Quartz

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You can use physics to describe almost anything in life

Think of physics and you most likely picture clearly defined, specific systems: atoms interacting, equations involving force, mass, and acceleration, and recent discoveries such as the Higgs boson or gravitational waves.<p>But why should physics be limited to such topics? After all, Axel Kleidon, …

Science

Kenya is burning 5% of the world’s stockpile of ivory

Kenya set fire to 11 pyres of ivory in Nairobi National Park today (April 30), a symbol of the country’s fight against poaching. Because ivory doesn’t burn well, more than 10,000 liters of diesel mixed with kerosene were injected into the stacks of ivory through pressurized pipes underground. It …

Kenya

If Yahoo is sold, Marissa Mayer could walk away with $54.8 million

As Yahoo makes moves for a possible sale or major overhaul, eyes are on CEO Marissa Mayer and whether she’ll stay or go.<p>If she’s forced out because of a “change in control,” her severance package will be $54.88 million, according to an SEC filing yesterday (April 29). The package includes $3 …

Yahoo

Warren Buffett approves every title this independent book store sells at the Berkshire Hathaway meeting

As 40,000 people amass in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, one family has a lot of work to do.<p>Beth and Phillip Black own the independent bookstore The Bookworm Omaha, and the annual pilgrimage to Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders meeting is a massive weekend for the couple.<p>The exclusive book provider for …

Warren Buffett

Forty-one years ago, the US took a big gamble on Vietnamese refugees

Any number of things could have gone wrong.<p>It was March 1975, and my father had been in the US for 10 months. He had a scholarship to get his master’s in applied math at then University of Missouri-Rolla, but he found it impossible to focus. The war at home in Vietnam was getting worse, and his …

Asia

Nigeria’s next security challenge is at a tipping point and could be as deadly as Boko Haram

For the past six years, the Boko Haram terrorist group has run riot in Nigeria, carrying out fatal attacks and kidnappings across the northern part of the country. It has claimed lives of up to 20,000 people and displaced more than a million.<p>But while the worst actions of Boko Haram, which have …

Security

Watch: A GoPro video of what it’s like to live and die as an ISIL fighter

The so-called Islamic State regularly release videos of their fighters—it’s an important cog in its powerful propaganda machine. The slick videos often imitates famous Hollywood films and video games, making their fighters look strong and painting war as glamorous.<p>A violent and graphic new video …

GoPro

Australia is challenging a deal that would transfer 1% of its land mass to Chinese owners

Direct investment from China has long been steered into Australia, and recently it’s been growing. The A$15 billion (US$11 billion) pumped in to the country in 2015 was the highest amount of any year besides 2008. In terms of the number of deals, it was the biggest year ever (pdf, p. 4), with 65 …

Asia

Europe: Your annoying mobile roaming charges are about to get a lot cheaper

Mobile

RIP: the ambitious little weasel that just shut down the world’s largest particle collider

One of largest, most important research projects in the world, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), has been taken offline. The giant particle accelerator that sits beneath the French-Swiss border and used to uncover new information about what happened in the universe right after the Big Bang, has …

Particle Accelerators

Gucci is taking its fight against counterfeiting to the next frontier: the afterlife

Gucci’s battle against Chinese knockoffs has reached a new plane of existence. The Italian luxury label is warning Hong Kong shopkeepers to stop selling paper lookalikes of its bags, which people burn at funerals and include in the annual celebration of <i>Qingming Jie</i> to accompany their loved ones in …

Asia

Europe has emerged from smoldering crater that was once its economy

Remember Europe? Me neither!<p>But from what I hear, it’s a nub of land dangling off the Eurasian landmass, with a bunch of picturesque castles and a never-ending debt crisis.<p>We kid, because we love. But Europe’s inability to deal conclusively with what started as a debt crisis in Greece and grew to …

Finance

Amazon’s workforce grew by 50% last year alone

Amazon’s is going through a period of explosive growth, not least of all in the number of people it employs. Its quarterly filing yesterday (April 28) showed that it hired 80,200 full-time or part-time workers, a nearly 50% increase in its headcount, over the last 12 months.<p>That figure doesn’t …

Amazon

Who said it: Steve Jobs or Anna Wintour?

