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Gravity: From Aristotle to Einstein

Why do objects fall to the ground? “Because of gravity,” you say. But what is gravity? The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said that objects fall because each of the four elements…

Columbus Day and Its Discontents

On October 12, 1492, the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus landed on a small island in the Caribbean, which he named San Salvador (in the modern-day Bahamas) and claimed for Spain (the…

What Happened to Acid Rain?

During the 1970s and ’80s the phenomenon called acid rain was one of the most well-known environmental problems in Europe and North America, appearing frequently in news features and…