Summary of “How to Put a Fake Island on the Map”

Zeno called the island Frisland and claimed that two of his ancestors, Antonio and his brother Nicolò, had discovered the island in the 1380s.
Zeno’s map provided additional support for his story.
In his book, Zeno claimed the map dated back to the 1390s, but its sources are clearly from the 16th century.
Bordone’s Isolario of 1528 not only provided images of North Atlantic islands, but it also contained descriptions of Vespucci’s voyage and the island of Hispaniola, which served as a template for Zeno’s picture of the New World inhabitants.
Even the map can’t fully explain the enduring power of Zeno’s story.
To understand why modern scholars might defend Zeno’s story, look at another case of alleged exploration forgery: the Vinland map.
Many scholars argue that the Vinland map is a forgery, perhaps because it lacks a compelling element found in the Zeno tale-a centuries-long track record of evidence.
Zeno’s map gave the appearance of truth to his claims, but the English declaration of ownership over Frisland in 1580 reveals the true power of Zeno’s story.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the World’s Most Secretive Offshore Haven Refuses to Clean Up”

“We feel very strongly that people are entitled to some semblance of financial privacy,” the Nevis premier, Mark Brantley, himself an offshore lawyer, told me when we met in his office in January.
“Why should a bureaucrat in London, or wherever, curious about his neighbour’s financial situation, pick up the phone and say, ‘You know what, I need to know if Mr John Smith, who’s my neighbour down the road, has an account or a company in Nevis.’ Why’s that his business?” Brantley asked.
As long as Nevis persists in denying foreigners access to the ownership information of its companies – no matter how hard other places work to open up – scoundrels can keep routing their business via Nevis, breaking the chain of traceable ownership, and hiding themselves and their crimes from discovery.
Earlier this week, John Cleese told Newsnight he was so fed up with how Britain is run that he is moving to Nevis for good.
“My approach to getting assets that are in asset protection entities like a Nevis LLC, is that you don’t go to Nevis and try to get the money out – that is a foolhardy enterprise. They passed laws and they set up structures to stop us and to make it expensive and to make it take years and years and years. What we do here is we use some more creative approaches to, for lack of a better term, make them cough up the dough.”
A search of the Companies House website reveals how Nevis is able to defang Britain’s attack on secrecy.
If the island is so clean, why did online trolls looking to smear Emmanuel Macron before the 2017 French presidential election create fake documents supposedly showing he had a shell company in Nevis? Isn’t that a sign that the industry Sutton oversees has an image problem? “People make things up all the time,” she replied.
The issue is that if every jurisdiction thinks only of how to stand on its own two feet – whether that’s post-Brexit Britain, Nevis or Wyoming – we will all be pushed over separately by the world’s crooks and thieves.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Last Days of John Allen Chau”

The consulate, Pathak said, had been contacted by an American woman, the mother of “One Mr. John Allen Chau about her son’s visit to North Sentinel Island and attack by the tribesmen.” Upon receiving the e-mail, “a missing report was immediately registered” and a “Detailed enquiry was initiated.” Within hours, Pathak’s detectives reported back that Chau “Allegedly got killed at North Sentinel Island during his misplaced adventure in the highly restricted area while trying to interact with the uncontacted people who have a history of vigorous rejection towards outsiders.”
Returning a day later, they saw “a dead person being buried at the shore which from the silhouette of the body, clothing and circumstances appeared to be the body of John Allen Chau.” Pathak had arrested all five fishermen, plus two more men from Port Blair, all of whom, he wrote, helped Chau travel to North Sentinel despite knowing “Fully well about the illegality of the action and the hostile attitude of the Sentinelese tribesmen to the outsiders.” In their defense, the fishermen stated that “The deceased … without any pressure or undue influence from any corner, had volunteered to visit North Sentinel Island for preaching Christianity to the aboriginal tribe.”
In late December, comedian Frankie Boyle wrapped up his prime-time show on the BBC with a monologue imagining a Sentinelese warrior splitting Chau’s penis in half, speculating that his rib cage was now being used as “a monkey’s xylophone,” and suggesting that John Allen Chau would achieve immortality as “The patron saint of daft cunts.”
John Chau was the son of an unlikely couple, Patrick Chau and Lynda Adams-Chau.
John Middleton Ramsey, who met John on an evangelical tour of Israel in 2015, concedes that whether you buy John’s reasoning comes down to whether you share his faith.
Behind a bamboo bar is a calendar whose cover features a silhouette of a lone hiker at dawn: John Chau.
His failure, the detective said, explains why four days after arriving in Port Blair on October 16, John caught a ten-hour ferry to the island of Little Andaman, where he stayed for two weeks, attempting several times to visit the Onge reserve at Dugong Creek.
According to a second detective who investigated John’s death, the group told officers that John was “fascinated” by the story of John Richardson.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The truth about the US’ most iconic food”

