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It's Been A Long, Long Time.

Are you trying to write a period-correct Captain America story or just have questions about NYC in the 1930s-40s in general? The tumblr Steve Rogers Is Historically Accurate is here to help.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 6, 2014 - 18 comments

Unsolved Mysteries for your browser

Sexy Keepers of Death is a blog which curates the paranormal and creepy whether it's fictional, debatable or real. Unsolved mysteries, antiquities, strange creatures, unbelievable events, historical hoaxes, urban legends, unnerving art and more!
posted by codacorolla on Aug 6, 2014 - 16 comments

The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

How Ronald Reagan Used An 'Invisible Bridge' To Win Over Americans - "Rick Perlstein's new book describes how Reagan emerged as the leader of a potent political movement during the turbulent mid-'70s. He says the soul of Reagan's appeal was how he made people feel good." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 5, 2014 - 80 comments

The three Chicken Wars, and their (less than) lasting impacts

In the records of human conflicts, there are at least three Chicken Wars. Two left little mark on the world at large, and the third resulted in some strange work-arounds for heavy tariffs. The first was Wojna kokosza, the Chicken or Hen War of 1537, when an anti-royalist and anti-absolutist rokosz (rebellion) by the Polish nobility resulted in near-extinction of local "kokosz" (an egg laying hen), but little else. The second was an odd spin-off of the more serious War of the Quarduple Alliance that lasted from 1717 to 1720. Though most of the activity happened in Europe, there were some battles in North America. The Texas manifestation was the capture of some chickens by French forces from a Spanish mission, and a costly overreaction by Spanish religious and military men. The third Chicken War was a duel of tariffs during the Cold War, with the only lasting casualty being the availability of foreign-made light trucks in the United States. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 4, 2014 - 15 comments

to end all wars

First world war – a century on, time to hail the peacemakers
"On the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, we should remember those who tried to stop a catastrophe" [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 4, 2014 - 27 comments

Ass and You Shall Receive

It is filled with history. [more inside]
posted by jadepearl on Aug 4, 2014 - 22 comments

one of the three great food cultures of the world.

The Imperial Kitchen
Among the kiosks, halls, reception chambers, and harem baths, I suspect that visitors today spend the least time of all in the palace kitchens—unless they have an interest in Chinese porcelain, which is displayed in there. Otherwise there’s nothing much to see, just a series of domed rooms. Outside you can count the ten pairs of massive chimneys, but there’s no smoke. It’s a pity that the building is so quiet, because it was in here, over four centuries, that one aspect of Istanbul’s imperial purpose was most vividly expressed.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 2, 2014 - 6 comments

The Beauty of Iran

23-year-old Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji takes some amazing photographs and 360° shots of Iran's historical sites. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jul 29, 2014 - 10 comments

A metaphor for the tensions and hopes of the entire city

Mr. Phelan's Building. Medium's Sarah Agudo and Marcin Wichary investigate the building they work in: "Ancient and modern at the same time; multiple slices of time meeting under one penthouse-sporting roof." [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Jul 28, 2014 - 9 comments

If only the real thing had only taken 5m55s.

A day-by-day map of World War I. [more inside]
posted by absalom on Jul 28, 2014 - 16 comments

"He alone was real."

Philby's boss was Sir Stewart Menzies, who, we are told, "rode to hounds, mixed with royalty, never missed a day at Ascot, drank a great deal, and kept his secrets buttoned up behind a small, fierce mustache. He preferred women to men and horses to both." Menzies was an amateur at a time when his adversaries were professionals. Philby's fellow Soviet spy Donald Maclean was a mess. But since he was a mess with the right accent and background he easily found a home in the British spy service. At one point, Macintyre says, Maclean "got drunk, smashed up the Cairo flat of two secretaries at the U.S. embassy, ripped up their underwear, and hurled a large mirror off the wall, breaking a large bath in two. He was sent home, placed under the care of a Harley Street psychiatrist, and then, amazingly, after a short period of treatment, promoted to head the American desk at the Foreign Office."
Kim Philby, the Soviet spy who infiltrated MI6, is the subject of a Malcolm Gladwell article in The New Yorker. Gladwell argues that Philby's story is not about spying but "the hazards of mistrust." He is interviewed on a New Yorker podcast about his article. Gladwell's article is also a review of Ben Macintyre's book on Philby, A Spy Among Friends. Gladwell reviewed Macintyre's previous book, Operation Mincemeat and argued that spy agencies might be more trouble than they're worth.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 28, 2014 - 25 comments

