4220 posts tagged with History.
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Aw, shucks

The New Rules of Oyster Eating, from Rowan Jacobsen of The Oyster Guide and Oysterater, home of the Oyster Map. Pearls of wisdom within.
posted by Miko on Nov 2, 2015 - 55 comments

The Chanel of Africa

As the main supplier of fashion prints to nearly half a continent, the textile company has continued to dominate that fashion scene there for almost 170 years. How’d that happen? Rooted in European colonialism and a testament to African ingenuity, creativity, and cultural pride; it’s a surprising story
posted by infini on Oct 30, 2015 - 28 comments

This marvellous day

The Radical Life of Rosa Luxemburg
– A graphic novelization of the revolutionary life and legacy of “Red Rosa.” (previously) [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Oct 28, 2015 - 7 comments

“Not for the first time, it fell to a fiction to restore the history.”

First, Kill the Witches. Then, Celebrate Them. by Stacy Schiff [The New York Times]
Among the oldest settlements in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and for years among the wealthiest cities in America, Salem had many claims to fame. It preferred not to count the witchcraft delusion among them; no one cared to record even where the town had hanged 19 innocents. It addressed the unpleasantness the New England way: silently. When George Washington passed through Salem in October 1789, he witnessed neither any trace of a witch panic nor of Halloween. Sometimes it seems as if the trauma of an event can be measured by how long it takes us to commemorate it, and by how thoroughly we mangle it in the process.
posted by Fizz on Oct 28, 2015 - 50 comments

Suspense, X Minus One, Lights Out! Mercury Theatre and more...

The AV Club provides 13 Old Time Radio dramas to scare the pants off you this Halloween
posted by The Whelk on Oct 26, 2015 - 15 comments

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The deadly legacy of HIV truthers [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 26, 2015 - 72 comments

Anthropodermic Bibliopegy

The Macabre Practice of Binding Books in Human Skin: Whether a reminder of mortality, a strange souvenir, or a punishment for a crime, the impetuses behind anthropodermic bibliopegy are as varied as the lives of their skin donors.
posted by frumiousb on Oct 26, 2015 - 21 comments

How do a bunch of wonky generated tones translate to memorable sounds?

A Beginner's Guide to the Synth is a nice long write-up to the history of the synthesizers, from their origins up to the present, with embedded sound samples. For a deeper dive into the history of the hardware, learn the secrets of the synths from Sound on Sound.
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 25, 2015 - 13 comments

This day is called the Feast of Crispian

The battle of Agincourt was fought on a muddy field in northern France 600 years ago on Sunday – St Crispin’s Day, October 25th 1415. Legend says Agincourt was won by arrows. It was not. It was won by men using lead-weighted hammers, poleaxes, mauls and falcon-beaks, the ghastly paraphernalia of medieval hand-to-hand fighting. It was fought on a field knee-deep in mud, and it was more of a massacre than a battle. [more inside]
posted by PlusDistance on Oct 25, 2015 - 63 comments

One of the greatest nautical painters in history

Ivan Aivazovsky (18171900) - "In 1840, Aivazovsky traveled to Rome, where he became friendly with Nikolai Gogol. He also received high praise from the Roman critics, newspapers, and even Pope Gregory XVI. The pope purchased Aivazovsky's 'Chaos' and hung it in the Vatican... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Oct 24, 2015 - 10 comments

In the grim darkness of the fur future, there is only war

"On the shores of Payette Lake are crates full of beavers, part of a shipment to be dropped in the primitive area by parachute from an airplane." A clip from Fur for the Future, a recently rediscovered documentary from 1948 about Idaho Fish and Game parachuting beavers into the state's backcountry.
posted by oulipian on Oct 23, 2015 - 28 comments

At once deeply religious and fastidiously superstitious

In preparation for the upcoming exhibition Scholar, courtier, magician: The lost library of John Dee at the Royal College of Physicians (January 2016), the RCP museum's twitter has posted some gifs showing details from some of the books that will be on display for the first time. [more inside]
posted by halcyonday on Oct 22, 2015 - 14 comments

I Am Somebody.

