Monsters, Marvels, and the Birth of Science

ILLUSTRATION BY ELLEN WEINSTEIN How the unlikely and unexplainable, strange and terrifying, spawned the age of science. BY STEVE PAULSON Finding regularity in nature is the bread and butter of science. We know that reptiles lay eggs, while mammals bear live young; the Earth revolves around the sun every 365.25 days; electrons glom onto protons like bears onto honey. But what if some oddity seems to defy the laws of nature, like the platypus, an egg-laying mammal? What about an anomaly like a two-headed snake? Or a newborn baby who seems to be neither boy nor girl, but something in … Continue reading Monsters, Marvels, and the Birth of Science

Of money and morals

  ‘Scenes from the Life of St Matthew’ 1390-1399, by Niccolo’ di Pietro Gerini, Church of San Francesco, Prato, Italy. St Matthew is the patron saint of bankers. Photo by Getty Images Moneylending has been taboo for most of human history. So how did usury stop being a sin and become respectable finance? by Alex Mayyasi is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Atlantic and Priceonomics, among others. He co-authored the book You Are Under Arrest For Masterminding the Egyptian Revolution: A Memoir (2016) with Ahmed Salah. He lives in San Francisco. ‘A banker and a theologian’ sounds like the … Continue reading Of money and morals


by Ethan Indigo Smith, Contributor Waking Times Fascism: “Any program for setting up a centralized autocratic national regime with severely nationalistic policies, exercising regimentation of industry, commerce, and finance, rigid censorship and forcible suppression of opposition.” ~ New Collegiate Dictionary, 1956. With so many disastrous failures defining its history, the nuclear industry is little more than an experiment, conducted for the benefit of national regimes at the expense of free information, technological innovation, our health and environment, and all life on Earth. Despite the calls of its proponents, such nuclear experimentation and industrial institutionalization is a formation of fascism to the letter, and … Continue reading NUCLEAR EXPERIMENTATION – COLLECTIVISM OVER COMMON SENSE