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  • Foday Sahr

    How Slow Responses Made the Ebola Outbreak So Deadly

    As a rule, huge organizations move sluggishly, bogged down in democratic decision-making processes and bureaucratic policies. Ebola, on the other hand, moves fast. People become desperately sick and contagious within a few weeks of infection. By the time international agencies effectively responded to the ongoing Ebola outbreak, it had spiraled out of control in West […]

  • Anna Badkhen headshot

    Weaving the World’s Stories Like an Expert Carpet-Maker

    To explain her motivations as a writer, Anna Badkhen quotes the Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert: “you have little time you must give testimony.” Badkhen recently stopped by the Nautilus office to sit for an interview and take us behind the scenes of “The Men Who Planted Trees,” her cover story for the Spring 2014 Nautilus […]

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    The Crumbling Ancient Texts That May Hold Life-Saving Cures

      Seven hundred years ago, Timbuktu was a dream destination for scholars, traders, and religious men. At the southern edge of the Sahara desert in what is now Mali, travelers from Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Egypt, and Morocco met in the bygone metropolis to exchange gold, salt, and ideas. According to a description of Timbuktu in […]

  • crop circle

    Unwinding the Mystery of Namibia’s Natural Crop Circles

    The Himba bushmen who inhabit the Namibian grasslands—a 1,200-mile-long swath of land running from Angola into South Africa—have come up with different stories over the years to explain the unusual circular bare patches, called “fairy circles,” dotted throughout the grassy expanse. These reddish-hued circles, sometimes several feet in diameter, are dubbed “footprints of the gods,” […]