The cover of the first edition of Slan by A.E. van Vogt

The Self-Styled Sci-Fi Supermen of the 1940s

Way before there were stans, there were slans. Too bad about their fascist utopian daydreams!
Women in the KKK

A Brief History of the Women’s KKK

The Women’s KKK, an affiliated-but-separate racist organization for white Protestant women, courted members through an insincere “empowerment feminism.”
An illustration of Dong Xian and Emperor Ai depicting the story of Passion of the cut sleeve

In Han Dynasty China, Bisexuality Was the Norm

So tender was Emperor Ai’s love for his "male companion" that, when he had to get up, instead of waking his lover, he cut off the sleeve of his robe.
A grilled cheese sandwich

A Brief History of Comfort Food

Our newest culinary trend is also our oldest.
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.