400

I Witness History: I, Innocent Asp

You do not know the real me. The demise of Cleopatra is but one of your many slanders against my kind. Even Shakespeare in Antony and Cleopatra called me a “poor venomous fool.” But let’s examine the facts: I, the Egyptian asp, Naja haje, did not kill the queen.

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  • History

I Witness History: I, Innocent Asp

400

I Witness History: I, Eternal Bodyguard

I’m from Kemet. You call it Egypt. Now I live in Texas. Crafted from wood and ritually painted nearly 2,000 years ago, my job in afterlife protection never ends. I haven’t always done it so well. 
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  • History

I Witness History: I, Eternal Bodyguard

400

I Witness History: I, Down the Drain

I was carved to adorn a soldier's ring, but one day in the steamy bathhouse of the Second Legion Augusta, I came unglued, slipped my mooring, and then darkness–and plenty of rotten company–for nearly 2,000 years.
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  • History

I Witness History: I, Down the Drain

400

I Witness History: I, Horn of Africa

Royal trumpet of Pharaoh Tutankhamen, I was born to command armies, priests and whole populations. But my days with him were few. Layed to rest with my mouthpiece toward my 19-year-old pharaoh, I fell silent for 3,262 years. Then one of you tried to play me.
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  • History

I Witness History: I, Horn of Africa

400

I Witness History: I of the Storm

“You have marveled at me since beyond memory, at once dreading the flash of my blinding light and eager for my return. My brilliance was recorded and sung about; my rumbles of warnings, in pithy Latin on a North African stone inscribed—’FVLGVR CONDITV’--‘Lightening was buried here.’”
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  • Creatives
  • History

I Witness History: I of the Storm

400

I Witness History: I, Pillar of Justice

At first, you humans used us rocks for fighting and tool-making. Then I evolved, showing how we can actually mediate your incessant quarrels. In Akkadian cuneiform dictated by Hammurapi, my royal Babylonian collaborator, I formed of my stony flesh not weapons, but words; not tools, but rules.
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  • History

I Witness History: I, Pillar of Justice

400

I Witness History: We, The Syndicate of Troy

We are about a thousand years old when we heard the brazen clash of the Trojan War – muffled by meters of earth above us – but when the Boss pulled us out of the ground in 1873, he made us say we'd been on the battleground. What a joker! The Boss was chasing fame, not truth, and we've been locked up ever since. So here we are to set the record straight, all 9000 of us, in your court of public opinion.
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  • Creatives
  • History

I Witness History: We, The Syndicate of Troy


2021 Calendar: Flavors

2021 Calendar: Flavors

Cooking at home: Many of us are doing more of it than ever. Stories and recipes selected from our own regular “Flavors” section show just how delicious 12 months of discovery can be.
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The Westward Journeys of Buttons

The Westward Journeys of Buttons

We all use them. Most fasten; some decorate. A search for origins points toward the Indus Valley and China. By the Middle Ages, buttons reached Europe along with other garment techniques and fashion influences from lands east. Their stories are as interwoven as the textiles they make possible and as varied as their infinite designs.
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Artists Answer COVID-19

Artists Answer COVID-19

Amid this year’s travel bans, museum and gallery closures, lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing, visual artists are responding with fresh imagery and creative collaborations across new platforms to articulate this moment and carry culture forward into the next.
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The Future’s Golden Fiber

The Future’s Golden Fiber

Jute grows in tropical wetlands worldwide but nowhere as organic and plentiful as the deltas of Bangladesh and India, where its golden-hued fibers are inspiring a new generation of biodegradable products from carpets to car seats, clothing to “bioplastic” grocery bags.
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A League of Their Own

A League of Their Own

In the era when baseball emerged as "America" National Pastime," the sons of Syrian Lebanese immigrants were smitten by the sport too— including a leftie slugger in Port Arthur, Texas, named Bill Anawaty.
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Sitar Master of Maryland

Sitar Master of Maryland

With a lifetime of training from leading sitar virtuosos, Alif Laila is one of few women to achieve international recognition with the mesmerizing instrument whose sound evokes the musical identity of the greater Indian subcontinent. She is as passionate about music as she is about encouraging other women.

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FirstLook: East Coast of Saudi Arabia, Circa 1952–1964

FirstLook: East Coast of Saudi Arabia, Circa 1952–1964

East Coast of Saudi Arabia, Circa 1952–1964
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Flavors: Tamia—Falafel

Flavors: Tamia—Falafel

An easy Sudanese recipe for this great snack or mezze/appetizer that is probably as popular in the West as in the Middle East, where it originated.
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The Dialogues of Don Quixote

The Dialogues of Don Quixote

Amid the fearful turbulence of the 17th century, Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes invented a plot, characters and names that seemed innocently comical, but they cleverly cloaked his insistence that Spain recognize its historical diversity—and Don Quixote became the bestselling novel ever published.

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