"Novels are no use at all in days like these,
for they deal with people and their relationships, with fathers and mothers and daughters or sons and lovers, etc., with souls, usually unhappy ones, and with society etc., as if the place for all these things were assured, the earth for all time earth, the sea level fixed for all time." [more inside]
Dinosaurs were lumbering, stupid, scientifically boring beasts—until John Ostrom rewrote the book on them.
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
"More than five centuries after Christopher Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria, was wrecked in the Caribbean, archaeological investigators think they may have discovered the vessel’s long-lost remains
– lying at the bottom of the sea off the north coast of Haiti."
Four Thousand Years of World History
"On a beautiful sunny day last week,
the Turning Over a New Leaf
project team decided to take a day off from the office to visit a spectacular chained library in the small town of Zutphen
(located in the eastern part of the Netherlands). Built in 1564 as part of the church of St Walburga, it is one of only five chained libraries in the world that survive ‘intact’—that is, complete with the original books, chains, rods, and furniture."
"My friend showed me around the MUNI Kirkland bus yard.
MUNI is the municipal public transit system serving the city and county of San Francisco. It will turn exactly 100 later this year." [via
"Only July 10, 1971, America's newest photo reconnaissance satellite, the KH-9 Hexagon
, dropped a capsule loaded with film towards the Earth. The reentry vehicle was supposed to open its parachute; an American aircraft would snatch it out of the sky in mid-descent. But the chute was never unfurled. The reentry vehicle hit the Pacific Ocean with a force of approximately 2600 Gs. And then it sunk down into the deep, before settling at 16,000 feet."
"Historians have long debated what could have been done differently to prevent that tragedy, and what still could be done to keep such a tragedy from repeating on future expeditions. In 1913, a Swiss inventor proposed a solution to the problem. Naturally, it involved giant mechanical mosquitoes.
" [more inside]
After the Final Curtain:
Photographically documenting neglected and abandoned theaters throughout the United States. [via
"These giant monsters of the past are seen to breathe, to live again, to move and battle as they did at the dawn of life!" The Ghost of Slumber Mountain
(1918), by Willis O'Brien
a middle-school history teacher on the seductive stories of mankind's battles.
"Just last week you read about the H-bomb being dropped. Now two great English writers, two very imaginative writers — I’m gonna tell you if you have youngsters in the living room tell them not to be alarmed at this ‘cause it’s a fantasy, the whole thing is animated — but two English writers, Joan and Peter Foldes, wrote a thing which they called ‘A Short Vision’ in which they wondered what might happen to the animal population of the world if an H-bomb were dropped. It’s produced by George K. Arthur and I’d like you to see it. It is grim, but I think we can all stand it to realize that in war there is no winner.
, an industry magazine for the movie theater business, has been posting back issues dating to 1925
. Via Trailers From Hell
"Many Wikipedia articles are tagged with geographic coordinates. Many have references to historic events. Cross referencing these two subsets and plotting them year on year adds up to a dynamic visualization of Wikipedia's view of world history
." Via curiosity counts
"I have been collecting for more than thirty years, and my collecting wanders around the theme of visual entertainment, and almost all of the collection dates from before 1900. Over time you will find magic lanterns
and a variety of other optical toys. You may find things that seem odd in this collection, however, always remember that collecting is a very personal thing and these items may stretch the boundaries of visual entertainment but nevertheless have found a place in my collection.
" Via @CarinBerger
Americans and Science Fiction in the Early Cold War Era [via Futurismic
"When the eminent French poet Jean Cocteau
died last October at the age of 74, his obituaries noted that he had followed an astounding number of part-time careers as well—novelist, playwright, choreographer, film director, critic and artist. But Cocteau's journalistic biographers overlooked the most bizarre of his avocations: he was once the successful manager of a world champion prizefighter.
" - Sports Illustrated, March 2, 1964 [more inside]
In 1916, Bone War
veteran (and poet
) Charles H. Sternberg
loaded 22 crates of fossils from the Alberta Badlands onto the SS Mount Temple
, intending to ship them to the British Museum of Natural History. They never made it.
[via Dinosaur Tracking
on varied topics inspired by working in a secondhand bookshop.
In 1840, book collectors from around Europe flocked to the Belgian town of Binche hoping to buy at auction the late Jean Nepomucene Auguste Pichauld, Comte de Fortsas's collection of one-of-a-kind books. Unfortunately for them, neither the man nor his collection ever existed. More recently,
librarian and bibliophile Jeremy Dibbell posted the contents of the Fortras Catalogue to LibraryThing
with English translation as well as an introduction to the collection.
Scans of the original catalogue can be found on Google Books. [more inside]
The Preservation of Favoured Traces:
a visualization of Charles Darwin's edits and additions to On the Origin of Species
over the course of six editions. (via
) [more inside]
The sky is falling!
to Ronald Reagan
: a comprehensive timeline of apocalyptic predictions. If you decide to put some stock in one or more of these prophecies, you may need to do some preparatory research