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The 10 Most Popular Podcasts of 2015

It may be hard to believe, but podcasts turn 10 years old this year. The podcast first took off back in 2005, when Apple added them to iTunes.<p>Today’s …

25 Years After The Great Missouri Earthquake That Never Happened

On Dec. 3, 1990, an earthquake was supposed to level the small town of New Madrid, Missouri and become one of the biggest natural disasters the country had ever experienced. The ensuing mayhem — and quiet — instead brought fleeting attention to a high-risk seismic zone in the heart of America that …

Who Built Stonehenge? Big-Time Meat-Eaters

Stonehenge’s construction crew came together from across Britain for some epic barbecues, a feat of social organization millennia before mobile phones made it easy for people to connect.<p>Now, new analysis of the fat-coated pottery left behind at the Durrington Walls settlement near Stonehenge is …

The Machiavelli of Maryland: adviser to presidents, prime ministers – and the Dalai Lama | Thomas Meaney

Military strategist, classical scholar, cattle rancher – and an adviser to presidents, prime ministers, and the Dalai Lama. Just who is Edward Luttwak? And why do very powerful people pay vast sums for his advice?<p>People contact Edward Luttwak with unusual requests. The prime minister of Kazakhstan …

How Comedy Soared in 2015

From Amy Schumer to late night’s new guard to Obama on ‘WTF,’ the medium proved it can thrive both in and outside the traditional network model.<p>In 2015, comedy underwent its biggest upheaval in more than a decade—or at least it did on late-night TV, its supposed hub of talent. Comedy Central lost …

Comedy

Thomas Jefferson and the fascinating history of Founding Fathers defending Muslim rights

<i>This post has been updated with President Obama's comments. The Fix originally wrote about Thomas Jefferson and Muslims in December.</i><p>Muslims are at the center of a roiling debate over religious freedom in the United States. But they've actually been a part of that heated conversation from the very …

Religion

As World Crowds In, Cities Become Digital Laboratories

New York City amasses data on habits, health and security of its citizens to cope with spiraling growth<p>NEW YORK—Gregory Dobler is an astrophysicist who honed his craft by recording spectral images of quasars and black holes. Now, from a high-rise rooftop in Brooklyn, he is training his lens on the …

New York City

The Violent Afterlife of a Recycled Plastic Bottle

What happens after you toss it into the bin?<p><i>Editor's note: This article has been significantly revised post-publication to correct for factual errors in the original version.*</i><p>Most of us do not think much about recycling. We might clean bottles and jars, crush cartons and break down boxes. We might …

Sustainability