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 Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore
And schools are getting worried.
Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War
Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough
So they added a little self-immolation.
Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem
Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology.