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Or how to get ahead.

Pope Frankenstein, by the erudite and amusing Yanko Tsvetkov.
posted by Joe in Australia on Aug 3, 2015 - 3 comments

Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources

The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources aims to document all given names recorded in European sources written between 600 and 1600.
posted by escabeche on Aug 3, 2015 - 34 comments

How Early-20th-Century Americans Taught Their Kids to Be Thrifty

Slate takes a look at some of the concepts in Andrew L. Yarrow's Thrift: The History of an American Cultural Movement including various methods of teaching thrift to children. One tool used was a chart that teaches children how much it cost their parents to support them.
posted by purplesludge on Aug 3, 2015 - 25 comments

Complex Systems Break in Complex Ways

The RISKS Digest Turns 30: In February 1985 Adele Goldberg, the President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), published a letter in the Communications of the ACM expressing concern with humanity’s “increasingly critical dependence on the use of computers” and the risks associated with complex computer and software systems. On August 1st 1985 Stanford Research Institute's Peter G. Neumann responded by creating RISKS@SRI-CRL. [more inside]
posted by JoeZydeco on Aug 1, 2015 - 14 comments

“The Germans were not there; the Lithuanians did it themselves.”

Double Genocide: Lithuania wants to erase its ugly history of Nazi collaboration - by accusing Jewish partisans who fought the Germans of war crimes.
"After Lithuanians got independence,” he told me, “we hoped that Lithuania would give us help.” But it was not to be. In one of its very first independent actions, before even fully breaking free of Moscow, Lithuania’s parliament formally exonerated several Lithuanian nationalists who had collaborated in the Holocaust and had been convicted by Soviet military courts after the war. The right-wing paramilitaries who had carried out the mass murder of Lithuania’s Jews were now hailed as national heroes on account of their anti-Soviet bona fides.

posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 30, 2015 - 47 comments

“Writing is healing. Writing is art. Writing is learning.”

The Role of Writers in a STEM Obsessed Society
“As writers, it’s easy to think of how we matter to literature classrooms, but what the appointment of writers-in-residence in hospitals, history classrooms, foreign language learning spaces, and cooking schools reminds us is that we are relevant wherever there is humanity—which is to say, wherever humans are with their stories. Writing is healing. Writing is art. Writing is learning. As such, writing across the disciplines matters. Many models of artist residencies depend upon the retreat model, wherein the artist sequesters herself away with a small community of other artists. While these models have value, especially when considering how solitude relates to the creative process, it’s heartening to me to see more models catch on that value the place of the writer in society, rather than hidden away from it.”

posted by Fizz on Jul 30, 2015 - 44 comments

Top 10 Medieval Butt-Licking Cats

The nastiest habit of medieval cats seen via illuminated manuscripts.
posted by Confess, Fletch on Jul 29, 2015 - 58 comments

Jamestown Rediscovery

Yesterday, the Jamestown Rediscovery and the Smithsonian Institution announced that they had identified the remains of Capt. Gabriel Archer, Rev. Robert Hunt, Sir Ferdinando Wainman and Capt. William West, four of the earliest leaders of the Jamestowne settlement. Among Archer's remnants was a small silver box that researchers have identified as a Roman Catholic reliquary. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 29, 2015 - 21 comments

Can't keep a secret

Who first said Motherf$cker on TV? What was with Lesbian Kiss Episodes? Are Crossover Episodes ever a good idea? Why do Bottle Episodes make good television? What was Cousin Oliver Syndrome? [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker on Jul 29, 2015 - 13 comments

Last survivors of the Indianapolis

Warship's Last Survivors Recall Sinking in Shark-Infested Waters
posted by Artw on Jul 28, 2015 - 19 comments

2,500 people in their clean picnic clothes

One hundred years ago today, the SS Eastland, about to set out for a company picnic in Indiana, tipped over at its dock in the Chicago River with over 2,500 people aboard. Eight hundred and forty-four of them died in one of the worst non-military maritime disasters in American history. The Chicago Tribune has published some previously unseen photographs of the recovery efforts. [warning: a couple of these are potentially disturbing] [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Jul 24, 2015 - 39 comments

Pareidolia, Hypervigilance, and the Uncanny Valley - You Know, For Kids!

