April 1997

Robert D. King, “Should English Be the Law?”; Stephen S. Hall, “Vaccinating Against Cancer”; Toby Lester, “Secondhand Music”; Tom Mueller, “Underground Rome”; and much more.

  • Should English Be the Law?

    Language is tearing apart countries around the world, and the proponents of "Official English" may be ready to add America to the list.

  • Vaccinating Against Cancer

    For more than a century researchers have hoped to enlist the body's immune system in the fight against cancer, but the markers that identify a tumor as alien long eluded them. Now, by a combination of accident and relentless logic, several researchers are closing in on ways to force tumors to show their true colors to the body's immune system.

  • More Reefer Madness

    Marijuana gives rise to insanity -- not in its users but in the policies directed against it. A nation that sentences the possessor of a single joint to life imprisonment without parole but sets a murderer free after perhaps six years is, the author writes, "in the grip of a deep psychosis".

  • Secondhand Music

    The chance harmonies of everyday sounds may mean more than we think.

  • Citrus Preserved

    Marmalade is a work of art that anyone can create -- and with more ease than you may think.

  • How To Rewrite Economic History

    The Boskin Commission's attack on the Consumer Price Index is weak on the merits and scary as policy.

  • This Side of Ultima Thule

    A dispatch from eastern Siberia, a realm of steel-shattering cold, nullifying vastness, and withered hopes, which is sometimes called "the white hell." 

  • Small Consolation

    On Monday, if no one in the office seemed to be glancing at her guardedly, or whispering just out of her presence, he would hope she felt protected by her new and trusted friend

  • Underground Rome

    A good way to study ancient Rome is to explore the cellars -- and subcellars -- of modern Rome.

  • Rough-Terrain Unicycling

    Riding a unicycle up and down mountains requires the balance of a gymnast and the temperament of a teenager.

  • A Man From Mars

    Fifty years ago John Gunther, a brilliant foreign correspondent, published a famous book about "the greatest, craziest, most dangerous ... most powerful and magnificent nation ever known."

  • The Next Liberalism

    AFTER Bill Clinton was elected President for the first time, a joke about welfare reform circulated among policy cognoscenti: The new President sits…

  • 77 North Washington Street

    FEW travelers to Russia these days are likely to conclude -- as Jeffrey Tayler, the author of "This Side of Ultima Thule," in this issue of…

  • Letters

    Running Scared. No-Frills Jesus. Cuban Socialism. Norman Borlaug. Running Scared. Anthony King's analysis of the behavior of members of…

  • The Almanac

    Demographics. April may indeed be the "cruellest month," at least with respect to suicide rates. Suicides peak not during the Christmas…

  • Word Watch

    crind, an automatic credit-card reader, as at a gasoline pump or other point of purchase: "I drive out of my way to find a station with crinds.... I…


The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."


What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.


Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.


Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.


How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

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