fun facts

Damnatio memoriae

We know that history is written by the winners. But remember also that sometimes the new winners erase what the old winners wrote. | learn more

to your health

The whipping boy for all of medicine

“If you’re looking for the whipping boy for all of medicine, and most of science, look no further than Galen of Pergamon.” History tells us that he was an uncritical propagator of the ‘four humors’ concept of medicine. This deeper […]

retail therapy

An oral history of the world’s biggest coupon

This was fun to read! “Bed Bath & Beyond’s plus-size mailer, known as Big Blue, has made it to TV, eBay, even a mobster’s kitchen drawer. “The poor mailmen,” the company’s former marketing V.P. said, “what we did to them.”” | learn […]

big ideas

The big lessons from history

“The second kind of history to learn from are the broad behaviors that show up again and again, in multiple fields and different eras. They are the 30,000-foot takeaways from events that hide layers below the main story, often going […]

big ideas

What you can’t say

This is an incredible essay by Paul Graham. “It seems to be a constant throughout history: In every period, people believed things that were just ridiculous, and believed them so strongly that you would have gotten in terrible trouble for […]

oh, chicago

The Illinois flag is terrible

“The North American Vexillological Association ranked Illinois’s flag 49th out of 72 state and provincial flags. So, what gives?” (From Wikipedia: Vexillology is the study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags or, by extension, any interest in flags […]