The Musical Performance “Sight Machine” Reveals What Artificial Intelligence Is “Thinking” About Us

The Musical Performance “Sight Machine” Reveals What Artificial Intelligence Is “Thinking” About Us

Last year, Facebook created two chatbots and asked them to begin talking to each other, practicing their negotiation skills. The bots, it turns out, were pretty good at negotiating—but they did it using their own made-up language that was incomprehensible...
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A Brief History of Ireland’s Fortune-Telling Mashed Potato Dish (Recipe)

A Brief History of Ireland’s Fortune-Telling Mashed Potato Dish (Recipe)

The humble potato’s introduction to Ireland is pretty murky, even though we now know it as a staple of Irish cuisine. Two theories exist regarding its origin, according to Chef Noel McMeel, from Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland. One...
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A New Museum Honoring America’s Veterans Opens in Ohio

A New Museum Honoring America’s Veterans Opens in Ohio

Whether during halftime tributes or hot-button political debates, United States military veterans can often be seen more as symbols than actual people. At a time when a shrinking proportion of the country’s population is enlisting or even has a personal...
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The Science Behind Decorative Gourd Season

The Science Behind Decorative Gourd Season

Imagine you open up a CSA box—a kit of produce from community supported agriculture—only to find an apple covered in ashen warts. You’d probably be inclined to kill it with fire, or at least condemn it to the compost. But...
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What Makes the Flint Hills of Kansas a Sight to See

What Makes the Flint Hills of Kansas a Sight to See

This might be the most beautiful place in America. Walk with me. Walk awhile up and down these Kansas hills, where the tallgrass prairie rolls out deep green on every side, the land rising and falling to a faraway horizon,...
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The Court Case That Inspired the Gilded Age’s #MeToo Moment

The Court Case That Inspired the Gilded Age’s #MeToo Moment

For five weeks in the spring of 1894, a scandalous trial captured Americans’ attention. Crowds formed outside the courthouse, and across the country, readers followed the story in their local newspapers. Madeline Pollard, a woman with little social standing,...
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The Translator Who Brought a Lost Jewish Poet’s Words to the English-Speaking World

The Translator Who Brought a Lost Jewish Poet’s Words to the English-Speaking World

Laima Vince stood up from her computer and stepped onto her balcony. It wasn’t the first time during this nearly yearlong project that she felt overwhelmed by the gravity of her task: translating a book of poetry and a diary...
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Becoming Anne Frank

Becoming Anne Frank

People love dead Jews. Living Jews, not so much. This disturbing idea was suggested by an incident this past spring at the Anne Frank House, the blockbuster Amsterdam museum built out of Frank’s “Secret Annex,” or in Dutch, “Het Achterhuis...
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Cliff face photos for N.L newlyweds who ‘climbed into each other’s hearts’

Cliff face photos for N.L newlyweds who ‘climbed into each other’s hearts’

With boutonnieres knotted in the figure eight, a cord wrapped around the bouquet, and a daring photoshoot on the face of a cliff, one Newfoundland couple went to great heights to ensure their wedding was as unique as they are....
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How Kyle Meyer’s Photo-Tapestries Give Voice to a Silenced Community

How Kyle Meyer’s Photo-Tapestries Give Voice to a Silenced Community

When artist Kyle Meyer began photographing gay men in Swaziland, or eSwatini, five years ago, his subjects were initially wary about the exposure. Their concern was justified: Same-sex relationships are against the law there, and people who are suspected of...
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