The horror of the air war, in one stark map

This graph shows how badly German cities were hit by Allied bombing raids.

Image: G.W. Harmssen, Reparationen, Sozialprodukt, Lebensstandard (1947), in Deutsche Geschichte in Dokumenten und Bildern.
  • Despite Göring's assurances they wouldn't get through, Allied bombers rained destruction on Germany in World War II.
  • This 1947 map takes stock of the devastation: Berlin and Hamburg half destroyed, some smaller cities wiped out.
  • The history of the air war over Germany is a chilling reminder of the peculiar horror of mechanized warfare.
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Ambassadors from 50 nations sign letter supporting LGBTQ rights in Poland

Poland has become an increasingly unwelcoming place for the LGBTQ community. 50 diplomats hope to change that.

Credit: Sentemon/Shutterstock
  • An open letter, signed by 50 ambassadors and NGO leaders, asked the Polish government to respect LGBT rights.
  • The Polish Government responded by denying the implied discrimination exists.
  • Poland has been deemed the "worst place to be gay" in the EU in spite of this.
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In praise of nudity: The nudist beaches of Central and Eastern Europe

"Nothing but naked people: fat ones, thin ones, old, young…"

Photo by Jessica D. Vega on Unsplash
They lie on towels, blankets and mattresses, without wind screens, but under umbrellas.
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How Napoleon went from ‘cannibal’ to ‘Majesty’ in 20 days

Alexandre Dumas' famous anecdote about Fake News in the 1800s has a surprising twist.

  • Unfazed by his first defeat, Napoleon swept back into power in 1815, going from exile to emperor within a single month.
  • Parisian newspapers scrambled to adapt: at the start of that month, Napoleon was a 'cannibal'; at the end, 'His Majesty'.
  • For the first time ever, this map illustrates the spatial dimension of that shift – but the anecdote, made famous by Dumas, has a twist.
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Why Erdogan wants to turn Istanbul into an island

'Kanal Istanbul' would create a second Bosporus – and immortalize its creator.

Image: Randam, CC BY-SA 4.0 (alteration by Ruland Kolen)
  • The Bosporus is three times busier than the Suez Canal, and getting worse.
  • To resolve marine congestion, Turkey wants to build a 'second Bosporus'.
  • The controversial project would alter local geography – and may have unintended consequences.

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