Call us cowards, but we’re tired of fighting with our family about politics over the holidays. JSTOR Daily has tons of food trivia, animal stories, and quirky history to help you steer clear of controversy or find your way back to neutral ground. Happy Thanksgiving!

Blue viper snake eating a frog, Indonesia

How Snakes Swallow

A snake’s ability to swallow enormous prey has long been a source of fascination, but the common explanation that they dislocate their jaws is a myth.

Cottagecore Debuted 2,300 Years Ago

Keeping cozy in a countryside escape, through the ages.
Smokey Robinson and The Miracles Clockwise from left: Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, Bobby Rogers, Ronnie White.

Music Education and the Birth of Motown

Music teachers in the Detroit public schools paved the way for the success of future Motown artists like Smokey Robinson and Mary Wilson of the Supremes.

18th-Century Lovers Exchanged Portraits of Their Eyes

The miniature paintings celebrated and commemorated love at a time when public expressions of affection were uncouth.
Couney incubator

Coney Island’s Incubator Babies

Yes, you read that right.
Girls' Beating the Bounds' at a fence near St Albans in Hertfordshire, 1913

“Beating the Bounds”

How did people find out where their local boundaries were before there were reliable maps?
Roman Street Scene by Ettore Forti

Everyone in Pompeii Got Takeout, Too

Archaeologists have found that snack bars called tabernae fed much of the city in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.
A mother plays the guitar while her two daughters sing / Guitarist Joan Jett of the rock band "The Runaways" performs on stage in Los Angeles in August, 1977

At First, the Guitar Was a “Women’s Instrument”

The history of the guitar shows that musical instruments have been gendered—but just how changes over time.
Alfred Jacob Miller - Roasting The Hump Rib

The Origins of the Word “Barbecue”

The skinny on the Q.
mummy brown painting

When Artists Painted with Real Mummies

The popular paint pigment called “mummy brown” used to be made from—yep—ground-up Egyptian mummies.

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