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Dolls have been a part of human play for thousands

Gillian Anderson as Nora with Christopher Ecceleston, Warehouse, London, 2009 | © Geraint Lewis/REX/Shutterstock

Leonardo Da Vinci wrote extensively about automatons, and his personal notebooks are littered with ideas for mechanical creations ranging from a hydraulic water clock to a robotic lion. Perhaps most extraordinary of all is his plan for an artificial in the form of an armored Germanic knight. According to Da Vinci’s sketches of the key components, the knight was to be powered by an external mechanical crank and use cables and pulleys to sit, stand, turn its head, cross its arms and even lift up its metal v

Humans have been telling stories for thousands of years, sharing them orally even before the invention of writing. In one way or another, of people’s lives are spent telling stories—often about other people. In her paper “Gossip in Evolutionary Perspective,” evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar stories’ direct relevance to humans: Social topics—especially gossip—account for 65 percent of all human conversations in public places.What’s the most efficient path to kitchen wisdom?

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