"I am somebody. I am God's child. I may not have a job, but I am somebody. I may be Black, but I am somebody. I may not have an education, but I am somebody. You may not respect me, but I am somebody. I may be a Puerto Rican, but I am somebody. I may be an Indian and my land was stolen, but I am somebody." The history of the chant. [more inside]
posted by thetortoise on Oct 20, 2015 - 1 comment

M-42

Inside Grand Central's Secret Sub-Basement, Which Nazis Nearly Destroyed [autoplaying video] [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin on Oct 19, 2015 - 17 comments

"Licked into being by primeval supercow"

*Norse God Family Tree* *The Emu War* (previously) *Headless Folk of the French Revolution* *How Voltaire broke the lottery* *Mummy Brown and other Historical Colors* *Management Secrets of Genghis Khan* -- just some of the Veritable Hokum dredged from history and served up in comics form by Korwin Briggs.
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 19, 2015 - 29 comments

“The draft shows Ward making mistakes and changing his mind.”

Fruit of good labours. [Times Literary Supplement] Earliest known draft of King James Bible discovered by Jeffrey Alan Miller, assistant professor of English at Montclair State University in New Jersey.
The draft appears in a manuscript notebook formerly belonging to Samuel Ward (1572–1643), who was part of the team of seven men in Cambridge charged with translating the Apocrypha. At the time of his selection as a translator, probably in 1604, Ward was still a young Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In 1610, though, he became Master of Sidney Sussex, a post he held until his death. Today, a trove of Ward’s notebooks and other manuscripts survive in the college’s archives, and among them is a small notebook now identified as MS Ward B.
posted by Fizz on Oct 18, 2015 - 22 comments

“We tell stories from the fault lines that separate Americans.”

The Us and Them Podcast from West Virginia Public Broadcasting is dedicated to exploring America’s cultural divides. It was partly driven by host Trey Kay’s friendship with Alice Moore (episode one), a major player in the 1974 West Virginia Textbook War that tore up the state in Trey's high-school years. (Episode two, which won a Peabody when originally aired on Studio 360.)
Alice made a reappearance in the podcast during the recent prolonged defeat of the Confederate Flag (episode nine). She also got a brief mention in episode ten, in which American foreign correspondents of color Roopa Gogineni and Mike Onyiego visited Louisiana to report on the flag war.
posted by Going To Maine on Oct 17, 2015 - 9 comments

"..the Glaswegian origin story is definitively a crock of shit."

Who Owns Chicken Tikka Masala? Complicating a popular origin story.
posted by Miko on Oct 16, 2015 - 31 comments

Hunting Witches With Walt Disney

Under the name Attaboy Clarence/The Secret History Of Hollywood, Adam Roche creates very long, very in-depth podcasts about classic Hollywood how it relates to broader sociopolitical trends. Clocking in at 171 minutes, Hunting Witches With Walt Disney goes into the background, motivations, and effects of the Red Scare in Hollywood and the House Of Un-American Activities. The nearly 3 hour long podcast spans a cast of characters including Budd Schulberg, Elia Kazan, John Garfield, Dorothy Comingore, Edward Dymytryk, Dalton Trumbo, Walt Disney, Humphrey Bogart, and of course, Howard Hughes
posted by The Whelk on Oct 16, 2015 - 5 comments

A 249,999,900% return on your investment in a photo

A $2 photo purchased at a junk store has been verified as only the second known image of Billy the Kid. It may sell for $5 million.
posted by COD on Oct 16, 2015 - 52 comments

The First Legal Abortion Providers Tell Their Stories

The Cut [NYMag] speaks to seven doctors who practiced on the cusp of Roe. Many are still practicing. [more inside]
posted by melissasaurus on Oct 15, 2015 - 9 comments

