Turning ice into fire. Iceland goes for drama.

Nov 27, 2015
Ari Daniel

The first thing you need to know is that Iceland is changing.

Icelander Sveinbjörn Steinþôrsson, a muscular guy in his 40s, grew up hiking on glaciers here. And he says he’s actually seen the changes.

"First trips to the glacier, I was, like, 14, 15 years old," Steinþôrsson says. "It was easy to find a spot on a glacier to see only white. You could not see the mountain in the north. And you thought you were alone in the world."

But now, when Steinþôrsson goes to those same places and looks out, he sees mountains and bare land poking through.

Dylan Martinez/Reuters

When it comes to giving, the choices can be overwhelming.

Should you give to a charity? How do you know who to trust? Is it better to just give cash to the people who need it? I've done extensive reporting on what makes charities successful — and what happens when charities go wrong — but now I'm turning attention to the holidays.

For the next few days, I’m going to be answering your questions about effective holiday giving. There are so many pressing social problems in this country and across the globe and there are myriad causes doing important work.

New Society Publishers

Even people who take great pride in their appearance may blanch occasionally when looking at clothing labels.

It's tough to live a lifestyle that combines fashion, a sense of worker justice, and environmental ethics. 

But Kate Black says it's entirely possible, and she shows how, in her book MagnifECO: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-toxic Beauty.

The book is the first print extension of the MagnifECO brand Black pioneered on the web. 

Moller International

We're 15 years into the 21st century, and still looking for the flying cars.  But perhaps not much longer. 

Paul Moller, engineer and entrepreneur, focuses the efforts of his company, Moller International, on that very goal. 

Moller already has prototypes that can hover ten feet off the ground, with plans for sleeker and more impressive vehicles ahead. 

Penguin Books

What's in YOUR kitchen junk drawer?  Or is it a whole closet? 

Humans can be messy creatures, but the tendency to lose track of things can seem amplified in this age of "information overload." 

Fret not: neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin says it's still possible to keep track of appointments, car keys, the works. 

He explains in his book The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

Garth Hallberg's "City on Fire"

Nov 27, 2015

Garth Risk Hallberg's "City on Fire" is this year's big debut novel. It's a sweeping 900-page story about New York City in the mid-70s, chronicling everything from the punk music scene to the rise of Wall Street's runaway hedge funds. Hallberg says he's fascinated by the idea of creative destruction.

Stephen Wolfram on Computer Creativity

Nov 27, 2015

Will a computer ever write a great novel? Absolutely, says the pioneering software developer Stephen Wolfram. He believes there's no limit to computer creativity.

They Had Androids in the Enlightenment?

Nov 27, 2015

Androids may seem like a modern idea, but there were life-size androids in the 18th century - beautiful robot women who could look around and even play the harpsichord. Historian Heidi Voskuhl tells this remarkable story.

App Intelligence

Nov 27, 2015

App Intelligence? Santa Fe Institute president David Krakauer says we're on the verge of abdicating our free will to everyday apps.

The Quest for the Master Algorithm

Nov 27, 2015

Machines that program themselves are all around us and they get smarter every day. Computer scientist Pedro Domingos says there's now a race to create the one algorithm to rule them all. But are you ready for the master algorithm that can tell a machine how to learn anything?