What Fruits And Vegetables Looked Like Before Humans Intervened
The fruits and vegetables we know and love are a lot more complicated than you’d think. They didn’t always look like they do. In fact, it took decades of human intervention to transform them into the delicious, nutrient-rich morsels they are today.
What Does It Really Cost To Run A Restaurant?
Restaurants have notoriously slim margins. Irene Li, the chef and owner of Chinese-American restaurant Mei Mei in Boston, reveals just how slim they really are.
The Strange Neuroscience Behind Our Understanding Of Free Will
Do we really have free will? In a three-part series, the BBC explores the hidden powers behind the choices we make. This episode looks at the neuroscience behind our understanding of free will.
How A Single Mom Created A Plastic Food-Storage Empire
The story of Tupperware is a story of innovation and reinvention: how a new kind of plastic, made from industrial waste material, ended up a symbol of female empowerment. The product ushered women into the workforce, encouraging them to make their own money, better their families, and win accolades and prizes.
The Radioactive ‘Capital’ Of The World
Jachymov, a small uranium mining town in the northwest of the Czech Republic, has been key in the field of radioactivity research. More than a century ago, Marie and Pierre Curie based their revolutionary work on radioactivity on material brought from there.
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.
Who Killed Sweden’s Prime Minister?
Three decades ago, Olof Palme was assassinated on Stockholm’s busiest street. The killer has never been found. Could the discovery of new evidence finally close the case?
Light Dawns: Why Is The Speed Of Light The Speed Of Light?
We have fixed the speed of light in a vacuum at exactly 299,792.458 kilometres per second. Why this particular speed and not something else? Or, to put it another way, where does the speed of light come from?
How Airplane Food Goes From The Kitchen To Your Flight
Gate Gourmet is one major player in the airplane catering game, feeding about 750 million passengers a year in about 60 countries. On a typical day at its Dulles International Airport branch, in suburban Washington, the company is responsible for getting 18,000 meals onto 275 flights.
Why Is Chicken So Cheap?
Chickens are the most populous bird on the planet. There are 23 billion of them at any given time – that’s ten times more than any other bird. It’s by far the fastest growing meat product but pound for pound the price of chicken has fallen sharply. How has this happened?
The Real Story Behind The Myth Of Area 51
For decades, Nevada’s Area 51 Air Force facility has represented the eye of a conspiratorial hurricane that swirls around “evidence” that aliens exist and are hiding behind its walls. Books, TV shows, and even massive online “raids” have tried to glimpse beyond its stark signs warning against trespassers.
The Green Sludge That Could Transform Our Diets
One potential alternative food source – both for humans and the animals we eat – is algae. Microalgae is rich in protein, amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins. Could the green stuff that appears on ponds and lakes after a particularly warm spell be the answer to the planet’s food security problems?
The Violent Eviction That Transformed San Francisco
In 1968, a group of predominantly Filipino elders in San Francisco launched a battle to protect their home from eviction. Their fight for their neighborhood would evolve into a nearly decade-long protest with thousands of supporters and become a symbol of the campaign for affordable housing for decades to come.
Did The Advent Of The First Desktop Computer Lead To Murder?
In the summer of 1965, the Olivetti P101 made it to the New York World’s Fair but only just. It was hidden away in a small room behind the main stand. If anyone found it, it was supposed to be an accident. But a few people did. Soon more and more began to squeeze their way in.
The My Generation: An Oral History Of Myspace Music
At Myspace’s height, the website changed the way artists and fans found each other and how record labels and buzz-seeking blogs found fresh meat. Artists like Panic! At The Disco, Arctic Monkeys, Soulja Boy, Lily Allen, and Colbie Caillat would become pop stars in part because of their presence on the site.
1980s Teenagers And Their Bedroom Walls
Desire, adoration, safety, identity and escape are all there on the teenager’s bedroom walls. In the 1980s, these teenagers were photographed in their bedrooms – the place where they go to dream.
Mathematicians Have Solved Traffic Jams, And They’re Begging Cities To Listen
Traffic modeling is a complex branch of applied mathematics, partially because it assumes that drivers are selfish and pursuing their own goals, rather than any predictable or shared efforts.
Becoming A “Mindful Drinker” Changed My Life
Sober curiosity is spawning both a philosophical movement whose adherents have holidays (Dry January and Sober October) and is creating an industry through sober influencers; nonalcoholic beer, wine, and “spirits”; dry bars; dry events; and sophisticated cocktails without alcohol.
How Political Opinions Change
A powerful shaping factor about our social and political worlds is how they are structured by group belonging and identities. For instance, researchers have found that moral and emotion messages on contentious political topics, such as gun-control and climate change, spread more rapidly within rather than between ideologically like-minded networks.
Ranking Veggie Chips By How Healthy They Are
“The darker-colored items with fewer ingredients will be the best.” This is because dark-colored vegetables are particularly rich in an assortment of plant compounds called phytochemicals, which help ward off diseases and tend to make them healthier than their lighter counterparts.
The Dictatorship Of Data
Big data is poised to transform society. Yet big data also exacerbates a very old problem: relying on the numbers when they are far more fallible than we think. Nothing underscores the consequences of data analysis gone awry more than the story of Robert McNamara.