To mark United Nations World Toilet Day on 19 November, photographers from Reuters have taken pictures in cities, towns and villages around the globe, such as this one in the middle of an empty field on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile.
Einstein’s theory of general relativity, explained using only the thousand most common words in English.
[NOTE: Since I wrote and published this essay last night, I have received a private email from Sean Carroll, who is the author of an excellent book on general relativity, as well as a comment on this post from Daryl McCullough, both pointing out the same error I made: I had said, as do many physics textbooks, that special relativity applies only to unaccelerated inertial frames, while general relativity applies to accelerated frames as well. This is not really true, and I am very grateful to both of them for pointing this out. With his permission, I have added Sean’s email to me as a comment to this post, and I have corrected the error by removing the offending sentences.]
In June of this year, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Einstein’s original paper on special relativity, I wrote a Monday Musing column in which I attempted to explain some of the more salient aspects of that theory. In a comment on that post, Andrew wrote: “I loved the explanation. I hope you don’t wait until the anniversary of general relativity to write a short essay that will plainly explain that theory.” Thanks, Andrew. The rest of you must now pay the price for Andrew’s flattery: I will attempt a brief, intuitive explanation of some of the well-known results of general relativity today.
Islamic State’s cheerful media images seem incongruous to us in the West. But the group are committed to showing an “idealistic caliphate”.
By Helen Lewis
—The image is Instagram-worthy: handsome young men throw their arms around each other’s shoulders in an unselfconscious, brotherly gesture. There’s even that distinctive blur at the edges of the photo, drawing the eye more strongly to the men’s smiling faces.
—Any echoes of the popular photo app are not accidental, because this is indeed an image designed to go viral. It appeared in Dabiq, a glossy magazine distributed by Isis, the terror group that has claimed responsibility for recent attacks in Paris and on a Russian plane.
It’s hard to tell which drugs are dangerous and which are revolutionary
They are trying to restrict immigrants who are in a category that is only tangentially related to the attacks in Paris.
I didn’t fully understand or feel inspired by Grandmama’s stank or freshness until years later, when I heard the albums ATLiens and Aquemini from those Georgia-based artists called OutKast.
The Defense Logistics Agency spends $40 billion a year on clothes, oil, food, parts, bullets, and everything else the military needs.
Switching from taxi driver to rideshare risked my reputation, my livelihood, my friends. But it made so much sense that …
Laura Husar Garcia has always been fascinated with nuns. While working in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she snapped a photo of them mowing lawns. While living in M
Daniel Becerril / Reuters
On June 25, the remains of a child were found in a trash bag on theshore of Boston’s Deer Island. It wasn’t clear how long she’d been dead, but there was some decomposition. Investigators estimated that the unidentified girl, “Baby Doe,” was about 4 years old. Among the clues found at the scene: pollen on the child’s pants and blanket.
—The investigation quickly hit an impasse. The Boston police contacted the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), and asked if pollen analysis of the evidence would be possible. NCMEC—which served as a facilitator throughout the case—contacted Andrew Laurence, the head palynologist of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Palynology is the study of pollen grains and other spores.
Like many people who grew up long before personal computers and cellphones became ubiquitous, I’ve never tried a fitness tracker. I already know I walk about five miles a day, in addition to my daily swim. My weight is stable within a range of two pounds. I prefer to remain accountable only to myself, not to a gadget.
—But several of my peers swear by their fitness trackers and experts say that older adults are among those who could benefit most from such devices.
—Elise Bloustein, a 62-year-old Brooklynite, calls the Fitbit she’s worn daily since last Christmas “my little health whisperer” that asks, “Have you walked today?” It has made her “hungry for walking,” she said, prompting her to triple her daily mileage, improve her diet and shed 13 unwanted pounds she’d carried around since her first child was born.
I’ll have the GMO frankenfish with GMO corn, GMO innate russet burbank potatoes and GMO Hawaiian papaya for desert.
An Okeh Christmas: 1941December 1941. Washington, D.C. “Christmas shopping in Woolworth’s five and ten cent store record department.” Victor titles, 53 cents each. Photo by John Collier for the Office of War Information
How did a simpering, high-class layabout write a work of such profound moral seriousness?
When he was in his late 20s, the writer Howard Axelrod spent two years living in a remote cabin in Vermont. He avoided almost all human contact; his beard
New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton (left),standing on stage with Mayor Bill de Blasio during a New York Police Academy graduation ceremony in December, is a key figure at the heart of predictive policing, a technology used by an increasing number of law enforcement agencies across the U.S. Credit: John Minchillo/Associated Press file
—Predictive policing, an unproven and controversial data-mining method intended to anticipate the location and participants or victims in future crimes, is now an integral part of the largest police department in the United States. During a recent panel, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton declared that predictive policing “is the wave of the future,” and that “the ‘Minority Report’ of 2002 is the reality of today.”
Number 8: They really wish you had a landline.
Millions of US children are on medication for behavioural problems and depression – but what are the long-term effects? Photographer Baptiste Lignel followed six boys and girls to find out
The group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently faces unceasing peril from ISIS as its members smuggle out information about what’s happening in their city.
Rival foreign fighters and battlefield defeats are undermining the Islamic State, according to a defector.
Defectors from the militant group describe a highly controlled media operation with choreographed violence.
Four ex-pilots say the program and its many abuses contribute to the spread of terrorism.
The avenging James Bond chick Diana Rigg leads this photo blog post
The small tablets of the highly addictive substance Captagon are produced in Syria and are credited with helping ISIS fighters in the country stay alert for days at a time during gruelling gun battles.
What’s healthy for someone else may not be healthy for you
In some sense, Lee Rogers Berger found himself and the drowning woman at the same time. The Georgia native had just returned home…