Jabir ibn Hayyan Geber

How to Create a Human Being

The Book of Stones, a central alchemical text, contained formulae with the power to create living tissue from ordinary matter, supposedly.
My Body My Choice graffiti

What Roe v. Wade Means for Internet Privacy

Roe v. Wade left Americans with the idea that privacy is something we can expect as citizens. But does the SCOTUS consider privacy a constitutional right?
Neuroscience of Ventriloquism

How Ventriloquism Tricks the Brain

New research shows our brains place more weight on vision than hearing in identifying the source of a sound. But why?
Engraved Illustrations of Various Castles and Fortified Structures

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.”
1919 Chicago White Sox

When “Foreigners” Were Blamed for a Baseball Scandal

In the early 20th century, baseball was a magnet for illegal gambling. But when the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series, Jews became the scapegoats.
drag queen

The Unspeakable Linguistics of Camp

When gay and lesbian people had to invent their own languages with which to talk with each other, camp led the way.
Dark matter galaxy clusters

Dark Matter in the Universe

According to current scientific theories, dark matter and dark energy make up most of the universe. But we don't even know what they actually are.
Mark Twain

Was Mark Twain a Con Man?

A man named Samuel Clemens received funds from the radical abolitionist Boston Vigilance Committee in 1854. It may have been Mark Twain, pulling a prank.
King Arthur Harry Potter

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.
Benedetta Carlini

Lesbianism (!) at the Convent

Mother Superior Benedetta Carlini, a visionary nun of Renaissance Italy, was accused of heresy and “female sodomy.”