Actress Bobby Bradshaw is tempted by a pearl necklace, 1925 Getty

Pearl Jam

In the twentieth century, the mollusk-produced gem was a must have for members of WASP gentility. In the twenty-first century, its appeal is far more inclusive.
Lightning rod hats fashion of circa 1778

Electrical Fashions

From the light-bulb dress to galvanic belts, electrified clothing offered a way to experience and conquer a mysterious and vigorous force.
Colour lithograph of partial lunar eclipse by Etienne Leopold Trouvelot

Trouvelot’s Total Lunar Eclipse

Immigrant artist Étienne Léopold Trouvelot used his skills to accurately represent the details—and the sublimity—of our solar system.
Natural Lace from the Lace Bark Tree

Lacebark as a Symbol of Resilience

For the enslaved people of Jamaica, the lacebark tree was a valuable natural resource and a means of asserting one's dignity.

Can a Robot Become a Pizza Chef?

Tracking the accomplishments of RoDyMan in a valiant attempt to make a pizza.

Plant of the Month: Cassava

Cassava can grow in hot climates with little rainfall. It may be the "root crop of the century."
Spider-Man

The Real Science of the Multiverse

Explaining some of the mind-bending science behind the popular science fiction trope.
Façade of the cabarets Le Ciel and L'Enfer, 1909

The Cabarets of Heaven and Hell

In 1890s Paris, cabarets in bohemian Montmartre gave visitors a chance to tour the afterlife.
An advertisement for snake oil, 1905

Why Do We Fall for Scams?

People want to believe that the person they trust with their money, or their hearts, is telling the truth. The con artist relies on that.
Astronaut Loren J. Shriver, Mission Commander of STS-46, attempts to eat floating sweets on the flight deck of the shuttle Atlantis during its orbit of the earth, August 1992.

Food…in…Space!

A brief history of astronaut food, from nutrition cubes to space salads.