Toby Lester

  • Map Quest

    A journey through Alsace-Lorraine to the town that gave America its name

  • What to Do in Alsace-Lorraine

    Any visit to the area should include a stay in Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace. The town’s main tourist draw is its cathedral, a…

  • Notes from Antiquity

    Watching a play by Euripides or reading poetry by Sappho is perhaps as incomplete an experience today as watching a "play" by Wagner or reading "poetry" by Stephen Sondheim would be

  • Oh, Gods!

    Religion didn't begin to wither away during the twentieth century, as some academic experts had prophesied. Far from it. And the new century will probably see religion explode—in both intensity and variety. New religions are springing up everywhere. Old ones are mutating with Darwinian restlessness. And the big "problem religion" of the twenty-first century may not be the one you think

  • The Reinvention of Privacy

    It used to be that business and technology were considered the enemies of privacy. Not anymore

  • Open Secrets

    An e-mail interview with Steven Levy, the author of Crypto: When the Code Rebels Beat the Government—Saving Privacy in the Digital Age  

  • The Money Artist

    Are the works of artist J.S.G. Boggs just defaced dollar bills? Or works of art worth $420,000? A look at an artist whose work has been raising some disconcerting questions about money and worth

  • What Is the Koran?

    Researchers with a variety of academic and theological interests are proposing controversial theories about the Koran and Islamic history, and are striving to reinterpret Islam for the modern world. This is, as one scholar puts it, a "sensitive business"

  • New-Alphabet Disease?

    It's tough suddenly changing from one alphabet to another. Azerbaijan is on its third one this century

  • Emily Dickinson (Un)discovered

    Early in its existence The Atlantic failed to recognize the potential of one of the most formidable American poets of the nineteenth century.

  • Tracking India's Bandit Queen

    A conversation with Mary Anne Weaver


The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.


How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe


A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.


I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."


Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion