Skip to content
Two illustrations of the heart

Who Really Discovered How the Heart Works?

For centuries, the voice of the Greek doctor Galen, who held that blood is produced in the liver and filtered through tiny pores in the heart, went unchallenged.

Lingua Obscura

A man reading a newspaper with facebook reactions in a cloud around him

The Incredibly True Story of Fake Headlines

Are you still reading? Editors frequently use this space to include important contextual information about a news story.

Roundup

An illustration of a thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving Stories

Americans are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, the middle entry in the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Winter holidays trifecta. Plate up with some ...

The Digital Voyage

A RSS symbol

What Happened to Tagging?

Tags decentralized and democratized the organization of information. What became of "social tagging?"

Suggested Readings

Mouse deer

Dementia, Cancer, and Adorable Wildlife

Well-researched stories from Scientific American, Wired, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.

Most Recent

A 1934 ad for Listerine toothpaste

Good Housekeeping Treated Advertisers as Health Experts

Good Housekeeping set itself up as a source of authoritative advice, but included ads for “health” products known to be harmful.
Andy Warhol, 1971

Andy Warhol from A to B and Back Again

A 1971 interview with poet Gerard Malanga.
A woman wearing a non-existent dress

How Much Would You Pay for a Nonexistent Dress?

Not too long ago, digital-only clothing might have been decried as a scam. But our "extended selves" are increasingly invested in virtual goods.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

How Local TV Made “Bad” Movies a Thing

Weekly shows on local TV stations helped make the ironic viewing of bad movies into a national pastime.

More Stories

Long Reads

A pile of manure for fertilizing crops

A History of Human Waste as Fertilizer

In eighteenth century Japan, human excrement played a vital role in agriculture. Can similar solutions help manage waste today?
A manz

How Linguists Are Using Urban Dictionary

Urban Dictionary continues a long history of recording low-brow language. It’s also a repository of a specific kind of internet immaturity.

Video Game Streams Are Creating New Forms of Community

Khasino, a Marvel Strike Force streamer on Twitch, makes his living playing video games for an audience.
Château de Fontainebleau

The Bizarre Social History of Beds

For centuries, people thought nothing of crowding family members or friends into the same bed.

Punning challenges us to apply the greatest possible pressure per square syllable of language.

Linguistic Anarchy! It’s all Pun and Games Until Somebody Loses a Sign

A pile of manure for fertilizing crops

A History of Human Waste as Fertilizer

In eighteenth century Japan, human excrement played a vital role in agriculture. Can similar solutions help manage waste today?
A school of fish beside a coral reef

Beware Marine Heatwaves

Marine heatwaves are becoming stronger and more common as the climate warms.
A bag of coffee beans

Environmental Challenges Ahead for Coffee Beans

The issues aren’t limited to extreme weather events or pest attacks.