Articles published in partnership with Object Lessons
Rockets and turbofans have promised to realize dreams of transportation progress—for decades. An Object Lesson.
Lockers and sleeves for phones can feel like an infringement on personal rights, but they also might save people from their worst habits. An Object Lesson.
Cloud-connected medical devices save lives, but also raise questions about privacy, security, and oversight. An Object Lesson.
Elixir Sulfanilamide was a breakthrough antibiotic—until it killed more than 100 people. An Object Lesson.
Doing so has appealed to people for centuries, but the power of a gratitude list can be misused. An Object Lesson.
Women have long borrowed from men’s dress to claim the authority associated with it. It hasn’t always worked. An Object Lesson.
Around the world, the document establishes legal, social, and economic legitimacy. But it also makes compromises. An Object Lesson.
Carl Linnaeus, the father of biological taxonomy, also had a hand in inventing this tool for categorizing anything. An Object Lesson.
When industrial fertilizer replaced dung heaps, its spoils helped fund the spread of plastics. An Object Lesson.
The Wardian case made intercontinental plant transport possible—and helped spread empires. An Object Lesson.
The national survey offers more identity choices than ever—until those choices get scrubbed away. An Object Lesson.
In the medieval church, “incorrupt” remains signaled virtue, chastity, and holiness. An Object Lesson.
The human skeleton inspires wonder and terror because it lasts much longer than its owner. An Object Lesson.
The upper classes once imposed the fashion staple on their servants—then they stole it back from them. An Object Lesson.
The aviator’s hazard offers a lesson about responding to supposed crises. An Object Lesson.
An engineer sheds light on the ball’s much-debated curve. An Object Lesson.
Once a cask that held crude, the oil barrel is now mostly an economic concept. An Object Lesson.
For centuries, lightning rods have tamed the heavens, more or less unchanged. An Object Lesson.
Cards have been used for gambling, divination, and even commerce. But where did their “pips” come from? An Object Lesson.
People have done it for centuries. Maybe everyone still should. An Object Lesson.
Cooling the air was once seen as sinful. Maybe the idea wasn’t entirely wrong. An Object Lesson.