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Volume XIII, Number 2 | spring 2020


After being tortured, an Athenian named Herostratus confessed to having set fire to the Temple of Artemis during the fourth century bc in order to attain long-lasting fame. Ephesian officials executed Herostratus and ordered his name removed from public record and never to be uttered again. Despite these injunctions—known as damnatio memoriae—Herostratus’ name appeared in the writings of Strabo and Theopompus.

Ridicule often checks what is absurd, and fully as often smothers that which is noble.

—Walter Scott, 1823

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A telescopic image of the formalhault solar system. A bright dot is surrounded by a cloud of smaller red dots. An inset shows a close-up of what looks like a planet, labeled Formalhault b.


Space Oddities


Exoplanet revealed to be nothing but a large cloud of dust.


Supposed irrigation canals on Mars are merely optical illusions.


The World in Time

Edward Achorn

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of Every Drop of Blood: The Momentous Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln. More

Lapham's Daily

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