Small Talk

A Surprising Surge in ‘Sadvertising’

For years, the mega-trend in advertising was to make the consumer laugh. These days, though, it seems that advertising creatives are swinging to the sentimental.

A Battle of Instruments in Hawaii

Ukulele might seem like a lock for official state instrument of Hawaii - but a group of steel guitar enthusiasts beg to differ.

The Fuzzy Science of ‘Peak Beard’

Beards have become so popular in contemporary fashion that a study shows we may have hit Peak Beard - the tipping point when clean-shaven stands out as rare and attractive.

‘Rage Quitting’ Video Games Leads to Violence

We might imagine that, after a session playing a video game a player's violent outburts in real life would be inspired by the on-screen depictions of violence, but that may not be directly so.

A Citizen Citation – from a Little Citizen

John Spong, senior editor of Texas Monthly (previously a lawyer and possible outlaw) shares the story of Annie James, a Texas teen who caught a police car parked illegally and issued her own ticket.

The Millionaire’s Mastiff

A Tibetan Mastiff puppy recently sold in China for two million dollars. It probably does not have actual lion's blood, but don't tell the new owner.


Singing Stonehenge

The Paris Review contributing editor Sadie Stein explains Stonehenge. Or at least tells us about new research suggests that the special stones selected have unusual acoustic properties.

The Coming Clown Shortage

It's all well and good to send in the clowns - until there aren't any left to send.


The Frivolous Love Notes of Vikings

The Viking "j├Âtunvillur code" has confounded scholars since its use 900 years ago. This week someone finally cracked the code. It was more candy-heart than battle-epic.