Fielding Russell

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When Low-Income Parents Go Back to School

Earning a GED can have financial benefits for parents who didn’t graduate—and make it more likely that their children will get a diploma.<p>Leon Sykes has eight children at home, works two jobs, and drives for Uber and Lyft on the side. Yet the 34-year-old father has found time to take classes Monday …

College & University

Why Doesn't America Have High-Speed Rail?

Members of Congress on making the trains run on time and making those times reasonable.<p>One of my first memories of train travel is taking the TGV …

Trains

The creators of The Witness on how they made a 100-hour puzzle game

Jonathan Blow’s idea just wouldn’t stop growing. After the release of <i>Braid</i>, Blow’s breakout hit and one of the defining titles of the current generation of indie games, he toyed around with a few ideas, before coming across one he wanted to explore further. It was a game that would have players …

Super Mario

We Know Almost Nothing About the Animals That Live on Our Faces

You mite not even have heard of them.<p>The history of humanity’s grand sweep around the world is recorded in our genes and genealogies, our art and artifacts, our literature and languages.<p>It’s also written in the legions of tiny mites that live, eat, crawl, and have sex on your face.<p>There are two …

Biology

Why China Wants to Build Something Called 'Sponge Cities'

China’s central government has an ambitious green infrastructure plan. But will the results live up to the rhetoric?<p>Could sponge cities be the answer to China’s floods?<p>Three years ago, when flooding in Beijing killed 79 people, the Chinese government was quick to blame the size of the storm, not …

Enterprising duo behind Doctor Who and Torchwood set up a production company worth £100m to Welsh economy

Multi-million pound TV and film projects are set to be shot in South Wales through a new company moving to the region.<p>Bad Wolf is the brainchild of …

United Kingdom

HBO Partners with Production Company Bad Wolf (EXCLUSIVE)

LONDON — U.S. premium cable company HBO has partnered up with Bad Wolf, the production company set up by former BBC executives Jane Tranter and Julie …

TV

Japan’s Enduring Spookiness

America has Japan beat on Halloween. But Japan has the world beat on monsters.<p>The numbers don’t lie: When it comes to spending money on Halloween, the Japanese have nothing on Americans; consumers in the United States shell out $6.9 billion during the holiday, compared with ¥122 billion, or about …

Japan

How ISIS Spread in the Middle East

And how to stop it<p>“It is perfectly true, as the philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition: that it must be lived forwards.” This observation was made in 1843 by the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in a journal entry, but it might have been …

Middle East

Giphy launches a super simple GIF creator for the web

As a denizen of the internet, I frequently find myself wanting to turn YouTube videos into GIFs, but I've never been very good at doing it on my own. Fortunately, the internet's overwhelming love for GIFs has resulted in the creation of some pretty simple GIF creators, and Giphy is releasing a …

Apps

Why White Parents Won't Choose Black Schools

Last year when I attempted to pick my daughter up from school, the volunteers in the carpool line tried to put a fourth grader in my car, not the four year old I was attempting to retrieve. Both of us were vehemently shaking our heads, both of us looked totally confused, but the man with the radio …

Parenting

Americana For All | Twang Nation - The Best In Americana Music

I’ve been kicking around the ideas to address Giovanni Russonello’s “Why Is a Music Genre Called ‘Americana’ So Overwhelmingly White and Male?” i …

Rock, soul and R&B shone in Nashville's temples of twang at Americana Fest 2014 | NOLA.com

Nashville, Tenn., is getting bigger. A June story in the <i>Tennessean</i> newspaper reported that the city ranked third in the country in terms of growth of …

Redefining Americana: An Interview With Gangstagrass Producer Rench

<i>This interview is reprinted with permission from</i> "Hear! Hear! Music". <b>Please visit the site for more in-depth music coverage. Every visitor is a</b> …

Rap & Hip-Hop

A Real Plan to Replace London's Tube With Moving Walkways

If, at some point in the future, you find yourself walking through a London underground tunnel rather than riding in a train, it may not be because …

