The war elephants of Phyrrus at the battle of Asculum, 279 B.C.

How “Pyrrhic Victory” Became a Go-To Metaphor

We call futile victories "pyrrhic," after an ancient Roman battle. But that battle may have been misinterpreted--or had a different conclusion altogether.
"The Macaroni. A real Character at the late Masquerade", mezzotint by Philip Dawe, 1773

The Gender-Bending Style of Yankee Doodle’s Macaroni

The outlandish "macaroni" style of 18th-century England blurred the boundaries of gender, as well as class and nationality.
Microwaves

How a Microwave Weapon Might Work

Personnel at the U.S. embassy in Havana have reported mysterious sounds and physical symptoms consistent with brain injury. Could it be microwaves?
Cropduster spraying field

War and Pest Control

Since World War I, the connections between pest control and war have been scientific, technological, institutional, and metaphorical.
Yemen crisis children

Why Yemen Suffers in Silence

Yemen is suffering a major humanitarian crisis. How did the country get to such a precarious state, and why aren't Americans paying more attention?
Omega Nebula (M17)

The Bold Future of the Outer Space Treaty

With President Trump calling for a “Space Force” and private enterprise increasingly invested in space, what of the dream of international peace?
laser gun

The Truth about Laser Guns

The U.S. and most other large militaries have been trying to develop laser weapons for decades. Has China created the first portable laser gun?
Soldiers training in the Israeli Defense Forces

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 Camouflage That Dazzled

During WWI, artist and British naval officer Norman Wilkinson came up with an idea so crazy it just may have worked: Dazzle Camouflage.
Barack Obama Nobel Peace Prize

Did Barack Obama Deserve the Nobel Prize?

Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. He took the award not as a reward for accomplishments but as a "call to action."