How Christianity Invented Children

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry has the crazy idea that maybe the changes that Christianity has brought to civilization aren’t all bad. He writes, for instance, about how it revolutionized our ideas about children: Various pagan authors describe children as being more like plants than human beings. And this had concrete consequences. Well-to-do parents typically did not interact with their children, leaving them up to the More …

The Birth of Jive

On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of Airplane!, the funniest movie ever made, the A.V. Club brings us an oral history of the movie from the people who made it happen. A sample: Al White [“Second Jive Dude”]: I looked at the script and couldn’t make hide nor hair of the actual verbiage. [Laughs.] But I got a sense of More …

The Beatles Meet the Taxman

If you celebrate tax day like me — by whispering over and over again the dollar amount that you had to mail in while Google searching “how to fake your own death” — you could probably use a lighthearted little break in the day. So here’s a cartoon featuring the Beatles’ encounter with the taxman, including their song “Taxman,” where they More …

The Fabricated War Between Religion and Science

We’re constantly told that science and religion are like Kanye West and Taylor Swift — arch enemies incapable of coexistence, two Venn diagram circles that don’t overlap at any point. Well, dear reader, I know smart, cosmopolitan people like you and me don’t believe that. But how did that misconception become part of conventional wisdom? Who Hatfield-and-McCoy-ified science and religion? Justin More …

Let’s All Freak Out Over Indiana

All things considered, I guess I’d rather witness a Twitter riot than an actual riot. But I’ve been watching the absolute berserker frenzy on social media over Indiana’s religious freedom law, and it is both exhausting and terrifying. Exhausting because everything that’s being said is being said at MAXIMUM VOLUME. Terrifying because of the casual way that people are saying the most More …