Six Degrees of a Different Bacon

Six Degrees of Francis Bacon. Collaboratively mapping connections in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. (Via)
posted by immlass on Oct 15, 2015 - 9 comments

“I do not consider literary forms to exist in a hierarchy,”

History v Historical Fiction by Jane Smiley [The Guardian] Historical fiction is not a secondary form – I was condescended to by a conservative historian who cannot see that he too constructs stories.
“The condescender was Niall Ferguson, a conservative historian about 15 years younger than me, who wanted to be sure that I understood that the historical novel is all made up, but that historical non-fiction, written by historians is truth. He referred to his research. I referred to my research. He wasn’t convinced. I suggested that the demands of history and fiction are slightly different – that since a novel is a story, it must be complete, and since a history must be accepted by the reader as accurate, it must be incomplete.”
posted by Fizz on Oct 15, 2015 - 43 comments

"And I've learned that life is an adventure."

In May 1991, ABC launched a half-hour drama series called "My Life and Times." The premise: An 85 year old man living in a retirement community in 2035 looks back on his life and shares his experiences with friends and family. Framing sequences were set in 2035 while the bulk of the episodes featured flashbacks to the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s. The show begins on April 9, 2035. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 14, 2015 - 21 comments

Out of the Cultural Revolution, a Nobel Prize and a cure for malaria

Earlier this month, Youyou Tu was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for her discovery of artemisinin, also known as qinghaosu. She is the first Chinese Nobel recipient for work that was done in mainland China. Dr. Tu's studies were done in the midst of the Cultural Revolution, a politically precarious time for Chinese academics, which adds a layer of historical complexity to her work. It is difficult to overstate the importance of artemisinin to anti-malarial efforts. Unfortunately, artemisinin-resistant strains of malaria are already beginning to appear only thirty years after the drug was introduced.
posted by sciatrix on Oct 14, 2015 - 12 comments

21st Century: a complaint

I want to complain to the studio execs who commissioned the current season of "21st century"; your show is broken. I say this as a viewer coming in with low expectations. ... Whose idea was it to hire the ghosts of Philip K. Dick and George Orwell as showrunners anyway? A review of the current season of reality by noted author (and MeFi's own) Charlie Stross.
posted by RedOrGreen on Oct 13, 2015 - 48 comments

1491

On this Columbus Day, consider what the world truly looked like before the arrival of the West. [more inside]
posted by glaucon on Oct 12, 2015 - 33 comments

Traces of Destruction: The emotional work of studying painful history

But people who decide to study this violent history, people who write it all down — we’re also people who need to mail in tax forms, or put on a pot of coffee, call our dads. This can be difficult work, this act of entering the pre when you live in the post, and then having to be a person, and hand something in by a deadline, and walk away and study and do it again. For writers of colour who choose to study or tell the stories of their own communities, this in-between space is made more stark by the fact that they work within a system that often speaks about them, for them, but not with them.
posted by sciatrix on Oct 12, 2015 - 3 comments

Woman Defeats Husband

How the women of Umatilla, Oregon took over the city's government - in 1916.
posted by Chrysostom on Oct 12, 2015 - 6 comments

Starring Catherine Deneuve

An unusual rock formation in Chattanooga appears perilously balanced; but more than thirty people can stand on its top at one time. It's called Umbrella Rock. In one of the earliest picture of Umbrella Rock is of soldiers taken in 1863. Today, of course, it looks different. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Oct 11, 2015 - 27 comments

"This is not a comfortable conversation."

