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Forgotten things

The icy fields of the Maginot Line and Shirley Temple’s smile. What was it like to go to the movies in January 1940?

Why do we fantasise about talking to animals?

Last year, a collaborative group of anonymous Tumblr scribes rewrote William Shakespeare’s most iconic play, Romeo and Juliet, in a familiar animal language: What light.

Does a culture of entitlement explain US mass shootings?

A movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado. Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The Washington Navy Yard.

The amazing life of sand

The sand underfoot might be anything from shards of lava to brine shrimp excrement to the skeletons of tiny organisms The post The amazing life of sand appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Three walls

Is the office cubicle actually designed to crush your soul? The strange history and significance of a much-loathed space The post Three walls appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Are we ready for companies that run themselves?

It is January 2014 and at least 400 people are packed into a conference hall in Miami Beach. High-profile journalists stand against the walls.

The free will defence: a good god vs the problem of evil

How could a benevolent god allow human-inflicted evil and suffering? Is it really just a matter of free will?

Is technological progress making us more vulnerable to catastrophe?

On 10 February 1853, a ship named the Charles Mallory arrived in port in Honolulu, Hawaii, having made the journey from San Francisco in only 13 days, a near-record time, particularly for a ship of its small size.

Where are you coming from?

A music-filled tour through a makeshift township shows post-apartheid South Africa as scarred yet vibrant and resilient The post Where are you coming from?

Trading your gun for milk: welcome to the hunger games

White and silent, death is undoing everything. For years, the 20 or so families in the tiny riverside settlement had lived hard yet improving lives, clearing the forest around them, fishing the waters, planting crops and building houses.

The blind woman who saw rain

After losing her vision to a stroke, a woman’s sense of sight returns slowly but in a most surprising way The post The blind woman who saw rain appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Are we all born with a talent for synaesthesia?

Vladimir Nabokov once called his famed fictional creation Lolita ‘a little ghost in natural colours’.

Everything is incredible

Agustin can't walk due to polio but for over 50 years he's been building something meant to fly – a home-made helicopter The post Everything is incredible appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Should I let my two year old daughter wear pink?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about pink a lot. I have a daughter who recently turned two and is quite vocal in her opinions, especially concerning the glory of pink and the intrinsic goodness of things that happen to be pink: for instance, that strawberry ice-cream is maximally delicious, in virtue of its colour.

The animal that wouldn’t die

A small freshwater animal – the uncommonly resilient hydra – challenges the belief that all living things must die The post The animal that wouldn’t die appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

What our messages to ET say about us

This summer, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will reach the highlight of a journey it began back in 2006.


Owned by the same family for 1,300 years, the Japanese inn Houshi Ryokan is a marvel of tradition and resilience The post Houshi appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Will online anonymity win the war of openness vs privacy?

Let’s see if this rings any bells. Back in the early 1990s, just as networked computing was taking off and millions of people logged on for the first time, the US government started getting worried.

Freedom vs security: freedom at any cost?

A brief, animated exploration of the social contract theory through the lens of Thomas Hobbes The post Freedom vs security: freedom at any cost?

What do we need to know?

‘Ignorance is at the heart of any kind of discovery’ – an argument against the cult of knowledge and information The post What do we need to know?