Cages, craniums, and giant scary eyes

Psychiatric magazine ads from the seventies.
posted by Iridic on Jul 28, 2014 - 27 comments

The Lasting Impact of World War I

"The Wall Street Journal has selected 100 legacies from World War I that continue to shape our lives today." You can sort according to your interest via the tabs at the top of the page. [Previously]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 27, 2014 - 13 comments

"Pizza with a Bisquick crust? Sounds like ’60s home ec to me."

King Arthur Flour's Flourish blog investigates America's Love Affair With Pizza from the home cook's perspective. In The Beginning asks "When did Americans start making their own pizza at home, from scratch, rather than piling into the Studebaker to drive down to the pizza parlor for takeout?", and answers by reproducing pizza recipes from 1945, 1954, and 1961. [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Jul 27, 2014 - 60 comments

A hundred years ago Europe was in the midst of the July Crisis.

The BBC will be covering World War One in great detail over the next four years. They've already started, with podcasts, interactive guides, online courses, programs new and old plus much, much more. Perhaps it's best to start at the beginning, with Professor Margaret MacMillan's Countdown to World War One (podcast link) or the account of her fellow historian Christopher Clark, Month of Madness. Of course, how the war started is still contested by historians, as recounted in The Great War of Words. The latter two are also part of the main WWI podcast. Or you can dive into the Music and Culture section, go through an A-Z guide or look at comics drawn by modern cartoonists.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 27, 2014 - 42 comments

The most important battle you've probably never heard of

The Battle of Bouvines was fought 800 years ago on July 27, 1214 and its outcome directly led to the Magna Carta and also to the national identities of both England and France. Some historians claim this date should be remembered after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 as one of the defining moments in English history. King John attempted to retake lands in Normandy employing an alliance army including Otto of Germany. John attacked from the south, but more importantly Otto was decisively defeated at Bouvines. Humiliated in defeat John was forced to consent to the Magna Carta, and the Anglo-Norman realm came to a final end allowing both England and France to develop their separate national identities. More background.
posted by caddis on Jul 26, 2014 - 14 comments

Aftertaste

"In peace or war, the ultimate refuge—the sanctuary of all that is humane—lies distilled within the warmth of the kitchen." Journalist Paul Salopek pauses in the middle of his 21,000-mile Out of Eden Walk from Africa to South America -- Ethiopia to Tierra del Fuego -- to reflect on the food shared with him during his time in Israel and Palestine. "Watching the women of Nablus move briskly, efficiently, purposefully about their tasks, chatting, often joking (about men, politics, life), I am reminded of all the meals that admitted me briefly into the conflicted lives of Israelis and Palestinians." [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 on Jul 26, 2014 - 1 comment

Make reservation by phone for the greatest dinner of your life

Where Restaurant Reservations Come From: Why did the practice develop? In the startup terms of our day, what problem did the institution of restaurant reservations solve? Well, the answer boils down to... sex and propriety.
posted by Cash4Lead on Jul 24, 2014 - 36 comments

The Guardians of the Bay

Narrowly saved from the scrapyard just a few years earlier by then-mayor Dianne Feinstein, San Francisco's historic fireboat Phoenix has been credited with saving the Marina District from a blaze in the wake of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Following this heroic feat, two anonymous residents donated $300,000 towards the purchase of a second fireboat, Guardian, and a $50,000 gift from a Buddhist temple in the Marina funded her refurbishment. While Guardian's 1,200-mile journey from Vancouver did not go entirely smoothly, the crew arrived safely to a hero's welcome in San Francisco, including a water display from Phoenix. Now, with a recent vote, city supervisors have approved funding to build the city's first new fireboat in 60 years. [more inside]
posted by annekate on Jul 24, 2014 - 18 comments

Stimulating cross-border Cupertino sea sponge

The History of Autocorrect
...some of the calls were quite tricky, and one of the trickiest involved the issue of obscenity. On one hand, Word didn't want to seem priggish; on the other, it couldn't very well go around recommending the correct spelling of mothrefukcer. Microsoft was sensitive to these issues. The solution lay in expanding one of spell-check's most special lists, bearing the understated title: “Words which should neither be flagged nor suggested.”

