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The United States is grappling with a wild pig invasion. Working out where they roam and why is the first step towards controlling the population

by Katie Burton

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Anywhere between two million and six million wild pigs (also called feral hogs) roam across 39 states in the US. …


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by Benjamin Hennig

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How do you usually travel to work? Question 41 in the last UK Census asked employed people to indicate which mode of transport they used for the longest part of their usual journey to work. In combination with information about participants’ home and workplace, this resulted in a dataset of travel-to-work patterns

The Census documents approximately 2.4 …


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A new green cemetery in Paris indicates the growing desire among citizens for an eco-friendly death

by Abigail Spink

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‘You’ll die of old age, but I’ll die of climate change,’ read placards at Oslo’s ‘school strike for climate’ in March, warning onlookers of the dangers of a failed climate response. It appears that climate protestors have made the prospect of death central to arguments intended to mobilise public and governmental action, with Extinction Rebellion claiming that ‘we are in the midst of a mass extinction of our own making.’

Faced with speculation over the fate of the planet, and the possibility of being absent when the full effects of climate change take hold, many are requesting a new form of sustainable burial that minimises the impact of the human body on the Earth. It may sound morbid, but those in favour argue that post-life planning of this kind could be critical for taking environmental pressure off of future generations. …


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The Chinese government aims to put a ‘social credit system’ in place by 2020; a virtual scoring platform that uses personal data to assess the behaviour and ‘trustworthiness’ of every citizen. But can 24/7 surveillance ever be a good thing, and is the growing accessibility of personal data placing the UK on a similar path?

by Abigail Spink

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Credit scores are a familiar part of life in the UK. Designed to indicate our financial reliability and determine access to various lenders, they take into account spending and repayment histories, personal debts, and public records, assigning us a number that indicates a level of trustworthiness. …


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The story of Margate is one of early success, severe downturn and, now, revival through a conscious strategy of ‘culture-led regeneration’ that has seen thousands of Londoners flock to the east coast both as tourists and as new residents. But can the injection of culture and a splash of new blood really change lives for the better, and if so, for whom?

by Katie Burton

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The smell of the sea wafts by the second you step off the train at Margate, carrying with it all the nostalgia of a day at the seaside on which this town has so successfully capitalised. …


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An analysis of nine year’s worth of lightning data, covering two billion strikes has led to some unusual discoveries about the phenomenally powerful ‘superbolt’

by Katie Burton

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Robert Holzworth’s World Wide Lightning Location Network can detect every bolt of lightning that hits the Earth. Comprised of 100 sensors spread across the globe from Finland to Antarctica, the network can pick up the pulses of electromagnetic energy created and dissipated by lightning strikes. In doing so, it is capable of determining exactly where a strike took place to within roughly five kilometres.

This particular detection network has been in place since the early 2000s and now Holzworth and his team at the University of Washington finally have enough data to analyse a particularly dramatic lightning phenomenon — the superbolt. …


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The link between China’s economic growth and increased pollution has come to an end, but the path to sustainability is far from complete

by Katie Burton

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In 1978, with Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution finally over, China began to open up to the rest of the world. Since then, the country has experienced phenomenal economic growth. In the 40 years up to 2018, China’s GDP expanded by an annual average of 9.6 per cent, an overall thirty-fold increase, making China the world’s second largest economy behind the US.

But, as is so often the case, this economic growth came at a cost. As China expanded economically, its rising wealth was coupled with environmental degradation and increased pollution. It’s a pairing that continued throughout the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, but which now, finally, looks to be coming to an end. …


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From a secret town in the Soviet Union to a refurbished stable in Hertfordshire, GeorgII Uvs explores the intersection between the natural world and its abstracted beauty

by Vitali Vitaliev

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With artist GeorgII Uvs, it feels as though we’ve had parallel lives. `Being of the same age (he was born two months later than I), we both spent our childhoods in Soviet Union ‘secret towns’ — Uvs in Arzamas-16, which today is known as Sarov — I in a smaller one near Moscow which didn’t even have a name and was designated by numbers alone.

I was luckier, for my parents took me out of that claustrophobic enclosure — with over 40,000 people (mostly scientists and engineers) living and working behind a concrete fence — when I was three. Arzamas-16 was much bigger, with nearly 100,000 people, mostly working for the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics — a nuclear weapons design facility known in the West as VNIIF. GeorgII [sic] first left his compound at the age of 17. …


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Protestors claim the nation’s neo-liberal system is broken. Amid bullets and tear gas, socio-economic reforms are being rushed through. With the COP25 climate conference fast approaching, could this spotlight on equity help deepen commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement?

by Matt Maynard in Santiago

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Protestors are handing out quartered lemons to grateful strangers in Santiago’s Plaza Italia. The busy junction is the Chilean equivalent of Piccadilly Circus, used for celebration and protest. Today it serves both purposes as thousands chant ‘Chile has woken up,’ chewing the fruit to fend of the worst effects of tear gas. Some spray water vapour from hairdresser’s bottles to clear sore eyes. Others have improvised white crosses on their chests from masking tape to indicate they possess medical training. The vast majority of protestors are here in peace, undeterred by the latest incursion of the military a few minutes ago into the plaza. …


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From 26 October, tourists will no longer be able to climb Uluru. Chris Fitch heads to the sacred site to discover what this means for Aboriginal people and visitors alike

by Chris Fitch

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The name for tourists here is minga,’ says Peter Wilson, his eyes fixated on the faint line of posts running along the rock in front of us, faint specks visible moving alongside them. ‘Minga means “ants”.’

The reference is flawless. Tiny dots scrambling up and down in a distant line — many resorting to quadrupedalism — we could easily be looking at a procession of ants scurrying back and forth from their nest. …

Geographical Magazine

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