Michael Twitty is becoming one of the most transformative figures in the world of food. Reinterrogating and recreating African-American history in the context of American culinary history through his blog Afroculinaria, Twitty argues for "culinary justice" in food writing and the conversation on food history. His project (and forthcoming book of the same name) The Cooking Gene is in part a product of his Southern Discomfort Tour, a journey retracing the preservation and transmission of culinary knowledge before, during and beyond slavery. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Oct 11, 2015 - 8 comments

Searchable Archive of > 30M American and Canadian Newspaper Pages

Despite its aging interface and its slightly misleading name, The Old Fulton New York Postcards site is an amazing tool for anyone doing any kind of historical research. It is a huge searchable archive of american and canadian newspapers.
posted by sciencegeek on Oct 11, 2015 - 5 comments

You can't spell America without Gay Cabal

Author and historian Bob Arnebeck writes about early American history and its Founding Fathers' "relationships with men beyond conventional propriety." Featured characters include war hero and Washington D.C planner Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the first inspector general of the US Army Baron Von Steuben , and Alexander Hamilton. Bonus: Revolutinary America's tolerance for homosexuality by Victoria A. Brownworth.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 7, 2015 - 25 comments

Hail to the Pencil Pusher

Hail to the Pencil Pusher — American Bureaucracy's Long and Useful History [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Oct 5, 2015 - 25 comments

Rome

Mary Beard: why ancient Rome matters to the modern world. "Failure in Iraq, debates about freedom, expenses scandals, sex advice … the Romans seem versions of ourselves. But then there’s the slavery and the babies on rubbish heaps. We need to understand ancient Rome, but should we take lessons from it?" [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 4, 2015 - 22 comments

A ponderous, scholastic joke

On the Nature of Things Humanity Was Not Meant to Know: Cosma Shalizi considers Lucretius' De Rerum Natura ('On the Nature of Things') as a "real-life Necronomicon, a book full of things humanity was not meant to know."
posted by kliuless on Oct 4, 2015 - 9 comments

Nuclear Fruit: The Cold War's Impact on Video Games

Beautiful and insightful, these five videos explore how the Cold War shaped video games.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Oct 4, 2015 - 7 comments

Swiss suffragettes were still fighting for the right to vote in 1971

It was not until 1971, 65 years after Finland became the first European country to grant women the vote, that Switzerland became the last, not only in Europe but in much of the world.
posted by infini on Oct 3, 2015 - 14 comments

Just Say "I Don't" to the 80s

10 Decades of Wedding Gowns
posted by jacquilynne on Oct 2, 2015 - 97 comments

Hardcore Gaming 101 video articles

Here is the new series of video articles started by the ultra-knowledgeable folks at Hardcore Gaming 101. The first two are up, the beginning of series on Pre-Super Mario platform games and on the early history of JRPGs. Related is the video adjunct to the Game Club 199X Podcast, with over 50 videos. (Previously.)
posted by JHarris on Sep 29, 2015 - 23 comments

Damn Cold in February: Buddy Holly, View Master and the Atomic Bomb

Someday this country’s gonna be a fine, good place to be. Maybe it needs our bones in the ground before that time can come: An essay on the summer of the Atomic Bomb, by Joni Tevis. Originally published in The Diagram
posted by Rumple on Sep 29, 2015 - 8 comments

The Red Eyed Lord

lyre-of-ur.com is a somewhat rustic website dedicated to a playable reproduction of the world's oldest string instrument. You can hear it accompanying a set of silver pipes and a short recitation from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Don't miss the fan poetry on the informative history page. [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Sep 28, 2015 - 6 comments

The time when the Soviet Union reverse-engineered a B-29.

How difficult would it be to take apart this airplane and use it to manufacture this airplane?

Very difficult.
posted by dfm500 on Sep 26, 2015 - 39 comments

/ -----///----​///----///----///----​///----///----///​----/// -----/

The Tangled History of Barbed Wire by Robert Zaretsky [Boston Globe]
“Like inventors from Joseph Guillotin to Alfred Nobel, whose creations escaped their original purpose and were yoked to evil ends, Joseph Glidden would have been shocked at what became of his. In 1874, the Illinois farmer and New Hampshire native, fastening sharpened metal knots along thick threads of steel, created barbed wire. Thanks to its high resilience and low cost, the rapid installation of the coils and lasting dissuasion of the barbs, the wire transformed the American West. Ranchers could protect their cattle against predators, both wild and human, as they pushed the frontier ever further west. The wire itself came to be called 'devil’s rope.'”
Previously. Previously. Previously.
posted by Fizz on Sep 26, 2015 - 13 comments

Hair is at once of “me” and an alien “it.”

