Why We Need To Start Listening To Insects

You may not think of the buzz and whine of insects as musical, but the distinctive pitch of mosquito wingbeats could tell us how to fight malaria

A sculpture of Hendrick Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid in South Africa.

How Should South Africa Remember the Architect of Apartheid?

Fifty years after H.F. Verwoerd was assassinated in Parliament, the nation he once presided over reckons with its past

The history behind America's five-cent coin

A Brief History of the Nickel

In honor of the coin’s 150th anniversary, read up on how the nickel came to be minted

Spared From the Holocaust by His Countrymen, a Jewish Refugee Hopes That Denmark Can Regain Its Humanity

Leo Goldberger will never forget how his fellow Danes kept him safe, but the reaction to today’s refugee crisis gives him pause about his former homeland

Jewish refugees about the St. Louis

The U.S. Government Turned Away Thousands of Jewish Refugees, Fearing That They Were Nazi Spies

In a long tradition of “persecuting the refugee,” the State Department and FDR claimed that Jewish immigrants could threaten national security

Images of survivors of the Herero genocide foreshadowed similar scenes from the liberation of Nazi death camps

A Brutal Genocide in Colonial Africa Finally Gets its Deserved Recognition

Activist Israel Kaunatjike journeyed from Namibia to Germany, only to discover a forgotten past that has connections to his own family tree

After World War II, Gottschee ceased to exist as an independent community

An Attempt to Keep the Dying Gottschee Culture Very Much Alive

Inspired by a trip to Slovenia with her grandmother, one New Yorker took it upon herself to chronicle the story of a lost piece of European history

Traffic control centers like this one in Boston—a room cluttered with computer terminals and live video feeds of urban intersections—represent the brain of a traffic system.

Will We Ever Be Able to Make Traffic Disappear?

City engineers make changes in the timing of signals to keep cars moving, but cell phone data and vehicle-to-vehicle communication could ease the task

A chart of chocolate future prices since Valentine's Day, 2014

The Economics of Chocolate

Before becoming a kiss, bar, or hot drink, cocoa gets shipped, stashed, smashed, and, most critically for producers and consumers alike, commodified

Candy Crush Soda Saga brings classical music to tablets, smartphones and computers around the world.

Why the Composer of Candy Crush Soda Saga is the New King of Video Game Music

You may have never heard of Johan Holmstrom, but millions listen to his music every day

Oakland police use Mace during Oakland's "Stop the Draft Week" October 16, 1967, the largest anti-Vietnam war protest in the San Francisco bay area to that date, in downtown Oakland.

The Forgotten History of Mace, Designed by a 29-Year-Old and Reinvented as a Police Weapon

When riots shook America, mace became a tool of crowd control instead of private protection

A standard 10-hole Hohner harmonica.

Industrial Espionage and Cutthroat Competition Fueled the Rise of the Humble Harmonica

How a shrewd salesman revolutionized the instrument industry

In Hot Springs, North Carolina, residents of an alien internment camp active from 1917 to 1918 built an authentic German village. They used tobacco tins to construct the church at the end of the lane.

The U.S. Confiscated Half a Billion Dollars in Private Property During WWI

America's home front was the site of interment, deportation, and vast property seizure

Computer illustration of red blood cells in a blood vessel.

Your Blood Type is a Lot More Complicated Than You Think

There are millions of varieties—and a global network to help share them

Advertisement for a United stateroom trunk, 1911, with the familiar proportions of a modern suitcase.

The History of the Humble Suitcase

Modern luggage has been constantly reinvented during its short 120-year history

Restaurateur Johnny Kan in the center, 1965

The Lazy Susan, the Classic Centerpiece of Chinese Restaurants, Is Neither Classic nor Chinese

How the rotating tool became the circular table that circled the globe

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