Magnetism

Journalists Can Now Broadcast Live Over Facebook

Facebook wants more journalists to use its platform as their distribution channel of choice. Now the company is giving reporters a new tool: the …

Facebook's real-time news app is reportedly called Notify

Facebook is preparing to take over another responsibility for online media: notifications. It's well known the company has been working on a real-time news app, and it's now close to launching the software with the name Notify, according to a report today by <i>The Awl</i><i>.</i> The app appears to let users …

Social Media

The Man Who Wants to Crowdfund a New Nation for Refugees

Jason Buzi, a real-estate investor, has an unusual proposal that he hopes will get people thinking about practical solutions to the migrant crisis.<p>In the past six months, the Syrian refugee crisis has prompted a variety of reactions—outrage at the lack of politically viable options, serious …

North Africa

Forget ‘Big Goat’ Propaganda, Geese Are Better at Mowing And Always Have Been

Geese on an organic farm, doing some lawn work (Photo: NCRS Oregon)<p>In the mid-1980s, after he had retired to Texas, Tom Walker went to Arkansas with …

To Save on Rent, Some Dutch College Students Are Living in Nursing Homes

Everybody wins: In exchange for a bit of volunteer work, the students get free housing, and retirement facilities get people who can teach the elderly how to send emails and use Skype.<p>On his way home from class, Jurriën Mentink takes a slight detour to pick up some fresh fillets from the …

College & University

Tastemaker

How Spotify’s Discover Weekly cracked human curation at internet scale<p><b>In the ‘90s,</b> Aby Ngana Diop was the queen of taasu, a practice of ritual poetry performed by female griots in Senegal. Diop’s distinctive vocals made her a sought-after performer at the weddings and funerals of the rich and …

The transformative potential of self-driving electric cars

Public discussions about electric vehicles, self-driving cars, and the future of transportation seem weirdly circumscribed to me. The value of alternative vehicles always seems to be judged against their ability to swap out for today's internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.<p>(By the way, a …

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration

American politicians are now eager to disown a failed criminal-justice system that’s left the U.S. with the largest incarcerated population in the world. But they've failed to reckon with history. Fifty years after Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report “The Negro Family” tragically helped create this …

Criminology

An Instagram From 1880s Paris

An Impressionist painting that looks like Brooklyn or Oakland on a Sunday morning<p>No perspective is so unmistakably modern as the view from above.<p>It’s pools and baseball diamonds shrinking out the window during the Pan Am’s ascent. It’s film from spy satellites, it’s regional agricultural surveys, …

Art History

The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland

Forget the Common Core, Finland’s youngsters are in charge of determining what happens in the classroom.<p>“The changes to kindergarten make me sick,” a veteran teacher in Arkansas recently admitted to me. “Think about what you did in first grade—that’s what my 5-year-old babies are expected to …

Education

Tumblr now lets you hide your blog from the internet

A privacy measure, or the start of a walled garden?<p>Tumblr today introduced a feature that lets you hide your blog from the web so its content can only be viewed on Tumblr.com and in its native apps for mobile devices. The move, which Tumblr positioned as a privacy measure, will "let you better …

Internet

15 Creative New Designs For Solving The Urban Housing Crisis

From floating houses to super-skinny ones, here’s how cities of the future can reimagine how they build to accommodate growing populations.<p>Like San Francisco or Tokyo, London is a terrible place to try to find a place to live. Thanks to a lack of supply, a two-bed flat in Central London sells for …

Housing

Making Connections Between the World's Newest and Oldest Maps

An interview with John Hessler, a cartography expert at the Library of Congress and one of the people behind the new book, <i>Map: Exploring The World</i>.<p>Few people in the world know their way around a map like John Hessler does. The Library of Congress’s “Specialist in Modern Cartography and Geographic …

The Power of Public Housing

“The story of American public housing is one of quiet successes drowned out by loud failures,” writes the historian Ed Goetz.<p>Public housing gets a bad rap, but Maddie Garrett has no complaints. She’s lived on the same few blocks on Austin’s east side for 50 years, moving between one of the nation’s …

Housing