Dracula in a 1931 movie poster

The Real Vampires of Europe

In general, a vampire is a malicious spirit or soul of the deceased who is not confined to the grave. Where did the idea come from?
Soldiers paying respect to Kim Il-sung

The Dilemma of Sanctions on North Korea

Recent diplomatic tension between America and North Korea seems bewildering, and not just because of the boasts and paranoia of Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Portrait of Sir Thomas Browne

Sir Thomas Browne’s Vulgar Errors

If you're suffering from exhaustion, hallucination, or a coma, then you have Sir Thomas Browne, dead 335 years now, to thank.
A dog on trial

When Societies Put Animals on Trial

Animal trials were of two kinds: (1) secular suits against individual creatures; and (2) ecclesiastic cases against groups of vermin.
Stalingrad flag

How the Nazis Created the Myth of Stalingrad

The battle of Stalingrad was the first major defeat of the Nazis in World War II, and presented the Nazis with a propaganda quandary.
Ching Shih Pirate

Cheng I Sao, Female Pirate Extraordinaire

Learn more about Cheng I Sao, a female pirate who dominated the coast of the Kwangtung Province between 1795-1810.
Trafalgar Square

London Has Always Been Multicultural

The conventional story is that "black Britain" came about after World War II, but London has been a multicultural capital for centuries.
Victorian dresses

Victorian England Had a Problem With Cloth Piracy

Calico took the newly industrial world by storm. But battles over bolts of fabric shook Britain during the nineteenth century.
Danish Expedition

The Fantastic Disaster of the Arabia Felix Expedition

The Danish expedition to the Arabian Peninsula of 1761-1767 was a bungle of mismatched egos and wretched conditions. There was only a single survivor.
US Army Philippines War poster

The Ugly Origins of America’s Involvement in the Philippines

The American use of torture, then called the "water cure," in the Philippines during the war of 1899-1902 shocked some Americans of the day.