slavery

The Harriet Tubman Story

Harriet Tubman is a legendary figure in history, but the details of her life are even more remarkable than what you may have learned in school. Listen in today as Josh and Chuck pay tribute to a true icon of African-American history.

The Gettysburg Address: Short and Sweet

The Gettysburg Address is one of the most famous speeches in political history, despite only being a few hundred words long. What was so special about this commemoration? We'll give you the skinny right here and now.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Some interesting articles on treasure hunting, true crime and nuclear winter, among others.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Each week, Josh and Chuck read tons of articles, many of which are really good. Here are the best of the bunch.

Sugar: It Powers the Earth

Since sugar spread from Polynesia a few thousand years ago, the world has been crazy for it. Insanely high prices, wars and even slavery couldn't undo world's need for a sugar fix. Today that fix is responsible for the obesity epidemic facing the West.

Cake Walk: The strange origin of an unwittingly prejudiced term

Surely you've heard the term cake walk, used to describe some sort of challenge or task that is reckoned to be pitifully easy. Surely you have, please, please don't lie. That figurative definition has been around since the early 19th century, as long as the literal one; in fact it appeared in print first. But did you know that the term is actually pretty racist? I'll bet you didn't. Nor did I until I looked into the origin of the term and found it has roots in the Antebellum South of the early 19th century.

So you may have heard about the Supreme Court's recent decision to reverse longstanding limitations that banned corporations from directly contributing financially in elections. It's kind of a big deal. As reported in the Washington Post, for a few decades now, corporations have been limited to contributing to political action committees, which have set limits of $5,000 per calendar year, and kept corporations away from contributing to a candidate directly. Of course, there are always loopholes: Corporations have a way of strongly suggesting to its rising stars that contributing to a certain campaign would probably be good for the old career. Maybe even those employees' bonuses later in the year will reflect an additional amount of the same sum they contributed. So you've got a few execs writing $5,000 checks to a Political Action Committee. It's disingenuous, but tolerable. The limits for individual campaigns are even narrower: $2,400 per candidate, per election.