The School Shooting That Austin Forgot
John Ray barely remembered the details of that day—May 18, 1978—when a friend at his Austin junior high school walked into class and, in front of Ray and twenty other eighth graders, shot and killed their teacher, Wilbur “Rod” Grayson. Ray and his classmates still wonder: What really happened?
Eating The Arab Roots Of Sicilian Cuisine
Seen from the sky, the island appears as a triangularish football being punted toward the Maghreb by Italy’s boot. It’s a pixelated reflection of Sicilian identity itself, which hovers midway between North African and European. For Sicilians, mal d’Africa is a kind of phantom continent syndrome, a sense of nostalgia for a lost homeland.
How Philadelphia Became “The First City That Bombed Itself”
In 1985, an armed standoff between Philadelphia police and members of a radical black liberation group, resulted in the deaths of eleven people. No police officers or city officials were ever charged for their role in what’s known as the MOVE bombing.
How Norway Designed A More Humane Prison
Halden Prison in Norway looks sort of like a fancy dorm room or a hotel — much different than the barbed wire and cramped cells we often associate with prison design. Its look is all part of a plan to create a more humane prison, one where the architecture isn’t part of the punishment.
The Fascinating Story Of McLaren’s Most Iconic F1 Car
The McLaren MP4/4 remains Formula 1’s most successful machine, with a 93.8% win ratio that helped Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost storm to victory in 15 out of the 16 races during 1988. In 1988 McLaren had it all, a brilliant cocktail that helped it deliver one of the most dominant cars the sport has ever seen.
Psychiatry, Racism, And The Birth Of ‘Sesame Street’
How an African-American psychiatrist helped design a groundbreaking television show as a radical therapeutic tool for helping minority preschoolers.
The Forgotten History Of Greensboro’s A&T/Dudley Revolt
In May 1969, a controversial election for student body president at Dudley High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, turned into an open revolt against police repression and racial segregation.
What Was Libya Like 25 Years Ago?
Gaddafi’s 25 Years in Power (1994): A historic report filmed as Libya celebrated 25 years of Gaddafi’s rule. This short documentary challenges the West’s view of Libya and looks at Gaddafi’s struggles both at home and abroad.
The History Of George Laurer And The Barcode
A 67 cent packet of gum has ballooned into an enormous industry, and five billion barcodes are scanned each and every day. But how did we get to this point, and who was responsible for the UPC barcode?
Why The Brazilian Soccer Team Wouldn’t Wear White – Until Now
White is also the color that the Brazilian national soccer team was wearing in the infamous “Maracanazo” match, a decisive showdown against Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup. Nearly 70 years later Brazil is ready to tempt fate.
100 Years Ago In Photos: A Look Back At 1919
A century ago, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, as much of the world was still recovering from the devastation of World War I. Rebuilding was just beginning, refugees were returning home, orphans were being cared for, and a global influenza outbreak was being battled.
In A Disaster, Humans Can Behave… Pretty Well, Actually
In his new book, Jon Mooallem tells the story of the Great Alaska Earthquake and Genie Chance, the woman whose voice on the radio held everyone together. It’s a beautiful exploration of how people tell stories on the radio, on stage, in books, and generally to each other.
What Does A Cashless Future Mean?
Operating in cash costs countries about 0.5% of their GDP every year. But cost isn’t the only incentive to move towards a cashless future. Many countries are going cashless at great speed. What are the advantages of ditching hard cash and what are the dangers?
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.
A Secret Cupid Is Emerging From A 17th-Century Vermeer
During a routine round of conservation on Johannes Vermeer’s 17th-century Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, art detectives realized that a section of the canvas had been painted over after the Dutch artist’s death in 1675, concealing a cupid figure.
How The Nile Can Provide Life And Divide Nations
The Nile river plays a central role for all nations through which it flows and it forces them to cooperate. At the same time, the sharing of water can also lead to tensions. This video focuses on these two aspects by looking at two construction projects along the Nile.
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.
Revisiting An American Town Where Black People Weren’t Welcome After Dark
Anna is a city of a little more than 4,000 people located in the middle of Union County, where soybean fields and flatlands to the north give way to the forests and sandstone canyons of southern Illinois. Most people I met, wish the racist lore behind the city’s name would go away. So why hasn’t it?
The World’s Tallest Water Slide Was a Terrible, Tragic Idea
At nearly 169 feet tall, Verrückt was taller than Niagara Falls. Riders flew down the world’s tallest water slide at 70 miles per hour, challenging the laws of physics. Then, on August 7, 2016, 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was decapitated on the ride. What went wrong to cause such a horrific tragedy?