Easter Island's Monoliths Made the Crops Grow

WHEN EUROPEANS FIRST REACHED RAPA Nui, or Easter Island, on Easter Day, 1722, they were awed to find around 1,000 imposing stone moai, or monoliths, carved in the shape of human beings. The statues overlooked a barren landscape. While archaeological evidence shows that Rapa Nui was once lushly forested, by the time Europeans reached the island, it hadContinue reading “Easter Island's Monoliths Made the Crops Grow”

How to Orgasm Without Being Touched

Many of us have woken up from a sexy dream, throbbing with excitement. Some of us are even luckier, and can climax from nipple stimulation, or dry humping, or even intense genital-free makeouts. Sex worker, artist, sexologist, and world-famous sex legend Annie Sprinkle details seven types of female orgasm on her website, including some that happen without touch.Continue reading “How to Orgasm Without Being Touched”

Solved: The Mystery of an Ancient Maya Massacre

THE BODIES WERE AT THE bottom of a well: 20 people, their hands, feet, and limbs removed, their skeletons cured in layers of clay and limestone. All but two of the victims, an adult man and an 18-month-old child, had been decapitated.* Their bones bore knife marks from the butchery, and burn marks from where theyContinue reading “Solved: The Mystery of an Ancient Maya Massacre”

The Return of Japan's Female Sake Brewers

MIHO FUJITA WAS A HIGH-POWERED executive working at a Tokyo toy company. Miho Imada worked in traditional Noh theater. Chizuko Niikawa-Helton was in the fashion industry. But at some point in their careers, all three women had a realization: Their true passion was sake. Since sake is the most iconic alcoholic drink of Japan, these careerContinue reading “The Return of Japan's Female Sake Brewers”

Why Bisexual Women Are at a Higher Risk for Violence

It feels strange to admit this, but when I first read that bisexual women are more vulnerable to sexual and intimate partner violence than people of other orientations, I felt relieved. It wasn’t the butterfly-winged relief of good news. It was the lightness of finally being able to breathe. Or perhaps, of feeling that I still couldn’tContinue reading “Why Bisexual Women Are at a Higher Risk for Violence”

Copenhagen Wants You to Forage on Its City Streets

COPENHAGEN IS ABOUT TO BECOME the embodiment of grab-and-go snacking. In a recent vote, the City Council resolved to introduce free, portable, city-wide munchies: public fruit trees. They’ll opt to plant edibles, from blackberry bushes to apple trees, wherever city planning calls for greenery. For Astrid Aller, a Copenhagen City Councilor from the Socialist People’s Party whoContinue reading “Copenhagen Wants You to Forage on Its City Streets”

How to Feed a Megacity Like the Aztecs

WHEN CONQUISTADOR HERNÁN CORTÉS REACHED Tenochtitlan in 1519, he beheld a floating city. The temples and palaces of the Aztec capital gleamed white from an island in the middle of a vast lake, all spread under a searing blue sky. With an estimated population of 200,000, roughly the size of contemporary Paris, the city overflowed with people. AroundContinue reading “How to Feed a Megacity Like the Aztecs”

Tour Honolulu’s Japanese Food Scene With This 1906 Map

WE DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT Takei Nekketsu. The proprietor of a dry-goods store, he was one of the many small business owners who made up the thriving Japanese community of early 20th-century Honolulu. But Nekketsu had a number of special talents. He wrote some of the earliest Japanese-language histories of Hawai’i, and he made maps. OneContinue reading “Tour Honolulu’s Japanese Food Scene With This 1906 Map”

A Pirate Botanist Helped Bring Hot Chocolate to England

IF YOU HAD MET HIM the year his famous book was published, you might have mistaken William Hughes for a mild-mannered gardener. By that time, he had settled into his role at the country estate of the Viscountess Conway, a noblewoman and philosopher, and had published a book on grapevines. But the old man was moreContinue reading “A Pirate Botanist Helped Bring Hot Chocolate to England”