Photograph: A Mohammadan praying towards Mecca when the Miezzin calls from a nearby mosque, with a Butane Gas reservoir in the background. circa 1950

The Jim Crow Roots of the U.S.-Saudi Arabia Relationship

Americans started pouring into Saudi Arabia in the 1940s to develop the oil fields. They brought their ideas about segregation with them.
An illustration of a person blowing a whistle

Whistleblowing: A Primer

Are whistleblowers heroes or traitors? It depends who you ask.
Several beers in a row

Did Humans Once Live by Beer Alone? An Oktoberfest Tale

Some scholars have suggested that humans first started growing domesticated grains in order to make not bread, but beer.
Mother and Child Hand Coloured Ambrotype (Collodion Positive) c. 1860

Industrial London’s Maternal Child Abductors

In industrial-era England, children took on new value in family life. Around this time, they started to be stolen more often, too.
Two siblings standing back to back with serious expressions

The Invention of Sibling Rivalry

Sibling jealousy feels like a universal problem, but most parenting experts didn't even acknowledge it until the early 20th century.
Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (Paracelsus)

The Occult Remedy the Puritans Embraced

Why did the Puritans embrace a medical treatment that looked suspiciously like black magic?
Illustration: A mob attacking the Quarantine Marine Hospital in New York because they believed that its use was responsible for the numerous yellow fever epidemics. Original Publication: Harper's Weekly - pub. 1858 (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Source: Getty

When New Yorkers Burned Down a Quarantine Hospital

On September 1st, 1858, a mob stormed the New York Marine Hospital in Staten Island, and set fire to the building.
Portrait of Kenelm Digby by Anthony Van Dyck

Treating Wounds With Magic

Spoiler alert: It doesn't work.
A man looking at land affected by drought

Climate Change and Syria’s Civil War

Some scholars and scientists are calling climate change the invisible player in Syria's ongoing civil war. But is that too simplistic an explanation?
Circa 1960s: Group Of Grade School Children Running Down School Stairs With Books & Bags.

How White Kids See Race

A study of white children in 1960s Wisconsin showed how strongly peer groups can affect the way people think about race.