Here is our giant list of jokes, puns, and riddles for kids. Check out each joke category to find the type of joke, pun, or riddle you are looking for. Also: history, biographies, geography, science, and more.
The New Yorker reviews and shows images from Never Existed New York: plans and renders for megastructures and utopian fantasies that never came to pass. Atlas Obscura rounds up more designs and drawings
"In a stunning discovery, a team of archaeologists in Australia has found extensive remains of a sophisticated human community living 50,000 years ago. The remains were found in a rock shelter in the continent's arid southern interior. Packed with a range of tools, decorative pigments, and animal bones, the shelter is a wide, roomy space located in the Flinders Ranges, which are the ancestral lands of the Adnyamathanha. The find overturns previous hypotheses of how humans colonized Australia, and it also proves that they interacted with now-extinct megafauna that ranged across the continent."
The first American folk song written in English is a list of New England's Annoyances as felt by early Puritan colonists. One historian argues that the song was written in 1643 by Edward Johnson, who also founded the MA town of Woburn and authored the first printed history of New England. Another cover to listen to.
"I didn't go online for a long time because of my fears it'd mostly be a bunch of 15-year old technoid geeks and social outcasts. ☯87DEC" Visit the early days of the Internet with @WWWTEXt which posts online conversations from 1980-94
"Many historians, I fear, still think of ghosts as the province of a small number of specialist ‘historians of the ghostly’, such as Peter Marshall, Sasha Handley and Shane McCorristine. They are prepared to acknowledge that belief in ghosts, like other supernatural beliefs, can be illuminating of the culture of a particular time and place." Yet "Every half decent historian has had this experience: for a moment, the past seems more real than the present, and the absence of the dead an absurdity." Why Historians Need Ghosts, an article by Dr. Francis Young. [more inside]
To celebrate "20 years of preserving the web", the Internet Archive has unveiled GifCities – The Geocities Animated GIF Search Engine. [more inside]
"...the underlying philosophy here is that what is mundane in one local is exotic in another, and underlying the daily events in all of our lives, there is profound truth lurking in the seemingly mundane details of living."
In the early 90s, Lyle Hiroshi Saxon filmed many hours of video documenting scenes and life in Tokyo and other areas in Japan.
1990 / 1991 / 1992 / 1993
In the early 90s, Lyle Hiroshi Saxon filmed many hours of video documenting scenes and life in Tokyo and other areas in Japan.
1990 / 1991 / 1992 / 1993
"A sculpted pair of figures thirty-three feet tall, on a high platform, were striding triumphantly toward the German pavilion. I therefore designed a cubic mass, also elevated on stout pillars, which seemed to be checking this onslaught, while from the cornice of my tower an eagle with the swastika in its claws looked down on the Russian sculptures. I received a gold medal for the building; so did my Soviet colleague." A story of dueling architecture at the Paris International Exposition of 1937.
"Anthropodermic bibliopegy, or books bound in human skin," writes Megan Rosenbloom in Lapham's Quarterly, "are some of the most mysterious and misunderstood books in the world’s libraries and museums. The historical reasons behind their creation vary [...] The best evidence most of these alleged skin books have ever had were rumors and perhaps a pencil-written note inside that said 'bound in human skin'...until now." Anthropodermic biblipegy on Metafilter previously and previously. Warning: links may contain details disturbing for some. [more inside]
We Salted Nannie. A small tale of ghosts and spirits both real and semi-real, and what lies buried in the past.
I hardly ever heard about the Nagô, the Afro-Brazilians, and the Lukumí, the Afro-Cubans, who returned back to West Africa. The idea that the Yorùbá people share one identity is strongly related to the transatlantic experience of the slave trade and the returnees’ influence in the homeland. This story contributes a lot to the classical discussions of what is ‘Original-Yorùbá’ and what a diaspora invention - as not even the word ‘Yorùbá’ is of ‘Yorùbá’ origin itself. I summed up the basic facts.
Peruvian shamanic whistling vessels. Being made out of clay archaeologists first thought these beautiful, ceramic sculptures were water bottles or toys until an amateur anthropologist explored their ritual use. One can just blow into the vessel but when water is added in one of the chambers and the vessel is rocked back and forth the shifting air creates an interesting sound pattern. [more inside]
Frozen Dreams: Russia's Arctic obsession (16 min.) is a Financial Times video feature about Russian Federation preparations to take advantage of the Northern Sea Route opening up along its Arctic coast, which may at some point offer a preferable path for global shipping between the Atlantic region and East Asia, in comparison with the conventional route through the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, and Indian Ocean. [more inside]
A 600-Year-Old Oak Tree Finally Succumbs [The New York Times] “The locals say that George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette — the Frenchman who bankrolled the American patriots with cold, hard cash — picnicked in the shade it provided. Rank-and-file soldiers are said to have rested under it, gathering strength before going on to beat the redcoats. It is a huge oak tree, now estimated to be 600 years old. Arborists such as Rob Gillies consider it one of the oldest in North America. It is a local landmark, right there in the cemetery of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church. On Thursday, Mr. Gillies sliced into it with a chain saw.”
