Features

churchill

Winston Churchill’s remarkable love of science

October 22, 2020 9:20 am

In the 1920s and 1930s he wrote articles on popular science

living with

Why must we ‘live with’ coronavirus?

October 14, 2020 2:27 pm

Living with is a phrasal verb first applied, in the 17th century, to spouses

brothels

Pimp’s paradise

October 14, 2020 11:09 am

Nevada’s legal brothels are a disaster for women

chick lit sally rooney

Spare me the cult of Sally Rooney

October 8, 2020 4:05 pm

‘Chic lit’ has turned terrible books into status symbols

noor bin ladin

Being pro-Trump has caused me more grief than being Osama bin Laden’s niece

October 8, 2020 9:37 am

Why do I support Donald Trump? Look at his record

floral

The problem with pretty floral face masks

September 22, 2020 11:37 am

Why are we prioritizing aspiration over respiration?

racism

Racism and the destructive power of language

September 17, 2020 3:03 pm

There is a case for saying that racism is the antisocial construct

capital letter

Could Trump save the capital letter?

September 17, 2020 12:18 pm

The first alphabets solely comprised capitals

might

Might ‘may’ kill ‘might’?

September 5, 2020 11:54 am

In recent years the distinction between may and might in the present tense has collapsed

clams

Digging for clams on the Jersey Shore

August 26, 2020 1:00 pm

While some swear that only while barefoot can you properly detect clams, connoisseurs know that’s bosh

sex worker

The Sex Worker of Babylon

August 10, 2020 8:57 am

The first usage of the term dates back to the New York Times in 1971

houdini magicians

American magicians in London

August 2, 2020 1:49 pm

In 2003, David Blaine spent 44 days in a plexiglass box suspended above the River Thames. It was amazing, yes, but it wasn’t magic

francis fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama does not read your tweets

July 28, 2020 3:41 pm

‘I think it makes us lazy thinking about removing a statue, rather than creating a social policy that will materially improve conditions for marginalized groups’

slippers

Slip tease

July 12, 2020 11:15 am

Slipper selfies reveal our work-from-home style

lockdown

We’re spending lockdown defending a family of mice

July 9, 2020 8:01 am

You can tell you’ve been locked down in Texas for too long

stir crazy

What does it mean to go ‘stir crazy’?

July 4, 2020 8:38 am

Only now I discover my assumptions about that phrase were wrong

chess

Online chess is the ultimate lockdown sport

July 2, 2020 9:43 am

Unlike real life, the possibilities are never-ending

fans

Where’s the fun in soccer without the fans?

June 25, 2020 9:55 am

At dull matches, the fans are the best thing

robert baden-powell

Was Robert Baden-Powell a Nazi sympathizer?

June 18, 2020 11:40 am

The Scouts went on to help resettle Jewish children saved in the Kindertransport

gaslight

Can you gaslight a whole minority?

June 18, 2020 11:27 am

I fear gaslight is dangerously close to meaning ‘disagree with us’ or ‘suggest that we are mistaken’

statues slavery

Why stop at destroying statues?

June 17, 2020 11:54 pm

The ancient world was one in which there were laws, but no concept of human rights, or of the sanctity of life

cupcake

Arise, the cupcake

June 14, 2020 3:39 pm

It’s the Taylor Swift of snacks

knee

Where did ‘taking a knee’ come from?

June 11, 2020 3:47 pm

The football tactic is also known as the genuflect offense

field cloth gold

The festival where Henry VIII and Francis I made their peace

June 11, 2020 3:29 pm

On the 500th anniversary of the Field of the Cloth of Gold

odd

How ‘odd’ became normal

June 6, 2020 11:12 am

Odd is Scandinavian in origin, Viking if you like