New Cider by Thomas Waterman Wood

The Ancient Roots of Apple Cider

Alcoholic apple cider has been around for centuries. So why does "hard cider" feel like a new trend?
A piece of polished amber

Facts and Fancies About Amber

It's taken scientists a long time to figure out what amber is made of, and what we can learn from it.
Image from Livre des profits ruraux (late 15th century France)

The Landlord Asks for a Christmas Rose

Bizarre customs of landholding—from demands for flowers to ritualized flatulence—reflect the philosophy that developed under the feudal system.
tiger

Catching Cats With Cologne

The cat-attracting ability of perfume has been known since at least the 18th century. Will it help authorities catch a killer tiger?
bezoar goat

From the Belly of a Goat to the Mouth of a King

Bezoars, a strange lump formed in the belly of a goat, once were considered a panacea, and worth more than their weight in gold.
Seaweed William Kilburn

Are You Wearing Seaweed?

Are you wearing seaweed? People have been for hundreds of years, in sizing, patterns and fibers, although they might not have known it.
wildfires are getting worse

West Coast Infernos, Midday Mudslides, and the Little Cool Beans that Might Save the World

Wildfires and public health, predicting floods, and substituting beans for beef were top stories in environmental news this week.
Stiff clubmoss (Lycopodium annotinum) in summer

The Many Unexpected Jobs of the Clubmoss Spore

The first working internal combustion machine debuted in 1807, powered by lycopodium powder, which is made of explosive plant spores.

The Delicious Origins of the Domesticated Blueberry

Frederick Coville and Elizabeth White, two strangers, domesticated the blueberry together. They valued beauty and worked to support local communities.

Mushrooms!

Mushrooms may seem like humble life forms, but they are very much wrapped up in the human experience.