4411 posts tagged with History.
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The symbolic value of rock is conflict-based:

Which Rock Star Will Historians of the Future Remember? by Chuck Klosterman [The New York Times] The most important musical form of the 20th century will be nearly forgotten one day. People will probably learn about the genre through one figure — so who might that be? [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 23, 2016 - 173 comments

A/C: the problem began with paper, but the solution changed the world

The problem began with paper. Humidity wreaked havoc with the color register of fine, multicolor printing. Ink, applied one color at a time, would misalign with the expansion and contraction of the paper stock. A solution was designed in 1902 and patented in 1906 (as an Apparatus for Treating Air), starting the "air conditioning" industry, though it would be decades before air conditioning changed the American landscape and beyond, making hot, muggy climates more livable around the world. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 22, 2016 - 91 comments

Tonight I've watched / The moon and then / the Pleiades / go down...

Astronomers crack the secret of this gorgeous poem by Sappho
posted by brundlefly on May 21, 2016 - 25 comments

Apologies to the hammock, the "old mother" who embraces and comforts

Chris Columbus "discovered" the hammock just as he "discovered" the Americas, being the first European to kick off the flood of "new world" explorers, a number of whom commented on the hanging woven net beds they saw. They brought the design back to Europe, as they took cotton, canvas and other cloths to the Americas, where they were quickly adopted by sailors and navies, with some innovative designs. Today there are a myriad of variations (slideshow) on the simple little sling that has survived for more than 1,000 years, used as a bed, birthing table, cradle, sofa -- even as a final resting place. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 20, 2016 - 32 comments

Oyasumi nasai (sleep well!, おやすみなさい!, お休みなさい!)

The history of the wafuton goes back to ancient times more than three centuries before the Common Era. Considered to be good for the health, yet convenient to roll, store, and air, the Japanese futon is rather a different beast from that more familiar convertible futon common in the West. William Brouwer is credited with the original concept and industrial design of the wooden structure, while in Japan, it is master craftsmen like Hisayoshi Nohara, Grand Champion of Futon Making, who are revered for their work. You can try one out in a ryokan.
posted by infini on May 19, 2016 - 36 comments

“Contact resident film archivist Alex Cherian if you have any questions”

Established in 1982, the [San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive] preserves 6000 hours of newsfilm, documentaries and other TV footage produced in the Bay Area and Northern California from the Twentieth Century. We are a part of the J. Paul Leonard Library’s Department of Special Collections and oversee material owned by local TV stations KPIX-TV, KRON-TV, KQED and KTVU. All 1,659 items in the collections can be streamed. A few notable inclusions within. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on May 18, 2016 - 5 comments

Revenge for Eurovision: Will Russia invade the Baltics?

As Putin continues to probe, and another commentator predicts Russia will invade Estonia, Latvia and/or Lithuania within a year (also, Independent), it's useful to revisit Article 5 of Nato. Recently, the BBC simulation ended in a result of nuclear weapon use, which did not go down well, while another study also indicated results of either a Russian victory or nuclear war. Earlier in the year, Newsweek analysed this scenario; the Chicago Tribune blames NATO, as does The Nation, while The Master Plan considers ongoing Russian shenanigans.
posted by Wordshore on May 18, 2016 - 107 comments

Blonde on Blonde turned 50 on Monday...

...the ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face
Blonde on Blonde turned 50 on Monday... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on May 18, 2016 - 39 comments

La bohème

What is actually happening with San Francisco rental prices?

From mefi's own urban planning, history, infrastructure, transit and walkability obsessed blogger, Eric Fischer. [more inside]
posted by latkes on May 17, 2016 - 74 comments

You'll have an average lifespan. Don't be upset. Pray instead.

You're a fortune teller living in the Roman Empire. People keep asking you the same damn questions day after day, and it's hard to always come up with new answers. So you invest in a copy of the Oracles of Astrampsychus, a dice-based prophecy kit, containing 92 common questions and over a thousand possible answers. And here they are.
posted by theodolite on May 17, 2016 - 35 comments

Food Leaderboard

The Changing American Diet, 1970-2013, in infographic form.
posted by Miko on May 17, 2016 - 63 comments

Are we there yet?

