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Culture

Essays and videos on the arts, literature, travel, rituals and celebrations
Colourful illustration of the Mad Hatter holding a clock showing 13 o’clock. His eyes are spirals. The background is filled with small images of the same character.
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essay

Consciousness and altered states

Acid media

How perforated squares of trippy blotter paper allowed outlaw chemists and wizard-alchemists to dose the world with LSD

Erik Davis

A young girl in a helmet and with a skateboard stands in a skatepark. Behind her is a hand-drawn reclining figure.
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video

Subcultures

Drop into London’s eclectic skate scene, where newbies and old-timers find community

5 minutes

Blended images of a historical figure in traditional attire and two women with on-screen text: “POV you in September…” and “Bestie… manifesting will come in 30 minutes.”
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essay

Subcultures

Of memes and magick

Bending a mysterious world to your will was the goal of esoteric practices. Now it’s the unashamed aim of the tech titans

Tara Isabella Burton

A group of men in formal attire sit at a long table, eating from bowls in a patterned room with numerous empty wine glasses.
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video

Food and drink

Is a ‘gastronomic society’ dinner the height of decadence, or an act of artistry?

11 minutes

Person climbing a tall tree using a rope, viewed from the base looking upwards into the canopy of green leaves.
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video

The environment

Tree-sit with activists as they fight industrial logging from 100 feet above the ground

25 minutes

Man lying on an orange sofa reading a document with a yellow notepad, faces partially obscured background.
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video

Language and linguistics

A master palindromist spells out his 40-year ‘love affair with reversibility’

6 minutes

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Archaeology

From Roman pots to glass eyes, the shore of the river Thames teems with surprises

8 minutes

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Subcultures

The cast of ‘misfit toys’ who keep life on an idyllic tourist island afloat

7 minutes

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essay

Subcultures

The utopian machine

For children like me, growing up in an utopian community, life was a bewildering chaos of freedom and indoctrination

Susanna Crossman

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essay

Subcultures

Life in the buff

Naturists believed nudity was profoundly beneficial to society. In order to spread the message, they took to photography

Annebella Pollen

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video

Sports and games

Bodies, bikes and groovy music propel this stylish classic film from 1965

17 minutes

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video

Subcultures

Living off-grid on a remote Scottish island is a mix of rejection and acceptance

13 minutes

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essay

Subcultures

The great regression

To understand why so many adults are acting just like children, don’t blame Millennials – look to Japan in the 1990s

Matt Alt

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video

Subcultures

Bad puns, regrettable costumes, and other joys of collecting kitschy album art

13 minutes

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essay

Subcultures

The dropout: a history

The dropout was not just a hippy-trippy hedonist but a paranoid soul, who feared brainwashing and societal control

Charlie Williams

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video

Nature and landscape

An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty

16 minutes

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video

Subcultures

What do tropical fish make of the strange creatures who love them so?

14 minutes

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Pleasure and pain

Apocalypse, please

The COVID-19 pandemic, like other catastrophes before it, got some of us hooked on phobic energy and terror. Why?

Travis Alexander

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video

Public health

When two punk bands came to a psychiatric hospital, beautiful chaos ensued

27 minutes

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video

Human rights and justice

The buzzes, clanks and whirrs of prison life form a meditation on freedom

17 minutes

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video

The environment

A climate activist living off-grid faces her toughest challenge yet – a new primary school

21 minutes

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video

Wellbeing

The controversial New Age guru who believed self-love healed all – even AIDS

18 minutes

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video

Archaeology

New York’s 300-year-old trash becomes treasure in the hands of an urban archaeologist

23 minutes

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essay

History

Rich witches

How a flawed logic of economic scarcity and social climbing spurred witch hunts in early modern Germany

Johannes Dillinger