Comic

A Web, Not a Road: The Anthropology of Margaret Mead

A Web, Not a Road: The Anthropology of Margaret Mead

There is hardly a name in science more encrusted with bad faith generalizations and well-meaning but ahistorical hagiography than that of anthropologist Margaret Mead. In her time, she was to anthropology what Carl Sagan was to astronomy – a brilliant and irreverent popularizer who inspired a new generation of scientists even as she earned the undying enmity of the passing one. Praised as the most... »

Neuroembryology in Wartime: Rita Levi-Montalcini and the Discovery Of Nerve Growth Factor

Neuroembryology in Wartime: Rita Levi-Montalcini and the Discovery Of Nerve Growth Factor

It is 1942, and Allied bombs are raking the city of Turin, wreaking a thudding vengeance for Il Duce’s cynical alliance with Nazi Germany. Amidst the panic and carnage, a woman carefully gathers her most precious items, a microscope and a set of pain-stakingly prepared slides, before heading into her basement to wait out the attack. A Jew, ejected from her university position in 1938 because of ra... »

Maria Montessori: When Genius Devours Itself

Maria Montessori: When Genius Devours Itself

There are some people who lack the splendid good sense of dying at the right time. Geniuses who flared with an early fire and then ground out their latter days in petty feuds and stifling orthodoxy. That line of demarcation between early brilliance and later brutality is always fascinating – what happens to genius when it turns against its own best interests – and there are few examples of it so m... »

Hedy LaMarr: The Movie Star Who Invented Bluetooth… in 1942.

Hedy LaMarr: The Movie Star Who Invented Bluetooth… in 1942.

A movie star. An avant-garde composer. A radio-controlled torpedo. Wi-Fi. One of the unfortunate truths about our web of modern comforts is that the great majority of them stem, via twisting strands of causality, from warfare. World War II in particular forced the West into an orgy of technological creativity whose fruits we are still blithely and blissfully nomming on. One of the strangest storie... »

Parity Girl: The Experimental Physics of Chien-Shiung Wu

Parity Girl: The Experimental Physics of Chien-Shiung Wu

How does a neutrino sign its name? Sometimes it’s only the truly absurd questions that can break physics from its well-worn grooves and force it to elaborate fantastic new schemes to explain reality.  The notion that, for some processes, there is a distinct right or left handed bias in nature, is one that was routinely scoffed at right until the moment it was proven true by a series of supremely e... »

Jesus’s Twin Sister, Brains Over Bust, And Serial Killer Lovers: An Indie Comic Round Up!

Jesus’s Twin Sister, Brains Over Bust, And Serial Killer Lovers: An Indie Comic Round Up!

Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) might be the last major comic book convention that is still actually and primarily about comic books, and as such it tends to draw a dizzying array of both major and underground talent.  Geoff Schaeffer and I have had a booth there the last four years for Frederick the Great, but this year was special for the variety and creativity of the independent comic a... »

Understanding the Lost Children: The Life and Science of Anna Freud

Understanding the Lost Children: The Life and Science of Anna Freud

Humans have a profound genius for generating terrible ideas.  Slavery.  Theocratic government.  But there is one particular idea we hung onto for an unfathomably long amount of time before finally questioning, and that is the notion that Children Are Property, and therefore may be treated more or less however we please.  Our appreciation for the importance of their early environment, and the respo... »

Ms. Marvel #2: Heina Dadabhoy and I Talk Islam in Comics, and the Demise of the Spinebreaker.

Ms. Marvel #2: Heina Dadabhoy and I Talk Islam in Comics, and the Demise of the Spinebreaker.

Yesterday, Marvel released the second issue of Ms. Marvel, a series featuring the trials and tribulations of Kamala Khan, a Muslim of Pakistani background who finds herself suddenly a superhero.  Skepchick’s own Heina Dadabhoy and I had a quite wonderful conversation about it, religion in comics, and the cross-roads of ethnicity, identity, and sexuality, which you can read below if you’... »

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