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.

When Salad Was Manly AF

Esquire, 1940: “Salads are really the man’s department... Only a man can make a perfect salad.”
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.”
Mechanical Turk

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has Reinvented Research

Online services like Amazon's "Mechanical Turk" have ushered in a golden age in survey research. But is it ethical for researchers to use them?
George Washington's Yelp Reviews

George Washington’s “Yelp Reviews”

Staying at inns allowed Washington to examine the state of the infrastructure for traveling in the new federal Republic. The only problem was, he hated it.
Augustine Addiction memoir

The New Sameness of Leslie Jamison’s Addiction Memoir

Leslie Jamison's The Recovering is self-aware about being the same old story, recalling the redemption narratives of Rousseau and St. Augustine.