For eight seconds, an eerie orange glow lit up the mesas and canyons of western Colorado with the intensity of the full Moon. Locals reported a bluish orb in the sky that burst into a yellow ball of flames and dissipated over the Gunnison Gorge, located 10 miles east of the city of Montrose. Moments later, they heard a crackling followed by a low rumble. One observer was standing on a ridge when he felt his entire body reverberate, as if from the blast of a powerful speaker. Another man was driving west when he saw the flash in his rear-view mirror. He veered off the road, popped open his car door, and craned his neck to the horizon. “There was a bright light that just hung in the same spot with sparklers trailing off,” he recounted shortly afterward. Some residents called 911, believing they had witnessed a plane or helicopter crash. That fireball in the sky on Thanksgiving Day 2002 turned out to be a rock from space. A video camera on the roof of Montrose High School, … [Read more...] about The unlikely story of the meteorite feud that ended up a fugitive from the law
Roll off the highway into Blaine, Washington, and the first thing you’ll notice is Edaleen Dairy; on a summer day, a dozen people might be lined up outside waiting for ice cream. Across the street from Edaleen is 5D Packages and its competitor Mail Boxes Plus. Turn onto H Street, which passes for a main drag, and before you hit the US Post Office, you’ll spot 24/7 Parcel, Border Mailbox, and Security Mail services. Take a right at the post office and loop back around to Peace Portal, and you’ll also find Blaine Enterprises, Pulse Packages, and Hagen’s mail pickup. That may seem like a lot of mailbox stores for a town of 5,000 people, but Blaine isn’t just any small town: it sits right on the 49th parallel that divides the United States and Canada. As the only US border town located in the shadow of a major Canadian city, Blaine’s economy is uniquely dependent on the relationship between the two countries. It’s a position that also leaves the … [Read more...] about Welcome to Blaine, the town Amazon Prime built
On May 29th, 2009, Michelle Dugan and her family began the 600-mile trip from El Centro, California to the Bay Area, where she was set to attend her college orientation. They left late Friday evening, driving through the dusty Imperial Valley landscape and its endless fields of onions, spinach, and alfalfa. Then on to Highway 86, past the desolate shores of the Salton Sea, toward Michelle’s grandmother’s home in nearby Coachella, where they would spend the night before the next day’s long drive. But at around 9PM, Michelle’s mother received a call: Michelle’s younger sister, Marie, was suffering a severe asthma attack back home, and had been rushed to the emergency room. Michelle’s mother hurried back to the hospital, leaving Michelle at her grandmother’s and telling her not to worry. It’s unclear what triggered Marie’s episode that day, but it was so severe that the nebulizer she used to inhale medication — sometimes five … [Read more...] about As California’s largest lake dries up, it threatens nearby communities with clouds of toxic dust
What’s in Your Bag? is a recurring feature in which we ask people to tell us a bit more about their everyday gadgets by opening their bags and hearts to us. This week, we’re featuring electronica musician Jon Hopkins. The Verge meets acclaimed British musician Jon Hopkins in the middle of Moogfest. Hopkins is headlining the arts, music, and technology festival held in the quaint nooks and crannies of Durham, North Carolina, and he has agreed to dump out the contents of his bag for us. Our meeting spot is the penthouse suite of Unscripted, a delightfully retro hotel that pops with the rich goldenrod and crimson of the ‘60s at every turn. Hopkins arrives clad in all black, with a slim Porter-Yoshida & Co. bag (also in black). A trend is spotted when we delve into his things, which are, by and large, all black. “Everything in my bag is dark so you can’t see what’s in it,” Hopkins says, surprised by several things he pulls out. Squinting at an … [Read more...] about What’s in Your Bag, Jon Hopkins?
We just got a look at the upcoming RED Hydrogen One smartphone at an event meant for “RED Pioneers” (read: superfans). It is, without a doubt, one of the most ambitious smartphones in years from a company not named Apple, Google, or Samsung. It’s an Android phone with a 5.7-inch display and top-tier phone specs, but that description doesn’t do justice to what RED is trying to accomplish here. The company better known for high-end 4K cameras with names like “Weapon” and “Epic-w” isn’t entering the smartphone game simply to sell you a better Android phone (though it does have both Verizon and AT&T signed on to support it). No, this phone is meant to be one piece of a modular system of cameras and other media creation equipment — the company claims it will be “the foundation of a future multi-dimensional media system.” To that end, it has a big set of pogo-pins on the back to connect it to RED’s other … [Read more...] about Hands-on with the RED Hydrogen One, a wildly ambitious smartphone