An illustration depicting two regency-era women speaking with an iMessage bubble

Is Jane Austen the Antidote to Social Media Overload?

Racking up likes and followers today resembles the nonstop friending of 19th-century England. But Austen's characters figured out how to disengage.
Young girls chant as activists rally for climate action at Sydney Town Hall on January 10, 2020 in Sydney, Australia.

The Linguistic Anatomy of a Political Firestorm

The prime minister of Australia has a background in marketing, but with the bush fire crisis, his manipulation of language is only getting him so far.
A still from The Lodger, 1927

Hitchcock’s Transition from London to Hollywood

In England, Alfred Hitchcock cultivated a comedic sensibility that shines through in his Hollywood thrillers.
Design for Necklace with Brazilian Beetles, ca. 1900

Insect Jewelry of the Victorian Era

The wing-cases of gold-enameled weevils hung from necklaces; muslin gowns were embroidered with the iridescent green elytra of jewel beetles.
Employees of the Fleischer Studios picket the New Criterion Theater in New York to protest against the showing of Popeye and other cartoons drawn by striking Fleischer artists, 1937.

The Great Animation Strike

Animation workers took to the streets, carrying signs with bleakly humorous slogans. One read: “I make millions laugh but the real joke is our salaries.”
Sultan Mehmed III of the Ottoman Empire

Why Ottoman Sultans Locked Away Their Brothers

Fratricide among rival princes was legal and widely practiced until 1603, so confinement to the palace was actually an improvement.
Simón Bolívar by José Gil de Castro

Bolívar in Haiti

Simón Bolívar was a man of contradiction. He was willing to set in motion the gradual abolition of slavery, but that would be as far as he would go.
A scene from The Christmas Angel

The Theatrical Magic of The Christmas Angel

The silent film director Georges Melies made a unique and wonderful Christmas film by borrowing the theatrical techniques of French “feeries.”
An angry mob in front of a computer screen

Cancel Culture Is Chaotic Good

Cancel culture may prove to be the most memorable linguistic trend of the past decade.
A person typing on a computer

How to Use Zotero and Scrivener for Research-Driven Writing

This month, I’m doing something a little different with my column: I’m sharing the system I use to write it, so that you can use or adapt my system.