Got a minute
for Canadian history and some CanCon
)? Great! Because Heritage Minutes
are just that - 60 seconds of history from Canada's past. To date, there have been over 70 short segments produced, and you can watch them online at Historica Canada
, and read about people and events below the videos. If you don't know where to start, here are the top 5 minutes
according to a poll from 2012, and the top 10 from Macleans
. But if that's all too serious for you, there are also parodies
, plus more in this YouTube playlist
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 22, 2013 -
"One of the greatest stories, true or fictional, in all literature is Gibbon’s account of the life and martyrdom of Boethius under the Ostrogoth Theodoric. Senator, poet, philosopher, man of reason, he was the last of his kind in all these categories. The story is an incomparable masterpiece of prose. From the opening sentence, "The Senator Boethius is the last of the Romans whom Cato or Tully could have acknowledged for their countryman,"
Gibbon builds a mighty organ toccata. He always seems to see ahead to every echo and resonance and inversion of rhythm, through the idyllic description of The Consolation of Philosophy
to the terrible climax — the philosopher garroted and clubbed to death in the last gloomy hours of Theodoric, followed by the swift cadence, and the coda of the martyrdom of his fellow Senator Symmachus — four crowded pages of the most solemn music. Each man speaks in his own style. Gibbon speaks with such sublimity because, sitting in his quiet study, he was totally involved in the defense of reason against the triumph of barbarism and superstition and the ruin of all bright things." [more inside]
posted by Iridic
on Oct 21, 2013 -
O’Bryan walked me slowly down the steep side of the mesa, to the desert floor, so I could see Star Axis in its entirety. The work’s centrepiece is a 10-storey staircase that lets you walk up through the rock of the mesa, your eyes fixed on a small circular opening that cuts through the top of the pyramid. The first section of the staircase is roofless and open to the sky, but the end of it has a stone overhang that makes it look and feel like a tunnel. This ‘star tunnel’, as Ross calls it, is precisely aligned with Earth’s axis. If you bored a tunnel straight through the Earth’s core, from the South Pole to North Pole, and climbed up it, you’d see the same circle of sky that you do when you walk through Ross’ tunnel. Gazing up through it in the afternoon glare, I saw a patch of blue, the size and shape of a dime held at arm’s length. But if the sun had blinked for a moment, fading the heavens to black, I’d have seen Polaris, glittering at the end of the tunnel, like a solitary diamond in the void.
"Embracing the Void
," Ross Andersen, Aeon
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Oct 17, 2013 -
is a story about India’s agrarian crisis and the growing inequality seen through the work of the Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu
, P Sainath
. The entire film
is uncopyrighted and available to watch online. As Sainath says, "There are two kinds of journalists. One kind are journalists, the other are stenographers." As to the silence of the mainstream Indian media on the farmer suicides, he noted
"Tacitus despised Nero. His writings on the Emperor show us that. However, he wrote very little about his guests. Those who could pop that fig while human torches burned around them.
But then, come to think of it, the media of our time – the first-drafters-of history – are remarkably silent about this side of our own elite. Too many of whom are today just that. Nero’s Guests.
posted by spamandkimchi
on Oct 6, 2013 -
“Movie theaters wanted nothing to do with popcorn,” Smith says, “because they were trying to duplicate what was done in real theaters. They had beautiful carpets and rugs and didn’t want popcorn being ground into it.” Movie theaters were trying to appeal to a highbrow clientele, and didn’t want to deal with the distracting trash of concessions–or the distracting noise that snacking during a film would create. - So Why Do We Eat Popcorn At The Movies Anyway
? (Smithsonian Mag)
posted by The Whelk
on Oct 4, 2013 -
Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile (full album stream)
is the second instalment in Matana Roberts
's projected 12 part Coin Coin series of albums, "using the language of acoustic jazz to look at ideas of race, class and gender politics in American society".
