Cricket cage

Keeping Crickets for Luck, Song, and Bloodsport

Design can facilitate the worst of human instincts, including forcing animals into servitude and violence. Cricket cages tell stories about how people have treated the insects throughout time.
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.
Paul Lussier

On the Side of Climate Solutions: An Interview with Paul Lussier

Paul Lussier on how to energize people, work with business, and develop solution-focused rhetoric and strategy before it’s too late.
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.
Flu hospital 1918

The Flu Pandemic of 1918, As Reported in 1918

The Spanish Influenza pandemic 100 years ago was the most lethal global disease outbreak since the Black Death. What were people thinking at the time?
A Spongey Lower Manhattan

How to Build a City That Doesn’t Flood? Turn it Into a Sponge City

Cities encourage potentially devastating floods by laying down asphalt and pavement. Could this be avoided by making them "spongier" and more absorbent?

Why We Need to Start Listening to Insects

The study of wingbeat has come an incredibly long way and could lead to breakthroughs crucial for human populations facing insect-borne disease and pests.
Wampum illustration

Wampum was Massachusetts’ First Legal Currency

First Nations' seashell-derived wampum was Massachusetts' first legal currency, used as currency throughout northeastern America into the 19th century.
First sentence

Female Inventive Talent

Brief commentary on one line from JSTOR: An unsigned editorial from an 1870s issue of Scientific American suggests that women can be great inventors, too.
Antikythera Ephebe

The Antikythera Shipwreck Keeps Revealing Wonders

In the first century B.C.E., a Roman ship sank near the Greek Island of Antikythera. In 1900 some off-course sponge divers discovered the wreckage.