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Il Capo

Work-hardened hands conduct the grand techno-opera of extracting massive marble blocks at an Italian quarry The post Il Capo appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Why on earth would we sacrifice our lives for lasting fame?

Glaucus was no coward. He had killed four men, and that was no easy matter when they were charging at him through the dust and din, waving sharp swords and screaming.

Whale Fall (After Life of a Whale)

The lifespan of a whale is 50-75 years. Its afterlife can be just as long and equally spectacular The post Whale Fall (After Life of a Whale) appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Island-mindedness has no place in a cosmopolitan age

An island was born on 14 November 1963. In a luminous memory from my childhood, my father has the newspaper spread over our yellow breakfast table in suburban Melbourne and announces this curious fact.

Time to clean all the junk science out of our courtrooms

In 1992, Juan Rivera was arrested for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in Waukegan, Illinois.

An Amish Man

A rare, nuanced glimpse into modern Amish life shows deep faith, simplicity and, increasingly, compromise The post An Amish Man appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

The Last Days of Peter Bergmann

In 2009, a man calling himself Peter Bergmann arrived in an Irish town with a plan to disappear forever The post The Last Days of Peter Bergmann appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Even a careful legal plan cannot safeguard the manner of your dying

Antibiotics, defibrillators, feeding tubes and ventilators are lifesaving tools that sometimes become weapons to prolong life against our will.

Pygmy Seahorses: Masters of Camouflage

Pygmy seahorses are miniature marvels, so tiny that they can survive only by disappearing into the world around them The post Pygmy Seahorses: Masters of Camouflage appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

How Egyptology can help us to future-proof our culture

Consider the New Kingdom Egyptian. He can be forgiven for thinking his state sits at creation’s centre, a kernel of order anchoring the known world.

One Year Lease

When your meddling New York landlady lives upstairs be prepared for some very strange voicemails The post One Year Lease appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

How the Victorians invented the future for us

Before the beginning of the 19th century, the future was only rarely portrayed as a very different place from the present.

Six Photographs: René Burri

Photographer René Burri reflects on a career of turning evanescent moments into indelible artifacts The post Six Photographs: René Burri appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

What are the risks of overtreating the many to help the few?

Most health-conscious people are familiar with the concept of risk factors for disease. We’re too familiar, in fact.

Copper: Acid and Dust

In northern India, a changing economy forces former farmers to harvest a different crop: copper from circuit boards The post Copper: Acid and Dust appeared first on Aeon Magazine.


Catalonia’s extraordinary human towers are ephemeral monuments to human strength, co-operation and tradition The post Casteller appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Why the traditonal wedding isn’t as traditional as it seems

Colleen, an associate director at a large pharmaceutical company, daydreamed about getting married on a beach.


‘If you can do puberty, you can do old age’: a briskly compelling perspective from the 90-year-old athlete Leonard Creo The post Creo appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

The evidence is in: there is no language instinct

Imagine you’re a traveller in a strange land. A local approaches you and starts jabbering away in an unfamiliar language.

Have we stopped making progress in science and technology?

We live in a golden age of technological, medical, scientific and social progress. Look at our computers!