The National Park Service has published LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History in 32 chapters. Each page includes a .pdf link to a much longer exposition on the subject of the chapter. [more inside]
"Harold’s death at Hastings by an arrow to the eye remains one of the most enduring ‘facts’ in English history. But this detail may have been the product of historians writing generations after 1066, and the Bayeux Tapestry, the most famous witness to Harold’s death, may not show the king being shot by an arrow at all." [more inside]
Links to works of American photographer and chronicler of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985). [more inside]
Wunderkammer is a collection of high resolution images from old books in the Hagströmer Medical Library. Some of my favorites are sea anemones, nerve cells, rooster chasing off a monster, 16th Century eye surgery, muscles and bones of the hand and arm, elephant-headed humanoid and cupping. It can also be browsed by tag, broken up into subject (e.g. beast), emotion (e.g. strange), technique (e.g. chromolithography) and era (e.g. 18th Century). Once you've exhausted the pleasures of the Wunderkammer, venture into the Bibliotheca Systema Naturae, with scans from more books in the Hagströmer Medical Library, such as portraits of patients and Goethe's theory of optics.
Tales from India's First War of Independence Eyewitness accounts of survivors of the Mughal family who fled from Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi) after the Revolt of 1857.
Racist Objects The New York Times and the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia are partnering to collect stories of personal encounters with racist objects, like producer Logan Jaffe's grandmother's salt and pepper shakers. [more inside]
Dark Tourism On her great blog, historian Donna Seger discusses the phenomenon of Dark Tourism - a cultural trend responsible for the proliferation of ghost tours, vampire tours, and graveyard tours as well as interest in more historically serious places such as Holocaust sites, Civil War Battlefields, and even contemporary war zones. Also known in academia as thanatourism, its subcategories include fright tourism[PDF], disaster tourism, morbid tourism, and grief tourism. [more inside]
Here are 12 interesting facts about urban nightlife from Peter C. Baldwin’s article for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, which shows how times have greatly changed and, remarkably, how some things have remained the same.
German novelist Norman Ohler has written his first non-fiction work, Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany. Drug abuse permeated all levels of the Third Reich, with Hitler himself, enabled by his personal physician Theodor Morell, being one of the most addicted, primarily to Eukadol (Oxycodone) and cocaine. Ohler also argues methamphetamines made the western Blitzkrieg through the Ardennes possible.
Barack Obama and Doris Kearns Goodwin: The Ultimate Exit Interview [Vanity Fair] As his two-term presidency draws to a close, Barack Obama is looking back—at the legacies of his predecessors, as well as his own—and forward, to the freedom of life after the White House. In a wide-ranging conversation with one of the nation’s foremost presidential historians, he talks about his ambitions, frustrations, and the decisions that still haunt him.
A century in the making, and now completed by Britain’s David Adjaye, the Smithsonian’s gleeful, gleaming upturned pagoda more than holds its own against the sombre Goliaths of America’s monument heartland.Preparations are in full swing for a historic opening on 24th September 2016 when America's first president of African heritage will ring an equally historic bell. Related.
"[P]ockets are more than sexist: they’re political." Chelsea G. Summers reflects on the history of pockets in women's clothing, and how the French Revolution begat a radical change in women's every day carry practices, for Racked.
While the International Court of Justice in The Hague takes up a dispute between Kenya and Somalia over maritime oil and gas reserves this week, Human Rights Watch alleges that Kenya's plan to close the Dadaab refugee camp complex, amidst protest from Somalia, violates the UN's 1951 Refugee Convention, which requires that repatriation of refugees must be voluntary. Earlier this year Kenya's Interior Ministry announced that the camp, covering 50 km² (20 mi²) and home to nearly 300,000 people, would be closed by November. Ground was broken to construct the earliest portions of Dadaab in October 1991 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as a temporary measure to aid Somalis fleeing from their country's civil war, but as the years passed the site became home to refugees from other conflicts and to refugees from drought and famine, at its height holding more than half a million people. [more inside]
The Park Service’s best-known ranger is determined not to let the African-American soldiers fall into obscurity.
We invite you to listen in on a musical gathering that took place in Jamaica in 1688. These three songs, 'Angola', 'Papa' and 'Koromanti', performed at a festival by enslaved African musicians and copied in musical notation by a Mr Baptiste, are the first transcription of African music in the Caribbean, and, indeed, probably in the Americas. Thanks to this remarkable artifact, we can listen to traces of music performed long ago and begin to imagine what it meant for the people who created it.
