The Early American Origins of Political Terms

What does stump speech and pork barrel mean? A short lexicon of American political terms.

The Origin of Quarantine

Such forms of enforced isolation are referenced as far back as the Old Testament, while the word "quarantine" itself dates to the late medieval Plague.

Laika: The First Earthling in Space

The first Earthling was Laika, a Russian mongrel found on the streets of Moscow.

Remembering and Representing Alan Turing

A 1955 obituary of Turing from the Royal Society is fascinating for what it leaves out of the first draft of history.

Passengers Long Gone

Martha, last of the passenger pigeons. 

Long-Distance Migration: Everybody’s Doing It

The birds do it. The butterflies do it. And now we know that the dragonflies do to it, too: long-distance migration. 

The Origins of the Secret Service

Where did the Secret Service come from?

Why Do Leaves Change Colors in the Fall?

Why do leaves change colors in fall?

Melville Reborn, Again and Again

A scholar traces Herman Melville's reputation in American and British literary circles.

Space Is The Place: The US, USSR, and Space Exploration

Even during the Cold War, US and Russian cooperation succeeded in space exploration.