The History (and Psychology) of Creepy Dolls [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jul 23, 2015 - 17 comments

British Movietone Archive and Associated Press Archive

The British Movietone archive of nearly fifty thousand newsreel films is now on YouTube. Movietone started making newsreels in 1929 and stopped fifty years later. You can find clips about nearly any subject, women's rights, space exploration, and sports. The archive has a number of playlists, including one where archivist Jenny Hammerton presents clips she finds interesting. But, I hear you say, do they have cute cat videos? Yes. Also, a parachuting dog and jokes about Hitler. Also now availabe, the Associated Press Archive of more than 170 thousand video clips. The Guardian has a list of interesting clips from both archives.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 22, 2015 - 5 comments

How Hot Chicken Really Happened

"For almost 70 years, hot chicken was made and sold primarily in Nashville’s black neighborhoods. I started to suspect the story of hot chicken could tell me something powerful about race relations in Nashville, especially as the city tries to figure out what it will be in the future." Rachel L. Martin, "How Hot Chicken Really Happened," from The Bitter Southerner.
posted by MonkeyToes on Jul 21, 2015 - 40 comments

Exponential Hangover

Web Design: The First 100 Years
So despite appearances, despite the feeling that things are accelerating and changing faster than ever, I want to make the shocking prediction that the Internet of 2060 is going to look recognizably the same as the Internet today.
Unless we screw it up.
[more inside]
posted by CrystalDave on Jul 21, 2015 - 40 comments

a waste of muscular flesh

Worm fever, headmouldshot, quinsy, Derbyshire neck, and other medical terms of the 18th and 19th centuries.
posted by theodolite on Jul 20, 2015 - 31 comments

Al Gore's Satellite

In 1998, Vice President Al Gore had a vision for "Triana," an imaging satellite that would continuously transmit a live "big blue marble" Earthview for the nascent World Wide Web. Designed, built, and scheduled for launch in 2001, the $150 million "GoreSat" became a victim of politics during the W. Bush administration, and was relegated to a closet at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Friendlier heads revived the satellite in 2009 as the NOAA's DISCOVR - the Deep Space Climate Observatory - and launched her on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket last year. Today, NASA published her first "epic" view of Earth.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jul 20, 2015 - 26 comments

The 8$ Sheep Doll Would Be 200$ Today

With F. A. O. Schwarz's iconic 5th Avenue store closing for good last week (Gothamist photos), why not look back at the 1911 Spring And Summer catalog and the conversation effort to preserve the catalog at the Cooper Hewitt design museum..
posted by The Whelk on Jul 20, 2015 - 15 comments

The Ghosts of Duffy's Cut

Another of the dead of Duffy's Cut is being reburied in Ireland. Archaeological and historical work near Malvern, Pennsylvania has located the shantytown where 57 Irish immigrants died in 1832. Originally eight deaths were attributed to cholera, but papers located by the grandson of a railroad executive suggested the encampment was larger. Now we know that some of the victims were killed, possibly after escaping a quarantine, and their bodies are slowly being returned home. NYT article from 2010. Six-minute YT trailer for an Irish documentary (in English).
posted by immlass on Jul 19, 2015 - 4 comments

The Sad, Stately Photo Of Nixon's Resignation Lunch

The Sad, Stately Photo Of Nixon's Resignation Lunch
posted by incomple on Jul 18, 2015 - 200 comments

The answer to the threat of man-eating sharks...

Julia Child and the OSS Recipe for Shark Repellent [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave on Jul 18, 2015 - 10 comments

Dr. Anandibai Joshi, Dr. Keiko Okami, and Dr. Sabat Islambouli in 1885

This photo depicts Dr. Anandibai Joshi of India, Dr. Keiko Okami of Japan, and Dr. Sabat Islambouli of Syria, three women who became doctors in 1885, at least two the first female physician in their own country, and 36 years after Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States. (All three completed medical school at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania.) Be sure to click "See More" to read the full post at the first link. (Previously, on the lives of trailblazing women in medicine.) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Jul 17, 2015 - 20 comments

"[T]he flaw at the heart of our country is not just geological."

Confronting New Madrid (Part 1): In the winter of 1811-12, the New Madrid fault in southern Missouri triggered a series of earthquakes in so powerful they altered the course of the Mississippi River and rang church bells as far away as Philadelphia... and we still don't fully understand why. A similar quake today is estimated to be the costliest disaster in US History.
Confronting New Madrid (Part 2): As dangerous as the threat of "the big one" might be, however, the real disaster is us. [more inside]
posted by absalom on Jul 16, 2015 - 39 comments

"The desert snail at once awoke and found himself famous"

In the mid-1800s, a snail spent years glued to a specimen card in the British Museum (now the Natural History Museum) before scientists realized it was still alive. What became of this snail? Ask Metafilter found out! [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack on Jul 14, 2015 - 55 comments

Sugar Plantations in the West Indies

The history of British slave ownership has been buried: now its scale can be revealed The T71 files have been converted into an online database; a free, publicly available resource.
posted by infini on Jul 12, 2015 - 38 comments

