A troupe of mummers in animal costumes performing in a Medieval Baronial Hall at Christmas, c. 1500

Nittel Nacht: The Jewish Christmas Eve

'Twas the night before Christmas, and an undead Jesus walked the earth. No wonder early modern Jews played games and sang songs to scare him off.
Care homes group managing director Mary Anson receives the Covid-19 vaccine as the Royal Cornwall Hospital begin their vaccination programme on December 9, 2020 in Truro, United Kingdom

The COVID-19 Vaccines Arrived at Warp Speed

Are they safe if they were developed so quickly? Research-backed answers to your virus questions.
Nisse-elves

Murderous Elves, Silent Moths, and Modern Phrenology

Well-researched stories from Atlas Obscura, Physics World, and other publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.
A poster for FluxFest

You, Too, Can Screen an Experimental Film

In the 1960s and '70s, where and how a film was shown was often as important as the work itself.
A cowboy pulling a sleigh of gifts

The Rise and Fall of Montana’s Christmas-Tree Harvest

Douglas firs weren't great for lumber, but they once made the small town of Eureka the Christmas-tree capital of America.
A woman typing on a typewriter

Ione Quinby, Chicago’s Underappreciated “Girl Reporter”

She started off as a "stunt" journalist and moved into covering stories about women and crime in the Roaring Twenties.
Getty

How the Fascists Rewrote Spanish National History

National origin stories can be the stuff of fancy. Francoist Spain also showed how quickly those stories could be rewritten.

How Do Archaeologists Know Where to Dig?

Archaeologists used to dig primarily at sites that were easy to find thanks to obvious visual clues. But technology—and listening to local people—plays a bigger role now.
Richard P. Strong

The Deadly Bilibid Prison Vaccine Trials

In 1906, physician Richard Strong's already-unethical vaccine experiment went horribly wrong. Then it was swept under the rug.
Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl’s Anti-Black Racism

The first edition of the beloved novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory featured "pygmy" characters taken from Africa.