Newspaper boxes

To Save Congress, Restore Local News

Since Donald Trump was elected, national news stories dominate our attention and our social media feeds—at the expense of local news.
online personality quizzes

What Do Personality Quizzes Really Tell You?

Do personality quizzes help solidify one's sense of self? Or is there something limiting in having one's identity summed up so neatly?
Teenagers texting

What Parkland Tells us About Teens and Social Media

While America’s parents have been wringing their hands over online safety, kids have steadily taken to social media, smartphones, and other digitally-enabled technologies to seek and promote their physical safety.
Astrolabe

The San Zeno Astrolabe Tracked Time by the Stars

The astrolabe was a revolutionary tool for calculating celestial positions and local time. The device's design dates back to Islamic antiquity.
Victorian Microscopy

Under Victorian Microscopes, an Enchanted World

When it came time to describe what they saw under microscopes, Victorians couldn’t help but perceive a real-life fairyland.
Email friendship

How Facebook Revived the Epistolary Friendship

Would today's online, social media-based friendships look familiar to the letter-writing friends of earlier centuries, when epistolary friendships were also common?

Converting Tobacco Fields into Solar Farms Can Save Half a Million Lives a Year

The cost of generating solar power has dropped so dramatically, it is now economically advantageous for tobacco farmers to replace tobacco with solar farms in many places.
Selfie in Paris

What to Do When Social Media Inspires Envy

In the case of envy, social media works in three closely related ways: by increasing proximity, by eliminating encapsulation and by rejecting concealment.
public shame

The Danger of Public Shaming in the Internet Age

The ritual of public shaming is nothing new. But today's brand of mass humiliation is more public, more widespread, more scarring, and potentially more dangerous. 
Closeup of a colorful zipper with metal teeth

How WWI Made the Zipper a Success

A money belt with a zipper became an instant success among WWI U.S. sailors, whose uniforms did not have pockets. Almost all initial zipper sales were for the money belts.