Do We Have to Tell Them the House Is Haunted?

On the law and mythologies of haunting, from antiquity to today.
Jill Lepore

Jill Lepore: How to Respond to the Crisis of Our Institutions

Lepore talks about presidential deceit, why women are often forgotten by history, and the “epistemological crisis” of our era.
sargassum seaweed dumped on beach

The Great Seaweed Invasion

In the Caribbean, sargassum deposits have grown to unprecedented sizes, obscuring the sand and turning nearshore waters into seething sargassum soup.
why US states have straight borders

Why Are U.S. Borders Straight Lines?

The ever-shifting curve of shoreline and river is no match for the infinite, idealized straight line.
Portrait young couple at voter polling place

The Case for Lowering the Voting Age

If the standard we hold for who can vote is the consent of the governed, why shouldn’t children be included?
Otto Weininger

The Man behind the “New Man”

Otto Weininger's only book, Sex & Character, is a misogynist, anti-Semitic screed masquerading as philosophy. Yet it was enormously influential in fin-de-siècle Vienna.
used styrofoam food containers

Is the 30-Year-Long Styrofoam War Nearing Its End?

Neither banning nor recycling will rid us of Styrofoam. Can we live without it?
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley

Mary Shelley’s Obsession with the Cemetery

The author of Frankenstein always saw love and death as connected. She visited the cemetery to commune with her dead mother. And with her lover.

Porklife: Building a Better Pig

Can we reconcile our growing appetite for meat with our desire to treat factory animals better?
econophysics

Sociophysics and Econophysics, the Future of Social Science?

Can empirical data about human behavior make the “soft” sciences more like the “hard” ones? New interdisciplinary fields are voting yes.