Hawaii Park Ranger, Volcano God Descendant

From The Atlantic. In the Hawaiian religion, Pele is the goddess of volcanoes, fire, and lightning. She is believed to have created the Hawaiian islands, and is considered to be a sacred, primordial force. Like many native Hawaiians of his generation, Keoni Kaholoʻaʻā, a park ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, wasn’t exposed to much…

Internet Free Speech: Do You Know Your Rights?

From The Atlantic. In theory, individuals should have the same rights online as they do in the physical world. But in practice, this is uncharted legal territory. Perhaps the most contentious area is free speech law. “Your First Amendment rights exist in a digital space, just as much as they exist in the real world,”…

A Post-Apocalyptic Tour of New York in a Multiplayer Shooter Game

From The Atlantic. The digital war zone of “Tom Clancy’s The Division,” a dystopian multiplayer shooter game, is reappropriated for a pacifist city tour of dystopian Manhattan. Our absurdly humorous tour guide comments freely on the city’s urban design and architectural past while trying to avoid being killed by stray bullets. “New York is under…

Watch Community Self-Policing in Action

From The Atlantic. A Detroit minister rallies his community to shut down a drug house in an inspiring display of collective action. This riveting observational documentary, premiering on The Atlantic today, follows Shabazz and his church-run organization, Detroit 300, as they knock on doors to peacefully confront the perpetrators of a drug operation that has…

We Are Brothers, Skateboarders, Americans, and Muslims

From The Atlantic. When Ben Mullinkosson first moved to Washington, D.C., he knew next to no one. “So I went to Freedom Plaza, which is internationally known as the skate spot in D.C., and within five minutes of arriving, I met Osama and Ayman,” Mullinkosson told me. “They were like, ‘Come skate with us.’ We…

Identical Twins Who Look Nothing Alike

From The Atlantic. Adam and Neil Pearson are identical twins, but you’d never know it from looking at them. Although they share the same DNA, their appearances are vastly different; each suffers from neurofibromatosis, a rare genetic disorder that has affected them in divergent ways. They tell their story in this deeply moving short documentary.…

A Dream of Happily Ever After

From The Atlantic. Horatio Baltz was in Cuba participating in a filmmaking workshop led by Werner Herzog when he met nine-year-old Maribel. The schoolgirl, from the small, rural town of Pueblo Textil, wanted to tell him about love. Wearing a red uniform with a red bandana tied around her neck, Maribel professed her unrequited affection…

Death-Cap Mushrooms Are Terrifying and Unstoppable

From The Atlantic. Most poisonous mushrooms won’t kill you—they’ll simply cause a severe headache or vomiting. Death-cap mushrooms are not like the others. As little as half an Amanita phalloides contains enough toxin to kill an adult human. Ingestion of the poison in death-cap mushrooms, known as amatoxin, is responsible for 90 percent of deaths…

The Truth About Wasabi

From The Atlantic. Have you ever eaten wasabi? If you answered “yes” to that question, you are likely mistaken. Most sushi eaters—even in Japan—are actually being served a mixture of ground horseradish and green food coloring splashed with a hint of Chinese mustard. Worldwide, experts believe that this imposter combination masquerades as wasabi about 99%…

Bulgaria: The World’s Fastest-Shrinking Country

From The Atlantic. Welcome to Altimir, Bulgaria, a village on the verge of extinction in the fastest-shrinking country in the world. With the lowest birth rates and the highest death rates the world, Bulgaria is at the front lines of population decline. Here’s what life is like inside a disappearing village haunted by the promises of…