Four Fake Currencies That Changed the Course of Real Wars

At the tail end of his time as Commander of US Forces Afghanistan, General David Petraeus commented that "money is my most important ammunition in this war." It was far from an original thought. In fact, you could argue that currency is the most important and least acknowledged wartime weapon. Read More >>

Metropolis: The Real-Life Town That Superman Couldn’t Save

Until the 1970s, the tiny southern Illinois town of Metropolis in the US had two claims to fame: The long-demolished fort George Washington founded nearby, and the Uranium Hexafluoride Processing Facility, which employed hundreds of its citizens. But in June 1972, the Illinois House of Representatives and DC Comics gave Metropolis a new history. They declared it the official hometown of Superman. Read More >>

How Video Games Might Actually Help Our Brains

In October, 29,000 neuroscientists gathered in Chicago to discuss new research in their sprawling field at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting. Amid mountains of abstracts on every conceivable aspect of brain science, there were a surprising number of studies about an unlikely subject: video games. Read More >>

Japan’s Olympic Stadium Debacle Should be an Example for Other Olympic Cities 

After years of controversy, Japan’s Sport Council has chosen a new design for an Olympic stadium in Tokyo. It will be smaller, more sensitive to its surroundings, and (relatively) inexpensive; it could even become a model for other host cities. Read More >>

The Computer Chip of the Future Has a Lot In Common With Skyscrapers of 100 Years Ago

Tall buildings were the vanguards of the modern world. They completely changed how cities functioned, bringing forth totally new social and urban systems. The reasons they changed cities are surprisingly similar to the reasons they may change the way computer memory is built. Read More >>

A Cemetery in a Warehouse Solves a Serious Problem in Cities: Where to Put the Dead 

In Hong Kong, finding the space to bury the dead is a huge ongoing problem. New, unconventional projects are springing up to meet demand, giving us a glimpse at the future of burial in the hyper-dense cities. Read More >>

What Harsh 1800s Sea Voyages Say About Our Future Earth

Life aboard a ship in the 18th or 19th century—especially in the far north or south—was treacherous. Now, the records of these brutal voyages are playing a surprising role in scientists’ efforts to understand the future of the planet. Read More >>

How Three Countries Being Engulfed By The Ocean May Relocate To Survive

Right now, world leaders in Paris are trying to stop climate change from altering the world inexorably. But for hundreds of thousands of people who live in some low-lying nations, it’s already late in the game. Read More >>

It Took 55 Miles of Sewing Thread to Create This Complete Spectrum of Visible Color 

How do you sew up a seam that hangs six metres above your head? You develop your own, industrial-sized needle, much like the artist Gabriel Dawe did to finish this installation. Read More >>

7 Installations Protesting Climate Change In Paris, Even If Actual Protesters Can’t

The entire world is watching as politicians pour into Paris today to decide the future of the Earth. But you might have missed what’s going on outside the summit, where dozens of activists and artists have transformed the city with installations about climate change. Read More >>

The Forgotten History Behind Some of America’s Busiest Airports

Have you ever flown through LGA, ATL, or ORD? It turns out each of these airports has a bizarre and little-known backstory. Read More >>