There Is No Reason to Cross the U.S. by Train. But I Did It Anyway.
Tell your fellow Americans that you plan to cross the United States by train, and their reactions will range from amusement at your spellbinding eccentricity to naked horror that they, through some fatal social miscalculation, have become acquainted with a person who would plan to cross the United States by train.
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.
The Quest For Ancestral Riches That May Not Exist
Videos of men riffling through documents are meant to offer proof that thousands of people from a Dominican family, the Rosarios, are the heirs to a multibillion-dollar fortune they believe resides mainly in Credit Suisse’s vaults and those of Banco Santander SA in Spain.
Italy’s Crumbling Motorways: How The Genoa Bridge Collapse Exposed A National Scandal
The state of Italian motorways is a national scandal. There are about twenty badly-damaged motorway bridges in Italy currently under investigation. There are also 200 illegal tunnels, which don’t comply with European standards and 1,000 viaducts which haven’t been monitored for years.
The Secret History Of A Cold War Mastermind
The legend of Gus Weiss, hero of the Cold War, ends 11 stories below the balcony of his condo at the Watergate complex in Washington, DC, on November 25, 2003. A broken corpse on the sidewalk. He was a shrewd intelligence insider, pulled off an audacious tech hack against the Soviets in the last century. Or did he?
Rewilding The Planet
This is some of the newest land on the planet: Marker Wadden. Taking sand and mud from the lake floor, ecological engineers created seven islands enveloped by dunes and beaches. Now, a rich variety of plants, fish and insects have settled into that protected environment, along with vast numbers of breeding birds.
The Outsize Influence Of Your Middle-School Friends
The ability to make and keep even one close friend has been seen as vital to children’s well-being for more than half a century. What has changed is that we now understand at a biological and even evolutionary level why that is so.
How Mormons Built The Next Silicon Valley While No One Was Looking
Unglamorous, rapidly scalable businesses that play into a theme investors affectionately refer to as “the consumerization of enterprise.” Unsurprisingly, most of these companies are also headed by a young, white, Mormon guy.
Catholic Leaders Promised Transparency About Child Abuse. They Haven’t Delivered.
After decades of shielding the identities of accused child abusers from the public, many Catholic leaders are now releasing lists of their names. But the lists are inconsistent, incomplete and omit key details.
The Pentagon’s Push To Program Soldiers’ Brains
The military wants future super-soldiers to control robots with their thoughts. The mission is to make human beings something other than what we are, with powers beyond the ones we’re born with and beyond the ones we can organically attain.
In Japan’s Vanishing Rural Towns, Newcomers Are Wanted
Kanna-machi is living on borrowed time. It’s set to be among the first municipal victims of Japan’s demographic trajectory. The phenomenon is called shoushikoureika—the combined effects of an aging population, anemic birthrate, and surging demand for social services.
Under The Weather
As psychiatrists and philosophers begin to define a pervasive mental health crisis triggered by climate change, they ask who is really sick: the individual or society?
Killer, Kleptocrat, Genius, Spy: The Many Myths Of Vladimir Putin
Putin’s recent ubiquity has brought great prominence to the practice of Putinology. This enterprise – the production of commentary and analysis about Putin and his motivations, based on necessarily partial, incomplete and sometimes entirely false information – has existed as a distinct intellectual industry for over a decade.
A Dictator’s Birthday Present To Himself
In 1968, Albanian Communist dictator Enver Hoxha did what any leader espousing equality among all people would naturally do. He demanded his name be written into a mountain. It was a birthday present that he was giving himself.
Singapore Is Building A City In China
It’s located in Southern China but it’s actually a partnership between China and Singapore. It’s called, Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, or SSGKC. In the next 20 years, the countries project it will have a population of 500,000. A whopping figure considering the farmlands were formerly home to just 40,000 residents.
The Web We Have To Save
In the past, the web was powerful and serious enough to land me in jail. Today it feels like little more than entertainment. The rich, diverse, free web that I loved — and spent years in an Iranian jail for — is dying. Why is nobody stopping it?
How Big Tech Plans To Profit From The Pandemic
As the coronavirus continues to kill thousands each day, tech companies are seizing the opportunity to extend their reach and power. Towards a future in which, for the privileged, almost everything is home delivered, either virtually via streaming and cloud technology, or physically via driverless vehicle or drone.
What It’s Like To Grow Up In An Israeli Settlement
A self-described liberal from cosmopolitan Tel Aviv, Iris Zaki wanted to get behind the politics of Israel’s controversial settlements in the occupied territories — so she moved there, temporarily, setting up an improvised cafe where she could chat with settlers from her own generation.
Elon Musk, His Rocket, And The Grand Scheme That Tore Apart Boca Chica
SpaceX is dismantling a remote beach community at the southernmost end of Texas, one house at a time. Some residents took its money. Others refuse to leave. Still others are sticking around to see what happens.
The World’s Oldest Winery in Armenia
The Areni-1 complex, uncovered in 2007, contains a 6,100-year-old winery replete with fermenting vats, a grape press, and subterranean clay storage vessels. Altogether, it’s the best-preserved archeological site in the ongoing search for winemaking’s birthplace.