Notes Towards a Theory of Hair: Novelist Siri Hustvedt Reflects on the Cultural Meaning of Coiffure [New Republic]
“Even this simple act of plaiting my child’s hair gives rise to questions about meaning. Why do more girl children wear their hair long in our culture than boy children? Why is hairstyle a sign of sexual difference? I have to admit that unless a boy child of mine had begged me for braids, I probably would have followed convention and kept his hair short, even though I think such rules are arbitrary and constricting. And finally, why would I have been mortified to send Sophie off to school with her tresses in high-flying, ratted knots?”
posted by Fizz on Sep 25, 2015 - 10 comments

Rich people in thrift stores also disgust me.

"Saada: In some ways, “inconspicuous chic” is about a perceived entitlement to money, not money itself. People who flaunt their wealth by wearing tons of brands and being flashy are not considered wealthy; more often they’re seen as nouveau riche vis-a-vis old-monied. ...Maybe if they were bulldozing low income housing to build a huge Barney's I would be concerned, but to be upset about how rich ladies shop is almost pointless." ---- Clothes & Class - An Adult Magazine roundtable discussion of the minutiae of high fashion, low budgets, the history of class signaling and inconspicuous chic. With Saada Ahmed, Katherine Bernard, Durga Chew-Bose, Fiona Duncan, Hari Nef, Steve Oklyn and Arabelle Scicardi. (NSFW main photos and related ads. Extreme fashion nerdery)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 25, 2015 - 84 comments

William Fakespeare

If you want to read the latest work of Shakespeare, written and performed 200 years after his death, look no further! Vortigern, an historical play(sic) is it! Performed for the first time on April 2, 1796 it was not performed again until 2008, when the Pembrooke Players put on a revival. Why not? [more inside]
posted by Torosaurus on Sep 24, 2015 - 9 comments

"we pick and choose, the creators pick and choose"

"First of all, in terms of history I’d like to say the vast majority of the medieval world as we think of it was all kinds of people with various shades of brown skin moving back and forth across borders. Yes, there were people in remote little areas who might have never encountered anyone who looked any different than themselves, but overall there was a lot of movement and a lot of contact and a lot of exchange of ideas, crossing transcultural, trans-religious, trans-ethnic zones." -- Arthur Chu and David Perry talk about The Inaccuracy Of “Historical Accuracy” In Gaming And Media.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 24, 2015 - 78 comments

I'm not quite so daft as I look

SLYTP: two hundred and twenty three pre-1925 'music hall records' YT user Robert Godridge has made a long playlist of digital captures taken from 'some of the british music hall records in my collection, 78rpm gramophone records and cylinders.' This is one of a number of playlists centered on very old popular music recordings by various users. Most of the recordings are quite innocuous by today's standards, but it is far from uncommon to encounter double entendres, racism and stereotypes, and well, I'm not sure what to call this genre.
posted by mwhybark on Sep 23, 2015 - 11 comments

"to write in cafés is such a cliché that it needs no explanation"

In London, the coffeehouse offered the threat not of male homosexuality but rather of a different kind of dangerous male-on-male behavior, namely "wasting time." Coffee itself was often thought to be disgusting — a few of the names used by detractors were "syrup of soot," "a foreign fart," "a sister of the common sewer," "resembling the river Styx," "Pluto's diet-drink," "horsepond liquor" — but even for those who thought coffee led to medical problems, especially impotence, it was not as threatening as the spaces where it was drunk. Some perceived the coffeehouse as pure waste, a corrupting influence on London society, while others celebrated it with a strange enthusiasm.
Writing in Cafés: A Personal History by food historian Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 23, 2015 - 65 comments

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