The Internet History Sourcebooks

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use. The main sourcebooks cover ancient, medieval, and modern history. Subsidiary sourcebooks cover African, East Asian, Global, Indian, Islamic, Jewish, Lesbian and Gay, Science, and Women's history.
posted by jedicus on Jul 9, 2015 - 6 comments

If it weren't for Edison we'd be watching TV by candlelight

James Comisar has amassed a collection of movie and TV props which he currently houses in storage while he sets up the actual Museum of Television.
posted by growabrain on Jul 6, 2015 - 11 comments

Mary Anning: the greatest fossil hunter the world has ever known

She got off to an inauspicious start when she was born in poverty and then was struck by lightning as a small child. But when her father died when she was ten, leaving her family without any means of support, Mary Anning made her own luck with her skill at fossil finding. Her first big find came when she discovered the first complete skeleton of an Icthyosaur at twelve years old. She went on to discover pivotally important skeletons of plesiosaurs, pterosaurs and a fossil fish which was hailed as the "missing link" between sharks and rays. Despite being self taught, she was widely regarded as one of paleontology's greatest experts in the world when she died. Previously.
posted by sciatrix on Jul 6, 2015 - 12 comments

The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes

Interactive animation of the Atlantic slave trade. Pause and click on individuals ships for detailed data (not available for all ships).
posted by laptolain on Jul 2, 2015 - 25 comments

The roads of Chittenden County

Until this year, Vermont had never formally decommissioned any roads. Ever. This has had some implications.... [via jessamyn's Twitter]
posted by Chrysostom on Jul 1, 2015 - 24 comments

No other WWII training accident took so many American lives.

DISASTER AT SLAPTON SANDS Scimitar was holed when she was rammed by another vessel and was ordered to return to port. Incredibly, no one bothered to inform the operation commander of this! This left tiny Azalea to act as the sole escort. As events showed, this might have been enough except for one unspotted typographical error in the orders. The American ships were tuned to the wrong radio frequency and could not transmit to or receive from the British ship or coastal stations. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California on Jun 30, 2015 - 12 comments

China Girls, Color TV, And Racial Bias

The Atlantic covers the fight over color TV, the women who helped push it, and how racial bias influenced the evolution of the technology. Of note is the history of bias influencing all sorts of imaging technologies, pushing towards fidelity of reproducing lighter skin tones at the expense of darker ones.
posted by NoxAeternum on Jun 30, 2015 - 9 comments

Demons For Dummies Ca. 1775

"A selection of pages from an 18th-century demonology book comprised of more than 30 exquisite watercolours showing various demon figures, as well as magic and cabbalistic signs. The full Latin title of Compendium rarissimum totius Artis Magicae sistematisatae per celeberrimos Artis hujus Magistros, roughly translates to “A rare summary of the entire Magical Art by the most famous Masters of this Art”. With a title page adorned with skeletons and the warning of Noli me tangere (Do not touch me), one quickly gets a sense of the dark oddities lurking inside its pages." - The Public Domain Review presents illustrations from a 18th century guide to demons and demonology (NSFW illustrated nudity, snakes on bits.)
posted by The Whelk on Jun 30, 2015 - 29 comments

A T O M I C !

Top Of The Pops - The Story 0f 1980 [SLYT]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 27, 2015 - 30 comments

A History of Gay Sex

"What sorts of things did gay men get up to in the past, and how much did these differ from what we get up to today? Does gay sex have a history, or do the forms of pleasure remain the same across centuries? Have some tastes declined, and new tastes arisen?!" (NSFW for olde style (and slightly hilarious) descriptions of gay sexual activities.) Homosexuality in the ancient Greco-Roman world: "Most of us know that the ancient pagan world was more tolerant of homosexuality than the one god religions that would follow. But how tolerant were the ancient Greeks and Romans? It turns out they weren’t nearly as tolerant as you might like to think." (The next one is a Daily Mail link, but its not their usual fare) "Hidden history of homosexuality: New British Museum guide explores past of gay love hidden among its exhibits."
posted by marienbad on Jun 26, 2015 - 30 comments

EQUAL · MARRIAGE · UNDER · LAW

Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had been together nearly two decades when John was stricken by terminal ALS. With their union unconstitutional in Ohio, the couple turned to friends and family to fund a medical flight to Maryland, where they wed, tearfully, on the tarmac [prev.]. After John's death, however, Jim found himself embroiled in an ugly legal battle with his native state over the right to survivor status on John's death certificate -- a fight he eventually took all the way to the Supreme Court. And that's how this morning -- two years after U.S. v. Windsor, a dozen after Lawrence v. Texas, and at the crest of an unprecedented wave of social change -- the heartbreaking case of Obergefell v. Hodges has at long last rendered same-sex marriage legal nationwide in a 5-4 decision lead by Justice Anthony Kennedy. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 26, 2015 - 1258 comments

