software
How the Invention of Spreadsheet Software Unleashed Wall Street on the World

In 2010, a pair of researchers published a controversial economics paper. It was cited by British MPs to justify austerity measures that sparked economic and employment crises, and anti-austerity protests—measures that the UN later called “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” inflicting “great misery.” In 2013, however, this widely influential paper was found to have been substantially off in its estimates, thanks in part to a simple spreadsheet error: specifically, “a few rows left out of an equation to average the values in a column,” the Guardian wrote at the time. Read More >>

teeth
Animal Teeth, Wood, and Porcelain: How the First Dentures Were Made

The human body is resilient, but not every part is replaceable internally. As a result, people are always on the lookout for better methods of transplant and prosthesis, which we’ve harnessed as medical tools since ancient times, particularly in our mouths. Read More >>

science
The Psychology of Faking Your Own Death

Why would anyone fake their own death? Some seek a departure from royalty, a career as a pirate, or a quiet life after taking down the Third Reich. Usually, they’re chasing an escape from bankruptcy or bad marriages. But for some, it may seem that staging their own death is the only way to feel like they’re alive. Read More >>

giz asks
How Many Social Media Users Are Real People?

Most social media users know that bot accounts are among us, whether as fake voters with loud opinions or obsessive re-tweeters of a single corporation’s content. When it comes to telling many ‘fake’ accounts from real ones, however—or just knowing how many non-individuals are active online—even savvy users are mostly in the dark. Read More >>