In the summer of 1888 Bertha Benz, accompanied by her two teenage sons, was the first person to drive an automobile any significant distance. As a publicity stunt she drove her husband's experimental, three wheeled, benzene fueled, internal combustion powered, Benz Patent Motor Car Model III to visit her parents. The all day road trip took them 106 kilometres from the workshop in Mannheim to her families home in Pforzheim. And then a few days later back again by a different route so as to expose the automobile to as many people as possible. Along the way she filled up at apothecaries; the first of which bills itself as the world's first filling station and is still doing business today as a pharmacy.
posted by Mitheral on May 17, 2016 - 6 comments

Yass – The Jazz, the Filth and the Fury – Poland's musical rebels

"Polish jazz, which was celebrating its triumphs in the 1950s and 60s, gradually became bogged down under the power of omnipresent and omnipotent institutions" ... "The 1990s saw the birth of a musical trend that wanted nothing less than to turn the established order of things to ash by the most drastic of means. This new trend was called yass." Though the headiest and most experimental days are behind them, "yass" is still used to indicate Polish jazz that's more than traditional jazz, and has been used to describe Skalpel, Jazzpospolita, and Pink Freud, who have performed Autechre live for Boiler Room and RBMA.
posted by filthy light thief on May 16, 2016 - 7 comments

Maps of Britain and Ireland’s ancient tribes, kingdoms and DNA

"For map fans, some new maps showing Celt, Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Viking territories in the British Isles. Also, the remarkable DNA map which shows how modern Britons still live in the same tribal kingdom areas as their ancestors in 600 AD."
posted by stoneweaver on May 15, 2016 - 29 comments

Gee, that's eatin'

Railway Paradise: How a Fine-Dining Empire Made the Southwest Palatable to Outsiders
posted by jjray on May 14, 2016 - 7 comments

Friday the 13th, or 17th, or Tuesday the 13th - superstition history

What's so bad about Friday the 13th? Well, what's so unlucky about the number 13? It's largely a modern, Western superstition, merging suspicion about Fridays and the number 13, which once concocted, felt ancient. Some give credit to the Thirteen Club, formed in 1881 or 1882, who flaunted so-called cursed actions, breaking glasses with abandon. Meanwhile, Martes Trece, or Tuesday the 13th is bad luck in Spanish speaking countries, and it's an ominous date for Greek history as Constantinople fell on the specific date in 1204, while Friday the 17th is a national day of sfortuna, or bad luck, in Italy. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 13, 2016 - 19 comments

“bureaucratized rape” in the coal fields

‘Rape Rooms’: How West Virginia Women Paid Off Coal Company Debts | What was the Esau scrip? [with audio included] | The Whipple Company Store | The Soul of a Company Store - The Haunted History of Whipple, WV [audio, story sharing]. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on May 12, 2016 - 16 comments

They struggled against all odds but one.

"When he was alive, Lonesome George was a captive reminder of biodiversity loss. One 2006 book called him 'the only one of his kind left on earth—a symbol of the devastation man has wrought to the natural world in the Galápagos and beyond.' After his death, Washington Tapia, a researcher with the Ecuador National Park Service, told the New York Times it was like losing his grandparents. But even for people less intimate with him did his life and demise serve as a reminder of the mass extinction of species currently underway—the sixth in earth’s history but the only one caused by humans." - Human Error: Survivor guilt in the Anthropocene
posted by brundlefly on May 11, 2016 - 5 comments

