Exceptional multitaskers are a scientific anomaly

From Quartz. In episode five of our video series Exceptional Humans, we search for supertaskers in our own office, to see how the Quartz staff compares to the general public. We ended up finding two, and have Strayer quiz one of them on her ability—discussing where it comes from, and what it means for the…

How to speed read, according to scientists

From Quartz. In episode three of our video series Exceptional Humans, we go to London to compete against Holloway in a speed-reading competition, and then to Germany, where researchers are doing breakthrough research to show that with a few straightforward adjustments, we all can be better, faster readers. This story was originally published on November…

A rare trait may hold the secret to better memory

From Quartz. In episode two of our video series Exceptional Humans, we go to Italy to spend time with Carletti in San Leo and in Rome, where researchers scan her brain to unlock the secrets of her memory. We also make a detour to the Netherlands, where researchers in Nijmegen are studying an entirely different…

Lessons from people who hardly need any sleep

From Quartz. In episode one of our video series Exceptional Humans, we crisscross the US, spending a day with Evans in Pennsylvania, and then following her to San Francisco, where she and her sister visited a lab so researchers could monitor their brains as they slept. We get an inside view into cutting-edge research that’s…

How to grow weed in China, legally

From Quartz. Cannabis is fast becoming the world’s newest cash crop. In southwest China’s Yunnan province, farmers make more money growing and selling the plant than they can from more common crops like corn or wheat. But growing weed in China is not as simple as planting seeds in the ground. Many places in the…

The rise of China has created a new kind of Chinatown

From Quartz. Chinatowns aren’t what they used to be. A newer, more modern version of them is emerging across the English-speaking world. These new Chinese settlements have established themselves in New York, Sydney, LA, Melbourne, Vancouver, Toronto, and beyond. Historically, old Chinatowns were urban and almost exclusively settled by low-skilled laborers. Settling in one those…

Covid-19 could change how dependent the world is on China for drugs

From Quartz. China is the world’s largest producer of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, or APIs, which are the main ingredients in drugs. This reliance on China has long been a concern, but the world had largely accepted the trade-off between consolidation risks and cost. Until Covid-19. This story was originally published on April 23, 2020. —…

Is WeChat a problem for democracies?

From Quartz. Politicians from Canada, the US and Australia have all turned to Chinese “super app” WeChat to reach Chinese voters in their countries. In this latest episode of Because China, we go to Australia to understand how WEChat could affect elections and democratic processes of another country. We break down how misinformation travels within…

How China’s swine fever epidemic turned into a global crisis

From Quartz. In just a year, a virus known as “African Swine Fever” has wiped out about half of China’s pig herd, the largest in the world, and has since spread to neighboring countries in Asia. The ASF epidemic offers a rare window into understanding China’s fragmented, underdeveloped agriculture sector, and how it can have…

What we can learn from magicians about managing risk

From Quartz. Good magic feels like it’s all up to chance—the right card happens to be in the right place at the right time. All of that is, of course, an illusion, achieved through hours and hours of practice. Rachel Wax works in fashion by day and magic by night in Speakeasy Magick at The…

Most of us are risk illiterate—but we can fix that

From Quartz. We all hit the same pitfalls when gauging risk: we underestimate it, overestimate it, and misunderstand key information. In the first episode of RISK, we meet Sam Antar, former white collar criminal. Then we travel to the world’s first Center for Risk Literacy in Berlin to learn why most of us are "risk…

Will virtual dating outlast the pandemic?

From Quartz. For the first time in history, virtually everyone who’s dating is dating virtually. Covid-19 has forced a pivot to video for many of the estimated 41% of online singles on dating apps worldwide. And an ongoing slow shift within the industry has accelerated. Bumble, which launched in-app video chat in 2019, said its…

How coronavirus is making Olympic athletes train under quarantine

From Quartz. Professional athletes don’t normally work from home. But from February into early March, as coronavirus began upending sports competitions around the world, Olympians found themselves training in not-so-state-of-the-art facilities—often their living rooms, their balconies, or even their family barns. For weeks, many were training this way and still planning to compete this July…