Vox Almanac is going on a road trip

Vox Almanac is going on a road trip

We’re going on a road trip. You may have seen other Vox Almanac episodes about the Concorde — the snoot would droop — or bowling or medieval snails. We’re trying something new. We’re gonna be doing five episodes on a theme. I’ve been spending a …

Why there’s a ring of natural disasters around the Pacific

Why there’s a ring of natural disasters around the Pacific

“Offer a magnificent view of nature’s greatest power display.” Mount Mayon in the Philippines erupted in January. It continued for over a month. In February, Mount Sinabung erupted in Indonesia. Here’s the ash cloud as seen from space. And in June an eruption in Guatemala …

Why “Buy one, get one free” isn’t a great deal

Why “Buy one, get one free” isn’t a great deal

This is a coupon for Burger King’s Croissan’wich, and it’s promoting a buy one get one deal. Buy one breakfast sandwich at full price get a second. But one customer found that something was off about the deal: when she was charged two different prices …

Why this chair is on so many album covers

Why this chair is on so many album covers

This is Drake’s dad pictured on the cover of his 2017 album More Life. This is French comedian Jacques Bodoin in 1969. This is country star Larry Gatlin in 1979 and soul artist Al Green in 1972. This is the British synthpop band, Heaven 17, …

Why Iraq’s great rivers are dying

Why Iraq’s great rivers are dying

This is the Shatt al-Arab. The river that winds through the city of Basra, here, in Southern Iraq. It was once one of the most important waterways in the Middle East: Here lies the great port of Basra, at the cross-roads of the world’s trade. …

Why Stradivarius violins are worth millions

Why Stradivarius violins are worth millions

In 2008 violinist Philippe Quint was flying back to New York from a concert in Dallas. He took a taxi from the Newark Airport to Manhattan and before he could take his violin out, the car pulled away. It probably the scariest and most devastating …

How scientists colorize photos of space

How scientists colorize photos of space

This is all the light in the universe that we can see. It’s just a fraction of what’s out there. Most frequencies of light are actually invisible to us. The light we can see appears red at its lowest frequencies and violet at its highest. …

India’s trucks are works of art

India’s trucks are works of art

Drive through India and you are sure to see this. These are India’s trucks. Most goods in India are transported by truck. And as India’s economy has grown trucks have become central to how the country does business. But since they were introduced to India …

Where Sicko Mode’s weirdest moments came from

Where Sicko Mode’s weirdest moments came from

Sicko Mode is the big single off Travis Scott’s album Astroworld. It was one of the most sonically adventurous hits of 2018. This song has been described as “whacked-out and skittery” — Billboard said “there’s no disguising how weird “Sicko Mode” is as a pop …