25 years and a week ago, Sir Tim Berners-Lee created a basic text page with some hyperlinks. It was a simple description of his “WorldWideWeb (W3)" project. Cara McGoogan describes how he imagined the possibility of sharing information across the world. Here we are a quarter of a century later with over a billion websites online, using Google as a verb, and lamenting how many email accounts we have. Tim Berners-Lee might not ring a bell for many, but he garnered significant attention after appearing in the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics.
Berners-Lee wanted the World Wide Web to be a place where people could share information across the world through documents and links navigated with a simple search function.
The first step to making that a reality occurred on August 6, 1991, and was hailed with little fanfare when Berners Lee launched the first web page from his NeXT computer at CERN's headquarters in Geneva.
An intriguing man-in-nature vs. the government story: Mauro Morandi has lived alone on Budelli — a small Mediterranean island — for a quarter of a century, but because of legal conflicts, Italy is considering his eviction. Livia Albeck-Ripka notes the symbolism of the situation. It is a tale conveying the importance of environmental protection and of the respect that should exist in humans’ relationship with nature.
In 1991, Italy’s ministry of environment declared Budelli’s pink beach a place of “high natural value.” By 1999, the beach was closed to visitors entirely. Tourists could still wander along a track behind the Spiaggia Rosa, but were no longer permitted to swim in the ocean or touch the sand. Morandi watched over the beach’s fading coastline and took the opportunity to teach visitors—those interested, at least—about its ecosystem. “I welcome tourists who want to know the fool who lives in solitude,” he says. “I speak to them of beauty, love for nature, the peculiarity of the Spiaggia Rosa.” Once, he got into a fistfight with picnickers who came to Budelli armed with deckchairs and inflatable toys—garish metaphors for humanity’s failure to respect the natural world, in his view. “We must get on our knees in front of this wonder of nature,” he sighs. “We must safeguard it.”
As Zika cases increase and people demand for more research, the new disease and its international spreading keeps racking up fear and bewilderment. Christine Curry and others in the medical field have had to develop ways to confirm diagnoses, inform infected mothers of the risks, and plan for a baby’s birth if the case calls for it.
As a medical student, I remember reading books about the early days of the HIV epidemic and wondering what it was like for doctors to take care of patients who had a new, unknown disease. It seemed to me like it would be frightening for both patients and doctors alike. I didn’t expect that early in my career as an OB-GYN, I would be caught in the middle of another new disease outbreak – Zika.
Josh Harkinson details how Lynda and Stewart Resnick came to own America’s second-largest produce company, and they seem like terrible people: they use an exorbitant amount of California’s water, the state’s most precious (and scarce) resource. However, they donate millions to charity and invest more millions into their community, Lost Hills, funding assorted things like sidewalks and health clinics. Despite being health- and philanthropy-oriented, skeptics still call them out on being “the top 1 percent wrapped in a green veneer ... of social justice.”
The Resnicks have amassed this empire by following a simple agricultural precept: Crops need water. Having shrewdly maneuvered the backroom politics of California’s byzantine water rules, they are now thought to consume more of the state’s water than any other family, farm, or company. They control more of it in some years than what’s used by the residents of Los Angeles and the entire San Francisco Bay Area combined.