Why We Say "OK"

How a cheesy joke from the 1830s became one of the most widely spoken words in the world.
The tattooist Professor Thomas, who inked sailors, the “elderly, and well-to-do merchants and ladies in silk attire,” in an 1889 illustration from Harper’s Weekly.

Tattooing in the Civil War Was a Hedge Against Anonymous Death

Hidden tattoos captured soldiers' pride and patriotism, but also had a practical use.
A portrait of Rudyard Kipling (1936).

Reconsidering Rudyard Kipling

Was the author and poet best known for 'The Jungle Book' and 'Kim' truly a racist imperialist?
Rolling Stone magazine covers.

“It Was Us Against Those Guys”: The Women Who Transformed Rolling Stone in the Mid-70s

How one 28-year-old feminist bluffed her way into running a copy department and made rock journalism a legitimate endeavor.
A Bikini Body SOS workout class at London's St Pancras station (2009).

As Swimsuit Season Ends, Pursuit of the ‘Bikini Body’ Endures

The "bikini body" is out. But the pressure to maintain the ideal female physique lives on.
Sausages are served at a picnic at the Greve Cemetery in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

Remembering When Americans Picnicked in Cemeteries

For a time, eating and relaxing among the dead was a national pastime.
“Mermaid Club, Philadelphia” members in bathing suits, c. 1915-1920.

Women’s Liberation, Beauty Contests, and the 1920s: Swimsuit Edition

The swimsuit that's controversial now for its sexist overtones was once controversial for its suggestions of women’s liberation.
Wellness + Beauty stand on display at the In goop Health Summit at 3Labs on June 9, 2018 in Culver City, California.

The Late Capitalist Physique

How the perfect body became came to be a fetishized commodity.
Models dance on a runway on September 13, 2005.

American Women's Obsession With Being Thin Began With This 'Scientist'

Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich were hooked on his diet.
A patient uses an exercise machine at the Zander Institute in Stockholm.

The Origins of Cybex Space

Cybex fitness equipment fills gyms around the world. Where did it come from?
Harkness Tower, Yale University (2011).

Have Elite US Colleges Lost Their Moral Purpose Altogether?

The ethical formation of citizens was once at the heart of the US elite college. Has this moral purpose gone altogether?
Google co-founders Larry Page (L) and Sergey Brin (R) rest on bean bags at Google's headquarters on Nov. 11, 2000, in Mountain View, Calif.

“Google Was Not a Normal Place”

A behind-the-scenes account of the most important company on the Internet, from grad-school all-nighters to extraordinary global power.