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Culture & Traditions

Cultures and Traditions takes a look at how people interact with each other. This might be through sub-cultures, relationships, fads or religion and spirituality.

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What Is Einstein's 'God Letter'?

The famous 1954 letter in which Albert Einstein rejected the concept of God was sold at Christie's auction house for $2.9 million.

The Stories Behind the Electric Slide, the Moonwalk and Other Epic Dance Moves

If the creator of the electric slide had his way, we'd all be sued for doing the dance wrong.

Hispanic or Latino? It’s Complicated

Although many people use the two terms interchangeably, they don't mean the same thing.

Early Scottish Monks Were Gamers

In the search for a lost monastery in Scotland, archaeologists came across an unexpected find – an ancient stone game board.

Jim Roberts and the Cult of the Garbage Eaters

Who is Jim Roberts and the people who fervently follow his doomsday prophecies?

On One Pacific Island, a U.S. Soldier and Prince Philip Are Gods

They're worshipped by 'cargo cults' on the Pacific Island of Tanna. What can their ideals tell us about our own political and social beliefs?

That Fat, Jolly Fella Isn't Buddha

That plump statue of a 'Laughing Buddha,' often seen in Chinese restaurants, has little to do with the ascetic founder of Buddhism. So how did the two get conflated?

Conspiracy Theories and Creationism Depend on the Same Backward Logic

It's oddly comforting and intuitive to think things happen for a reason. And it's something that both creationists and conspiracy theory enthusiasts do.

The Lowdown on High Heels: Men Wore Them First

Love your sexy red-soled Louboutins? Did you know that way before they came along, high heels were worn by men as a sign of power and privilege?

Alone in the Amazon: The Last of His Tribe

A solitary man with a mysterious, but certainly horrific, past goes about his business in the Amazonian jungle. He's the last of his kind.

10 Common Questions About Islam, Answered

Although Muslim-majority countries are often in the news, many people don't know that much about Islam. Here, we answer some often-asked questions about the world's second-largest religion.

Why Do We Scratch Our Heads When We're Thinking?

How did this natural tic become the signal for so many social expressions?

Predictive Programming, or When Movies 'Predict' Real Events

Have you ever felt like a movie or TV show eerily predicted an actual event? There's a name for that.

Alex Jones and InfoWars: Fact or Tinfoil Fiction?

InfoWars publisher Alex Jones has millions of followers. He regularly espouses conspiratorial stories. Are they fact or fiction?

Arlington National Cemetery Is Running Out of Space

The nation's most prominent military burial ground is projected to run out of space as soon as the early 2040s. That may lead to a tightening of restrictions on who is eligible to be interred there.

Tulpas: Thoughts That Can Come Alive

Imaginary friends have nothing on tulpas. These are "entities" people believe will to life in their minds — complete with feelings, thoughts and experiences.

How the Alphabet May Have Destroyed Goddesses

Goddesses once reigned supreme across many cultures. So what happened, and did written language hasten their fall?

Famous Mothers Quiz

Much to the shock of kids everywhere, moms are people too! Take this quiz to test your knowledge of all types of mothers, from record-holders to renowned to notorious.

Millennials Are Making Birthday Cards a Thing Again

Despite the overall slump in greeting card sales, millennials are surprisingly drawn to cards and their low-tech charms.

Dunbar's Got Your Friendship Number

So, you've got 5,000 Facebook friends? Maybe, but not really. There's a quantifiable number of relationships people can successfully maintain, according to evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar.

'What in Sam Hill'? 5 Ways Your Grandma Used to Swear

What in the world did Grandma mean when she used words like "tarnation"?

Is Technology Driving a New Era of Cults?

Bentinho Massaro, aka the Tech Bro Guru, has more than 300,000 followers. But is he preaching the truth or are his believers just being duped?

10 Ways Americans and Europeans Differ

While most generalizations are gross, Americans who have traveled to Europe probably have noticed that certain practices they take for granted are non-existent there. Likewise, Europeans who visit the U.S. are amazed at some habits Americans have.

How New Religions Take Root

What moves a spiritual movement or religious sect to the big time is more predictable than you'd think.

The People of Martha's Vineyard Once Shared a Sign Language

And everyone used it, not just the local deaf community.

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