Is Mandatory Military Service Good for a Country?
A prescribed period of civic service may offer benefits, promoting active citizenship across the socioeconomic divide and creating strong social ties.
The Medieval Castle That Pranked Its Visitors
At Hesdin, in France, the idyllic beauty of the grounds met the sadistic slapstick of the castle’s “engines of amusement.”
What About the Art in “Apesh*t”?
Beyoncé and Jay-Z's new music video was filmed entirely at the Louvre museum. What messages hide in the histories of the featured artworks?
Baking Vs. Roasting
We cook bread, meat, and vegetables much the same way: in our ovens. So why do we say we "bake" bread, but we "roast" meat and veggies?
High Cuisine in Ancient France
An archaeologist explores how the division of upper- and lower-class cuisine may have developed in France more than 2,000 years ago.
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?"
Harry Potter, the Arthurian Romance
Perhaps the Harry Potter stories are so potent because they rework the iconic hero stories of medieval French Arthurian romances.
The French Perfume Boom
The marketing of scents through clever branding, rather than real differences in what’s being sold, originated in nineteenth-century France.
The Magic Lantern Shows that Influenced Modern Horror
Eighteenth and early nineteenth century audiences were delighted and horrified by these spectral apparitions conjured in dark rooms.
The French King Who Believed He Was Made of Glass
King Charles VI of France was the most exalted representative of a rash of "Glass Men," who appeared throughout Europe between the 15th and 17th centuries.