Today Slate launches a new series on the evolution of everyday design. We open the series with the key, explaining the history and development of those tiny slabs of metal that let us into our homes. Metal keys are ubiquitous today—and have been for centuries—but they are an endangered species as the world becomes increasingly electronic. In coming weeks we’ll tackle the phone, the fork, the paper clip—offering mesmerizing histories of the objects we take for granted each day.
Here’s where you come in: We want Slate readers to tell us which objects in their lives seem most mysterious and fascinating. Should we consider the flashlight? The eggbeater? The baseball cap? Please send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Democrats’ War at Home
How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?
Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best
Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke
A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking
Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10
Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.
How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.
You Deserve a Pre-cation
The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.