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The Fleeting Promise of Tanzania's Gold

A tent housing locals in Geita who were displaced by mining operations. Photo by the author There’s no electricity in the mortuary at Geita district hospital in northern Tanzania. That…
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2992 words)

Saving the Galapagos, One Poison-Dropping Helicopter at a Time

One of Plaza Sur's rare iguanas. Photo: Flickr/Victor Burolla In early November of last year, representatives for the Galapagos Islands National Park took the quick jaunt from their main offices on…
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2675 words)

The Soft Science of Male Enhancement Pills

Ninja Mojo is just one of many "natural" sexual enhancement supplements the FDA has warned about. Huanarpo macho powder, horny goat weed extract and semen ziziphi spinosae. Those are some…
LENGTH: 7 minutes (1765 words)

Hackers Are Helping China Build Cheap Clones of America's Drones

China's Chengdu Wing Loong, or Pterodactyl, which resembles the US's well-known Reaper drone Beginning in 2011, a series of weaponized emails—PDF and Word attachments with malware…
LENGTH: 8 minutes (2038 words)

In the Whistleblower Chalet

I met the whistleblowers in a peculiar location, an unassuming, identikit cluster of Dutch holiday chalets, contoured by optimistic spectrums of tulips and bursts of water fountains, thirty…
LENGTH: 8 minutes (2096 words)

Why the US Is Building a High-Tech Bubonic Plague Lab in Kazakhstan

In 1992, Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, a chemist from the Soviet Union, boarded a flight in Almaty, then Kazakhstan's capital, for New York. When Dr. Alibek sat down with the CIA, he had a…
LENGTH: 7 minutes (1897 words)

The Torturer, the Spy, and the Journalist: How the U.S. Jailed the Waterboarding Whistleblower

John Kiriakou, an ex-CIA officer, spoke about waterboarding, and was convicted for revealed the name of another CIA employee. (Image by Troy Page / Alex Pasternack) A decade…
LENGTH: 18 minutes (4561 words)

Cassette Tapes Are Almost Cool Again

Image via Frédéric Bisson/Flickr Tapes are due for a midlife crisis. Invented in 1963 by Lou Ottens and later introduced at the Funkausstellung radio exhibition in Berlin, compact…
LENGTH: 14 minutes (3725 words)

What It's Like to Be Tumblr Famous

“How do you know if someone is kind of flirting with u thru Tumblr?” read an email forwarded to me by my friend group's resident internet expert, about an acquaintance I'll call…
LENGTH: 6 minutes (1747 words)