A Brief History of the United States Senate

The U.S. Senate was designed to be a more deliberative body than the U.S. House. Introduction The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislative branch of the federal government of the United States. Like its counterpart, the[…]

Dealing with ‘the Devil’ in Medieval and Early Modern European Medicine

During the devil’s last apogee in early modern Europe, demonic afflictions were taken seriously by both priests and physicians. Thirty children in Amsterdam began to show signs of a disturbing affliction in the winter of 1566. The symptoms would strike without warning: the children would at first be seized by a violent frenzy, then fall[…]

Indelible Ink: The Deep History of Tattoo Removal

While contemporary laser removal techniques are only around forty years old, efforts to erase or rewrite tattoos are much, much older. In 1681, after several months of raids on Spanish settlements, a group of English pirates traipsed across Panama on their way to the Atlantic. An accident involving gunpowder had left the buccaneers’ surgeon, Lionel Wafer,[…]

Ancient Tonga Tattoo Tools May Illustrate Birth of Polynesian Body Art

The tools, called “bone combs,” resemble hair combs with their grooved edges. By Amy Held Tattooing goes back millennia and spans cultures, as evidenced by mummified remains, yet many details of the body modification’s origins have been shrouded in mystery. Now an ancient bone tattoo kit from the Pacific island nation of Tonga is providing researchers[…]