It was 146 years ago today—May 10, 1869—that "The Last Spike" was driven into America's first transcontinental railroad.... READ ON
National Arbor Day is the last Friday of April.... READ ON
What is May Day? It means many things to many people, from pagans to factory workers to troubled boaters.... READ ON
The middle finger is one of our species' oldest and most ubiquitous insulting gestures. But why is waving one of your fingers offensive? David Clark answered this question for us back in 2009, and we're reposting it today in honor of a one-finger salute that aired on MSNBC this morning.
The Middle... READ ON
This week, David Clark is our tour guide as we take a closer look at some of America's greatest monuments. His series continues today with the story of a monument-in-progress, the unfinished tribute to Crazy... READ ON
This week, David Clark is our tour guide as we take a closer look at some of America's greatest monuments. His series continues today with the story of the Gateway Arch.
For a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, you might expect something evocative of tenacious settlers, grizzled mountain men, unflinching explorers, hardy cowboys, and all that mythology of the West. Maybe a giant gold train, or a 400 foot (dead?) buffalo. But instead we have a 630 foot-high, 630 foot-wide... READ ON
This week, David Clark will be our tour guide as we take a closer look at some of America's greatest monuments. His series continues today with the story of the Washington Monument.
Born to Broken... READ ON
This week, David Clark will be our tour guide as we take a closer look at some of America's greatest monuments. His series kicks off today with highlights from the history of "Liberty Enlightening the World," known to the masses as the Statue of Liberty: her life as modern colossus, wartime pin-up centerfold, copper bosom to comfort the weary, hostage for the dissatisfied, and bane of Vigo.
The Conception and Birth of Our Stern Green... READ ON
Almost everyone knows that each state of the Union has its own flag. State flags, however, are just the most visible elements of an elaborate, esoteric system of legalized symbols that characterize and codify our united states. For example, "Do You Realize??" by the Flaming Lips was just named the official Oklahoma State Rock Song. It's time we were all exposed to the bizarre symbology of state identity-politics.
A Lesser-Known Tale of Badgers and... READ ON
Last week, we addressed which came first, the chicken or the egg. Then we answered five other burning questions about the fowl. Our series concludes today with four more FAQs.
How come chickens lay so many eggs? It's... READ ON
On this planet, there are now more chickens than any other bird, and many, many more chickens than humans. Nevertheless, most people know very little about the fowl they devour nearly every day. Last night, we addressed which came first, the chicken or the egg. For the enlightenment of all, here are the answers to five more questions about chickens.
What were the first chickens like, and what activities did they enjoy? And how did they become the modern chicken we love to eat today?
The ancestor of all... READ ON
The early Church Fathers, St. Thomas Aquinas, and many creationists today would tell you the chicken came first, because the Book of Genesis reveals that God created birds on the fifth day, along with sea monsters; and we can presume that these original birds emerged ex nihilo as full-fledged adults, or they wouldn't have been able to "fly above the earth across the dome of the sky" (Gen 1:20). Just as Adam and Eve were never infants -- and accordingly lacked navels -- the first chickens... READ ON
The middle finger is one of our species' oldest and most ubiquitous insulting gestures. But why is waving one of your fingers offensive? And what are some other age-old ways to express your displeasure with silly hand shapes?
The Middle... READ ON
Aired in 1903, The Unseen World was a series of short films shot through microscopes -- the first "scientific" films made for the public. And Cheese Mites , a brief glimpse at cheese mites scuttling and jostling over a surface of Stilton, was the show's smash hit.
The film was created by American entrepreneur Charles Urban in collaboration with microscope enthusiast Francis Martin Duncan. In line with the style of most early cinema, The Unseen World was presented as a buoyant... READ ON
The French have been wary, at times, of human kings -- consider the rough way they treated Louis the Last (XVI) -- but they've never shied from crowning kings of cheese. Below are three French contenders for the cheese throne, and the prominent voices that have lobbied for each.
1. EPOISSES: The cheese that was once banned on public... READ ON
While they had plenty of other culinary talents, the Native Americans were not a cheese-making people. It was the pilgrims who brought cheese and cows with them on the Mayflower and got the whole thing started this side of the... READ ON
Casu Marzu, an illegal Sardinian delicacy, is perhaps the most outrageously foul dairy product in our galaxy. While it's one thing to eat a cheese that smells like gym socks soaked in milk and left crumpled behind the toilet for weeks; you've entered a whole new class of repulsiveness when you bite into Casu Marzu -- a putrefied cheese infested with live, wriggling maggots.
To craft this noxious specialty Sardinian cheesemakers encourage the cheese fly, Piophilia casei, a.k.a. the "cheese... READ ON
Ed note: This week we're proud to have cheese expert and historian David Clark guest blogging with us. Today, he's reporting on three huge cheeses gifted to America's elected leaders, and the ruckuses they caused. Enjoy!
1. Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth of... READ ON