claude glass

The Claude Glass Revolutionized the Way People Saw Landscapes

Imagine tourists flocking to a famous beauty spot, only to turn around and fix their eyes on its reflection in a tiny dark mirror.
Five female literacy volunteers return to Havana at the end of the literacy campaign in December 1961.

Rosa Hernández Acosta on the Cuban Literacy Campaign

Armed with just some textbooks and a kerosene lantern, Rosa Hernández Acosta taught literacy in rural Cuba without electricity, running water, or paved roads.
A 19th-century engraving depicting an Arab slave-trading caravan transporting black African slaves across the Sahara.

What Was the Zanj Rebellion?

A remarkable episode of Medieval Islamic history that often goes untold.
Children walk along the tracks in what remains of their community along Buffalo Creek on Feb. 27, 1972.

The Tragedy at Buffalo Creek

The historic Buffalo Creek flood tore through a region often exploited by industry—and stereotyped by outsiders.
Eric LoPresti

Some Plants Use Stickiness to Fend off Hungry Insects

For some sand-dwelling plants, stickiness is a defense tactic that keeps predators at bay.
From a movie ad for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1917

The Shark-Fighting Brothers behind 20,000 Leagues under the Sea

In 1916, the Williamson brothers used their father's underwater photography device to film a fight with a shark, piquing Universal Pictures' interest.
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.
A Thomas Kinkade puzzle

What’s Behind the Pandemic Puzzle Craze?

Puzzles, or “dissected maps,” were invented in Georgian-era England, probably by a mapmaker named John Spilsbury in the early 1760s.
Philosopher John Gray beside a cat

John Gray: Cats Can Teach Us about the Meaning of Life

Philosopher John Gray on why he is critical of prevailing ideas of progress, his friendship with Isaiah Berlin, and the wisdom of cats.
Johnny Cash poses for a portrait for a publicity shot for his movie debut in "Door-to-Door Maniac" aka "Five Minutes To Live" on Auust 3, 1960 in Los Angeles, California.

The Complications of “Outlaw Country”

Johnny Cash grappled with the many facets of the outlaw archetype in his feature acting debut, Five Minutes to Live.