posted by frimble on Jul 23, 2014 - 78 comments

Loooooooooooooo​ooooooooooooo​ooooooooooo​ooooooooooo​ooooooooooo​ooooooooong

Dave's Classic Limousines is dedicated to documenting Limousines prior to the Super-Stretch era and features pictures and descriptions of Custom Coachworks cars and one offs (home built and commercial) plus a page devoted to presidential limos. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Jul 20, 2014 - 13 comments

Currency Wars

Currency Wars, or Why You Should Care About the Global Struggle Over the Value of Money In October 2010, the Brazilian Finance Minister made news by claiming an 'international currency war' had broken out. The term 'currency war' promptly became a buzz phrase with commentators and public officials warning about the dangers of these wars and their historical roots in the Great Depression. The U.S. government, in turn, has applied the idea to China, which it has accused of currency manipulation for the better part of a decade. So why does this matter? And how unusual is this all? Historian Steven Bryan puts currency wars in historical perspective and reminds us that currency policy is inextricably linked to national interests and that manipulation is the historical norm, not the exception. [more inside]
posted by infini on Jul 19, 2014 - 25 comments

Ah yes, the old rumpscuttle and clapperdepouch (aka "fadoodling")

31 Adorable Slang Terms for Sexual Intercourse from the Last 600 Years Lexicographer Jonathon Green’s comprehensive historical dictionary of slang, Green’s Dictionary of Slang, covers hundreds of years of jargon, cant, and naughty talk. He has created a series of online timelines (here and here) where the words too impolite, indecent, or risqué for the usual history books are arranged in the order they came into fashion. (If you don’t see any words on the timelines, zoom out using the bar on the right.) We’ve already had fun with the classiest terms for naughty bits. Here are the most adorable terms for sexual intercourse from the last 600 or so years.
posted by mikeand1 on Jul 18, 2014 - 30 comments

Where there are no people

Animal Land where there are no people was a children's book released in 1897, written by Sybil Corbet, who was four years old, and illustrated by her mother, Katharine Corbet. "Animal Land where there are no People is quite near, only you can't see it... They live by the North Pole and in the leafy places near. It is always light there, always day, they climb the poles and always play." [more inside]
posted by dng on Jul 18, 2014 - 6 comments

who hoard the air & hunt the hare with the ox & swim against the torrent

Troubadors! [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 16, 2014 - 9 comments

The Ebb and Flow Of History

A dynamic map of world history since 3000 BC. Link starts at 338 BCE, the year before the first conquests of Alexander.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jul 15, 2014 - 25 comments

Happy Birthday, MetaFilter

Cat-Scan.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by Rock Steady on Jul 14, 2014 - 168 comments

An interactive paper sculpture

“Every time the paper blade falls a camera will be triggered to capture the expression of the those who have put their neck on the line for an art experience like no other. Each fearful facial expression, forever immortalized on the PaperCuts-Exhibtion.com.”
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 12, 2014 - 10 comments

The man who saved the dinosaurs

Dinosaurs were lumbering, stupid, scientifically boring beasts—until John Ostrom rewrote the book on them.
posted by brundlefly on Jul 11, 2014 - 12 comments

The Mighty Atom

“No-one ever passed me in time trials, I used to chase and catch. It was a great thrill, it really was.”

The celebrated Eileen Sheridan rode her bicycle from Lands End to John o' Groats in 2 days, 11 hours, 7 minutes, breaking gender rules and speed records until retirement. In her own words.
posted by latkes on Jul 11, 2014 - 4 comments

Gaming has its own Nikola Teslas

Five Genre-Defining Video Games Forgotten by History (SLYT, 53min.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker on Jul 11, 2014 - 35 comments

Say Cheese

"Is it OK to take a selfie at Auschwitz?", asks archaeologist Paul Mullins. Selfies are people in places, not objects in spaces, says Katie Warfield.
posted by Rumple on Jul 11, 2014 - 76 comments

