Alex Mercado

1,041 Flips | 1 Magazine | 184 Likes | 2 Following | 34 Followers | @amercado | twitter.com/iamalexmercado

The Tunnel That Could Break New York

How politics, and Donald Trump, turned America’s most important repair job into a $30 billion grudge match.<p><b>President Donald Trump was in an unusually</b> bipartisan mood on September 7, when he convened a White House meeting about a massive project to build a rail tunnel under the Hudson River. He was …

Urban Design

The man who went to the North Korean place that ‘doesn’t exist’

<b>It was a visit to Pyongyang's Yanggakdo Hotel that resulted in the detention and eventual death of American student Otto Warmbier. US doctor Calvin Sun recalls his night inside a secret floor in the hotel and warns other travellers to stay away.</b><p>Calvin Sun had been awake for almost 24 hours when …

North Korea

What Trump Doesn't Understand About MS-13

The president may be overstating the gang’s impact.<p>As President Trump sat for <i>Time’s</i> Person of the Year interview last year, he excused himself and returned with a copy of <i>Newsday</i>. He wanted to show editor Michael Scherer a headline. “‘EXTREMELY VIOLENT’ GANG FACTION,” it read, and the article told …

Immigration

Does the Trolley Problem Have a Problem?

What if your answer to an absurd hypothetical question had no bearing on how you behaved in real life?<p>Picture the following situation: You are taking …

Psychology

How early humans created the paintings found in France's Chauvet cave

And what these paintings tell us about human life 30,000 years ago.<p>Early humans living in Europe might have led challenging lives, but they still …

The end to a French cheese tradition?

After years of lobbying, industrial producers are now allowed to make camembert with pasteurised milk. As a result, one of France’s beloved cheeses may be disappearing – for good.<p>In the heart of Normandy’s Pays d’Auge region, about an hour’s drive inland from the D-Day beaches on France’s northern …

France

How Peppa Pig became a video nightmare for children

In November of last year, I read an article in the<i>New York Times</i> about disturbing videos targeted at children that were being distributed via YouTube. Parents reported that their children were encountering knock-off editions of their favourite cartoon characters in situations of violence and death: …

Internet

No, that viral photo is not just like a Renaissance painting

An art historian weighs in.<p>Last Saturday, the German government released an official photograph from the G7 summit depicting German Chancellor Angela …

Art

Tears ‘R’ Us: The World’s Biggest Toy Store Didn’t Have to Die

The early tale of Toys “R” Us brims with ambition, energy, and no small amount of ruthlessness, as creation stories often do. Charles Lazarus had …

Times Square

The Proper Response to Roseanne—and to Trump

Roseanne Barr’s decision on Tuesday to post a tweet comparing a former adviser to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, to an ape ranks among the predictable developments in an era marked by uncertainty and the unexpected. This was not the first time that Barr has trafficked in social-media racism or …

Why Rich Kids Are So Good at the Marshmallow Test

Affluence—not willpower—seems to be what’s behind some kids' capacity to delay gratification.<p>The marshmallow test is one of the most famous pieces of social-science research: Put a marshmallow in front of a child, tell her that she can have a second one if she can go 15 minutes without eating the …

Indiana University

The Oxygen of Amplification

<i>The Oxygen of Amplification: Better Practices for Reporting on Extremists, Antagonists, and Manipulators Online</i> draws on in-depth interviews by …

How Hate Groups Form

Russian Facebook ads inflamed Hispanic tensions over immigration after Trump election

SAN FRANCISCO — In the months after Donald Trump rode to victory while calling for mass deportations, Russian operatives bought dozens of Facebook ads targeted at the Hispanic community seeking to further inflame tensions already roiled by the campaign's racially charged rhetoric, according to USA …

