Where Do New Ideas Come From?

Where Do New Ideas Come From?

A small mollusk known as the sea squirt does something strange. It swims around early in its life, eventually finds a place to attach like a barnacle, and then absorbs its own brain for nutrition. Why? Because it no longer needs its brain. It’s found its permanent home. The brain is what allowed it to […]

These Breathtaking Images are the Cat’s Meow in Nature Photography

These Breathtaking Images are the Cat’s Meow in Nature Photography

A pride of lionesses lie huddled in the soft sun of morning, their arched bodies and wrinkled faces so intimately intermingled that the cats seem to comprise a single organism, a larger-than-life unit of one mind and one heart. Two pairs of eyes warily regard the camera; three more stare off into the distance, on […]

Latino Boy’s Reaction To Being Late For School Is Too Much

Latino Boy’s Reaction To Being Late For School Is Too Much

“Responsibility, commitment, and discipline.” That’s the way to describe 8-year-old Colombian boy Daniel Santiago Diosa Pulido, who proved that good ole’ family values don’t necessarily have to stand in the way of fun, light-heartedness, and kindness. If you’ve ever been late to school, especially on your parent’s dime, who check on your grades, you’ll know how […]

How Mobile Wine-Tasting Rooms Could Revolutionize Armenian Wine Country

How Mobile Wine-Tasting Rooms Could Revolutionize Armenian Wine Country

Imagine sitting in a 6,100-year-old mountain vineyard in Armenia’s Vayots Dzor province, sipping a glass of red wine with subtle hints of juniper. Nearby is a plate of cheese made from the milk of a bezoar goat, drizzled with local honey and paired with perfectly ripe apricots, while the man beside your table—the one who’s […]

Fats Domino's Infectious Rhythms Set a Nation in Motion

Fats Domino's Infectious Rhythms Set a Nation in Motion

Squabbling over the precise origins of the worldwide cultural phenomenon called Rock ’n’ Roll has long been a favorite pastime of academic researchers and lay music lovers alike. Some say Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm, who in 1951 released the exuberant automotive ode “Rocket 88,” deserve credit for kicking the movement off in earnest. […]

How Kara Walker Boldly Rewrote Civil War History

How Kara Walker Boldly Rewrote Civil War History

There are certain truths about which reasonable people can agree. One of them is the fact that the Civil War was about the perpetuation of slavery—the theft of human lives, labor and dignity in pursuit of financial gain—and not about the tragic battle of brother against brother or some romanticized “Lost Cause.” But disagreement inexplicably persists. […]

At This Spectral Subway Platform, Trains Approach But Never Arrive

At This Spectral Subway Platform, Trains Approach But Never Arrive

You stand expectantly on the subway platform, a small incandescent bulb suspended above your head. Across the tracks, a drab white wall meets your gaze, its once pristine tiling scarred and smudged, its smooth upper surface sullied by rust stains from an overhanging pipe. In both directions, the curving tunnel you occupy leads off into […]

Here’s What It Takes to Turn a Museum into a Movie Screen

Here’s What It Takes to Turn a Museum into a Movie Screen

Most evenings, as the sun sets on the bustling National Mall, the tourists scatter, the food trucks drive off, and all goes quiet as the museums close. But every so often after dark, they become lively works of art in their own right. On October 14, the façade of the newly renovated Freer Gallery of […]