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The Slightly Smaller Screen


Why ‘Game of Thrones’ Isn’t Medieval—and Why That Matters

Fantasy worlds are never just fantasy. They appeal to us because they refract our own histories and speak to contemporary interests.

World Cup Week


The Most Political Matches in World Cup History

A rumored death threat from Mussolini, what was ostensibly an on-field boxing match, and an egregious handball doubling as payback for the Falklands War.



The United States Needs a Slavery Museum

As part of its reparations demands, the Caribbean Community is seeking money for cultural organizations that examine the history of slavery. Here’s why the U.S. should construct similar institutions to memorialize our peculiar institution.

Quick Studies


The Mona Lisa Landscape Was Probably a Studio Backdrop

Researchers compared the Mona Lisa’s background with the hills shown in its stereo pair. In doing so, they revealed a da Vinci secret.

Quick Studies


To Haul Pyramid Stones Over Egyptian Sands, Just Add Water

A clue from an Egyptian tomb has provided scientists with a new explanation of how stones were transported for the construction of pyramids.

Quick Studies


Cavemen Were Awesome Parents

Toy hand axes, rock bashing, and special burials indicate that Neanderthals were cooler parents than previously thought, according to a new theory.

Quick Studies

natural history1

Natural History Isn’t Dead–It Just Crawled Into a Microscope

Natural history collections are consolidating. Lessons are being dropped from biology courses. But amid the apparent carnage, microbiology is rising.

Quick Studies


What Makes Normal People Commit War Crimes?

Delivery matters: Authorities give orders in a way that minimizes psychological impact for the soldiers who carry out these crimes.

Sociological Images


What’s Wrong With Women’s History Month?

We’re only recognizing women who have excelled at what are generally thought to be “masculine” pursuits.



How Do Psychiatrists Treat Werewolves?

With psychotropic drug cocktails, of course.

You Don't Know America


You Don’t Know Abraham Lincoln

What happens when you and a Lincoln expert stand next to the Lincoln Memorial and ask questions of visiting tourists?



According to the U.S. Census, Jesus Was White

Unfortunately for Megyn Kelly, considering he died 2,000 years ago, that classification doesn’t make much sense.



The History of a Year

An examination of the (many) books that are built around a specific 52-week period.



Why Is Hanukkah So Closely Associated With Christmas?

It’s all about the Benjamins.



What a Real War on Christmas Looks Like

A history lesson for former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and other conservatives worried about “a secular clown posse” set on destroying Judeo-Christian traditions.



Does History Repeat Itself, But With More Porn?

From Madonna to Miley Cyrus, has there been any progress in this conversation about whether it’s feminist or anti-feminist for a women to use sex or nudity to sell her pop music?

Conference Call


Conference Call: What’s Happening in November and December—and Why It Matters

From Perspectives on Progress to 3-D Printing: Destiny, Doom, or Dream?, academic gatherings you should be aware of.



A Brief History of America’s Favorite Pastime’s Favorite Pastime

If there’s one thing that knits together the history of baseball, it’s cheating.



A Cheater’s History of Cheating

For all the meanings it can have today, cheat evolved from a very specific, multisyllabic word that’s only vaguely connected to the one we use now.



How We Discovered That Christopher Columbus Didn’t Get to America First

And why it doesn’t really matter if he was 500 years too late.



This Government Shutdown Won’t Be Our Last

Get used to government shutdowns. Serious budget problems are a common feature of large states in decline.



The Gun Club

The history of citizen ownership of firearms isn’t just about protection against tyranny; it’s also about forcing subjects to defend tyranny.



The Protestant Work Ethic Is Real

Thanks to a recent paper in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, we finally have some answers for why Americans work so hard.



Why Does Citizenship Matter?

How national affiliation became such an important part of our personal identity.



A Brief History of the Great Gay Olympics

Russian legislators have said they will enforce new anti-gay laws during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, but the ancient athletic games started out as little more than a gigantic festival of homoerotic excess.

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Your Brain Decides Whether to Trust Someone in Milliseconds

We can determine trustworthiness even when we’re only subliminally aware of the other person.

Young, Undocumented, and Invisible

While young migrant workers struggle under poor working conditions, U.S. policy has done little to help.

Education, Interrupted

When it comes to educational access, young Syrian refugees are becoming a “lost generation.”

No, Smartphone-Loss Anxiety Disorder Isn’t Real

But people are anxious about losing their phones, even if they don’t do much to protect them.

Being a Couch Potato: Not So Bad After All?

For those who feel guilty about watching TV, a new study provides redemption.

The Big One

One in two full-time American fast-food workers' families are enrolled in public assistance programs, at a cost of $7 billion per year. July/August 2014 fast-food-big-one

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