Ethnography

Why 3 Man-Sized Cages Hang From a Medieval German Church Steeple

The Catholic Church ruled both the spiritual and physical lives of Europeans during the period of the Holy Roman Empire. Then Martin Luther began the …

Culture

Found: An Incredibly Well-Preserved Medieval Shipwreck, Among Many More

The Black Sea wreck is the first of its kind ever discovered.<p>For centuries, the Black Sea, the wide basin that connects Eastern Europe to Asia, was …

Archaeology

This diamond gift to Benjamin Franklin is the reason Donald Trump can’t profit from the presidency

The emolument clause in the Constitution goes back to the 1700s<p>On October 26, 1776, exactly one month after being named the first American diplomat …

Culture

This 19-year-old wrote a racy book on teen angst before teen angst was a thing — and became famous

Mary MacLane’s book tantalized America, and sold 100,000 copies<p>In 1902, Mary MacLane announced to the world, “I am a genius … I care neither for …

Culture

Two Silver Fabergé Fish Knives, Lost For a Century, Have Reappeared

They only just survived the Russian Revolution.<p>In late 1917, handcrafted gold items and silverware alike were melted down as part of the October …

Culture

How Books Designed for Soldiers’ Pockets Changed Publishing Forever

Prior to WWII, Americans didn’t think much of softcover books.<p>In early June, 1944, tens of thousands of American troops prepared to storm the beaches …

Culture

One of America’s smartest magazines published a Molotov cocktail how-to in 1967

‘A riot represents people making history’<p>A detailed diagram of how to put together a Molotov cocktail was probably not what most readers of <i>The New</i> …

Culture

Victoria Police Museum

Unusual finds include a 19th-century vampire slaying kit and the death mask of an infamous Australian serial killer.<p>Ned Kelly and his gang are still …

Culture

Study Suggests Neanderthals Enjoyed Long Childhoods

Nasty, brutish and short.<p>Until about the last decade or so, that's how many of us were accustomed to thinking about Neanderthal life.<p>But a lot has changed since then, not least of which is the emergence of smoking-gun DNA evidence that Neanderthals are, in fact, family.<p>Now a new study runs counter …

Evolution

At 83, the embassy worker at the center of the 'M. Butterfly' story is still an enigma

When Vincent Lancisi and his wife were traveling in the south of France earlier this year, they began chatting with their driver. And he told them a story about his former employer.<p>“He said, ‘I was a driver for a famous man,’” Lancisi said. “‘You probably don’t know his name but there’s a movie …

Culture

Columns of the Temple of Augustus

The 2,000-year-old Roman columns are hidden within Barcelona's Gothic Quarter.<p>One of the oldest treasures in Barcelona is also one of the most …

Culture

Add September 23 to the Long List of Doomsday Predictions

Let's just go ahead and get this out of the way upfront. If you've watched the news during the past six weeks, you might think we actually <i>are</i> living …

Culture

Leonardo DiCaprio: Politicians Denying Climate Change Will 'Be Vilified'

Actor criticizes Trump administration's inaction during talk with John Kerry<p>Leonardo DiCaprio said future generations will vilify current politicians …

Climate

The Closing of a Great American Dialect Project

Americans tend to think that we’re a pretty homogeneous nation, in terms of our vocabulary. Yes, there are Southern drawls, and there’s Boston and Brooklyn and Appalachia and Minnesota, but the words themselves, we believe, are pretty much the same. But there are often significant regional …

Culture

Is There a Revival of Sweden's Lost Forest Language?

Known as <i>älvdalska</i> in Swedish and <i>övdalsk</i> in the actual language, Elfdalian is currently only spoken by about 2,500 people, but while it has its roots …

Culture

The physical education of women is fraught with issues of body, sexuality, and gender

A new book, Active Bodies, explores the history<p>“Who is that woman?” a man exclaimed to his friends at a California public school “Family Fun Night” …

Culture

For years, there was Playboy for blind people, then a Republican congressman tried to kill it

The government shouldn’t subsidize porn, he argued<p>Unlike most of Playboy’s readers in the 1970s, one select group was definitely reading it for the …

Culture

Watch: In 1982, an adorable American 10-year-old became a cultural ambassador to Russia

Who would Samantha Smith be today if she had lived?<p>Turns out, Americans and Soviet Russians had the same soft spot for a sweet 10-year-old with …

Culture

D.C. War Memorial

An overlooked memorial honoring the local Washington residents who died in World War I.<p>The first letters started a month after the war ended. People …

History

These radical photos show the original Berkeley free speech movement in its raucous early days

Before the campus was a conservative target<p>Free speech—the right for anyone to express their views publicly—is central to our nation’s identity. The …

Culture

This massive Yellowstone earthquake destroyed a mountain and created a lake 190 feet deep

Dozens were killed, and a dam nearly gave way<p>Purley Bennett was camping with her family in West Yellowstone when she heard a great rumbling on the …

Culture

These rare photos of Bonnie and Clyde reveal the dark reality of America’s iconic criminal couple

A private collection of prints shows the duo’s grim end<p><i>Warning: graphic photos follow</i><p>Death came violently for Bonnie and Clyde. The posse that …

Culture

The Giant of Extremadura

The lengthy skeleton of one of the tallest Spaniards of all time is on display in Madrid.<p>Agustín Luengo Capilla was born in the year 1826 in Puebla …

Culture

In 'Vietnam War,' Ken Burns Wrestles With The Conflict's Contradictions

When filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick began research for a 10-part PBS documentary on the Vietnam War, they thought they knew the material. After all, Burns was of draft age in 1970, though his draft number was too high for him to be called to serve.<p>But as they began interviewing subjects and …

News (U.S.)

Found: A Sunken German World War I-Era Submarine

SMU Central University Libraries, Flickr/Public Domain<p>SMU Central University Libraries, Flickr/Public Domain<p>During World War I, one of Germany's most …

Culture

Green Nightmares

TERROR is defined by the power it threatens. Blocking the flow of carbon energy is terrifying to the fossil fuel industry and its sphere of …

Culture

This black sailor desegregated a Massachusetts school way back in 1847

Absalom Boston was an affluent ship’s captain who fought for his daughter’s education<p>Absalom Boston wanted his daughter to go to school. Given a …

Culture

George Washington Bust in George, WA

A bust of the first president welcomes visitors to the only town in America called George, Washington.<p>In the early 1950s, 339 acres of land in …

Culture

Did an Alien Contact Japanese Fishermen in 1803?

On Feb. 22, 1803, a strange boat washed ashore in Japan. It was something the fishermen there had never seen before — a disc-shaped vessel, with …

Culture

Why some 19th century immigrants went back to Europe - Futurity

In the 19th century about one in three immigrants to the US returned to Europe. A new look at Norwegian immigrants offers a reason why.

Culture