Laughter Really Is Medicine for the Mind and Body

Whether in the form of a discreet titter or a full-on roar, laughter comes with many benefits for physical and mental health. Introduction Amusement and pleasant surprises – and the laughter they can trigger – add texture to the fabric of daily life. Those giggles and guffaws can seem like just silly throwaways. But laughter,[…]

The Complicated Origin of the Expression ‘Peanut Gallery’

Remember the ‘peanut gallery’ from ‘Howdy Doody’? That term, like many others we commonly use, has surprisingly controversial origins. “No comments from the peanut gallery!” For many Americans who were born in the 1940s or 1950s, this phrase conjures up fond memories of the “Howdy Doody” show. It launched in 1947 as one of the first children’s television[…]

The Lavish Roman Banquet: A Calculated Display Of Debauchery And Power

The banquet of a noble Roman in ancient Rome was a crucial power tool — a way of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. The Roman banquet may well have been the original staging ground of gastronomic excess — think platters of peacock tongue and fried dormice, chased down with liters of wine[…]

Faces of the Roman Empire: From Augustus to Domitian

Examining a series of facial reconstructions of early Roman emperors from the Julio-Claudian dynasty to the Flavian dynasty. By Arienne King Introduction From the peaceful reign of Augustus (27 BCE – 14 CE), Rome’s first emperor, to the chaotic Year of the Five Emperors (69 CE), which culminated in the rise of the Flavian Dynasty, these were Rome’s[…]