How to Plant Trees in the City: It’s Complicated
Trees in cities have the ability to sequester carbon, provide shade, and mitigate flooding. But no one tree fits all environments.
Lichens as Sensors for Air Pollution
Lichens often go unnoticed, living on the ground, on tree trunks, or on rocks. They're hearty, but remarkably sensitive to air pollution.
Is the “Resource Curse” a Myth?
Countries like Liberia and Chad have a lot of oil, and yet little of their wealth has translated into public welfare. Some blame the "resource curse."
Can Eco-Tourism Save Coral Reefs?
Eco-tourism can be a boon—or an ecosystem destroyer.
Do Security Robots Signal the Death of Public Space?
A security robot targets the homeless, raising questions about whether private companies can expand their security detail to public spaces like sidewalks.
Why Are U.S. Borders Straight Lines?
The ever-shifting curve of shoreline and river is no match for the infinite, idealized straight line.
Sex and the Supermarket
Supermarkets represented a major innovation in food distribution—a gendered innovation that encouraged women to find sexual pleasure in subordination.
Ancient Maps Are Mirrors for the Ancient Psyche
The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences, and Marvels for the Eyes, an eleventh-century Arabic geography, is still a wonder.
In a passionate set of tweets J.K. Rowling recently tackled the issue of so-called "voluntourism."
The Promise of Sewage
Sewage might be the key in tracking diseases.