Closing Time

The Limits of Revivalism

Humans naturally gravitate toward easy chronologies, since it's how our brains work or whatever. So it's logical that after we all secretly teleported back to the vague (and vaguely historical!) era of "pre-Prohibition" to find a fancy booze culture worth restoring and replicating in metropolises across the globe, we would then creep forward in time from those hazy origins of the late eighteen hundreds or early nineteen hundreds, and revivify and adapt what we found next.

But, recently, as we progressed from Jerry Thomas's Improved Whiskey Cocktail through Harry Craddock's Corpse Reviver #2 and Trader Vic's Planter's Punch, we slipped into the hazy era between the fifties and the [...]


People Will Be Singing That Song From From The White Stripes "Elephant" Album Long After Elephants Themselves Are Extinct

The White Stripes' greatest album, Elephant, came out ten years ago this week. You probably know about how the first song, "Seven Nation Army," has become a ubiquitous (and sort of fascistic!) chant in sports stadiums across the country. It is a great song. A "classic" for sure. A better rock song has not been written since. What has happened since is that 62 percent of the world's forest elephants, a distinct species native to central Africa, have been killed for the booming ivory trade in China and Japan. This is one of the more depressing things we can learn from the running Scientific American feature [...]