Hōshi is a ryokan (a Japanese traditional inn) located in Komatsu, Japan, and it holds the distinction of being the 2nd oldest hotel in the world, and “the oldest still running family business in the world” (per Wikipedia). Built in 718 AD, the ryokan has been operated by the same family for 46 consecutive generations.[...]
The City of London has exploded like Blade Runner in the last couple of decades with glass and concrete and shrines to global capitalism like St. Mary Axe (aka the Gherkin) and the Shard (aka the Shard). But has the view from the ground stayed the same? According to this charming then vs.[...]
Images courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Actor George Takei was once best known as Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu. He still is, of course, but over the last few years his friendly, intelligent, and wickedly funny presence on social media has landed him a new popular role as a social justice advocate.
In a new picture book called Medieval Monsters, published by the British Library, historian Damien Kempf and art historian Maria L. Gilbert have gathered together illustrations that highlight the great monsters of the medieval world. Monsters were everywhere, including “on the edges of manuscript pages” and on “the fringes of maps.[...]
Almost all of us have read the story of Anne Frank, but we surely all picture it quite differently. Most of us have seen the photos used on the various covers of The Diary of a Young Girl, and some of us have even gone to Amsterdam and walked through the home in which she wrote it.[...]
Plenty of us struggle, in the age when so many traditions in so many parts of the world now seem perpetually up for revision, with the choice of whether to get married. It even confounded no less a mind than that from which On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection flowed.[...]
Sir Isaac Newton, arguably the most important and influential scientist in history, discovered the laws of motion and the universal force of gravity. For the first time ever, the rules of the universe could be described with the supremely rational language of mathematics.[...]
The next time story hour rolls around, you can give a mouse a cookie or you can awaken pre-readers (and yourself) to some key figures in women’s history. 26 of them, to be precise. It’s no accident that that number corresponds to the exact number of letters in the alphabet.[...]
Several weeks back, we contemplated how, in the 1650s, the economic history of the West changed irrevocably when Christiaan Huygens invented the pendulum clock — a timepiece that enabled us to measure time in accurate, uniform ways, making us attentive to the passage of time and focus on things like productivity and performance.[...]
What is any major American city if not an industrial gallery bustling with people and machines? Sometimes the images are bleak, as with the photo essays that often circulate of Detroit’s beautiful ruin; sometimes they are defiantly hopeful, as with those of the rising of New Orleans; and sometimes they are almost unfathomably monumental, as wit[...]