A mere two blocks away, I spotted another sign attached to a small shop directly beside the historic Cyclone rollercoaster that read: ‘Feltman’s of Coney Island: The original hot dog – 1867’.
According to Brooklyn native and Coney Island historian Michael Quinn, a German immigrant named Charles L Feltman was serving hot dogs along the bustling strip decades before Nathan’s was conceived.
The term ‘hot dog’ wouldn’t be coined for some years yet, but Feltman’s American beachside take on the German beer-garden speciality proved to be a sizzling success.
In 1871, Feltman leased a small seaside plot on West 10th Street and opened a restaurant called Feltman’s Ocean Pavilion.
With success came expansion, and by the turn of the century, Feltman’s humble pie cart had grown into a full-on empire spanning an entire block – complete with nine restaurants, a roller coaster, carousel, ballroom, outdoor movie theatre, hotel, beer garden, bathhouse, pavilion and Alpine village that once hosted US president William Howard Taft.
According to Sharon Seitz and Stuart Miller in their book, The Other Islands of New York City, Feltman even persuaded Andrew Culver, president of the Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad, to extend his new railroad’s timetable so customers could stay at Feltman’s for dinner.
For the first time in over half a century, Nathan’s was the only hot dog to be reckoned with on Coney Island’s boardwalk, and the many fans of Feltman’s larger, juicier franks were left hungry for more.
Even though Quinn wasn’t alive to ever taste the original Feltman’s hot dogs before it closed, his grandfather’s stories of eating Coney Island red hots stayed with him – so much so that as an adult, “I set out to recreate my grandfather’s experience,” he told me.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Bizarre Story of Britain’s Last Great Auk”

Sailing near the remote Scottish island of St Kilda, Laughlan McKinnon sighted a strange bird napping on a rocky sea stack.
Today, a casual observer could be forgiven for confusing the bird, a great auk, for a penguin.
When early explorers discovered flightless birds in the southern hemisphere, they called the creatures penguins because of their resemblance to the great auk.
Great auks had no fear of humans; a person could easily walk up to a bird and strangle it-and many did.
For an unknown reason they made the unusual decision to take the bird alive: One of the men, Malcolm MacDonald, approached the snoozing bird, snagged it by the neck, and lassoed its legs together.
The men decided to wait out the storm in a small hut called a bothy, and they took the bird inside with them.
Finally, as the story goes, the fishermen concluded that there was only one cause for their bad luck: The bird was no bird at all.
Decades later, historians learned that this bird was likely the last great auk in Great Britain.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Blow up: how half a tonne of cocaine transformed the life of an island”

The arrival in the summer of 2001 of more than half a metric tonne of extraordinarily pure cocaine turned São Miguel upside down.
A number of islanders became small-time dealers and began transporting cocaine across the island in milk churns, paint tins and socks.
Before the yacht arrived, locals had seen little cocaine on the island.
“He seemed worried by the fact that large amounts of cocaine were washing up all over the island.” Quinci even offered to direct officers to the area where he had hidden the cocaine.
Before Quinci’s cocaine had washed up on shore, Lopes and his colleagues had São Miguel’s drug trade on lockdown.
In the span of just a few weeks, Quinci’s cocaine had profoundly changed life on São Miguel.
Alberto Peixoto, a local sociologist who has conducted studies on drug use in the Azores, confirmed that the arrival of Quinci’s cocaine increased consumption of other illicit substances, and that young people and adults from poorer parts of the island were the ones most affected.
Last September, a catamaran sailing under a French flag was impounded near the Azorean island of Faial with 840kg of cocaine on board.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What We Get Wrong About Lyme Disease”