Street Photographer Captures Candid Photos of New York From 1969 to 2006

Since the late 1960s, native New Yorker Jeff Rothstein has been documenting his hometown. Wandering the streets with his 35 mm camera, he was able to photograph and preserve a New York that “no longer exists.” Rothstein works exclusively in black and white, giving his street photography a timeless …

Framing a Loss

How Victorian death photography helped me process my own miscarriages.<p>The photographs transfixed me, though I don’t remember now how I found those …

How West Coast winemakers are adapting to climate change

Firewater<p>It isn’t obvious, standing by the stainless steel tanks where wines are supposed to ferment, that Tom Eddy’s winery was at the epicenter of the Tubbs Fire, which last year burned about 20 miles from north of Calistoga in Napa Valley to Santa Rosa. In fact, on October 8th last year, the …

Napa Valley

How the GOP Rigs Elections

On a quiet, tree-lined street in Racine, Wisconsin, in a neighborhood known as the Danish Village for its Scandinavian ancestry, sits a two-story …

Government

Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro will be shaped by workflows

A year ago, I visited the Apple campus in Cupertino to figure out where the hell the new Mac Pro was. I joined a round-table discussion with Apple SVPs and a handful of reporters to get the skinny on what was taking so long.<p>The answer, it turns out, was that Apple had decided to start completely …

MacBook Pro

Millennials destroyed the rules of written English – and created something better

The spelling and grammar rules do not apply on the Millennial Internet™.<p>That's because millennials have created a new rulebook for a variant of …

Linguistics

The War in Iraq Isn’t Done. Commanders Explain Why and What's Next

Senior US and Iraq officers say the 15-year fight isn’t quite finished and they need to ensure that another ISIS can’t rise.<p><b>BAGHDAD, Iraq —</b> Not yet. …

Toys R Us built a kingdom and the world's biggest toy store. Then, they lost it.

The toy emporium that Charles P. Lazarus envisioned has been reduced to dusty floors and empty shelves.<p>Much has been said about the demise of the toy …

Toys "R" Us

The Bidet's Revival

Invented centuries ago in France, the bidet has never taken off in the States. That might be changing.<p>“It’s been completely Americanized!” my host declares proudly. “The bidet is gone!” In my time as a travel editor, this scenario has become common when touring improvements to hotels and resorts …

Birth Control

Trump’s Dangerous 'Dishonest' Message to the Troops

It’s politics when a candidate disparages “the media.” But it’s potentially dangerous when the commander in chief tells U.S. troops not to trust the …

For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It

We asked a preeminent historian to investigate our coverage of people of color in the U.S. and abroad. Here’s what he found.<p>It is November 2, 1930, and <i>National Geographic</i> has sent a reporter and a photographer to cover a magnificent occasion: the crowning of Haile Selassie, King of Kings of …

Black History

Yes, bacon really is killing us

Decades’ worth of research proves that chemicals used to make bacon do cause cancer. So how did the meat industry convince us it was safe? By Bee Wilson<p>There was a little cafe I used to go to that did the best bacon sandwiches. They came in a soft and pillowy white bap. The bacon, thick-cut from a …

Sandwiches

The N.R.A. Lobbyist Behind Florida’s Pro-Gun Policies

Deep Fakes: A Looming Crisis for National Security, Democracy and Privacy?

“We are truly fucked.” That was Motherboard’s spot-on reaction to deep fake sex videos (realistic-looking videos that swap a person’s face into sex …

“Black Panther” and the Invention of “Africa”

The Maison des Esclaves stands on the rocky shore of Gorée Island, off the coast of Senegal, like a great red tomb. During the years of its operation, the building served as a rendezvous point for slavers trafficking in a seemingly inexhaustible resource: Africans, whose very bodies became the …

How Marvel's Black Panther Marks a Major Milestone

The Revolutionary<br>Power of <i>Black Panther</i><p><b>Marvel’s new movie marks a major milestone</b> <br>By <b>JAMIL SMITH</b><p><b>The first movie I remember seeing</b> in a theater had a …

Black Panther