big ideas

How stories last

If we want information to last longer than 3 generations, stories are the only way to go. “Stories are alive. The ones that last, Gaiman said, outcompete other stories by changing over time. They make it from medium to medium—from […]

retail therapy

All those used delivery boxes are a hot commodity

Recycling plants can’t get their hands on enough post-consumer cardboard. Now they want that cheese-crusted pizza box! “A surge in food and package deliveries during the pandemic is recharging the U.S. market for recycled paper and cardboard, two years after it collapsed […]

tech, startups, internet

Chinese AR startup Rokid’s smart glasses

The company’s first generation product came with a temperature-detecting feature that let wearers measure across groups of people. The new version will do even more. Reading this reminded me to check in on Google Glass, which is still alive and kicking […]

fun facts

How to get to China

It’s neither cheap nor easy to get to China today. One-way total cost in economy class: $6300, including a 14-day mandatory quarantine in a designated hotel. Click-thru for details and photos of one person’s journey. | learn more

retail therapy

How SARS gave us Alibaba

The outbreak of SARS coincided with the 2003 Canton Fair, a GIANT trade show that China chose not to cancel. Alibaba, tiny at the time, channeled the motivation to build Taobao and Alipay – two monster businesses. | learn more