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Victorian London’s East End: what can a foul murder tell us about life in the city?

Was Victorian London’s East End really the crime-filled, poverty-stricken slum we often imagine? Author Sinclair Mackay investigates a baffling …

England

10 things you (probably) didn’t know about the Anglo-Saxons

The Anglo-Saxon period lasted from the early fifth century AD to 1066 – after the Romans and before the Normans. But how much do you know about the …

Archaeology

The man who went to the North Korean place that ‘doesn’t exist’

<b>Many believe it was a visit to the hidden fifth floor of Pyongyang's Yanggakdo Hotel that resulted in the detention and eventual death of American student Otto Warmbier. US doctor Calvin Sun recalls his night filming there and warns other travellers to stay away.</b><p>Calvin Sun had been awake for almost …

North Korea

The Gnostic Christ

DURING THE FIRST two centuries of Christianity, the new religion sustained a constant challenge by the Gnostic movement. This movement was regarded by all Christian authorities as an initial heresy within Christianity itself, but such a view of Gnosticism is clearly inadequate. Gnosticism from its …

Theology

7 Alexa commands you're not using but should

With Alexa and the the Echo, Amazon has built a robust service that can deliver seemingly endless information and control your home. But, are you taking advantage of all it can do?<p>If you haven't yet unlocked the full potential of Alexa, these seven voice commands will get you closer. These are the …

Smart Homes

This Is What It Was Like to Be a Teenager in the Middle Ages

<i>This post is in partnership with History Today. The article below was originally published at History Today.</i><p>We have a tendency to associate youth …

Ancient History

Friday essay: what might heaven be like?

What will Heaven be like? Perhaps not surprisingly, competing images abound. Until around the end of the 17th century, Heaven was primarily about the …

Theology

A manifesto to save Planet Earth (and ourselves)

<b>The impacts of human actions on our home planet are now so large that many scientists are declaring a new phase of Earth’s history. The old forces of nature that transformed Earth many millions of years ago, including meteorites and mega-volcanoes are joined by another: us. We have entered a new</b> …

Universal Basic Income

Dante and The Divine Comedy: He took us on a tour of Hell

Dante’s vision of the Afterlife in The Divine Comedy influenced the Renaissance, the Reformation and helped give us the modern world, writes Christian Blauvelt.<p>“All hope abandon ye who enter here.”<p>That’s the inscription on the gate to Hell in one of the first English translations of The Divine …

Literature

The 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time: A Playlist Curated by Pitchfork

What makes a good ambient record? I’m not sure I can even begin to answer that question, and I count myself a longtime fan of the genre, such as it …

Ambient Music

The easiest way to lucid dream, according to science

In Tibetan Buddhism, the group of tantric techniques known as <i>milam</i> aim to reveal the illusory nature of waking life by having practitioners perform yoga in their dreams. It’s a ritualized version of one of the most mysterious faculties of the human mind: to know that we’re dreaming even while …

18 iPhone Tips That'll Make You Seem Like A Phone Wizard

Holy shit! These are legit.

IPhone 8

You don’t have a right to believe whatever you want to – Daniel DeNicola

Do we have the right to believe whatever we want to believe? This supposed right is often claimed as the last resort of the wilfully ignorant, the …

Barack Obama

It's Honestly So Easy To Make This Hanging Succulent Garden

Who needs artwork when you can have framed succulents?<p>View this post on Facebook

Here are the 12 worst ideas organized religion has unleashed upon the world

Some of humanity’s technological innovations are things we would have been better off without: the medieval rack, the atomic bomb and powdered lead …

How white Americans used lynchings to terrorize and control black people

<b>What were lynchings?</b><p>Historians broadly agree that lynchings were a method of social and racial control meant to terrorize black Americans into submission, and into an inferior racial caste position. They became widely practiced in the US south from roughly 1877, the end of post-civil war …

Black History

How to Clean Your Computer Inside and Out

It’s a tedious task you've been putting off for what could be years. But the moment has come: You're going to clean your computer inside and out. …

What is hell?

The recent dispute over whether Pope Francis denied the existence of hell in an interview attracted wide attention. This isn’t surprising, since the …

'There is no such thing as past or future': physicist Carlo Rovelli on changing how we think about time

How do I know that the usual perception is right, and this is wrong?<p>In the elementary grammar of things, there is no distinction between ‘cause’ and ‘effect’<p>What do we know about time? Language tells us that it “passes”, it moves like a great river, inexorably dragging us with it, and, in the end, …

Quantum Mechanics

Books to Read if You Love Greek or Roman Mythology

This list of books about Greek or Roman mythology is sponsored by Little, Brown and Company, publisher of <i>Circe</i> by Madeline Miller.In the house of …

The richest American family hired terrorists to shoot machine guns at sleeping women and children

The Rockefellers took on the striking miners of Ludlow, Colorado but didn’t expect them to fight back<p>The bloody history of the American labor …

Apple Watch watchOS 4.3 Is Here As 1 Great Feature Reappears. Should You Upgrade?

The latest software for Apple Watch has finally come out of beta, first seen on January 25.<p>Unlike iOS, there’s no public beta for Watch software so, unless you’re a developer, you won’t have seen the improvements the update offers. These are mostly smallish extras and little, but worthwhile, …

Smartwatches

Google Knows Literally Everything About You - Here's How To Delete That Data

Take back control of your information with these easy steps.<p>Google, just like Facebook, collects a lot of personal data about its users. While many …

People on antidepressants also tend to have trouble identifying their feelings

People on antidepressant medication tend to also report experiencing diminished emotional awareness, a condition known as alexithymia, according to a …

These horrifying ‘human zoos’ delighted American audiences at the turn of the 20th century

‘Specimens’ were acquired from Africa, Asia, and the Americas by deceptive human traffickers<p>More than 20 million people attended the 1904 World’s …

Middle School

Putin: The New Tsar review – a portrait of a lonely, lying narcissist

It was 2006, not long since Vladimir Putin had passed a new law allowing the KGB to kill traitors outside Russia, and soon after Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned after visiting a London sushi bar. Mikheil Saakashvili, the then president of Georgia, remembers being at a banquet with Putin and …

Russia

The Exodus Debunked: A Ridiculous Story with Ridiculous Claims

March 3, 2018 by Jonathan MS Pearce<p>The Exodus account is one of the key stories of the Bible, creating a foundation upon what so much else in the …

Depression Tattoos Can Help People Cope

“It’s almost like a battle scar in some ways."<p>The vibrating whir of tattoo needles can be incredibly therapeutic. That—along with the bleachy smell of a clean station mingling with the unfamiliar scent of a stranger, someone acutely focused on four square inches of my skin—always feels soothing to …

Steven Pinker recommends books to make you an optimist

For every plague, horseman, and reaper, there are several sparkling books on how we are subduing them<p>The big prizes go to books on war, terror, cancer and extinction, feeding our morbid curiosity about the gruesome ways in which things can go wrong. But there is an underappreciated genre of books …

Steven Pinker

The Top 10 Best Chess Blues Records Ever

Chess Records, founded in Chicago in 1950, is one of the most significant record labels of all time. The company was started by Leonard Chess and his …