform education as we know it. Other entrepreneurs are making similarly extravagant claims about the power of online learning.
‘Astounding New Finds’ Suggest Ancient Empire May Be Hiding In Plain Sight
Evidence from Maya writing and art suggests Teotihuacan conquered Tikal outright, adding it to what some archaeologists see as a sweeping empire that may have included several Maya cities. Teotihuacan may have turned against Maya expatriates who had lived there peacefully for decades.
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.
The Inevitable Decade Of Marvel
On July 21, 2019, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ became the highest-grossing film ever, on its way to adding nearly $2.8 billion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s $22.5 billion global box office total. The 2010s were defined by this superhero takeover—though the plans for it were laid even before the decade began.
Alone On A Mountaintop, Awaiting A Very Hard Rain
Decades ago, Armenian scientists built a high-elevation trap to catch and study cosmic rays. Physics has mostly moved on, but the station persists — a ghost observatory with a skeleton crew.
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.
Three Years Of Misery Inside Google, The Happiest Company In Tech
In the first days of the Trump era, Google’s leaders were desperate to avoid confrontation with the new regime. The company’s history of close ties to the Obama administration left executives feeling especially vulnerable to the reactionary movement.
The Hate Store: Amazon’s Self-Publishing Arm Is A Haven For White Supremacists
Extremism flourishes on Amazon’s self-publishing arm. The company gives extremists and neo-Nazis banned from other platforms unprecedented access to a mainstream audience — and even promotes their books.
How ‘Taco Friday’ Became A Swedish Tradition
Fredagsmys, or Cozy Friday, is a beloved Swedish tradition. Across the Scandinavian country, families stay home on Friday night, watch TV, and eat Tex-Mex-style tacos. This dinner choice is so common that, for most Swedes, Cozy Friday is also Taco Fredag, or Taco Friday.
In Venezuela’s Economic Crisis, Bitcoin Is a Lifeline
Faced with hyperinflation, a worthless local currency and a risky black market for dollars, Venezuelans are increasingly turning to bitcoin as a tool for survival in the world’s worst-performing economy.
Meet The Bag Man: 10 Rules For Paying College Football Players
How to buy college football players, in the words of men who deliver the money. These men are fans who believe they’re leveraging football success $500 or $50,000 at a time.
Deep In The Ocean’s Trenches, The Legacy Of Nuclear Testing Lives
Evidence of Cold War nuclear testing has made its way to the deepest reaches of the Pacific Ocean. The discovery of “bomb carbon” miles below the surface shows how deep human impact goes.
The Rise And Fall Of Marty Tirrell
From central Iowa radio pioneer to alleged scam artist. Money didn’t always belong to Tirrell, according to numerous court judgments against him. He defrauded eight people out of $1.5 million.
The Radical Plan To Save The Fastest Sinking City In The World
Many of our coastal cities are imperiled, but none have plotted an escape quite as audacious as Jakarta’s. President Joko Widodo plans to pick up and move the capital, along with 7 million people.
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.
Human Population Through Time
It took 200,000 years for our human population to reach 1 billion—and only 200 years to reach 7 billion. But growth has begun slowing, as women have fewer babies on average. When will our global population peak? And how can we minimize our impact on Earth’s resources, even as we approach 11 billion?