Salvage, Without the Punk

“but are we not all wreckers contriving that some treasure may be washed up on our beach, that we may secure it [...]?” - Henry David Thoreau, Cape Cod | A beginning: beating the meteorological odds. Fernand Braudel writes, in his famous study of the Mediterranean in the Age of Phillip, of the “Mediterranean victory over bad weather” – i.e. the advent of year-round shipping. Prior to this win over the seasons, risk could be countered only by physical division: many small ships, so that when things went bad, there was less to be lost. Yet the “victory,” emerging with the Genoese consolidation of maritime dominance and “fairs of exchange” prior to being surpassed by the Dutch, had less to do with new naval technologies than the substantiation and spread of robust insurance underwriting. This both backed riskier ventures (and therefore opened up the chance of larger-scale wrecks) and gave underwriters the rights to that wreckage, to lay “claim to any salvage.” [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 10, 2014 - 1 comment

Heavy metal...with a traditional touch!

Fans of history, mythology, language, and music: allow Metsatöll's Lauri Õunapuu to present his arsenal of traditional Estonian instruments. Then continue below the fold for an introduction to the world of folk metal. [more inside]
posted by gueneverey on Jul 10, 2014 - 16 comments

Women, Pants, and the Backlash

Margaret Perry's review of Women in Pants provides an interesting overview of those women (in the Western world) who chose to wore pants in the 19th and early 20th centuries when the standard gender norm dictated dresses for girls and women. R.S. Fleming has a great collection of Victorian women-in-pants images, particularly in non-American military garb. See also: Welsh pit miners, women fighting in the US Civil War (and support-staff), this cattle thief/gunfighter, some cowgirls, and Dr. Mary Walker - here she is in more traditionally masculine dress (second picture). In France, the artist Rosa Bonheur had to get permission from the police to wear pants (picture) while sketching in public (her license), while adventurer/archaeologist Jane Dieulafoy got a lifetime exemption to wear pants from France. [more inside]
posted by julen on Jul 9, 2014 - 25 comments

Faking Galileo

Art forgeries have long been the stuff of thrillers, with fake da Vincis or Vermeers fooling connoisseurs, roiling the art world, and moving millions of dollars. We don’t think of ancient books driving such grand forgery, intrigue, and schadenfreude. This is changing thanks in part to a clever forgery of Galileo’s landmark book Sidereus Nuncius, published in Venice in 1610. Arguably one of the most extraordinary scientific publications of all times, Sidereus Nuncius turned Galileo into the brightest new star of Western science. Four centuries later, a faked copy of this book has disarmed a generation of Galileo experts, and raised a host of intriguing questions about the social nature of scholarly authentication, the precariousness of truth, and the revelatory power of fakes.
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 9, 2014 - 9 comments

Women in archaeology, geology, and palaeontology

"TrowelBlazers is a celebration of women archaeologists, palaeontologists and geologists who have been doing awesome work for far longer, and in far greater numbers, than most people realize." [via]
posted by brundlefly on Jul 7, 2014 - 4 comments

"Best Site On The Web!" - Mother Teresa, Mark Twain, and George Carlin

“Those who are awake live in a state of constant amazement.”-Fake Buddha Quotes is your one-stop shopping for all quotes misattributed to The Buddha.
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 7, 2014 - 48 comments

"It reveals what we as a culture consider sexy and decadent today."

Did Hollywood Give the 1920s a Boob Job? 'Gatsby' Costume Designer Tells All
Breasts are everywhere in 2013’s new "Gatsby"… They’re pushed up to create cleavage, peeping out of frocks and fringed flapper dresses, and hugged tightly by clothes cut to show off curves. As Daisy Buchanan, Carey Mulligan is clearly wearing some sort of shapewear or bra under even her most modest clothes, to make her breasts seem perfectly perky.

Catherine Martin, the producer, production designer, and costume designer of "The Great Gatsby," says that she simply took the styles of the 1920s and amped up the sexy quotient—and made the dresses fit more like the designers intended.…

"Frankly, I am a bit shocked by Martin’s quotes regarding the 1920s—that she considers the clothes frumpy looking," [co-founder of the Fashion History Museum Jonathan] Walford says. "She was the wrong costumer to get the job if she can’t see the beauty in the real 1920s silhouette."
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Jul 4, 2014 - 46 comments

"Can you deal with the fact that I'm not in love with you?"

