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Side profile of young man looking out a window

American Experience: Freedom Riders

In 1961, a diverse group of activists rode interstate buses to several southern cities, violating laws that did not allow African Americans to sit at the front of the bus or alongside white riders. This simple act sparked violent responses that drew attention to the civil rights cause. Explore the route and hear the voices of the Freedom Riders through this interactive site.

MRI Brain Scan

Brain Scans of Hoarders Reveal Why They Never De-Clutter

Would you have trouble parting with your favorite things? A hoarder is a person who collects items and can’t discard any of them. Often, the homes of hoarders are completely full, with only enough room left to walk from room to room. A new study using brain scans helps shed light on why people behave this way.

Digital illustration of the human head and brain; different kinds of waveforms produced by brain activity shown on background

This Is Your Brain on Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s writing style can be challenging to read. Not only did he write four centuries ago, but he also played with language, coining new words, rearranging syntax, and using words as different parts of speech. Now, researchers have discovered that this last feature—using a noun like child as a verb instead, for example—excites the human brain because it is so unexpected.

Craftsman making a rope rug or wall hanging

The ‘maker movement’ creates D.I.Y. revolution

In recent years, increasing amounts of screen time have contributed to a growing sense of disconnection with the physical world—hence, the birth of the “maker movement,” or a return to hands-on creation. Read about how “makerspaces” are attracting people with different interests who all want to create things they can hold on to.