Being a visionary leader requires creativity, drive, and a relentless adherence to one’s instincts. Vogue’s longstanding editor-in-chief Anna Wintour displays this regularly, and Apple’s late founder and CEO Steve Jobs had it in spades. Each kept aloof from from the public, and their laser-sharp …

Steve Jobs

Geography is making America’s uneven economic recovery worse

This June, it will have been seven years since the official end of the “Great Recession,” which began in December 2007. Pundits and politicians continue to laud what US president Barack Obama called in February “the strongest, most durable economy in the world,” boasting of soaring stock prices and …

Economics

Facebook is bulking up satellite capacity to offer cheap internet access to Africa

Facebook is pushing ahead with plans to bring more internet access to sub-Saharan Africa by leasing bandwidth capacity on three satellites currently in orbit. It will be used for its subsidized Express Wi-Fi paid service, which is part of its Internet.org program.<p>The social media giant’s …

Facebook

As Italian women age, widows tend to have better lives than wives

With a life expectancy of 85.2 years, Italian women are expected to live, on average, five years longer than Italian men. This inevitably makes for a lot of widows: As of 2015, there were 3,782,095 widows in Italy (6.1% of the population, link in Italian), versus 741,760 widowers.<p>This does not mean …

Women's Health

Fearing a nuclear terror attack, Belgium is giving iodine pills to its entire population

Belgium is giving everyone living within a 100-km (60-mile) radius of its nuclear reactors an iodine pill in case of a nuclear calamity—which turns out to be everyone in Belgium.<p>The Belgian health minister had previously issued pills as proactive protection in case of a nuclear accident to everyone …

Belgium

Carl Icahn sold his Apple stake because he is worried about China’s “dictatorship” government

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn told the world on Thursday (April 28) he has dumped all of his shares in Apple, just days after it posted its first quarterly revenue drop since 2003. His reason? China’s ruling Communist Party can do whatever it wants, including potentially shut Apple out …

Asia

Can Donald Trump really win the White House?

Donald Trump announced he was running for president in June, and pundits and rivals have been eagerly anticipating the collapse of his campaign ever since. They’re still waiting—the New York real estate developer and reality TV star has surpassed everyone’s expectations, except perhaps his own, and …

Donald Trump

Amazon is finally starting to behave like a real business

Amazon’s failure to consistently generate a profit even as its revenues swell has become a point of frustration for investors. That’s beginning to change.<p>In the fourth quarter of 2015, Amazon recorded its biggest profit ever, at $482 million. And then, for the first quarter of 2016, the company did …

Amazon

Amazon Web Services is now a nearly $9 billion-a-year cloud-computing machine

Amazon’s cloud-computing division generated $2.57 billion in revenue in the first quarter, the company reported today (April 28). Over the past four quarters, Amazon Web Services has reaped $8.88 billion in sales.<p>Revenue from AWS grew 64% year-over-year, compared to 49% a year ago. The division is, …

Amazon

Slack bot developers were unwittingly leaking sensitive corporate data

Developers at major businesses who build apps for the instant-messaging platform Slack have unwittingly exposed key information like chat logs, direct messages, and passwords by recklessly sharing their programs in public.<p>The affected businesses include a major auditing firm, payments companies, a …

Slack

How a sporting event with no sport became one of the biggest nights in American sports

At the NFL Draft, football players replace their pads and uniforms with exquisitely tailored Armani and Versace suits. A boisterous crowd fills the bleachers, but they don’t cheer or jeer plays made by the athletes—they react, overzealous and histrionic, to personnel decisions made by team …

ESPN

The poor and middle class are fleeing America’s booming cities

Many of America’s cities are flourishing. But a closer look reveals a migration is underway.<p>As the price of living in America’ most expensive urban areas has soared—rents and home values rose about 12.5% between 2010 and 2014—the solution for many poorer families has been to move out.<p>Trulia, a …

Demographics

Uber is tired of waiting for you

Uber is losing patience with slow riders.<p>Under a new policy the company is testing in four US markets—New York, New Jersey, Phoenix, and Dallas—riders start getting charged two minutes after their Uber arrives. They also now have only two minutes to cancel a ride request, down from five, before …

New York City

How to listen to all of “Lemonade” for free, for the next month

Beyoncé’s <i>Lemonade</i> is available for streaming only on Jay Z’s subscription music service Tidal—a fact that’s made Spotify, as well as many fans, pretty unhappy.<p>While Tidal does come with a free trial period, if you’re reluctant to sign up for the service, you can still listen to <i>Lemonade</i> for free, …

Lemonade

Nobody is exactly sure what just happened to the world’s largest economy

The curse of the first quarter strikes again.<p>The world’s largest economy grew at a piddling 0.5% annualized rate in the first three months of 2016, according to just released numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That ain’t great. And it’s probably not really true either.<p>For the last …

Economics

Comcast is buying DreamWorks Animation studios for $3.8 billion

The US cable giant Comcast is one step closer to becoming the next Disney.<p>The media conglomerate said on Thursday (Apr. 28) that it will buy DreamWorks Animation, the studio behind <i>Shrek</i> and <i>Kung Fu Panda,</i> for $41 per share. The deal, which is valued at $3.8 million, strengthens the cable operator’s …

DreamWorks

Just seven procedures make up 80% of emergency hospital visits

More than 3 million American patients undergo emergency general surgery every year—that’s more than the sum of all new diagnoses for cancer in the US.<p>And according to a recent study, just seven procedures make up 80% of these emergency procedures. These seven procedures also accounted for 79% of …

Hospitals