Vacillating mind inputs through text and video from Al Fry

Al Fry is an old-school eccentric, mostly from the pre-internet days. He lives (or lived) out in Idaho, which was his home-base for distributing Fry's Incredible Inquiry's Catalog, covering "technology, alchemy, weird science (PDF), Tesla, anti-gravity, occult, crystal power, and other fascinating fringy topics." And then there are his videos, including Hidden World History and Strange Beings 1, narrated by A. H. Fry himself. His videos have been collected a few times over on YouTube (1, 2). And he has written about making tipis.
posted by filthy light thief on May 10, 2016 - 8 comments

The foul reign of the biological clock

'We are raised to believe that female bodies are time bombs.' On the metaphor of the biological clock. SL Guardian.
posted by nerdfish on May 10, 2016 - 49 comments

The Evolution of the Petrol/Gas/Filling/Service Station

The Evolution of the Petrol/Gas/Filling/Service Station Gas stations might be boring or even ugly places, but for the most part, you can’t avoid stopping by one on a long trip. However, they have been so many more beyond the basic design of columns, roof and shop over their history. The following 60+1 filling stations encompass almost a century of architectural progression, showcasing some of the best Art Deco, Bauhaus, futurist, brutalist, minimalist, modernist, Googie building designs of the motorist history. Enjoy the ride!
posted by modernnomad on May 8, 2016 - 35 comments

“[The Jaredites] did carry with them swarms of spelling bees…”

The Deseret Alphabet came about on January 19, 1854 when the Board of Regents of the University of Deseret, now the University of Utah, announced that they had adopted a new phonetic alphabet. The new alphabet consisted of 38 to 40 characters and was developed mostly by George D. Watt, who was on a committee called by President Brigham Young as part of a project to help simplify spelling in the English Language.
DeseretAlphabet.org has everything you need to know about this writing system, including a collection of external resources such as: XKCD rewritten in Deseret; Sans Serif and web fonts (though you could just use unicode); books rewritten in Deseret; and various news stories about the alphabet.
posted by Going To Maine on May 6, 2016 - 21 comments

Oh, weep no more today! We will sing one song, for the old Kentucky Home

The Kentucky Derby, "America's Greatest Race," will take place at Churchill Downs this weekend. CNN international has answers to 11 general questions to get you started in the festivities, and NBC New York has a short history of the spectacle around the race, which is largely about fashion through the decades. And then there's the opening ceremony and song - My Old Kentucky Home (official "sing along" video). It sounds pretty somber, and it is, especially if you sing all of the original 1831 lyrics. The Forgotten Racial History Of Kentucky's State Song (NPR Codeswitch). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 6, 2016 - 22 comments

Revolutions in the Grave

Many of history’s darkest figures were denied a formal burial place primarily to prevent their graves from becoming pilgrimage sites...... Such figures’ literal corporeal remains hold a persistent grip on our collective anxiety, their memories firmly planted in heritage discourses even as we attempt to efface their human remains from the landscape.
Paul Mullins, a historical archaeologist who has previously looked at humanizing Nazi everyday life, Eva Braun's underwear, the repugnant heritage of slavery, and selfies at Auschwitz, turns his attention to Dark Heritage and the Burial of Abhorrent Bodies.
posted by Rumple on May 6, 2016 - 7 comments

400 tons and 150 feet or so later...

they moved the lighthouse. The Gay Head lighthouse dates to 1796, has been the scene of horrific wrecks, and is in the major motion picture Jaws.
posted by vrakatar on May 4, 2016 - 12 comments

Queer Theatre at La MaMa (1962-1980)

Queer Theatre at La MaMa (1962-1980): This exhibit, which was created by Pooja Desai, a student in NYU’s Program in Archives/Public history, looks at theatrical experiments from La MaMa’s early years (1962-1980) through a queer lens. Using objects from La MaMa’s Archives, Desai reconstructs a history of the plays, production companies, playwrights, and directors who presented work on La MaMa’s stages that either reflected a “queer sensibility” or were relevant to queer/trans/LGBTQA audiences.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 3, 2016 - 3 comments

The Racist History of the Word Caucasian

(Great video + summarizing text) In America, white people are referred to as Caucasians, but outside the U.S. the term refers to people from the Caucasus region, which includes the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Russia, and Turkey. So why do Americans refer to people of European ancestry as Caucasians? In the video above, Franchesca Ramsey from MTV’s Decoded takes a look at the word’s history and it’s really racist. [more inside]
posted by Salamandrous on May 3, 2016 - 27 comments

You don't just stick it in your underwear!