Without You I'm Nothing: The Believer looks at the memoirs of the wives and girlfriends of rock stars.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 4, 2014 - 20 comments

Olympian, war hero, Louis Zamperini passes away at age 97

Louis Zamperini [previously], subject of Laura Hillenbrand's popular biography Unbroken, died on July 2 at age 97 (link to NYTimes obit). A movie of Unbroken, with a screenplay by the Coen Brothers and directed by Angelina Jolie, is set for a Christmas release. Zamperini was an Olympic distance runner who survived weeks at sea in the Pacific and a Japanese prisoner of war camp after being shot down while serving in WWII. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jul 3, 2014 - 5 comments

"There are specific instructions when Isaac Hayes comes on."

Wattstax [SLYT] is a 1973 documentary film about the 1972 Wattstax music festival, held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots. Featuring performances by Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Rufus and Carla Thomas, The Staple Singers, The Emotions, The Bar-Kays, and other greats of soul, R&B, and gospel, Wattstax also incorporates relatively unknown comic Richard Pryor's musings on life for black Americans in 1972, "man-and-woman-on-the-street" interviews, and audience footage. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 3, 2014 - 23 comments

Pants and Trousers, Breeches and Pantaloons, Jodhpurs and Slacks, Oh My!

With the recent discovery of the world's oldest known trousers in China, it may be time to look at the history of that two legged garment invented in response to a specific need: to make travel by horseback far more comfortable. [more inside]
posted by julen on Jul 3, 2014 - 15 comments

The Vietnam Center and Archive

The Texas Tech Vietnam Center and Archive "collects and preserves the documentary record of the Vietnam War, and supports and encourages research and education regarding all aspects of the American Vietnam Experience." It includes vast sections of digitized material, including audio, video, maps, as well as all manner of documents. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jul 2, 2014 - 7 comments

"A Subtlety" & We Are Here

Why I Yelled at the Kara Walker Exhibit: "Anger shot up my body like a hot thermometer. Face flushed, I walked to the Mammy sphinx. Couples posed in front of it, smiling as others took their photos. So here it was, an artwork about how Black people’s pain was transformed into money was a tourist attraction for them... Something snapped... I yelled that this was our history and that many of us were angry and sad that it was a site of pornographic jokes." [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 2, 2014 - 170 comments

Practice makes perfect

No one who's ever seen film footage of Adolf Hitler giving his rousing speeches could have failed to notice the importance of Der Führer’s wildly exaggerated gestures and body language. Well, it turns out Hitler worked very carefully on that aspect of his public persona, very carefully indeed. During his rise to power, Adolf Hitler had his private photographer, Heinrich Hoffman, shoot him while he practiced those gestures, so that his speeches might have the dramatic impact upon his audiences that he sought. Here are the photos.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 1, 2014 - 80 comments

Hey, dummy!

Retail Therapy: What Mannequins Say About Us
Like the larger fashion industry, mannequin design echoes seasonal styles that come and go, both in regard to technological improvements and the way we view our bodies. “It’s often the body attitudes and facial expressions that reflect what’s going on socially,” says Hale. Accordingly, the stiff, unnatural bodies of early mannequins were well-matched for the Victorian Era‘s restrictive ideas about women’s rights and fashions, which dictated they wear many layers of heavy fabric over tight-fitting corsets.
[more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 1, 2014 - 14 comments

The Triflet at 19 shall pay 1 Stake, and proceed to the Songster at 38

Giochi dell'Oca - A large (2,265) collection of The Game of the Goose circa 1550 to 2014. Some of them with detail e.g. Games of the Pilgrim's progress - Going to Sunday School - Tower of Babel and The New Game of Human Life.
posted by unliteral on Jun 30, 2014 - 3 comments

Isis declares caliphate in Iraq and Syria

The militant Sunni group Isis has said it is establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state, in the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria. This is not the first border we will break, we will break other borders," its spokesman warns. Standing on a border sign he threatens to "break the borders" of Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jun 30, 2014 - 161 comments

Blog of the Centre for Imperial and Global History-University of Exeter

This blog will keep you up half the night when you should be trying to sleep for an early morning meeting. The post The Secret History Behind Today’s Algeria-Germany #WorldCup Match being timely and tweeted is what brought it to my attention. But what to share? There is so much good stuff, that the rabbit hole beckons...
posted by infini on Jun 30, 2014 - 581 comments

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