Over 95 years ago, New York City was the target of a terrorist attack that has yet to be solved. No suspects have ever been named in the attack that killed or injured over 400 Wall Street bystanders. In contrast to the attacks of September 11th, which occurred just around the corner from the 1920 bombing, this deadly event has been all but erased from the collective American consciousness.
Jed Rubenfeld’s work of historical fiction, The Death Instinct, brings the 1920 bombing back to life. Although some characters and plot elements are fictionalized, Rubenfeld carefully matches historical details and events to accurately convey the context and sentiment surrounding what at the time was the deadliest terrorist attack in the world.
World War I had ended and the Depression was taking form, creating a society of lawlessness. Rubenfeld contends that there was further reasoning behind the bombing than just spreading terror. There was a billion dollars in gold being transferred from one vault to another at the exact time the attack took place, but authorities deny this was anything more than coincidence. At this point, the 1920 attack will likely never be solved, but Rubenfeld explores his own resolution in The Death Instinct.
The technology used to catch criminals is constantly being invented and then reinvented. From fingerprints to DNA, advancements in technology have allowed authorities to more accurately and efficiently locate and apprehend criminals. Now, what may be the largest addition to the tool belt of the criminal justice system yet is the technology we all carry in our pockets daily.
Cellphones have long been used to find and convict criminals, mainly through call logs and cell tower triangulation, but mobile devices now serve as de facto personal GPS trackers with extreme accuracy. Oxygen Forensics Inc. creates software that allows investigators to extract and interpret data from practically any digital device. Lee Reiber, COO for the company, says there now exists more mobile devices than people on this Earth, and the uses for our mobile data are infinite.
Even if a suspect refuses to talk, their mobile data can serve as evidence of location, communication history, and proximity to others. It also holds records of all documents and information that many of us wrongly assume is private. Pressing delete doesn’t mean information can’t be recovered and, even in cases where no mobile phone is involved, Reiber says any ‘smart’ device that collects data (and they all do) can be utilized.
What else can the data being collected around us be used for? Jerry Ropelato is the CEO of White Clouds, a large scale 3D printing technology company. He says virtually any set of information can be transformed to a physical object using 3D printing.
Whether it’s used to create medical materials or to build a exact model of an object, the possibilities are endless. Recently, White Clouds aided a defense attorney by replicating a residential crime scene to better convey their side of the story to the jury. No matter the use of these technologies, one thing is clear. This is only the beginning phase of the possible applications and only time will tell the true impact.
It’s no secret: American students are way down the international list when it comes to math scores. Why is this? Is there something we could be doing to make learning math a simpler task? Our guests say yes, and have suggestions for kids- and adults- struggling to master mathematics.
Bob Sun, inventor of The 24 Game and First in Math
Jason Wilkes, author, Burn Math Class: And reinvent mathematics for yourself
We all sleep, but the amount of sleep we get and the quality of that sleep can vary greatly. We talk to Matthew Walker, a professor at California-Berkeley, who says sleep in the single biggest thing we can do to help our physical and mental health both in the short-term and long-term.
Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California-Berkeley and author, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the power of sleep and dreams
Benjamin Vogt’s new book, A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future, is not your typical gardening book. It doesn’t teach you how to grow the best cilantro or tips for keeping plants alive during the cold, instead it focuses on how we can positively impact the environment and wildlife around us. Vogt explains, that with climate change and so many species extinct or endangered, we have to completely reimagine our connection with nature.
“Your garden is a protest. It is a place of defiant compassion. It is a space to help sustain wildlife and ecosystem function while providing an aesthetic response that moves you,” writes Vogt. He sees gardening as a way of saying I disagree with how we’ve chosen to interact with nature so far. Furthermore, I’m going to garden, not just a symbol of my protest, but as a way of actively changing that relationship with nature and positively impacting the ecosystems around me. Vogt also explains that gardening can improve us as humans. A greener urban setting can help us to be more productive, creative, focused, and even help cool our environment by combating climate change, giving off water through its leaves and, of course, providing shade. More importantly, Vogt says, humans are supposed to interact with and enjoy nature. It’s only recently, through urban communities, that we’ve become so separated from it.
Benjamin Vogt, Garden Designer with Monarch Gardens and author, A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future
If you’ve had to speak in public, you know the nerves that come with public speaking. So you probably also know the pain of umming, uhhing, or misspeaking. We explore where these vocal blunders come from and what they might mean.
Michael Erard, author of Um: Slips, Stumbles and Verbal Blunders and What They Mean