Source: Getty

The Science of Baby-Name Trends

What makes a name suddenly pop—and then die? Social scientists and historians have been puzzling over this for decades.
from How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Anti-Jewish Tropes in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You’re in keeping with the medieval tradition of viewing the Jew as an outcast and a baleful force in society.
A woman in the kitchen in front of a Christmas tree

The Gendering of Holiday Labor

Women in heterosexual relationships still do most of the domestic work. During the holiday season, the tasks multiply.
John Tyndall's setup for measuring radiant heat absorption by gases

How 19th Century Scientists Predicted Global Warming

Today’s headlines make climate change seem like a recent discovery. But Eunice Newton Foote and others have been piecing it together for centuries.
Brain organoid

Is It Ethical to Grow a Brain in a Petri Dish?

Brain organoids could be the key to understanding brain diseases, which is why we should think carefully about how far we are prepared to take them.
Two people gathering seeds

Can Crops’ Wild Relatives Save Troubled Agriculture?

Cultivating a limited number of crops reduced the genetic diversity of plants, endangering harvests. Seed collectors hope to fix it by finding the plants’ wild cousins.
Buster Keaton, Margaret Leahy and Wallace Beery in a scene from The Three Ages, 1923

The Truth about “Caveman Courtship”

Cartoon stories about early humans bear a striking resemblance to many popular uses of evolutionary psychology today.
Larry Lessig

Lawrence Lessig: How to Repair Our Democracy

Law professor and one-time presidential hopeful Lawrence Lessig on campaign finance, gerrymandering, and the electoral college.
Travels through Virginia. [From Theodor de Bry's 'America', Vol. I, 1590, after a drawing of John White].

The Construction of America, in the Eyes of the English

In Theodor de Bry’s illustrations for Thomas Harriot’s Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, the Algonquin are made to look like the Irish. Surprise.
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?