Remember those period belts from Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? What did they feel like to wear? Did they actually work all that well? What did women use to catch blood, anyway, before adhesive pads and tampons became de rigueur? Turns out that keeping thick cotton pads in place was something of a problem, inspiring a parade of belts, "sanitary shields", and even suspenders. Of course, all of these were originally designed to work with the default style of women's underwear until the 1930s: crotchless. [more inside]
posted by sciatrix on May 3, 2016 - 89 comments

Dance around a flowery pole, or topple the capitalist war machine!

"May Day: America's Traditional, Radical, Complicated Holiday," from the Smithsonian NMAH blog. Part One, Part Two.
posted by Miko on May 1, 2016 - 16 comments

Manly Health

Diet and fitness advice from Walt Whitman. (SLNYT)
posted by Miko on Apr 29, 2016 - 15 comments

The myth of the "Irish slave"

How the Myth of the "Irish slaves" Became a Favorite Meme of Racists Online [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Apr 26, 2016 - 96 comments

The Old New World

Meticulously built using 3D camera projections of historical photos, Alexey Zakharov's The Old New World is perhaps the best chance of seeing American cities as they were at the dawn of the 20th century.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Apr 26, 2016 - 16 comments

Living just enough, just enough for the city

1993, Manhattan – someone films test footage for an early HD video format called D-VHS.
SLYT, make sure to switch to 1080p60 for best quality
posted by timshel on Apr 25, 2016 - 35 comments

"Piquet," properly pronounced "What the hell is that"

Historic Card Games described by David Parlett. "These pages (Timeless classics and treasures now forgotten) present (a) histories of classic games such as Poker and Euchre and (b) details of historic games, such as Gleek and Quadrille, that are now only museum pieces. This project was started at the suggestion of John McLeod, who tells me that visitors to his award-winning Pagat website for the rules of card games often inquire after the play of some old game that they have come across in period novels or film or readings in cultural history." [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Apr 24, 2016 - 22 comments

Les bruits de Paris au XVIIIème

Musicologist Mylène Pardoen has researched and recreated the ambient 18th-century sounds of Le Grand Châtelet quarter in Paris. Historians used artwork, surviving machinery and tools to record and bring together 70 different soundscapes, including a recreation of the Notre Dame water pump using an 18th-century water mill whose sound was adapted for the size of the Notre Dame pump. The pump in question brought up water from the Seine for Parisian consumption. [more inside]
posted by fraula on Apr 22, 2016 - 9 comments

It's Confederate Heritage Month!

Back in February, Mississippi (Goddam) Governor Phil Bryant declared April Confederate Heritage Month, joining other southern states in in the practice. Orcinus blogger and SPLC contributor David Neiwert thought it would be appropriate to devote his blog this month to exploring the history of the Confederacy, although perhaps not in the way Bryant intended. [more inside]
posted by TedW on Apr 21, 2016 - 148 comments

Interactive timeline of history

Chronas is a history project linking Wikipedia and Wikidata that lets you use a time slider at the bottom to see how the world looked any given date during the past 2000 years, watching realms grow and disappear. Video describing how it works. If you click on the countries/regions/empires shown, then it will show you the appropriate Wikipedia entry. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 20, 2016 - 24 comments

Nectar of the Gods

The Story of Mead A long, long time ago, before the invention of writing and polyester, a lucky human stumbled upon the contents of a beehive. The beehive had been left out in the rain, and the honey inside had fermented. Behold; MEAD! [more inside]
posted by Michele in California on Apr 18, 2016 - 29 comments