Coin Coin was the nickname of a totemic figure from African-American history, Marie Thérèse Metoyer – a freed slave who founded a community along the Cane River in Louisiana in the late 18th century where people of colour enjoyed greater freedoms and opportunities than they could in most other places in the South. [more inside]
posted by dng
on Oct 2, 2013 -
Extra Credits (Previously,  
) was recently approached by Creative Assembly, the team behind the Total War series of games. With Total War: Rome II coming out and Creative Assembly determining what to do with the remainder of their marketing budget, they decided to finance Extra Credits on doing a history of the Punic Wars. Extra Credits gladly accepted, of course, and has now completed the saga. Extra History: The Punic Wars
posted by Navelgazer
on Oct 1, 2013 -
We tend to think now of scurvy as mainly a punch line, if anything—“scurvy-ridden rats” is the kind of popular pirate epithet that appears in even the most G-rated family fare. Partly this is because now, fully understanding its mechanism, it seems a particularly ridiculous problem. But ask anyone who's suffered from it: it is a singularly horrid and terrible way to die.
- The Spoil of Mariners
, Colin Dickey, Lapham's Quarterly
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Sep 29, 2013 -
PTSD and Gene Kelly's lost wartime star turn: For the last six decades or so, a copy [of "Combat Fatigue Irritability"] has been filed away, along with thousands of other films, at the National Library of Medicine. The only people it has been lost to are the public and Gene Kelly’s devoted and still numerous fans. But now the National Library of Medicine is featuring Combat Fatigue Irritability in Medical Movies on the Web, and the film will be given a well-deserved, though very belated, New York premiere, on October 5, 2013, at the New York Academy of Medicine. [more inside]
posted by theatro
on Sep 25, 2013 -
Lawyers need bartenders more than bartenders need lawyers. When it comes to cocktails and the names they’re given, a recipe can’t be copyrighted and a name isn’t usually trademarked, and there’s no governing body, no law of the liquor land that stops the duplication of a recipe or a cocktail name. Which makes cocktail naming—shall we call it mixonymics?—special among naming practices in the modern world: It’s the bartender tribe, not the law, that defines prior art. "Swizzle Me This,"
Michael Erard, The Morning News
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Sep 18, 2013 -
I would probably describe Archipelago as a group blog. It was a computer-based system that allowed about a dozen members to regularly post short essays and whimsical observations. Each member had his or her own icon which appeared next to timestamped postings which contained pictures, sounds, and hyperlinks. All pretty standard except for one thing: the year was 1988." The archives of Archipelago
show a glimmer of what the social web was to become over the next two decades. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla
on Sep 16, 2013 -
London’s coffee craze began in 1652 when Pasqua Rosée, the Greek servant of a coffee-loving British Levant merchant, opened London’s first coffeehouse (or rather, coffee shack) against the stone wall of St Michael’s churchyard in a labyrinth of alleys off Cornhill. Coffee was a smash hit; within a couple of years, Pasqua was selling over 600 dishes of coffee a day to the horror of the local tavern keepers. For anyone who’s ever tried seventeenth-century style coffee, this can come as something of a shock — unless, that is, you like your brew “black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love”, as an old Turkish proverb recommends, and shot through with grit.
posted by barnacles
on Sep 10, 2013 -
"Brigitte Höss lives quietly on a leafy side street in Northern Virginia. She is retired now, having worked in a Washington fashion salon for more than 30 years. She recently was diagnosed with cancer and spends much of her days dealing with the medical consequences. Brigitte also has a secret that not even her grandchildren know. Her father was Rudolf Höss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 10, 2013 -
A relic hunter dubbed 'Indiana Bones' has lifted the lid
on a macabre collection of 400-year-old jewel-encrusted skeletons unearthed in churches across Europe.
posted by empath
on Sep 7, 2013 -
Many years ago, I found a quarter inch audio reel in a rotting cardboard box, covered in dust, while helping my dear friend and mentor, Lighting Cameraman John B. Peters, clean up his garage. He told me it had been recorded in Vietnam during his coverage of that war. On the box, still legible, was handwritten: “Firefight, no name village, near Chu Lai, September 10, 1966, Nagra 3, 3,75 I.P.S.”
John recalled that he was out with a patrol that day, and when the Vietcong ambushed them, they all had to duck for cover, but his soundman kept the audio recorder rolling throughout the duration of the fierce firefight that followed
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Sep 6, 2013 -