The impossible physiology of the free diver

How free divers are rewriting the science of the body

“After six weeks, it was off to Dahab, Egypt, an isolated Bedouin Village hemmed in on one side by the Red Sea, and the Sinai Mountains on the others. On dive days, Prinsloo and fellow diver Yaniv Keinan hopped in a 4×4 and bounced past tourists on camels down a rutted desert track until they reached the water. They waded 50 feet through knee-high water out to the edge of a sinkhole…” Image Credit

Adam Piore | Nautilus

Read It Now (15 min)

Disarm and modernize

How modernization threatens the whole concept of nuclear disarmament

“While these efforts will not necessarily increase the number of deployed warheads in the world, the programs and the enhanced weapons they are projected to produce will last for decades. The race for ever-more nukes has become, instead, a race for ever-better, -sleeker, and -stealthier ones.” Image Credit

John Mecklin | Foreign Policy

Read It Now (19 min)

Saving Gaza’s only grand piano

Restoring Gaza’s only grand concert piano for a rare performance

“All that’s certain is that it ended up in the late 1990s in the Nawras Theatre. Once, before the piano came, the theatre hosted shows featuring music, comedy, even satire – but with the gradual worsening of the conflict around Gaza, and a steady growth of conservatism in local society, such performances became a thing of the past.” Image Credit

Tim Whewell | BBC News Magazine

Read It Now (5 min)

Inside the first pig biobank

At the scene of a porcine autopsy that will help create a powerful animal model of diabetes

“The precious organs belong to Boar 1339, which, for 3.5 years, had lived a normal pig’s life on the farm of a German university, despite the diabetes it was born with. Earlier this month, the animal was killed, and the body parts placed in the service of science…” Image Credit

Alison Abbott | Nature

Read It Now (4 min)

What if Sarah Palin were a brain surgeon?

On Ben Carson, the Tea Party’s great White House hope

“Carson had come to the Capitol Hill home of Armstrong Williams, a conservative media impresario…As the two men turned to the TV, they began dissecting Obama’s performance. “He looks good,” Williams said. “He looks clean. Shirt’s white. The tie. He looks elegant.” “Like most psychopaths,” Carson grumbled. “That’s why they’re successful. That’s the way they look. They all look great.”” Image Credit

Jason Zengerle | GQ

Read It Now (21 min)

The monster next door

Was Beatrice Munyenyezi simply a refugee from Rwanda, or something more sinister?

“The more he picked and scraped away at the edges, the more Andersen believed Munyenyezi wasn’t just lying about her husband. She was covering up something about her own past…Could she have killed someone? If Munyenyezi’s husband was accused of murdering Tutsis, Andersen thought, perhaps she was not simply an innocent bystander.” Image Credit

Michele McPhee | Boston Magazine

Read It Now (26 min)

‘I serve the Russian Federation!’

Soldiers deployed during the annexation of Crimea speak out

“They just put us in the part of the ship used for cargo. And in the morning we got out onto the shore and realized that we were somewhere in Sevastopol, at the naval station of the Black Sea Fleet. As soon as we got out onto the shore, we were told to take any symbols and insignia off our uniforms, so that our presence on the peninsula wasn’t so apparent, to avoid panic. We were all given green balaclavas…” Image Credit

Dmitry Pashinsky | Meduza

Read It Now (17 min)

Moore’s curse

On false expectations and the dark side of the electronics revolution

“The speed of intercontinental travel rose from about 35 kilometers per hour for large ocean liners in 1900 to 885 km/h for the Boeing 707 in 1958, an average rise of 5.6 percent a year. But that speed has remained essentially constant ever since—the Boeing 787 cruises just a few percent faster than the 707.” Image Credit

Vaclav Smil | IEEE Spectrum

Read It Now (2 min)

Borderlands

The ongoing project to hide Bangladesh behind the world’s largest border fence

“This imposing national installation is still a work in progress. It has been under construction since 1989; 1700 miles have now been erected, at a cost of approximately $600 million. There have been many delays and cost overruns, but when it is complete it will render precisely 2042 miles of the invisible border an impenetrable barrier, a gigantic machine for processing bodies…” Image Credit

Kai Friese | n+1

Read It Now (23 min)

Terminator resurrected

On the set with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the franchise reboots

“With another stretch of the imagination, the entire room morphs into a futuristic laboratory, occupied by a version of Schwarzenegger that’s more recognizable than any other: the Terminator. It’s the middle of July 2014, and I’m down in New Orleans inside an enormous, white NASA warehouse.” Image Credit

Jacob Kastrenakes | The Verge

Read It Now (9 min)