Single people are often thought of as insecure, self-centered and sad. But one social scientist spent the past 20 years studying them – and found that they're a boon to communities across the country.
Yggdrasil, the tree that supports the world in Norse myth, can be found in America in Neil Gaiman’s mash-up of world religion.
American Gods imagines a US where ancient gods exist at "right angles to reality", asking why we have mythologies and why we need them.
Gurneys to remove bodies from the Heaven’s Gate cult house in San Diego, California, March 27, 1997.
Twenty years ago, the paranoia that consumed cults like Heaven's Gate existed on the margins of American society. Now it's moved toward the center of the nation's political life.
Fireworks go off before Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks.
Recognizing that the game itself is often lopsided and boring, the NFL, through the years, has worked to minimize its significance.
Once you start, you can’t stop.
'Injection' via www.shutterstock.com
By getting young women hooked before they've even formed wrinkles, Botox peddlers have realized they can enlist them in a lifetime of treatment.
Hillary beaten by anti-feminism?
Clinton was fighting a deep-rooted misogynist sentiment which goes back decades.
Topham Picturepoint PA Archive/PA Images
It was 1956 – and for Britain, things would never be the same again.
The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona, is one of the few remnants of America’s mid-20th century motel boom.
Library of Congress
What does the shuttering of traditional roadside motels say about America's relationship with travel and freedom?
Nationwide, barbershops are on the decline.
'Barber' via www.shutterstock.com
Is the decline of the corner barbershop another indicator that male friendships and community ties are eroding? Or could it simply mean that concepts of masculinity are shifting?
The US and Cuban flags with Havana’s National Capitol Building in the background.
Cuba's National Capitol Building has been reclaimed as the seat of the National Assembly 54 years after it was abandoned by the new revolutionary government. There are lessons in this for others.
Sometimes down, never out.
Every time Las Vegas looks like it's about to die, it demolishes itself and rebuilds as something bigger and better.
Superman’s over the hill.
'Superhero' via www.shutterstock.com
The flop of the Fantastic Four seems to suggest that viewers are more eager to embrace characters who reflect our inherently flawed humanity.
Gambling’s meteoric rise says a lot about the psychology of post-recession America.
What happened to "a penny saved is a penny earned?"
Ever wonder what’s on the mind of the opposite sex?
'Bathrooms' via www.shutterstock.com
Unlike most images and text that appear public spaces, this graffiti is intended for the eyes of the same sex.
Through his music, Lead Belly rejected the stereotype that country music was the domain of white artists, while blues music was reserved for blacks.
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection depicts the fully-formed artist – a blues musician, yes, but also a performer of string-band, country and pop songs.
Many former NFL players face the future with despair: the years after retirement can include an array of physical and financial woes.
USA Today Sports/Reuters
The cascade of woes that have befallen former NFL players has stunned fans and casual observers. Former NFL stars Junior Seau and Dave Duerson committed suicide. All-pro Warren Sapp went bankrupt after…
Selma director and co-writer Ava DuVernay has crafted a new and important vision of an oft-examined era in our nation’s history.
Stanley Wolfson/Library of Congress
Hollywood films that depict American history deeply influence our sense of national identity. Films that portray Civil Rights and Black Freedom history are particularly important. Beyond entertaining moviegoers…
Caravaggio’s 1595 masterpiece Bacchus.
In a letter to the Abbe Morellet in 1779, Benjamin Franklin mused that the strategic location of the elbow is proof that God desires us to drink wine. After all, had God placed the elbow lower on the arm…
Ferguson citizens protest after the jury’s verdict.
EPA/Larry W. Smith
The decision not to charge police officer Darren Wilson with the unlawful shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown has reignited protests across the US. The judgment was met by violent outrage on the streets…
CrossFitters can be found flipping tires or hitting them with a sledgehammer, climbing ropes, and tossing medicine balls.
It’s a known fact that exercise is addictive. But CrossFitters – those who take part in CrossFit’s brutal workouts and stringent diet – are infamous for their fanatical devotion to their fitness philosophy…