Recent Posts

Ep. 78 – L.A. graffiti in a whole new light

Susan A. Phillips talks about her deeply researched study of Los Angeles graffiti that includes marks made by hobos, prisoners, pachucos, surfers, punks, grips, taggers, seafarers, and more. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | Soundcloud

A Tour de Bed

Brian Fagan and Nadia Durrani— What did our ancestors do in bed? It’s an intriguing question. One that we, as archaeologists, realized nobody had sought to answer. Beds, after all, have been around for a very long time—the oldest known is at least 77,000 years old, and the basic design

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The Health Care Debate and the Perils of Medicine for Profit

Frank M. Snowden— Health care is key in the forthcoming US election, with polls indicating that the American people regard the issue—in tandem with the economy—as their top priority. Voters are seriously anxious about current provisions of care and worried about possible further efforts to undermine Obama’s Affordable Care Act. In

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Silence and Gordon Bunshaft

Nicholas Adams– At times, writing about the architect Gordon Bunshaft (1909–1990), former chief designer for the firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), was like writing about a sulky teenager. Architects, of course, have lots of ways of talking. Philip Johnson was garrulous––people liked to say that he talked a

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The Politics of the Pilgrims and Puritans

Peter C. Mancall— We live in a moment when politics are rough, and not only in the United States. In the United Kingdom, where I am spending the academic year at Oxford, the political debate leading to the parliamentary election on December 12 is as bitterly contested as anything transpiring

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Charles Darwin, Tortoise Hunter?

Elizabeth Hennessy— On a sunny day in October 1835, a twenty-six-year-old Charles Darwin hiked from the parched coast of Santiago Island in the Galápagos archipelago to the island’s green, damp highlands. After a long walk, he sat in the shade and watched the island’s giant tortoises as they ambled along

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Changing the Guard at Sea

Evan Mawdsley— For seventy-five years the United States has possessed what is, by a very considerable margin, the most powerful navy in the world. It has been an agent of global influence, in times of both war and peace. The US Navy replaced the British Royal Navy, which had held

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What Got Antivaxxers to Vax in New York City

Richard Robb— In fall 2018, measles returned to New York City. It was hardly surprising, given the alarmingly widespread resistance to vaccination. According to a recent survey, 2% of Americans believe vaccines are unsafe and ineffective and another 6% believe the side effects of vaccination outweigh the benefits. Many antivaxxers maintain

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Public Hearings and Presidential Privilege in Impeachment Proceedings

Charles L. Black, Jr.— SHOULD HEARINGS BE PUBLIC?  There may be early stages in the investigation process in the House when confidentiality should be maintained. Public disclosure of raw evidence, not yet evaluated as to credibility or relevance, might do some harm, and can do no good. In the later

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