Deer ticks, or blacklegged ticks, are poppy-seed sized carriers of Lyme disease.
I quickly became the “Tick girl.” When I started my dissertation I was preoccupied by the ecological question: How have humans altered the environment and triggered a disease emergence? By the time I finished, I realized that far more interesting were the rich and revealing tick stories shared with us along the way.
Once, a friend’s mom emailed that she’d just pulled off her first tick of the season, from her pubic hair: “I’m guessing it doesn’t it surprise you to hear, Katie, that you came to mind almost immediately when I discovered the little bugger? I’m afraid that ticks and you will be forever linked in my mind.” Naturally some took the motif too far.
The Steves boasted that they’d each been infected with Lyme disease and babesiosis, a parasitic illness also carried by deer ticks, on and off for the last several years.
En route to a wedding in Easton, Connecticut, deep in Lyme country, someone found out that I was a tick girl and asked if they should be worried.
The Lyme bacterium is only transmitted after the tick has been attached for two or three days.
Ticks followed the deer, and B. burgdorferi followed the ticks.
The genetic and ecological history of the Lyme disease bacterium make it clear: Neither ticks nor the bacterium are invaders onto our pristine landscapes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Scientists think they’ve solved one mystery of Easter Island’s statues”

Chile’s Easter Island is famous for its giant monumental statues, called moai, built by early inhabitants some 800 years ago.
Scholars have puzzled over the moai on Easter Island for decades, pondering their cultural significance, as well as how a Stone Age culture managed to carve and transport statues weighing as much as 92 tons.
Now Lipo, Hunt, and several colleagues have turned their attention to the question of why certain locations were chosen for the statues and platforms.
While working in Hawaii with a hydrogeologist, Lipo realized that fresh water is such a precious resource on an island, it can’t help but have an impact on where people settle-and where they might place their statuary.
Fresh water is also a limited resource on Easter Island.
Evidence from historical accounts of European visitors to the island verified this was also true at the time the early inhabitants lived.
According to co-author Hunt, the data collected thus far indicates that the early inhabitants of the island survived for more than 500 years by building strong communities around their limited resources and fostering a strong sharing economy.
Lipo and his team are heading back to Easter Island in May for more field work, since thus far they have only collected comprehensive freshwater data for the western portion of the island.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How rats became an inescapable part of city living”

I feel a little bad. Most New Yorkers want all the rats in their city dead. Just a week before I hunted rats with Corrigan, Mayor Bill de Blasio had announced “An aggressive new extermination plan” against rats in the city’s public housing, part of a $32 million effort to reduce rats by up to 70 percent in the most infested neighborhoods.
Unfortunately for the rats and for Corrigan’s surprisingly tender heart, fast-acting poisons don’t work well; rats that feel ill after a bite or two stop eating the bait.
City workers might have recently injected burrows with dry ice, or frozen carbon dioxide, Corrigan says-a more humane approach to killing rats.
Few who kill rats for a living hope for more than local or temporary success.
Until cities radically change how they deal with their trash, Corrigan says, “The rats are winning this war.”
Brown rats along the East Coast are descended mostly from European ancestors, but West Coast rats are a mix of European and Asian genetics.
In one study, rats freed other rats from cages, even though it gained them nothing and even when they could have gorged on chocolate instead. The researcher behind the study, neurobiologist Peggy Mason of the University of Chicago, says that typically, once the helper rat frees his companion, “He follows the liberated rat. He jumps on him and he licks him”-apparently to console the distressed animal.
The rats are considered vermin; the raptors are welcomed as heartening signs of nature returning to the city.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Marshall Islands: A nation that fears it’s on the brink of extinction”

The Marshall Islands, a tiny nation of islands and atolls located between Hawaii and Australia, are in a fight for survival.
In a battle between man and nature, officials say climate change is threatening the islands’ existence.
The government of the Marshall Islands has had one of the loudest voices on the world’s stage with regard to climate change.
” came to be really our last hope to galvanize the entire global community to say, ‘OK enough is enough,'” The islands’ Minister of Environment David Paul said.
The island of Eneko is among other smaller islands on the outer edge of Majuro’s lagoon.
Paul pointed out that the island has had a significant amount of land turned to beach.
Over a third of the population has already left, seeking opportunity in the U.S. Soon, the more than 70,000 left behind may have no other choice than to also flee to the U.S. In June 2017, President Donald Trump delivered another crushing blow to the islands with the announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate accord.
In combating climate change, “We always say this: we may go first, but you’re next,” Paul said, referring to the fact that the rest of the world should take the island nation’s concerns seriously.

The orginal article.