Remember the Samaritans from Sunday School? They’re still around

The Book of Luke relates one of the most famous parables of Jesus, the story of the good Samaritan. In this tale, a man is beaten and left alongside a road, only to be ignored by a Levite and Jewish priest, both prestigious members of contemporary Jewish society. Only a Samaritan, an ethnoreligious minority frowned upon by most Jews at the time, was willing to … Continue reading Remember the Samaritans from Sunday School? They’re still around

Why didn’t Benjamin Franklin write the Declaration of Independence?

When the Continental Congress assembled the Committee of Five to draft the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin was a perfect candidate to draft the historic document. Franklin was likely the most famous American in 1776. His aptitude across a range of varied pursuits — scientific, literary, and otherwise — granted him a caliber of respect unmatched by his colonial contemporaries. The Franklin stove, bifocals, lightning … Continue reading Why didn’t Benjamin Franklin write the Declaration of Independence?

Wyoming and women’s suffrage: How the Equality State earned its name

Even most Americans would struggle to pinpoint Wyoming on a U.S. map. The least-populous, and second-least densely populated, of the United States is a perennial afterthought in discussions of the American union. Wyoming has much to offer outside observers, however. In addition to Yellowstone National Park, which lies mostly within the state’s boundaries, Wyoming’s greatest claim to fame is that it was the first political … Continue reading Wyoming and women’s suffrage: How the Equality State earned its name

Sharks can reproduce asexually

In a process called parthenogenesis, many species reproduce asexually. This characteristic, also observed in species such as frogs, rattlesnakes, and birds, can be found in sharks. Typically, asexual reproduction in female sharks occurs when the female shark has had no contact with male sharks. The resulting litters are much smaller than what is ordinarily seen among sharks. Whereas ordinary litters of shark pups can exceed … Continue reading Sharks can reproduce asexually