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.
White matter fibres

Can Zapping Your Brain Really Make You Smarter?

Early scientific results on transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) show promise, but are they enough to support a multi-billion-dollar industry?
Two illustrations of the heart

Who Really Discovered How the Heart Works?

For centuries, the voice of the Greek doctor Galen, who held that blood is produced in the liver and filtered through tiny pores in the heart, went unchallenged.
Sylvia Beach outside of Shakespeare & Co., circa 1935

The Patron Saint of Bookstores

100 years ago, Sylvia Beach, the first publisher of James Joyce’s Ulysses, opened the doors to her legendary bookstore, Shakespeare & Co.
A laptop with a skull wearing a crown on its screen

The Life Changing Linguistics of… Nigerian Scam Emails

How do scammers use language to trick their victims?
Robin Williams In 'Dead Poets Society'

How “Carpe Diem” Got Lost in Translation

"Carpe Diem" doesn't actually mean "seize the day." The fact that we understand it that way suggests we are more traditional than we like to admit.
Ralph H. Cameron in front of the Grand Canyon

The Man Who Tried to Claim the Grand Canyon

Ralph H. Cameron staked mining claims around the Grand Canyon, seeking to privatize it. When the federal government fought back, he ran for Senate.
Bobby Seale at John Sinclair Freedom Rally, 1971

African-American GIs and German Radicals: An Unexpected Alliance

In December 1969, radical German students reached out to the increasingly politicized black GIs. Together, they organized a series of rallies and teach-ins at German universities.
Plastic waste floating in the sea

Is Plastic Pollution Depriving Us of Oxygen?

Plastic debris is killing the ocean’s “invisible forests,” which produce ten percent of the oxygen we breathe.
Scottish quack doctor James Graham

The Prince of Quacks (and How He Captivated London)

James Graham, founder of the Temple of Health, benefitted from his undeniable flair for showmanship and his talent for leaping on trends.