A Ruff To Remember

21 Things Only 1590s Kids Will Understand!
posted by The Whelk on Jun 24, 2015 - 35 comments

Chamber of horrors

The man who sleeps in Hitler’s bed Wheatcroft is now 55, and according to the Sunday Times Rich List, worth £120m... The ruling passion of his life, though, is what he calls the Wheatcroft Collection – widely regarded as the world’s largest accumulation of German military vehicles and Nazi memorabilia.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 24, 2015 - 42 comments

"For a time, there were maybe 50 dubstep tracks in the whole world."

The VICE Oral History of Dubstep
posted by azarbayejani on Jun 23, 2015 - 41 comments

Broadly speaking, a Duck Dynasty shirt is not a good sign.

One of my favourite Twitter accounts is the frustrating and important @AfAmHistFail, run by an anonymous (for obvious reasons) docent who gives slavery presentations at a historical plantation. She shares the ups and downs of her job, the struggles to keep composure in the face of racist questions and monologues, and the difficulty of puncturing the romanticization of the antebellum South. She was kind enough to answer some questions for us.
posted by DynamiteToast on Jun 22, 2015 - 72 comments

A tiny obsession with a teensy machine.

It's Friday, so let's all relax and learn about Colin Riley's Z80 homebrew computer. Part 1: Introduction, Part 2: Interrupts and timers, Part 3: File system, SD Card and VRAM, Part 4: VRAM, display modes and a simple shell, Part 5: Implementing preëmptive multithreading.
posted by boo_radley on Jun 19, 2015 - 23 comments

("YOO-ker")

The history and future of euchre, "the people's card game."
posted by Iridic on Jun 16, 2015 - 82 comments

Dreams of Tipu Sultan

One of the most intriguing items in the British Library Persian manuscripts collection is a small unexceptional looking volume which contains a personal record, written in his own hand, of 37 dreams of Tipu Sultan, Sultan of Mysore (r. 1782-1799). [Complete translation.]
A figure of continuing interest, Tipu Sultan's depiction in a 2014 parade float was the subject of a minor controversy, revisited expansively this year in a TV news report. A video history lesson for children offers a brief portrait of the ruler, sometimes remembered for his use of rockets against the British and his anti-British mechanical pipe organ (examined carefully here, but here used to play two tunes, including "Rule, Britannia!"). [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Jun 14, 2015 - 15 comments

Teens In Ties

Presenting the 1911 Spokane High School Yearbook! Of particular note are the "Ambitions" of each graduating student, from "To marry a single man" to " Murder the faculty." PDF link
posted by The Whelk on Jun 13, 2015 - 53 comments

The Archaeology of Teaching

Workers renovating Emerson High School in Oklahoma City recently discovered slate blackboards, still complete with chalked lessons and drawings, which had been covered up by the installation of new boards in early December, 1917. An additional photogallery (and autoplaying video) can be found here (slightly different versions of that page here and here).
posted by Rumple on Jun 10, 2015 - 26 comments

Unmaking Things

Unmaking Things: A Design History Studio is a creative space for exploring innovative approaches to the study of design and objects. The site is founded, edited, and run by students on the Royal College of Art / Victoria and Albert Museum History of Design MA course and covers a diverse range of topics – from product design to critical theory; from the history of decorative arts to analysis of space. The student editors and site design change annually. New articles are posted every Monday and Thursday.
posted by jedicus on Jun 10, 2015 - 1 comment

40 acres and a mule

A Reparations Infographic
posted by aniola on Jun 9, 2015 - 42 comments

The God of this world is riches, pleasure and toys

Who's the fastest selling Playmobil figure of all time? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a dinosaur? [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jun 9, 2015 - 29 comments

Ladies and gentlemen: the Vocoder

The Vocoder was invented at Bell Labs in 1939 to transmit voice data, rather than to make rock musicians sound like robots. It could also do much more interesting things to your voice.
posted by DoctorFedora on Jun 7, 2015 - 12 comments

The Bronze Age Gold Rush of the (British) Southwest

Trading Gold: Why Bronze Age Irish Used Imported Gold “The results of this study are a fascinating finding. They show that there was no universal value of gold, at least until perhaps the first gold coins started to appear nearly two thousand years later. Prehistoric economies were driven by factors more complex than the trade of commodities – belief systems clearly played a major role.” [more inside]
posted by Michele in California on Jun 6, 2015 - 4 comments

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