Three minute explainer of the Brexit paradox

An agreement was made long ago to maintain an open border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the independent country of Ireland (part of the EU). The problem is, when the UK leaves the EU, what happens to the open border between Northern Ireland and Ireland? How could Northern Ireland be part of the EU and the UK at the same time? Will it have to become part of Ireland to maintain the open border? CGP Grey examines this predicament, concluding that there are no answers that will make everyone happy. Read the rest

Watch this cutting-edge presentation on world population

The late, great Hans Rosling presents entertaining global population information here, but equally remarkable is the 3D graphics package he uses in his lecture. Read the rest

In defense of left-wing space utopias

Brianna Rennix wants to know why the major current in "space utopianism" is right wing -- Elon Musk floating a "creepy private colony on Mars for ultra-rich survivalists who can shell out $200,000 for their spot" and punched Nazi Richard Spencer bloviating, "We weren’t put on this earth to be nice to minorities, or to be a multiculti fun nation. Why are we not exploring Jupiter at this moment? Why are we trying to equalize black and white test scores? I think our destiny is in the stars. Why aren’t we trying for the stars?" Read the rest

Viral Chinese video: "Who cares?"

The day that the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that China had been stealing islands in the South China Sea, the Chinese Communist Party Youth League shared this viral video of young Chinese patriots saying "South Sea arbitration, who cares?" Read the rest

Passports, ranked by country

The Passport Index ranks passports according to their "power", defined around how many countries will let you in without a visa. British and American passports share the top spot. Meanwhile, a South Sudanese or Palestinian passport wouldn't get you into a candy store.

Visa Free Score Passports accumulate points for each visa free country that their holders can visit without a visa, or they can obtain a visa on arrival.

Passport Power Rank Passports are ranked based on their Visa Free Score. The higher the Visa Free Score, the better the Passport Power Rank.

Methodology The country list is based on the 193 UN member countries and 6 territories (Macao, Kosovo, etc.) for a total of 199. Territories annexed to other countries such as Norfolk Island, French Polynesia, etc. are excluded. Data is based on research from publicly available sources, as well as information shared by government agencies.

The best part of the site is the page where you can sort the passport cover images by color. Read the rest

US Navy: By 2050 Arctic Ocean ice will all melt in summers

Many troubling stats about climate change's effect in the North Pole region are tucked into Newsweek's article on the geopolitical gold rush taking place up there. Read the rest