A Pedoscope made by the Pedoscope Company

When Shoes Were Fit with X-Rays

Fluoroscopes were used in shoe stores from the mid-1920s to 1950s in North America and Europe -- even though the radiation risks of x-rays were well-known.
A pile of pink and blue sponges

Finding the Value of Housework

Can housework be anything other than drudgery? Maybe part of the problem is that we consistently devalue unpaid work.
Barbie dolls

Should We Really Stress Out about What Kids Play With?

Today's parents may feel concerned about their kids' obsession with electronic games, but adults have always been suspicious of new kinds of playthings.
A hand holding a sandwich

Why Do Americans Eat Three Meals a Day?

A Curious Reader asks: What’s the origin of the familiar breakfast-lunch-dinner triad?
Man cooking with his son

When Is Cooking Fun?

Is cooking a daily grind necessary to keep a family fed, or a fun hobby? The answers lies largely in how home cooks approach the tasks at hand.
An ecstatic commune member

When Communes Don’t Fail

Communes have gotten a reputation for being flaky or cultish. But intentional communities have a long history, and many have been successful.
Women's March 1970

The Divide in Feminist Ethics on Mothering

In the 1960s, two groups of feminists had very different views about motherhood. Unsurprisingly, race and family played a role.
Serena Williams in 2015

What Sports Reveal about Society

Sociologists find that sports are inextricably intertwined with the people, countries, and politics surrounding them.
Cropped hands of person making heart shape against red background

Do Dating Apps Cheapen Love?

Dating apps and services have been accused of cheapening the dominant Western conception of love. One scholar begs to differ.
Makeup Hazel Dawn

How Makeup Went Mainstream

Makeup was associated with prostitution and vice until the early 20th century, when movie actresses's cosmetics testimonials reached everyday women.