Mark Twain and James Fenimore Cooper

Mark Twain v. James Fenimore Cooper

A trial in the court of public opinion.
Pendant in the Form of Neptune and a Sea Monster

The Lumpy Pearls That Enchanted the Medicis

There’s a specific term for these irregular pearls: “baroque,” from the Portuguese barroco.
Andy Warhol, 1971

Andy Warhol from A to B and Back Again

A 1971 interview with poet Gerard Malanga.
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.
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.
Walter Benn Michaels

Walter Benn Michaels: What’s His Deal?

The literary critic Walter Benn Michaels challenges the prevailing trends of postmodernist theory.
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.
"The Vexed Man" by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt at The Getty Center in Los Angeles, California.

The Man Whose Face Got Stuck Like That

No one could have predicted Franz Xaver Messerschmidt’s turn to the bizarre.
Mary Pickford, 1916

Mary Pickford Knew Not to Take the First Offer

When the 17-year-old actress auditioned for her first film, director D.W. Griffith offered her $5 a day. That wasn’t good enough for Mary.