Our Genius Problem

Why this obsession with the word, with the idea, and with the people on whom we've bestowed the designation?

Light Shows of the Mind

Einstein was right when he said that imagination is more important than knowledge

Bobby Fischer’s Pathetic Endgame

Paranoia, hubris, and hatred—the unraveling of the greatest chess player ever

Grade A: The Market for a Yale Woman’s Eggs

When a Yale undergraduate explored becoming an egg donor for a wealthy couple willing to pay top dollar to the right candidate, she didn't realize how unsettling the process of candidacy would prove to be

Hand Tools

Today's most noteworthy pencils, styluses, and pen scanners

What Now?

Developments, encouraging and otherwise

Interracial Intimacy

White-black dating, marriage, and adoption are on the rise. This development, however, is being met with resistance—more vocally by blacks than by whites

Grapes of Gascony

A vintners' cooperative in southwestern France is creating impressive new wines from rare old varieties

Duck Sauce À La Bidouze

A simple—and libertine—Gascon dish

The Rogues of Academe

Making dictators an offer they can't refuse

Third Person Singular

Having an ear bent by Henry Adams, the prototype of the modern thinker

The At-Risk-Youth Industry

Private companies that run prisons and treatment centers for juveniles have turned out not to be very good at making money or rehabilitating kids

Wonders of the World

Three timeless Sicilian places

The Fat Tax

A modest proposal

Coming of Age on Long Island

Child of My Heart represents a radical—if characteristically quiet— departure in Alice McDermott's fiction

The Sage of Baltimore

Reading the prose of H. L. Mencken is one of the great joys that literacy bestows on the sentient

The Medical Ordeals of JFK

Recent assessments of Kennedy's presidency have tended to raise "questions of character"—to view his Administration in the context of his sometimes wayward personal behavior. Such assessments are incomplete. Newly uncovered medical records reveal that the scope and intensity of his physical suffering were beyond what we had previously imagined. What Kennedy endured—and what he hid from the public—both complicates and enlarges our understanding of his character


Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more


Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.


What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world



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