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How the Cold War Arms Race Fueled a Sprint to the Moon
After the Soviet Union sent the first human safely into orbit, the U.S. government doubled down on its effort to win the race to the moon.
Shamed by Sex, Survivors of the Purity Movement Confront the Past
A “purity” movement in the 90s led by evangelical Christians promoted a strict view of abstinence before marriage. Today, followers are grappling with unforeseen aftershocks.
American Samoa Dodged a Pandemic in 1918. Here’s What We Learned.
Two territories, two wildly different outcomes as a pandemic terrorized the world.
Coronavirus Has a Playlist. Songs About Disease Go Way Back.
Coronavirus songwriting has gone as global as the pandemic itself, creating a new genre called pandemic pop. It’s a tradition with a long history.
Meatless Burgers Are on Trend. Eating to Save the World Has a Long History.
Plant-based meats may be high tech, but the ideas behind them have been around for decades.
How Oscar Speeches Became So Political
Oscar night, long a showcase for Hollywood glamour, has also become a platform for film stars to pitch a rainbow of political causes.
Political Memes: The Rise of the Political Meme in Politics Today
Political memes are being deployed to share opinions, similar to how editorial cartoons were used in the past – but with one important difference.
From Napster to Netflix: The History and Impact of Streaming Services
After Napster, many consumers got used to entertainment on demand. There was no turning back.
The Misunderstood McDonald's Hot Coffee Lawsuit
Stella Liebeck was vilified when she was awarded millions after spilling McDonald’s coffee in her lap. Her complaint sounded frivolous. But the facts told another story.
The Surprising Legacy of the Boy in the Bubble
Newborns today are tested for genetic and immune disorders that might not be apparent at birth. The tests evolved from the treatment of a patient with a rare diagnosis who became known as “the Boy in the Bubble.”
LSD Gets Another Look
LSD has long been associated with 1960s counterculture. Today, psychedelic drugs are back in the lab, providing hope for people who suffer from anxiety, depression and addiction.
The Modern Bystander Effect
Why don’t people intervene when they encounter violence streaming live online?
Tabletop to Tablet: Using Dungeons & Dragons to Combat Screen Addiction
The role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, once at the center of a moral panic, is now seen as a counterbalance to the problem of screen addiction.
Future of Aging
Across the globe, more and more people are living longer lives and that’s redefining what it means to be over 65, and what the future might mean for retirement.
Future of Gaming
As gaming becomes the dominant form of entertainment this century, game developers increasingly track player behavior to tailor experiences that will keep people playing longer and spending more money.
A Trusted Pill Turned Deadly. How Tylenol Made a Comeback
How do some companies regain public trust after something goes seriously wrong, while others fail? A look at how Tylenol responded after someone spiked its pills with poison in the 1980s sheds some light.
Conspiracy Theories and Fake News from JFK to Pizzagate
Retro Report explores decades of conspiracy theories – from the John F. Kennedy assassination to Pizzagate – and what they can tell us about how we view the world today.
Did you know, the origins of the Pilates workout stem from WWI? Learn more about the fitness regimen Joseph Pilates developed in a British internment camp in this collaboration with PBS, American Experience.
Activating a Generation: From Live Aid to the Ice Bucket Challenge
Thirty years after “Live Aid” changed the face of charity fundraising, clicktivism has taken center stage. If you share, re-tweet and like, are you making the world a better place?
The Outrage Machine
In the digital age, where everyday people can suddenly become public enemy number one, how do we strike the balance between keeping free speech alive online and preventing a cyber mob from taking over?
LSD and Cats
The early science of hallucinogens in the 1950s and ’60s was “kind of a Wild West free-for-all.” For more info on the science of spiders and drugs, visit www.drpeterwitt.com.
Growing up Gygax - The Son of D&D's Creator
Dungeons and Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax’s son explains what life was like in a household where D&D took center stage.
Junot Díaz and the D&D Revolution
Why Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Junot Díaz says playing Dungeons and Dragons was a revolution.
Bliss Point: How Food Companies Make Us Crave Their Products
How did food companies get us to crave their products? They discovered the “bliss point.”
Being in the Bubble
The curious origin of a political metaphor.
Free Speech VS Censorship: Warnings From Explicit Lyrics to Trigger Warnings
Offended by lyrics they deemed too sexual and violent, Tipper Gore and Susan Baker campaigned to put warning labels on albums in 1985. Years later, warning labels have ended up in some unexpected places.
When Politicians Blame Bad Behavior on Pop Culture
Every so often, Congress holds a hearing on the perils of pop culture. The “peril” has evolved from comic books, to rock and hip hop music, to violence in video games, but the proceedings follow a script.
Legendary Cartoonist Al Jaffee Recalls Comic Book Censorship
Cartoonist Al Jaffee has been causing mischief at MAD Magazine for decades and at 94-years-old, he’s as irreverent as ever. A new series of Retro Report short docs produced for Facebook.
Why Pinball Was Banned for Decades
Pinball was illegal? Really?
Is Multiple Personality Disorder Real? One Woman's Story
In the 1970s, the TV movie “Sybil” introduced much of the nation to multiple personality disorder and launched a controversy that continues to resonate.
How Prozac Turned Depression Medication into a Cultural Phenomenon
When Prozac was introduced in 1988, the green-and-cream pill to treat depression launched a cultural revolution that continues to echo.