History

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Russia and the Curse of Geography

But it’s helpful to look at Putin’s military interventions abroad in the context of Russian leaders’ longstanding attempts to deal with geography. What if Putin’s motives aren’t so mysterious after all? What if you can read them clearly on a map?

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From 0 to 5,000 Planets in Exactly 20 Years

Twenty years ago today, an invisible object circling an obscure star in the constellation Pegasus overturned everything astronomers knew about planets around other stars. No, the fallout was even bigger than that. The indirect detection of 51 Pegasi b—the first planet ever found around a star similar to the sun—revealed that they had never really known anything to begin with.

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The oldest galaxies in the universe

More than 12 billion years ago, a sea of stars fell into orbit around a baby black hole, and became a galaxy, one of the first.

The formation of this galaxy, and others like it, was a momentous event in cosmic evolution. This galaxy and its brethren helped to clear hydrogen gas left over from the Big Bang, making our universe transparent to light.

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The Future of News Is Not An Article

Creating news for the current and future media landscape means considering the time scales of our reporting in much more innovative ways. Information should accumulate upon itself; documents should have ways of reacting to new reporting or information; and we should consider the consumption behavior of our users as one that takes place at all cadences, not simply as a daily update.

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You shouldn’t kill baby Hitler

I have often felt that most of historical Hitler’s difficulty stems from a life spent constantly fending off assassination attempts from the future, an effort that doubtless left him paranoid and exhausted. Do I have proof for this? Well, no, obviously, but it seems right, doesn’t it?

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