HUMANITIES

The root cause of the sexual assault/harassment epidemic: Though prohibited de jure, culture de facto entitles men to the use of women’s bodies as sexual property

In the last few weeks, each day seems to bring news that yet another handful of prominent men are serial sexual assailants and/or harassers. As a feminist political philosopher, I know that this is not a matter of bad apples,......

Jesus, His Brother James, and Peter: When a Picture is Worth More Than a Thousand Words

Few readers of the English Bible realize that the name “James” actually comes from the Hebrew name Jacob or Yaaqov, which adds to the confusion over the various “Jameses” mentioned in the New Testament. There is, of course, Jacob the Patriarch, grandson of Abraham; James the Apostle, the fisherman brother of John and one of [...]...

NATURAL SCIENCES

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! In honor of the holiday, here are links to a few classic horror fiction stories that were inspired by the science of their eras.

The Damned Thing, Ambrose Bierce (1893). A story inspired by the existence of invisible radiation! Investigators probe into the mysterious mutilation of a man.

The Horror Horn, E.F. Benson (1923).  Recognition that humans evolved from more primitive ancestors inspired this story of a terrible chase on a shunned mountain.

The Whisperer...

Ernest Fox Nichols’ darkly memorable lecture

Though there are many, many lectures given in the sciences, relatively few of them really stand out in a historical sense. One famous exception is Hans Christian Oersted’s 1820 lecture on electricity and magnetism, during which he discovered the relationship between electricity and magnetism.  This is, as far as I know, the only time that a major scientific discovery has been made for the first time in front of a lecture audience.

On the opposite end of the spectrum of “memorable”...

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