An illustration of a man sneezing

You Don’t Get Colds from Being Cold

On the persistence of a folk belief.
Illustration: An illustration from the cover of Warm Worlds and Otherwise by James Tiptree, Jr.

Source: Ballantine

James Tiptree Jr. and Joanna Russ: Sci-Fi Pen Pals

The two feminist authors corresponded about writing and romance, especially after Tiptree's true identity leaked.
Actress Dorothy Tutin having an anti-flu injection, 1969

How Scientists Tried to Find a Universal Flu Vaccine

The quest to “conquer” influenza with a shot that could be used every year started out with high hopes, and ended up a hot mess.

Wren Folklore and St. Stephen’s Day

The tiny winter songbirds are clever kings to the Irish. They're also fodder (literally) for post-Christmas ritual.
US Airmail stamp: Inverted Jenny Air Mail Issue of 1918

Stamp Collecting as Metaphor for the Free Market

The hobby was originally pursued by middle-class women and children. But its resemblance to capitalist values made it attractive to men.
A still from The Private Life of Cats

The Private Life of a Cat

Maya Deren was a fringe filmmaker who existed far outside the Hollywood machine, but she often borrowed its tactics to promote herself and her movies.
An illustration depicting two regency-era women speaking with an iMessage bubble

Our Editors’ Favorite Stories of 2020

This tectonic year brought shocks to the world, and though we don't know how it'll all shake out, we hope we've brought you nerdy joy.
bottom half of a venus flytrap

Plant of the Month: Venus Flytrap

The carnivorous plant, native to the Carolinas, has beguiled botanists and members of the public alike since the eighteenth century.

Winter Holidays

Celebrate with some seasonal scholarship from JSTOR Daily for the winter holidays.
Two pages from the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah, 1296

How to Revive a Dead Language

Although it was the language of sacred texts and ritual, modern Hebrew wasn't spoken in conversation till the late nineteenth century.