"It was customary in the European Middle Ages, more precisely in the period of scholasticism which extended into early modern times, to designate the more celebrated among the doctors of theology and law by epithets or surnames which were supposed to express their characteristic excellence or dignity. The following list exhibits the principal surnames with the dates of death."
"Rushed into battle by desperate generals with barely any testing, its debut was a messy experiment with questionable results. A select group of young men were the first to feel its terrible influence and have their lives changed by it." The Tank (Specifically, the British Mark I) made its battlefield debut 100 years ago this month.
In Montgomery, Alabama, where dozens of markers commemorate the history of confederacy... We plan to build a national memorial to the victims of lynching The Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based racial justice group, announced that it will build the first-ever national memorial to lynching victims in Montgomery, Alabama. [more inside]
I am writing this to inform you that I shall not comply with your requirement to remove this picture.
From deities to data - "For thousands of years humans believed that authority came from the gods. Then, during the modern era, humanism gradually shifted authority from deities to people... Now, a fresh shift is taking place. Just as divine authority was legitimised by religious mythologies, and human authority was legitimised by humanist ideologies, so high-tech gurus and Silicon Valley prophets are creating a new universal narrative that legitimises the authority of algorithms and Big Data." [more inside]
Take a trip down memory lane to the hippest internet café of 1995 (SLYT).
“These people performed a critique of a brutal capitalistic enslavement system, and they rejected it completely. They risked everything to live in a more just and equitable way, and they were successful for ten generations."The Great Dismal Swamp straddles the Virginia-North Carolina border. From the 1600s to about the American Civil War it was a place of refuge, largely for escaped African and African-American slaves, and an important link in the underground railway. [more inside]
The premise of Jack Hamilton’s deep new study Just Around Midnight: Rock and Roll and the Racial Imagination seems like something that’s been on rock history’s tongue for a long time without ever quite leaving it. Chuck Berry, a black man with a guitar, had been a rock and roll archetype in 1960, but by the end of the decade Jimi Hendrix would be seen as rock’s odd man out for being... a black man with a guitar. How did that occur? "Tracing the Rock and Roll Race Problem" an interview in Pitchfork.
How did Southeast Asian identities originate? The legacy of the 19th century continues to shape us more than we think 'We also wanted to show how many of the things that we may accept and take as ‘normal’ and ever-present in our part of the world were, in fact, fairly recent innovations introduced to Southeast Asia during the colonial era'. Political scientist and historian Dr Farish Noor hosts a three-part series examining the legacy Western colonialism has left upon a region now known as Southeast Asia. The first episode, 'Conquerors & Merchants', is now available for viewing online. [more inside]
From E.T. to Stranger Things, an Oral History of Kids Cursing On Screen What made 80s movies so accepting of children swearing? What does it say about character construction and realism? And why is it no longer accepted today? "As long as you stick together and save the day, if you say ‘shit’ a couple of times, it’s probably not the worst thing in the world, you know?”
The Secret Nazi Attempt to Breed the Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts. [Longreads] The bestselling author of ‘The Eighty Dollar Champion’ describes the Nazis’ secret stud farm, where dubious visionaries imagined a breed of perfect (and perfectly white) horse. [more inside]
"Whatever [the ingredients] taste like together is not particularly relevant." Terry Gross interviews married culinary historians Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe on the culinary history of the Great Depression and their new book 'A Square Meal' (37:00 audio, transcribed sections)
The Legend of the Choco Taco [Eater] “For just about everyone other than the French inventor of the Cronut, the Choco Taco [wiki] is the stuff of nostalgic summer sweet tooth obsession — the most beloved and innovative of all the American ice cream "novelties." Its acolytes are legion. Restaurant pastry chefs and boutique scoop shop owners regularly pay homage.”
I found this after giving my 9-year-old daughter the apparently incorrect version of the story. ”However it really came about, we can be pretty sure that it’s bugger all to do with medieval archers.”
Mapping the Mercantilist World Economy Our current globalized capitalist world economy was built on Mercantilist foundations, put in place in the first phase of global European expansion, the second phase being that of the formal European empires of the industrial age. In the case of the “New World” in the Americas, Europe’s Mercantilists were creating entirely new trade networks and hinterlands. In the Old World of Afro-Eurasia however, Europe was rearranging the existing, much older, world economy it had been part of since the Middle Ages. I wanted to illustrate this first phase of global capitalism with thematic maps.
If Locke is viewed ... as an advocate of expropriation and enslavement, what are the implications for classical liberalism and libertarianism? The most important is that there is no justification for treating property rights as fundamental human rights, on par with personal liberty and freedom of speech.In an essay in Jacobin entitled John Locke Against Freedom, Australian economist John Quiggin argues that Locke's "classical liberalism offers no guarantee of freedom to anyone except owners of capitalist private property." [more inside]