Category: Features

Canada’s Purple Sand Beach

The last time Candice LaFaver spotted the purple grains of sand along the shoreline at Candle Lake Provincial Park was in 2018. That July, she and her family had taken out their boat for a leisurely summertime cruise on this freshwater lake located in northern Saskatchewan when she glanced over...

Robots Are Coming For Your Vote

You’re standing in the polling booth, crisp ballot paper in hand, a dozen or more names printed across it. Many of them you’ve never encountered before. The cross you put next to one of them, however, will shape the government for years to come. How do you choose? It is...

The Czech Town That Invented The Dollar

The US dollar is the most widely used currency in the world. It is both the primary de facto global tender and the world’s unofficial gold standard. According to the International Monetary Fund, 62% of the planet’s financial reserves are held in US dollars – more than double the total...

Surviving a Shipwreck

The wind had dropped the night before, but the sea was still running pretty heavy, especially for a boat like the Lucette. The waves were about head height and in a small boat there was a real risk of going over the side. In the distance a shape in the...

How Salmon Can Transform A Landscape

Skeins of wispy clouds obscure the tops of distant forested mountains, reflected in calm waters. On this midsummer morning at least, the Pacific is living up to its name on this stretch of Canada’s west coast. Backpacks and thermoses in hand, four researchers tread down a wooden strutted ramp to...

A slice of the US in Denmark

A slice of the US in Denmark

It was 4 July, and I was watching the Stars and Stripes hoisted up a flagpole by men in uniform as a country singer in cowboy boots and hat belted out my national anthem. This was followed by a moment of prayer, asking God to bless the US president. Then...

Stockholm’s Rooftop Tour

Stockholm’s Rooftop Tour

The best way to get a sense of the Swedish capital’s island landscape isn’t from the sea. It’s from the air – 43m in the air, to be exact. A view from above Stockholm is a city of water. Founded by seafaring tradesmen, the centre of the Swedish capital stretches...

When It is Better to Take Notes by Hand

When It is Better to Take Notes by Hand

These days many people can type faster than they can write by hand, particularly if they’ve grown up using laptops. This is a hugely useful skill of course and allows you to take copious notes, quickly and easily, which must surely be a good thing, right? Maybe not. In an...

Become an Optimist

Become an Optimist

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” – Anais Nin One of the most common questions people ask is how to become more of an optimist....

The Moon Has Power Over Animals

The Moon Has Power Over Animals

Twice a month from March through August, or so, crowds of people gather on Southern California beaches for a regular evening spectacle. As onlookers watch, thousands of silvery sardine look-alikes lunge as far onto shore as possible. Before long, these small writhing, grunion carpet the beach. The females dig their tails into...

What Japan Can Teach Us About Cleanliness

What Japan Can Teach Us About Cleanliness

The students sit with their satchels on their desks, eager to get home after another long day of seven 50-minute classes. They listen patiently as their teacher makes a few announcements about tomorrow’s timetable. Then, as every day, the teacher’s final words: “OK everybody, today’s cleaning roster. Lines one and...

Overcome Nervousness

Overcome Nervousness

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” – Benjamin Franklin “If I don’t train enough, of course I’m nervous.” – Haile Gebrselassie It starts with just a little tremble within. Then a pressure builds up. A hand or foot starts to fidget....

Why Sharks Attack Humans

Why Sharks Attack Humans

The crystal-clear water beneath 13-year-old Hannah Mighall darkened for a moment. She was sitting astride her surfboard, enjoying the warmth of the sun as she and her cousin waited for the next wave in Tasmania’s idyllic Bay of Fires. Behind them the brilliant-white sandy beach was largely deserted and the...

The Wall Holding Back A Desert

The Wall Holding Back A Desert

You have to watch where you step in Paga, on the very edge of northern Ghana. Wander into the wrong part of this dusty African border town and you may just come face to face with the toothy grin belonging to one of the resident crocodile population. The local people...

Solving the Climate Change

Solving the Climate Change

Over the past two centuries, millions of dedicated people – revolutionaries, activists, politicians, and theorists – have yet to curb the disastrous and increasingly globalised trajectory of economic polarisation and ecological degradation. Perhaps because we are utterly trapped in flawed ways of thinking about technology and economy – as the...

Deal with Disappointment

Deal with Disappointment

When you get disappointed then it can hurt. Sometimes a bit. Sometimes a lot. It can drag you down into a negative funk for days or even weeks. But if you learn how to deal with that disappointment in a healthier and more helpful way then it can be less...

A Train Journey Across  the Sahara

A Train Journey Across the Sahara

Wrapping my Touareg scarf around my face to shield my eyes from the sand and dirt, I climbed the ladder, hoisted myself onto the lip of the freight wagon and surveyed the scene. An endless line of wagons stretched out to the horizon, rocking and swaying. To either side, a...

A Celebration of Victory Over Death

A Celebration of Victory Over Death

The festival of Santa Marta de Ribarteme is an opportunity for those who have survived near-death experiences to give thanks for their lives. A symbolic victory of life The crowd parts, allowing the first coffins to move through. A heavy silence hangs in the air. But all is not quite...