Black Codes

Black codes were restrictive laws designed to limit the freedom of African Americans and ensure their availability as a cheap labor force after slavery was abolished during the Civil War. Though the Union victory had given some 4 million slaves their freedom, the question of freed blacks’ status in the postwar South was still very much unresolved. Under black codes, many states required blacks to sign yearly labor contracts; if they refused, they risked being arrested, fined and forced into unpaid labor. Outrage over black codes helped undermine support for President Andrew Johnson and the Republican Party. Continue reading Black Codes

NASA’s ‘smell of space’ is available as a perfume

One thing most of us Earthlings may not realize is that outer space smells. Thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, so can you. Over a decade ago, NASA chemists developed a scent that mimics the “smell of space” in order to give astronauts a whiff of the cosmos before they left Earth’s atmosphere. Now, the company Eau de Space has gotten its hands on that scent, and you can order a bottle (or ten) through its Kickstarter. Continue reading NASA’s ‘smell of space’ is available as a perfume