flooded houston hurricane harvey impact

Natural and Man-Made Disasters, from Atom Weather to Fire Ants

Mother Nature’s wrath can be unpredictable and random, but history shows that humankind is ultimately responsible for many "natural disasters."
Letter on Corpulence William Banting

When Dieting Was Only For Men

Today, we tend to assume dieting is for women, but in the 1860s, it was a masculine pursuit.
Ghostly road

A Belief in Ghosts: Poetry and the Shared Imagination

An essay from poet Dorothea Lasky on poetry, ghosts, and the shared imagination.
Pages from the Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich Manuscript: Crowd-Sourcing An Uncrackable Cipher

The Voynich Manuscript has mesmerized people ever since the man it's named after, bibliophile Wilfred Voynich, brought it up for sale in 1912.
Stranger Things title

“Stranger Things” and the Psychic Nosebleed

Where did we get the idea that using psychic or telekinetic powers makes a person's nose bleed?

What’s in a Name (Of An Element)?

Chemists recently announced the names of four newly discovered elements. Naming elements is serious business, and not without controversy.
narcotic stimulants

America’s Workforce Runs on Uppers

Uppers like Benzedrine and cocaine provided a willing workforce for our capitalist economy. Now, Americans are turning to ADHD medications.
Fossil of Tullymonstrum gregarium, an extinct animal

The Tully Monster, Monstrous No More

The identity of the Tully monster, a 50-year-old paleontological mystery, has been solved.
Dorothy Bennett in Peru

The Star-Studded Life of Ms. Dorothy Bennett

The wacky life story of the astronomer, author, children's book publisher, and anthropologist who restored an old barge on the Gowanus Canal in 1937.
Astronaut in space

What Happens To The Body in Orbit?

Scott Kelly has returned from a year in orbit. How has he fared? Turns out space flight really does do a number on the body.