How many times a day do you use soap? Paul Linse/The Image Bank via Getty Images

History

The dirty history of soap

With hand-washing top of mind, soap is an integral part of keeping clean. But people through the ages relied on earlier forms of soap more for cleaning objects than for personal hygiene.
During their 1962 residency at Hamburg’s Star-Club, the Beatles had the opportunity of a lifetime: opening for Little Richard. Horst Fascher/K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns via Getty Images

Music

How Little Richard helped launch the Beatles

When a 14-year-old Paul McCartney watched Little Richard in the hit film 'The Girl Can't Help It,' he couldn't have imagined that the two would one day take the stage together.
There’s a creeping conformity taking place on the web. Mint Images via Getty Images

Design

Yes, websites really are starting to look more similar

Design bloggers have long had creeping suspicion, so a team of researchers decided to analyze the aesthetics of nearly 10,000 websites.
Two illustrators for the CDC created an iconic image that would become ingrained in the minds of millions. Alissa Eckert, Dan Higgins/CDC

Design

Visualizing the virus

Far from alarmist, images of the coronavirus seem to communicate patience and trust in science – both of which will be needed in the coming weeks and months.
Many breeders say they’re stewards of conservation, but no captive tiger has ever been released into the wild. AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

Television

‘Tiger King’ and America’s captive tiger problem

There are more captive tigers in the US than there are in the wild around the world – and they can be bought for less than some breeds of dog puppies.
The Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Capitals, sits empty. AP Photo/Nick Wass

Sports

A world without sports

This isn't the first time sports have been put on hold. But in the past, the reprieve was brief, and sports went on to act as a way to bring Americans together. This time's different.
Unless danger is flashing before us, we view risks through rose-colored glasses. slavemotion/iStock via Getty Images

Culture

In battling the coronavirus, will ‘optimistic bias’ be our undoing?

Humans tend to downplay their own susceptibility to being harmed – an attitude of 'it won't happen to me' that could be hindering the collective response to the pandemic.
You can’t threaten or humiliate a virus. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Literature

When confronting the coronavirus, tough isn’t enough

The 'tough guy' is a cultural archetype that political leaders have long adopted. But during crises, Americans tend to look for a different kind of hero.

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