Megan Garber

Voyagerix /

The American Lawn: A Eulogy

Grasses—green, neatly trimmed, symbols of civic virtue—shaped the national landscape. They have now outlived their purpose.

Wikimedia Commons

The History of 'Thug'

The surprisingly ancient and global etymology of a racially charged epithet.

David Ryder/Reuters

Seattle Now Has a Pot Vending Machine

The machine is the result not just of changing laws, but of technological progress.

Guinness World Records

The Intense Competition to Be the World's Most Decorated House

This year, winning took 601,736 lights.

Kinza Riza/

Confirmed: The Oldest Known Art in the World Is Proto-Graffiti

The first paintings made by human hands, new research suggests, were outlines of human hands.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

After Uber, San Francisco Has Seen a 65 Percent Decline in Cab Use

It might not be completely the fault of competition, but the city's taxi drivers are making far fewer trips than they were just a few years ago.

Flickr/*suika *

Why the World Smells Different After It Rains

Behold, the wonders of petrichor.

ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock/Robinson Meyer

The Evolution of Slang

For a century and a half, The New York Times has been earnestly—and hilariously—defining the evolving language of cities. 

Alexander Gerst/NASA

Putting Gaza in Focus—From Space

An astronaut aboard the ISS takes a photograph capturing the violence raging on one part of Earth.

Why Are All These Legos Washing Up on the Beach?

A rogue wave and a lot of plastic octopi shed light on the workings of ocean currents.


You Can Now Ride on a Train While Flying on a Plane

British Airways has revealed the Turducken of in-flight entertainment. 


Cable Boxes Use an Absurd Amount of Energy, Even When They're Off

That innocuous little device atop your TV has a surprisingly large carbon footprint. 


Chili's Is Betting You'll Spend More Money If Your Server Is a Screen

The restaurant chain has already installed 45,000 tablet ordering stations nationwide. 


The Real Reason Apple Wants You to Talk to Your House

Apple's foray into "the Internet of Things" is less about the things, and more about the Internet.


A World of Water, Seen From Space

Space agencies across the planet launch the most ambitious plan yet to understand how the world's water works.

The Evolution of the Area Code

Long-distance digits long ago shed their monetary worth, but they gained something else in its place: cultural value.

How California Got Its Dew Back

Watch the "Pineapple Express" make its way from Hawaii to the West Coast.

'Selfies With Homeless People'

Today in selfie sadness: images that treat sleeping humans as architecture.

The Living

Soon to Grace the New York Skyline: Towers Made of Fungus

A cutting-edge building material promises structures that are both sustainable and ... compostable.