emoji
Emoji We Lost

Who doesn’t love a good Google blob? From 2013-2017, these doughy emoji served a special role in the digital universe. They represented humans in the form of blobs and gum drop faces, with actual personalities. Often transformed by the type of gloves, hats, and wigs they wore, they spread joy over Android operating systems. But in 2017, Google wiped these guys from messages and emails and replaced them with more conventional emoji shapes – circles for faces, humans for humans. Similarly, between 2008 and 2018, Apple morphed their creepy evil twins with bunny ears into bland, happy dancers with bunny ears and a expressive rendering of two wing-shaped egg shells hovering over an egg into an ordinary frying pan. Boring. Read More >>

nuclear war
Meet the Nuclear Weapons Nerds

John Coster Mullen was driving his lorry to a warehouse in the US state of Wisconsin when he told me that he owns uranium. He’d been talking on the phone for about hour, and I hadn’t been able to ask a single question about the project that has consumed a quarter century of his lifethe reverse-engineering of America’s first nuclear bomb. I was too engrossed to interrupt. The news of uranium, though, made me stutter. Read More >>