Seattle School's Segregation

How Seattle Gave Up on Busing and Allowed Its Public Schools to Become Alarmingly Resegregated. Seattle reluctantly bused students to integrate schools in the 1970's. They bus no longer—unfortunately, as integration benefited the students who did it.
posted by Margalo Epps on Apr 17, 2016 - 56 comments

לעולם לא לשכוח

What did Americans know as the Holocaust unfolded? How did they respond? A new initiative of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, "History Unfolded" is using crowdsourcing to scour newspapers across the country for articles that ran between 1933 and 1945 on the plight of Europe’s Jews. The project focuses on 20 historical events from the time period. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 16, 2016 - 12 comments

Oh my God, shoes.

Shoes - ten years ago Liam Kyle Sullivan created "Shoes", one of the first viral hits of the YouTube era featuring his Midwestern teen girl character Kelly. Now he sits down with Vice to talk about YouTube fame, touring, how it came about, and what came after.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 16, 2016 - 31 comments

No pokey

A short history of the thimbles one might find in the English countryside. Also crotal bells and Gunter's chain markings. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Apr 15, 2016 - 11 comments

"Clark's Place"

How does a TV show go from an idea to something you can watch ? Caroline Framke spent six months following the production of an episode of FX's critically lauded spy drama 'The Americans' to find out.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 14, 2016 - 30 comments

How to Read a Neighborhood

Dating Historic Images A key to using clues in photos to narrow down the date of construction for historic vernacular architecture, from University of Vermont's Landscape Change digital image project. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Apr 13, 2016 - 11 comments

Baltimore and Baltimore-A Tale of Two Cities

“That’s the thing, though,” he continues. “All that is surrounded by vacant lots, boarded-up homes, and that junkyard—the scrap metal and salvage place where there’s always a line of people hauling stuff in. Down the street from Jubilee Arts, where those little girls do ballet in their pink leotards, I saw a metal coffin once being scrapped for cash.” Nell pauses. “But that’s the way Baltimore has always been",he says. “It’s what a good friend of mine who is no longer around used to say: ‘In Baltimore, beauty and chaos live side by side.’”
posted by josher71 on Apr 12, 2016 - 6 comments

Buried Ideas

‘For over two millennia,’ Ian Johnson writes, ‘all our knowledge of China’s great philosophical schools was limited to texts revised after the Qin unification.’ Now a trove of recently discovered ancient documents, written on strips of bamboo, ‘is helping to reshape our understanding of China’s contentious past.’ [more inside]
posted by schneckinlittle on Apr 11, 2016 - 13 comments

So, *that's* why we have 4-H.

Fetishizing Family Farms Broken families, underground vice, and sexual variance - not stability - characterized the American family farm for most of its history, argues historian Gabriel Rosenberg. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Apr 10, 2016 - 88 comments

Inside America’s Auschwitz

Smithsonian Magazine looks at the Whitney Plantation, the first slave museum in the United States.
“Often, plantation exhibits were established for those who lived through the Civil Rights era and yearned for a less complicated time,” says Ashley Rogers, director of museum operations. “And that’s an easy thing to accomplish when you have a ‘chandelier’ tour. Where the previous focus at plantations has been on the house and the culture of Southern gentility, things are changing.”
posted by frimble on Apr 9, 2016 - 41 comments

The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary

The mysterious and useful Vegetable Lamb of Tartary: a plant whose ripe seed-pods yield tiny live lambs. Or was it a plant growing in the shape of a full-size lamb, but with an umbilical tether to the ground? (Oh, and do you know about the barnacle goose?) A tale from the medieval science grapevine. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Apr 8, 2016 - 7 comments

Look for Periwinkle Patches.

The Burial Database of Enslaved African Americans is a project of the Periwinkle Initiative to identify and document often-unmarked cemeteries where the remains of enslaved people are interred. Now "in its infancy," it will aggregate submissions nationwide. People who know of a site can submit it online - an important task given that many are threatened by development and identified by local lore and memory alone.
posted by Miko on Apr 8, 2016 - 6 comments

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