Articles

The man from the future

The man from the future

John von Neumann, the Hungarian mathematician, helped develop the atom bomb. His devotion to logic and game theory led him to believe that he could calculate when to use the bomb.

The agave apocalypse

The agave apocalypse

To meet the skyrocketing demand for mezcal, producers in Oaxaca and elsewhere are over-harvesting wild agaves. Entire ecosystems could collapse. But Mexico has been here before, with tequila.

The supply chain detectives

The supply chain detectives

Founded in 2008, in New Zealand, Oritain is a forensic detective agency– a supply-chain CSI. Its work, taking us into the heart of modern commerce, relies on a basic truth about our planet: its geological diversity.

Tech support at the Paralympics

Tech support at the Paralympics

Ottobock, a 102-year-old German manufacturer of prosthetics, has also set up a workshop at every Paralympics since 1988 save one, offering to repair or replace any athlete’s prosthetic if it acts up or breaks down.

Opening the Arctic

Opening the Arctic

The Christophe de Margerie’s journey through the Arctic, in January 2021, was unprecedented. The changing climate has both prolonged the sailing season and shrunk the ice cover in the deepest part of winter.

Empire of Pain

Empire of Pain

Keefe’s narrative book about the Sacklers and Oxycontin is detailed that only in the chinks do we spot the story behind the story: the rotting structure of American healthcare that wills disasters into being.

The taxpayer pays twice

The taxpayer pays twice

Covid vaccines are the newest occupants of a strange category: drugs and treatments that taxpayers have paid to develop, and then pay to buy again from companies.

Why did India run short of vaccines?

Why did India run short of vaccines?

For years, India made and exported more vaccines than any other country. Yet its vaccination drive against Covid-19, which began in early January 2021, stumbled and faltered.

The world’s most indispensable company

The world’s most indispensable company

ASML, a Dutch company, sits at the heart of the $439 billion microchip industry. It makes the machines that make microchips. It’s difficult to think of another company anywhere that is simultaneously this important and yet this unknown to the public at large.