Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is an annual competition for the brainiest of high-school maths whizzes in the world. This animation from the US YouTuber Grant Sanderson, who creates maths videos under the moniker 3Blue1Brown, breaks down a question from the 2011 IMO that proved especially challenging to competitors. Between Sanderson’s methodical analysis and the nifty animations, the maths-minded might convince themselves that they would have come up with the answer all on their own. But Sanderson, ever the savvy instructor, crafts his lesson around how to find the solution as well as being mindful of how knowledge is obtained. In doing so, he transforms an algebra puzzle into a lesson on empathy, pedagogy and the nature of discovery.
Video by 3Blue1Brown
Thinkers and theories
Bernard Williams on Descartes’s audacious endeavour to prove knowledge is possible
The cast of ‘misfit toys’ who keep life on an idyllic tourist island afloat
Ageing and death
When his elderly parents make a suicide pact, Doron struggles to accept their choice
Biography and memoir
What Akiko saw at the centre of the Hiroshima blast, and the indelible mark it left
To understand the limits of human senses, look to the wild world of animal cognition
Design and fashion
From sheep to sea – an ode to the iconic sweater that warms Cornish sailors
Yes, the Inuit have dozens of words for snow – but what does each one mean exactly?
Technology and the self
One woman prepares for the risky solitude of Georgia O’Keeffe’s American West
History of science
How one of history’s most beautiful books was used to find fate in the cosmos