Could a Tattoo Cure What Ails You?

Medicine Is an Art. Art, Too, Can Be Medicine

Tattoos and medicine may seem an unlikely pairing, but medical tattoos are nothing new. Religious tattoos of ancient Egyptians honored the gods and, possibly, directed divine healing to ailing body parts. Circa 150 CE, Galen, a Greek physician working in the Roman Empire, tattooed pigment onto patients’ corneas to reduce glare and improve their eyesight. In the past century, more and more people have tattooed their medical histories, such as blood type, hereditary conditions, and even medical requests such as “do not resuscitate,” on their wrists and chests. Modern doctors …

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Are Comedians America’s Great Public Intellectuals? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Are Comedians America’s Great Public Intellectuals?

Clowns Have Always Served as the Conscience of the Nation—At Their Peril and Maybe Ours, Too

One of Shakespeare’s conceits is the wisdom of clowns. From Feste in Twelfth Night to the Fool in King Lear, they speak truth to power, but tell it slant and …

American Comedians Are Finally Getting Afghanistan Right | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

American Comedians Are Finally Getting Afghanistan Right

After Two Decades of Anti-Muslim Jokes and a Disastrous War, Humor Is Succeeding Where Politics Has Failed

A joke can be the best way to present real-life issues. Comedians can poke fun at the absurdity of the human condition, even take on topics that feel taboo—like America’s …

Queen Elizabeth II Knew the Virtues of Being Vanilla | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Queen Elizabeth II Knew the Virtues of Being Vanilla

Not Offering an Opinion Was Key to the Monarch’s Success—A Strategy Her Son Would Do Well to Embrace

If the British monarchy is to survive, it needs someone who is as bland as Queen Elizabeth II.

You would look in vain for any controversial statements made by the queen …

Going Back to Blair Mountain | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Going Back to Blair Mountain

The Largest Armed Labor Uprising in American History Is Finally Getting the Remembrance It Deserves

For most people, the memory of the largest armed labor uprising in American history is unknown, buried beneath the dirt of West Virginia’s Blair Mountain alongside bullet casings and relics …