Articles

The idea that life often mirrors art is one with which many of us are familiar. In most cases, these parallels between fact and fiction feel like harmless fun. There are times, however, in which the blurred line between the two can start to feel unsettling, as though there was more at play than simple
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Methods of preserving food have been present since ancient times. From fermentation to salt, our ancestors used everything available to them to preserve the flavor and longevity of their food. However, as time went on, the desire to preserve the color, flavor, and “shelf life” of food intensified. Soon, dozens of food additives and preservatives
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At times, evolution takes a wrong turn. When it does, all we can do is stare in fascination at what it produces for us. Sometimes, it gives us something wonderful like the octopus. Other times, we get something terrible like the bobbit worm. But every now and then, we get an animal that’s just so
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Music has been a part of human life since time immemorial. It penetrates our souls and becomes a part of us, just as we, its creators, are a part of it. We and our creations grow and learn together, and each phase of human development brings with it new tools to create the aural extension
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The Shakespeare authorship question encompasses around 70–80 alternative theories on the traditionally held view that William Shakespeare wrote his own works. As Shakespeare was born in the lower class, was not educated formally, and didn’t have a large social circle, theorists believe it is virtually impossible that he created the masterpieces that we all believe
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As sure as we all are born, we will someday die, and when that day comes, something is going to have to be done with our remains. People are generally content to be interred in a cemetery or to have their ashes occupy a treasured place on a loved one’s mantle. But sometimes, the deceased
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History books often fail to sync the living with the tragedy of slavery. On the other hand, artifacts can instantly bridge that gap. When we’re faced with a wrecked slave ship, graves, and personal artifacts, a history lesson becomes reality. Unique photos, autobiographies, and workplaces also invite an intimate look into what it was like
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April 1 marks the day when pranksters come out of the woodwork for an annual joke fest. Young and old join in the fun, coming up with pranks to fool or embarrass their friends, family, and colleagues. Some Aprils Fools’ jokes have become a bit stale; others miss the mark. Some have even been known
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More than 120 years since its publication, Dracula by Bram Stoker remains one of the most popular horror novels of all time. The story has gained a massive legacy, not to mention tons of retellings and adaptations. With so many variations of the classic vampire tale, many misconceptions have arisen concerning the original lore and
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Dentistry is a modern field of medicine. While it has always existed in one form or another, it was largely unregulated in the past, and all sorts of people devised weird and often bogus procedures and treatments for tooth care and dental problems. At one time, barbers were the de facto dentists. Some treatments did
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Flat-Earthers, as the name suggests, are people who believe the Earth is flat, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Flat-Earthers believe statements that the Earth is round to be some conspiracy promoted by governments, space agencies, and private corporations. Interestingly, however, they do believe Mars is round. Trying to prove that the Earth is
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Drool is the forgotten wonder—and sometimes horror—of the human body. This bubbly liquid is a multitasker: transferring hormones, keeping the teeth intact, and even retaining our long-lost ancestors. The world of spit can get a little weird when doctors use it as a vaccine or modify it to become the world’s most powerful painkiller. In
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They might walk alike, they might talk alike, and they probably even look alike. Twins are an endlessly fascinating genetic miracle. Whether they are fraternal, identical, conjoined, polar body, mirror, or separated at birth, the similarities and complexities of twins are something that both scientists and the average man have marveled over for generations. Whether
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There are many weird laws around the world today. The majority of them were passed centuries ago and have never been repealed, although they’re not currently being enforced. Still, many of them are on the books, and plenty of people can unknowingly commit crimes for various odd reasons, though they probably won’t actually get in
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The ocean likes to cull ships. Over the centuries, storms and reefs have amassed a great collection at the bottom of the sea. Wars added plenty more wrecks. When water conditions are right, skeleton crews and cargoes remain preserved for centuries. Among other things, divers recently encountered included two of the world’s oldest artifacts on
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Laws are passed to protect the environment or members of society. Curiously, these same supposedly progressive laws have sometimes backfired, hurting the very things or people they were supposed to protect. This is obviously because every law has consequences. And unfortunately, it is often impossible to predict the intended and unintended effects of every law.
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Prisons are all about keeping people inside, but every now and again, folks find their way out. It happens more often than you might think, but nevertheless, there are some institutions touted as being inescapable, such that there is no conceivable way for anyone to escape. The only problem is that people inevitably do escape
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Battle has been an unavoidable element of life since the beginning of time. Animals have always fought for food and survival, and humans have waged war for innumerable reasons since the advent of our species. Territorial, political, religious, and other bases for bloody conflict have written violence into our blood. Violence is so much a
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Bones record history in their own way. Whether they splinter, show up in odd places, or provide DNA, ribs and all the rest are packed with information. In recent years, archaeologists handled fascinating rarities, some seen for the first time. Some of the skeletons displayed the ironic fate of one of history’s cruelest physicians, a
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There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. Of course, it’s much more interesting when the competition is unhealthy. People will sometimes go to extreme lengths to get back at their rivals. Dedicated one-uppers have erected statues in clear view of their rivals, built fences around their homes, and even built towers named after their
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There are several misconceptions that many believe about Neanderthals. One is that they were dumb and uncivilized, which is actually untrue. This misconception has lingered on for so long that we use “Neanderthal” as a word for an uncivilized and unintelligent person. Neanderthals were even almost named Homo stupidus (“the stupid man”). Today, we know
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Inside every organism are molecules called chromosomes. These threadlike structures hold genetic instructions, and every human cell normally has 23 pairs. Under the microscope, so to speak, these molecules can prove the history books wrong and solve long-standing mysteries about impostors. They reveal rare conditions, where talent comes from, and even ancient massacres. Perhaps the
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