Central medallion of a Qashqai rug, 19th century, with fragmented Herati pattern.

An Object History of the Persian Carpet

The famous Persian carpet, woven by female artisans in southwestern Iran, may be going extinct. Its story can be told in spindles and whorls.

Game of Thrones and the Rebirth of Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is seeing a resurgence in tourism, due, ironically enough, to a TV show about political violence between kingdoms: Game of Thrones.
adhesives

The Sticky History of Adhesives

Our Pleistocene ancestors in southern Africa made and used glue-like adhesives as early as the Middle Stone Age.

318 Words for Snow: How to Preserve the Indigenous Languages of the Arctic

How scientists, linguists, and activists are working together to preserve indigenous languages in the Arctic—as well as the region's biodiversity.
alchemist

Inside the Alchemist’s Workshop

What tools would an alchemist use in the quest to transmute other elements into gold?

A Vintage Op-Ed from Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders' February 2003: "On My Mind: The Patriot Act's Threat to Libraries" published in American Libraries.

The Psychology of Copycat Crime

A recent wave of subway slashings in New York City is an opportunity to examine the criminology and sociology behind copycat crime.
Sherd of the Geometric period. Sifnos, 8th century BC. Archaeological Museum of Sifnos (in Kastro).

Complexity in Simplicity: The Three Technologies Behind Ceramics

More than two thousand years ago, the Mayans of eastern Guatemala used ceramic teapots to pour themselves hot ...
Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs and the American City

Jane Jacobs, who would have been 100 today and is the focus of the Google Doodle , was a big part of why cities like New York City and Toronto look and feel
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The Equation for Happiness

Is there an equation for happiness? And if so, can science really define it?