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French Revolution Calendar

Why the French Revolution’s “Rational” Calendar Wasn’t

What ever happened to "the most radical attempt in modern history to challenge the Western standard temporal reference framework?"

The Digital Voyage

Mechanical Turk

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has Reinvented Research

Online services like Amazon's "Mechanical Turk" have ushered in a golden age in survey research. But is it ethical for researchers to use them?

Public Intellectuals

Michelle Dean

Michelle Dean: A Sharp Look at Criticism by Women

Dean on the obstacles women face in being taken seriously as intellectuals, feminist infighting, and the importance of being an outsider.

Security State of Mind

Food security

Global Food Security: A Primer

World hunger is not caused by our inability to produce enough food. The problem arises because of the economic inequality that distorts food distribution.

Suggested Readings

Royal Weddings, Ancient Pollution, and Hippo Poop

Well-researched stories from the Washington Post, Science Magazine, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.

Most Recent

Cuckoo chick

Russian Cuckoos are Invading Alaska. Songbirds, Beware!

Songbirds may loose their entire broods to cuckoos’ parasitic tricks.
commuting workers

Can America Get Behind Full Employment?

Full employment was a prominent goal in U.S. politics after World War II, but has faded from policy debates in recent decades.
paragraph book

What a Paragraph Is

On the controversial directive that a paragraph must contain a topic sentence, an idea that theorists, writers, and students have questioned for decades.
King Arthur Harry Potter

Harry Potter, the Arthurian Romance

Perhaps the Harry Potter stories are so potent because they rework the iconic hero stories of medieval French Arthurian romances.

More Stories

Long Reads

Benedetta Carlini

Lesbianism (!) at the Convent

Mother Superior Benedetta Carlini, a visionary nun of Renaissance Italy, was accused of heresy and “female sodomy.”
Obama commencement speeches

The Controversy around Commencement Speeches, Part MMXVIII

Why are battles over just who gets the honor of toasting new graduates—and what they say—always so heated?
Treadmills atonement

Treadmills Were Meant to Be Atonement Machines

America’s favorite piece of workout equipment was developed as a device for forced labor in British prisons. It was banned as cruel and inhumane by 1900.
Axolotl

The Race to Save the Axolotl

When an axolotl loses a limb, it regrows, and nary a scar remains. But this incredible creature is on the brink of extinction.

It might not be possible to protect your chardonnay.

Climate Change Vs. Your Wine

commuting workers

Can America Get Behind Full Employment?

Full employment was a prominent goal in U.S. politics after World War II, but has faded from policy debates in recent decades.
Chanel N°5

The French Perfume Boom

The marketing of scents through clever branding, rather than real differences in what’s being sold, originated in nineteenth-century France.
miniature people standing on around a stack of coins

Can Consumer Groups Be Radical?

Historian Lawrence Glickman looked at the consumer movements of the 1930s to find out.