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How to write the perfect crime, according to Agatha Christie - Jamie Bernthal

Dig into Agatha Christie’s writing style to find out how she crafted her mystery novels and how to employ these strategies in your own work. -- With almost 100 mystery novels, each one a cleverly constructed puzzle box of clues, misdirection, and human drama, Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time. Her eccentric detectives,...

How Phillis Wheatley captured the attention of the world - Charita Gainey

Get to know the life and works of poet Phillis Wheatley, an enslaved woman who became one of colonial America’s most famous writers. -- In 1775, General George Washington received a poem from one of colonial America’s most famous writers. Its verses praised the burgeoning revolution, invoking the goddess of their new nation to aid the general’s...

Can the economy grow forever?

Is infinite economic growth possible on a planet with finite resources? Explore how countries can balance efficiency with sustainability. -- Many economists think that an eternally growing economy is necessary to keep improving people’s lives, and that if the global economy stops growing, people would fight more over the fixed amount of value...

The rise and fall of the medieval Islamic Empire - Petra Sijpesteijn & Birte Kristiansen

Trace the rise and fall of the Islamic Empire, from the prophet Muhammad in the 7th century to the sacking of Baghdad. -- In the 7th century CE, the prophet Muhammad united the people of the Arabian Peninsula through the formation of Islam. Over the next 30 years, caliphs conquered vast areas beyond Arabia, including their mighty neighbors the...

Can you guess what's wrong with these paintings? - Noah Charney

Discover the scientific process art conservators use to restore centuries-old paintings and fix the damage of past restorations. -- Prior to the mid-20th century, art restorers took a heavy-handed approach, often drastically altering paintings in the name of “improving” art. Today, they focus on keeping the original work intact with minimal intervention,...

A brief history of Spanish - Ilan Stavans

Trace the history and evolution of the Spanish language, from its origins in the 3rd century BCE to modern day. -- Beginning in the third century BCE, the Romans conquered the Iberian peninsula. This period gave rise to several regional languages in the area that’s now Spain, including Castilian, Catalan, and Galician. One of these would become...

Why a sausage can do what your gloves cannot - Charles Wallace and Sajan Saini

Dig into the science of touchscreens, and find out the difference between the two most common types: capacitive and resistive. -- In 2010, South Korea experienced a particularly cold winter. People couldn’t activate their smartphones while wearing gloves, so they began wielding snack sausages— causing one company to see a 40% rise in sausage sales....

This weird trick will help you summon an army of worms - Kenny Coogan

Discover the tradition of worm grunting, and find out why earthworms come to the surface when they sense vibrations in the earth. -- In the middle of Florida’s Apalachicola National Forest, a bizarre, almost magical scene is unraveling. Sliding a metal strip over a wooden stake, a master summoner is sending deep croaking noises reverberating throughout...

The true cost of gold - Lyla Latif

Dig into how foreign corporations exploit African nations like Mali for their gold mining, and often rob them of proper compensation. -- In 2020, Mali produced over 71 tons of gold— an amount worth billions of dollars. But Mali saw only $850 million dollars from that gold. And this situation isn’t unique: a number of other gold-rich countries...

The 4 greatest threats to the survival of humanity

Dig into the 4 biggest existential risks that threaten the survival of humanity, and explore how we can safeguard our future. -- With the invention of the atomic bomb, humanity gained the power to destroy itself for the first time in our history. Since then, our risk of either extinction or the collapse of civilization has steadily increased....

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