Sunday, April 14

History

On a damp, foggy January morning in 1793, Louis XVI, besieged monarch of France, stood before a guillotine. To some 20,000 of his angry subjects, Louis declared: “I die innocent of all the pretended crimes laid to my charge. I forgive all those who have had any hand in my misfortunes, and I pray that […]

In 1868, on a hot, midsummer day, 28-year-old Mary Lynch was admitted to the Philadelphia Almshouse and Hospital, the city hospital for the poor, better known as “Old Blockley.” Lynch had tuberculosis, which was soon to be compounded by the parasitic infection trichinosis. She didn’t recover, dying in Ward 27 the following year, weighing just […]

Women are woven deeply into the history of science, stretching back to ancient Egypt, over 4,000 years ago. But because their contributions often go unacknowledged, they fade into obscurity—and the threads of their influence today aren’t as apparent as they ought to be.  As a Wikipedia editor, I have tried to make women’s contributions more […]

Eduard Egarter-Vigl (L) and Albert Zink (R) taking a sample from the Iceman in November 2010.EURAC/Marion Lafogler In 1991, two German tourists walking an Alpine ridge, between Austria and Italy, stumbled across something shocking: a yellowed but well preserved human body, partially frozen embedded in a glacier. Initially, they believed it to be the remains […]

Our cultural history is crumbling. Not because of bad education—though one might make that argument—but because of chemistry. Between the late 60s and the late 80s, much of our culture—from the Nixon trials on television to unreleased music from famous artists like the Beatles—was recorded on magnetic tape, and this tape is starting to disintegrate. […]

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