The story of the world’s biggest diamond heist. 

“In February 2003, Notarbartolo was arrested for heading a ring of Italian thieves. They were accused of breaking into a vault two floors beneath the Antwerp Diamond Center and making off with at least $100 million worth of loose diamonds, gold, jewelry, and other spoils. The vault was thought to be impenetrable.” learn more

The economics of bank robbery. 

“Bank robberies are great case studies for the economics of crime. They’re premeditated affairs in which a perpetrator has evaluated (consciously or not) the rationality of proceeding. The gains are quantifiable. They also come with a built-in dilemma: every minute a robber stays in the bank increases both the haul and the chance of getting caught.” learn more

How do I start an airline? 

On Q&A site Quora, George Zaharoff details all of the plans that went into the airline he was to start in 2002. He includes amazingly detailed financial projections, vendor strategy, and more. learn more

I have good new and bad news. 

We may know this intuitively: adding in a spot of good news makes bad news easier to take. Researchers have studied this Silver Lining Effect over the years, helping us understand when that’s true and when it’s not. learn more

Queens of history love a good fight. 

A study by researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research set out to answer the question, “Are states led by women less prone to conflict than states led by men?” What they found was that between 1480 and 1913, Europe’s queens were 27% more likely than its kings to wage war. learn more

Second sleep used to be a thing. 

A historian found that people used to divide their sleep into two separate periods, waking up in the middle of the night to take care of stuff – chores, reading, praying, etc. Electric lights might have caused our schedules to change, inadvertently causing a third of Americans to have a hard time sleeping through the night. |learn more and even more

Why Finland loves saunas.

“The only Finnish word to make it into everyday English is sauna. But what it is, and how much it means to Finns, is often misunderstood – and it’s definitely not about flirtation or sex.” learn more

The internet, one pixel at a time. 

What happens when you let the internet place unlimited pixels on a canvas, but only one every five minutes? Reddit’s april fools joke lasted 3 days, and the result is worth looking at. “Somehow, someway, what happened in Reddit over those 72 hours was the birth of Art.” learn more

Renewed hope for the hot hand.

“Hot Hand”, “On Fire”, “In The Zone”. In 1985, a group including Amos Tversky (one of the fathers of behavioral economics) published a paper concluding it didn’t exist – it was a myth. After 30 years, Joshua Miller fires back, highlighting flaws in the original research that invalidate and reverse the result. learn more

Maps are lying to you. 

Maps are lying to you. I still remember when it sunk in that our typical world map is one big lie. When a tour guide in Colombia told us that the country is bigger than Texas and California combined, I didn’t believe him. Google quickly confirmed that I was wrong. learn more