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‘I taught your kids for 25 years, and I’m a registered sex offender.’
Denis Wood is obsessed with challenging boundaries. As a professor at North Carolina State University, he pushed back against conventions in cartography, establishing a reputation as a leading thinker in the field. But in his personal life, his disregard for rules and norms has thrown many lives (including his own) into disarray. In 1996, Wood pleaded guilty to ‘taking indecent liberties with a minor’ following a long-term sexual relationship with a teenager – an offence for which he served two years in jail. Wood, who believes ‘laws are horrible things by and large’, remains mostly unapologetic about his crimes. Unmappable is a challenging portrait that offers no easy answers, and it earned its US filmmakers Diane Hodson and Jasmine Luoma widespread acclaim on the film festival circuit in 2015.
Directors: Diane Hodson, Jasmine Luoma
How a self-taught autistic artist mines creativity from life’s endless variations
Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
What can a Kurosawa classic tell us about reality, knowledge and truth?
Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars. The Nobel Prize went to her supervisor
Animals and humans
A bluesy ballad tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the US
In this 1975 lecture, the maglev train’s inventor deconstructs his ingenious design
Meaning and the good life
To know or not to know? Lillian weighs the costs of a life-changing genetic test
Information and communication
There are many ways to make a flat map of the world – each of them a unique distortion
Liquid experiments show how beautiful things can happen when chemicals meet