Feature Posts

Summer Reading List, 2015

For everyone heading to the beach this Fourth of July, here’s a list of books for your seaside reading. Some will inspire you, some will ask you to reflect, and some will take you on their own summer vacations. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, we

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From Calcutta to the Cosmos: Mapping the Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy

Priyamvada Natarajan— Predicted by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, black holes are the most enigmatic objects in the universe. They are so compact and their gravitational pull is so intense that not even light can escape from them. Well before physicists co-opted the term “black hole” to describe these dark,

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Ebola: Where Did it Come From and Why Does It Spread?

Mark Harrison— All diseases are mirrors of society but some—especially epidemic diseases—lead us to reflect on the way we are heading. Ebola is one such disease. Although it is still largely confined to tropical Africa and is unlikely to decimate other parts of the world, its lessons are relevant to

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On the Streets during the Hong Kong Protests

Gerard Lemos— The protesters had already started gathering last Saturday afternoon. It was hot and sunny in Admiralty, the business district, and there are no trees, no shade. They sat around on walls, chatting, doing nothing. There were no leaders, no banners, no speeches, no chanting. This was quite a

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After Bannockburn—After the Referendum: Robert the Bruce and the difficulties of Settlement

Michael Penman— Scotland’s medieval icons William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and their military encounters with England only occasionally reared their heads during the party leaders’ recent campaigning for and against Scottish independence. In January 2012, former Scottish Secretary and Stirling MP, Michael Forsyth, charged that SNP leader and Scottish

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Why Aren’t We Celebrating Constitution Day?

Lorri Glover— Today is Constitution Day, not that you would know it. The anniversary has never sparked the public imagination. Forget rivaling the 4th of July. Constitution Day doesn’t garner the publicity or even the retail sales of Presidents’ Day. This blasé attitude toward Constitution Day runs counter to Americans’

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What Does Independence Mean for Scotland and Britain?

James E. Cronin— Great Britain, the nation that teamed up with the United States to defeat Germany in two world wars and, after each, to do what it could to bring order into a disordered world and that did so much to shape the contours of the post-Cold War world,

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Did DNA Really Prove the Identity of Jack the Ripper?

Paul Begg— If it seems too good to be true—it probably is. Over the last few days the newspapers and television have become very excited over a claim that DNA tests on a silk shawl of scarf had identified Jack the Ripper, the uncaught Victorian serial killer who murdered several

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The Death of the Monarch Butterfly

Robert Michael Pyle— Many people will have greeted the news that the monarch butterfly has been proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act with bewilderment, if not incredulity. How can this icon among American butterflies, once proposed in Congress as our National Butterfly, this common companion of childhood for

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What Does Rock ‘n’ Roll Mean To You?

Greil Marcus has weighed in on the ten songs that define rock n roll history. In this video, we hit the streets to find out what people thought of his list and what rock ‘n’ roll means to them. See Greil’s list, watch the video, then tell us what you

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