When a drilling platform is scheduled for destruction, it must go on a thousand-mile final journey to the breaker’s yard. As one rig proved when it crashed on to the rocks of a remote Scottish island, this is always a risky business

Skip Lievsay is one of the most talented men in Hollywood. He has created audioscapes for Martin Scorsese and is the only sound man the Coen brothers go to. But the key to this work is more than clever effects – it is understanding the human mind

In 1936, a school group from south London went on a hike in the Black Forest. Despite the heroic rescue attempts of German villagers, five boys died. Eighty years on, locals are still asking how it happened

Ever since childhood, Brian Regan had been made to feel stupid because of his severe dyslexia. So he thought no one would suspect him of stealing secrets

Around 60 people in the world share a condition called “highly superior autobiographical memory”. They remember absolutely everything

Myles Jackman is on a mission to change Britain’s obscenity laws. For him, it’s more than a job, it’s a moral calling

The US state department said it had uncovered a fake embassy in Accra that had been issuing a stream of forged visas. The story went viral – but all was not as it seemed.

Philosophers and scientists have been at war for decades over the question of what makes human beings more than complex robots

The casting director Nina Gold has shaped much of what we watch on film and TV. Sophie Elmhirst followed Gold through the casting process of the HBO show Chernobyl to discover what makes her the best at what she does

How one company seeks to upend two centuries of western orthodoxy about going to the loo

Forgeries have got so good – and so costly – that Sotheby’s has brought in its own in-house fraud-busting expert

Months before she was due to give birth, disaster struck for Katherine Heiny. Doctors ordered her to lie on her side in bed and not move – and gave her a 1% chance of carrying her baby to term

Fifa belongs to a select group of titles familiar to people who have no interest in gaming – or even real football. What’s the secret of its success?

When she was 30, Suzy Hansen left the US for Istanbul – and began to realise that Americans will never understand their own country until they see it as the rest of the world does

Their hero is Jordan Belfort, their social media feeds display super-rich lifestyles. But what are these self-styled traders really selling?

After police failed to solve his son’s murder, Francisco Holgado infiltrated the local criminal underworld in pursuit of those responsible. He became a national hero – but at what cost?

It seems like the concept of the biological clock has been with us forever. In fact, the metaphor was invented in the late 1970s. And it has been used to reinforce sexist ideas ever since

An endangered plant was taken from Kew Gardens only a few years after scientists saved it from extinction. Sam Knight investigates what happens when plant obsession turns criminal

After overlooking her for decades, the art world has woken up to Phyllida Barlow’s audacious, gargantuan sculptures. Why did it take so long for her to be “discovered”?

“Natural wine” advocates say everything about the modern industry is ethically, ecologically and aesthetically wrong – and have triggered the biggest split in the wine world for a generation

The oh-so-Instagrammable food movement has been thoroughly debunked – but it shows no signs of going away. The real question is why we were so desperate to believe it

Just who is Edward Luttwak? And why do very powerful people pay vast sums for his advice?

The $30bn sex tech industry is about to unveil its biggest blockbuster: a $15,000 robot companion that talks, learns, and never says no

For eight years, the journalist Roberto Saviano has faced constant threat of death for exposing the secrets of the Naples mafia in his book Gomorrah. Is the price of life under armed guard too much for a writer to pay?

Dina Nayeri was just a child when she fled Iran as an asylum seeker. But as she settled into life in the US and then Europe, she became suspicious of the idea that refugees should shed their old identities and be eternally thankful

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