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    How Humans Made Squirrels a Part of the Urban Environment

    This engraving of a gray squirrel was included in the December 1841 issue of Robert Merry’s Museum. One day in 1856, hundreds of people gathered to gawk at an “unusual visitor” up a tree near New York’s City Hall. The occupant of the tree, according to a contemporary newspaper account, was an escaped pet squirrel, […]

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    The Eerie Lawn Pest That Comes From Our Obsession With Lawns

    Fairy Ring #3Collage by Amy Ross (with permission) The front lawn is an American symbol of middle-class status and respectability. We trim ours with ride-on mowers, condition them with nitrogen, and hydrate them with elaborate sprinklers, largely because they represent us to everyone driving by. Ironically, it’s due to this energetic maintenance that one pest […]

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    What Chinese Medicine Has to Teach Us About New Mothers

    Pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period put women in peril, giving rise to precautions that gave them a sense of control, such as orienting the birthing room, charms and rituals, and burying a placenta.Vanessa Hua In a strip mall in the heart of Silicon Valley, the pregnant ladies were seeking out ancient Chinese […]

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    In Science Fiction, We Are Never Home

    Where technology leads to exile and yearning.

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    The Termite and the Architect

    Animal homes resist our understanding.

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    Best of 2013: The Caveman’s Home Was Not a Cave

    Our picture of man’s early home has been skewed by modern preconceptions.

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    Best of 2013: How to Waste Time Properly

    The right distractions can boost creativity.

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    Best of 2013: Beyond the Horizon of the Universe

    Want to see evidence of other universes? Just look up.

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    Best of 2013: The Hannah Montana Hypothesis

    Does the Fame Virus plague our youth, and is multimedia to blame?

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    Best of 2013: The Man Who Invented Modern Probability

    Chance encounters in the life of Andrei Kolmogorov.