Many Whites Today Would Have Been Classified as Black in the 1940s

The U.S. has a long history of using pseudoscience to classify people by race. So what happens when we try to use a legitimate science? A new study of a large data sample from personal genomics company 23andme reveals that people's genetic backgrounds have little impact on their racial self-identification. » 12/26/14 4:55pm Today 4:55pm

The Real Story Behind the 1914 Christmas Truce in World War I

It was 100 years ago this very night that something miraculous happened along the Western Front. After months of bitter fighting, soldiers on both sides gathered in no-man's-land in a spontaneous show of peace and goodwill. Here's what happened on that historic day — and why it marked the end of an era. » 12/24/14 11:00am Wednesday 11:00am

The History of Virgin Births

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Zebedee spends her days largely alone, nervously swimming in a clear aquarium, there for the entertainment of tourists dining at Abu Dubai's Burj Al Arab hotel. Surrounded by only a few fish, with nary a male shark in sight, Zebedee has defied biology. For the last four years, the tiger shark has experienced… » 12/24/14 1:31pm Wednesday 1:31pm

Chinese Food On Christmas Is No Longer Solely A Jewish Tradition

This is the time of year when, for American Jews such as myself, visions of Chinese plum sauce dance in my head. It's a trend that dates back decades—the Chinese food Christmas meal has been whimsically described as a sacred Jewish tradition. But, recent research reveals that it's become popular among non-Jews as well. » 12/24/14 8:30am Wednesday 8:30am

Who has come closest to winning Civilization in real life?

Games in Sid Meier's Civilization series are loosely patterned off the rise and fall of real-life civilizations. And some of these real-life civilizations had exactly the kinds of ambitions that would win a game of Civilization. Which raises the obvious question: did any of them get close? Has anybody won? Are we all… » 12/22/14 12:01pm Monday 12:01pm

Modern Technology Brings Ancient Greek Vases to Life

Panoply is a project that combines the animation talents of Steve K. Simons and the ancient Greek history expertise Sonya Nevin to produce beautiful animations of the scenes on artifact vases. Above is their version of the Pandora myth, developed from a circa 450BCE vase of a woman holding a casket and the… » 12/21/14 11:05pm Sunday 11:05pm

Will Climate Change Make Us More Religious?

Secularism is on the rise worldwide. Some attribute this to enhanced feelings of political and economic well-being: We yearn less for the sense of security that religion has traditionally offered us in an uncertain world. But some people speculate that we could see a global religious revival if climate change's worse… » 12/19/14 2:20pm 12/19/14 2:20pm

Release Of U.S. Historical Documents Delayed Due To Iran Nuke Talks

The State Department has blocked the release of declassified documents about the CIA's role in the 1953 coup that overthrew Iran's democratically elected prime minister, due to the ongoing negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program. But some historians think this is a dumb decision, that could actually backfire. » 12/19/14 11:35am 12/19/14 11:35am

Archaeologists Find Royal Entryway To King Herod's Hilltop Palace

King Herod's most ambitious project was Herodium, a fortified palace on top of a hill in the Judean desert. Honeycombed with passages and chambers, it also became his mausoleum. Now, archaeologists have found a resplendent, 65-foot corridor to provide the royal entourage direct entry into the palace courtyard. » 12/19/14 8:20am 12/19/14 8:20am

​The Most Miserable Princess Ever: Sisi, Empress Elisabeth of Austria

Earlier this month, fashion's fanciest gathered in Salzburg for the annual Chanel Métiers d'Art collection. The runway show, meant to showcase the brand's couture bona fides, was held in a palace, featured Alpine-inspired looks and models looped around a centerpiece laden with fruits and sweets. To launch the… » 12/18/14 1:52pm 12/18/14 1:52pm