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Almanac

Phil Edwards explains the world through its footnotes. Read more below or watch Almanac on Vox's YouTube channel.

What "Ouija" actually means, and how the game has changed

Soccer and America haven’t mixed. Why?
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Why Americans suck at soccer (well, the men)

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Why so many sitcoms look the same

Have donut holes gotten smaller? This compelling vintage chart says yes.

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How audio mixers make sports sound great on TV

Column leaves are there for a reason.
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Why old buildings use the same leaf design on columns

The real story behind St. Patrick's Day's green beer

The bloody origins of Britain's St. Patrick's Day shamrock tradition

Dazzle camouflage was unusual — and effective.
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Why ships used fantastically weird camouflage in World War I

The Lincoln Memorial could have been a pyramid. See all the forgotten proposals.

The Lincoln Memorial
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Why the Lincoln Memorial was almost never built

Suzy Jackson explains her process.
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An audiobook narrator explains her process

Glorious Technicolor was much more than groundbreaking movie technology
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How Technicolor changed movies

Nutshells of Death
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The dollhouses of death that changed forensic science

Bodies of water, explained
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39 water terms, mapped

She's holding a knife for a reason. If you ever — ever — threaten those countertops, you'll find out why.
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How granite countertops became an American obsession

An open office
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The origins of our open office hellscape

Exploding Kittens can explain crowdfunding
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Crowdfunding, explained by Exploding Kittens

QWERTY conquered keyboards.
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How QWERTY conquered keyboards

The great American fallout shelter
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The rise and fall of the American fallout shelter

American Gothic is famous. But why?
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How “American Gothic” became an icon

Pat Hines created this work in MS Paint. Here’s how.
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How an MS Paint artist made this picture

3 photos that will make you extra grateful for air conditioning

Parker Bohn III, on the lanes.
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The hidden oil patterns on bowling lanes

Happy Juneteenth, our annual celebration of the end of slavery

The graduation song is familiar for a reason.
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Why every graduation plays the same song

How one woman's obsession made Mother's Day last

Common Threads, a Philadelphia mural by Meg Saligman
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Why Philadelphia has thousands of murals

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This video explains why knights in medieval art fought snails

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Oxford commas are right. Here's who invented them.

6 myths about the Ides of March and killing Caesar

Kory Stamper writes dictionaries.
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Watch how a dictionary writer defines English

Futura changed everything
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Futura: the font that escaped the Nazis and landed on the moon

Minecraft art from Blockworks and Beautiful Minecraft
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Minecraft isn’t just a game. It’s an art form.

Punxsutawney Phil: incompetent — or evil?

Sport stacking is mesmerizing to watch.
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The incredible sport of cup stacking, explained

7 things you never knew about being a sports camera operator

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Watch: how the screens inside movies build fictional worlds

lady shopping grocery
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The hidden war over grocery shelf space

How streets, roads, and avenues are different.
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How streets, roads, and avenues are different

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