The Oregon Trail Game

The first time I played the Oregon Trail computer game – a parody of American westward expansion inflicted on countless school kids – was this winter. I was snug in bed, as befits a prospective pioneer facing one of history’s largest human migrations. Up to 500,000 settlers set out along the Oregon and California Trails […]

Homeopathy Part One: Rebels of Medicine

Today’s post is the first of a two-part series on homeopathy. Look for another tomorrow by LWON’s own Sally Adee.  In 460 BCE, a rebel was born. Ruggedly handsome, fluffy hair that drove younger girls crazy and a gleaming bald pate that made the older ones swoon. His buddies called him “The Father of Medicine,” “Ἱπποκράτης” or […]

Drawings of Drawings of Lions

Early in the 17th century, two lions lived in the zoo in Ghent. Their names were Flandria and Brabantia. There were probably other lions nearby. Archduke Albert and his wife, Isabella, ruled the region, now in Belgium, and they had a menagerie at their palace. Having a menagerie was the sort of thing extremely wealthy […]

Debunking Hollywood: The Gordian Knot

I’ve often wondered who was the first person to tie a knot. Who was that ancient ancestor 10, 20, 100 thousand years ago who first wrapped a strip of animal skin – or maybe some fibrous vine – around itself and realized that it could hold itself together, even hold a person’s weight. Or hell, […]

Redux: Whither the Dorset?

Five years ago, I received a fateful invitation to join the Last Word On Nothing. Since then, almost all of the faces have changed, but its maverick spirit lives on. Much like the culture of the Dorset, featured in my first post in 2011…:   There’s nothing like a lost tribe to pique child-like curiosity. When an […]

The Wonderful World of Period Patents

I recently wrote a story for Racked about how some of the period underwear on the market work — the kind that either help keep your pad in place, or help replace tampons by wicking and absorbing blood. And because I always like to know about the evolution of various technologies, one of the first […]

The Monument that Montreal Swallowed

When I travel outside the US, I use an app called OffMaps. It loads up a map of whatever city you chose onto your phone, so even without service I can at least have some sense of where I’m going. There are lots of apps that do this, and probably ones that do it better […]