A fetus inside of an artistic depiction of an artificial womb

On the History of the Artificial Womb

Will outside-the-womb gestation, increasingly viable for animal embryos, lead to a feminist utopia? Or to something like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World?
Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Willem van der Meer by Michiel van Mierevelt

Public Dissection Was a Gruesome Spectacle

Renaissance-era anatomists taught people to “knowe thyself” by reading the books of bodies.
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?"
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.
Horsepower

Why We Still Use “Horsepower”

Horses were omnipresent in the West until only a few generations ago, but then they were replaced by machines and disappeared from our streets as well as our consciousness.
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.
Great Mosque at Mecca

How European Empires Helped Shape the Hajj

Despite the Hajj's celebration of ascetic faith and brotherhood, there has always been plenty of profit made off the pilgrims traveling to Mecca.
Turkish elections

The Turkish Origins of the “Deep State”

The "deep state" idea of a shadowy parallel government, heard much in the news now, seems to be a concept borrowed from the Turkish experience.
General strike, Spain

The Curious Character Who First Called For a General Strike

The idea of a general strike is to shut down all but essential services in a city, region, or nation. America has had its share. A Briton invented the idea.
WPA mural

Why Do We Take Pride in Working for a Paycheck?

In the modern imagination, work is a source of pride, but early labor unions regarded hourly toil in industry as "wage slavery."