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 Most Pessimistic Town In The World
Puolanka, a small town in the centre of Finland, had become famous for its particular brand of pessimism. Recurring themes are town’s declining population and lack of much to do.
Inside London’s £18BN New Railway
Join Fred Mills inside London’s new Tottenham Court Road (TCR) station – part of the £18BN Elizabeth Line that is being constructed by Crossrail beneath the UK’s capital.
Dubai’s Plan to Outlive Oil
Dubai does have oil, but today it only accounts for less than one percent of its GDP. What looks like a pure extravagance is actually pure marketing genius, attracting 14 million international visitors a year, who spend more than any other city in the world, 65% more, even, than New York or London.
The Future Of Energy Storage Beyond Lithium-Ion
Over the past decade, prices for solar panels and wind farms have reached all-time lows. However, the price for lithium-ion batteries, the leading energy storage technology, has remained too high. So researchers are exploring other alternatives, including flow batteries, thermal batteries, and gravity-based systems.
Should We Abolish Private Schools?
A disproportionate number of people who occupy the top jobs across the UK – from the prime minister and leading politicians to judges and entertainers – were privately educated. Campaigners who think this situation has gone on too long are asking why we have private schools and whether it is time to get rid of them.
London Underground 1970-1980 By Mike Goldwater
The first thing that strikes anyone who regularly rides on the London Underground is how clean it looks in Mike Goldwater’s photographs. Homeward bound tourists keen to recapture the thrill of minding the gap and cooling their heels on overcrowded platforms are not offered a range of signature scents.
German Circus Uses Holograms Instead Of Live Animals For A Cruelty-Free Magical Experience
For a very long time, people couldn’t have imagined a circus show without horses, elephants, monkeys, and lions. But recently, Circus Roncalli has shunned tradition, swapping flesh and blood for hologram projections. The shows, however, remain just as spectacular.
Tourism Is Eating The World
The number of international tourist arrivals has been increasing more or less exponentially since the mid-20th century, and totaled about 1.4 billion in 2018. Europe has seen the biggest share, but the Asia-Pacific region is growing fast.
Investigating The Dangerous New Mafia Taking Control In Italy
The mafia is one of Italy’s most famous international business brands, with an estimated annual turnover of $250 billion a year. But its market share is being challenged by a group of ruthless new players. This documentary is about the growing power of Nigerian organized crime in the birthplace of the Italian mafia.
The Oddly Autocratic Roots Of Pad Thai
In rice-centric Thailand, then known as Siam, the dish seemed more Chinese. But Thailand’s prime minister, who first rose to power as part of a military coup against the longtime monarchy, had spoken. As part of his strident nationalism, he wanted all Thais to eat pad Thai.
The Economy Of Cuba
Cuba is home to possibly the most bizarre economy in the world. Its wild swings between a hardcore capitalist society to a worker’s paradise and now an odd combination of both has meant that the country has probably not been able to live up to its full potential.
Can We Actually Stop Using Fossil Fuels?
Even some of the people who favor wind, solar, and hydro think total reliance on it is a bad idea. Is it smart—or crazy stupid—to rely solely on wind, solar, and hydro?
Buried In Sand For A Millennium: Africa’s Roman Ghost City
Timgad is a lost Roman city on the edge of the Sahara desert in Algeria that remained hidden beneath the sand for nearly a thousand years. Positively obscure compared to the international notoriety of Pompeii, this ancient city is nonetheless one of the best surviving examples of Roman town planning anywhere in the historical Empire.
The Death And Afterlife Of The Mall
Once a cornerstone of American consumerism, shopping malls are now mostly ghost towns. In a new episode of The Atlantic’s Idea File, staff writers Jim and Deb Fallows explore the phenomenon of the dead mall, and its emerging afterlife.
The Origins Of The Sicilian Mafia
The Sicilian Mafia, referred to by its own members as Cosa Nostra, a phrase meaning “our thing”, is an infamous association of criminal syndicates. They are famous for their heavy-handed role in protection racketeering, alcohol and drug smuggling, and other organized illegal activities across the world.
America’s ‘War’ Against Switzerland
The not very widely known aerial fighting and bombing that occurred between the United States and Switzerland during World War II.
Can One Earthquake Trigger Another On The Other Side Of The World?
It’s well known that natural disasters can cause others in their immediate vicinity, for instance, hurricanes are often accompanied by flooding, and earthquakes are followed by aftershocks. But what about longer distance interactions? Could one earthquake trigger another on the other side of the world?
“Locker Room”, Thought-Provoking Short Film About Teenage Friendships
A teenage girl discovers her male friends’ secret group chat, forcing her to question her friendship with them. Through the lens of neither a perpetrator or survivor, Locker Room draws attention to the social responsibility of bystanders to bad behavior and the pressures that can cause them to turn a blind eye.
Inside Hong Kong’s Cage Homes
Hong Kong is the most expensive housing market in the world. It has been ranked as the least affordable housing market on Earth for eight years in a row. The inflated prices are forcing Hongkongers to squeeze into unconventionally small spaces that can affect their quality of life.
‘It’s A Miracle’: Helsinki’s Radical Solution To Homelessness
Finland is the only country in the European Union where homelessness is falling. Its secret? Giving people homes as soon as they need them – unconditionally.