400

Chasing Zero

A few kilometers east of downtown Abu Dhabi, traditional Arab urban principles are informing high-tech construction at Masdar City, one of the world’s most complex experiments in urban sustainability. Planned a decade ago to replace every molecule of carbon energy it used with one or more new ones, Masdar City is adapting its aspirations to financial necessities while evolving into a leading laboratory at the congested intersection of energy, environment, economics and design.
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400

Hadrian's Syrians

Stretching 80 Roman miles across northern England, Hadrian’s Wall took 8,000 men to supply, maintain and defend. Among them were some 500 archers recruited from Syria for their skill with composite bows. With them came merchants, too, including one named Barates, who married a local woman, Regina. When she died, he expressed his bereavement on stone, leaving us a glimpse of daily life along Hadrian’s Wall.
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400

The White Olives of Malta

In the Middle Ages, bajda olives—from the Arabic for “white”—were prized on this Mediterranean archipelago, but by the late 20th century they were nearly gone. It took a retired expert in gems and jewels to revive the olives knights once called “Maltese pearls.”
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  • Now
  • Tastes
400

Why Reinvent the Wheel?

It may be an all-around symbol of human progress, but we still aren’t sure who actually invented it—Mesopotamians or Europeans? We don’t know for sure what the first ones were used for. We don’t know why so many people were so slow to adopt it. (How did such a simple invention cause so much controversy?)
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  • Then
400

eL Seed's New Scripts

Fluid, colorful and often covering buildings, eL Seed’s public installations of “calligrafitti” have won eyes and hearts in 14 countries. Now he’s embracing sculpture and fashion, but when asked what’s the most important thing about his art, he replies, “Meeting people.”
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  • Creatives
  • Now
400

FirstLook: Cairo Cat

In any town or city, there are always plenty of reminders that we humans are not the only inhabitants. This is particularly true in Cairo, thanks in great part to cats, who seem to pad and paw their way everywhere. And they have been doing this in Egypt since Pharaonic times, when they were mummified and solemnly interred by the thousands, and the goddess Bastet was depicted first as a lioness and, later, as a domestic cat. Cats have appeared in Egyptian iconography, poetry and literature for millennia, up to modern times.
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  • Creatives

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