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Retro TV Channels from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are on the internet for all posterity
This website of vintage TV also features crappy, snow-filled static screens, a mechanical-sounding TV channel switch and a slight delay when you change the channel before it appears on the screen. This is truly delightful and a nice way to spend an evening reminiscing about what TV used to mean for you (i.e. something significant and important in the pre-internet era).
history  video  television  retro 
4 days ago by terry
Native cartography: a bold mapmaking project that challenges Western notions of place
‘More lands have been lost to Native peoples probably through mapping than through physical conflict.’ Maps have been used not only to encroach on Native Americans lands, but to diminish their cultures as well. With every Spanish, French or English placename that eclipses a Native one, a European narrative of place and space becomes further entrenched. In an effort to help reclaim his region for his people, Jim Enote, a Zuni farmer and the director of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center in New Mexico, has organised a unique project intended to help bring indigenous narratives back to the land.
maps  america  culture  geography  history 
11 days ago by terry
Yahoo Japan is shutting down its website hosting service GeoCities
The company said in a statement that it was hard to encapsulate in one word the reason for the shut down, but that profitability and technological issues were primary factors. It added that it was full of “regret” for the fate of the immense amount of information that would be lost as a result of the service’s closure. [...]

The fact that GeoCities survived in Japan for so long speaks to the country’s idiosyncratic nature online. Despite the fact that Yahoo—which purchased GeoCities in 1999 for almost $4 billion at the peak of the boom—has fallen into irrelevance in much of the world, the company continues to be the dominant news portal in Japan. It still commands a sizeable market share in search, though it has steadily ceded its position to Google over the years.
internet  computing  web  history  japan 
13 days ago by terry
Sonic Territories: the Beishan Broadcast Wall exhibited
While standing on a frontier, the broadcast wall also abolishes it. Sound blurs boundaries and reaffirms the porosity of space. In August 2018, invited by Augustin Maurs and Ada Kai-Ting Yang, a group of five Taiwanese and international artists will re-activate and re-invent the Beishan broadcast wall in the course of an artist-run research residency. During this investigation, the loudspeaker construction will become a twofold instrument where outer and inner voices cross, and where artist voices merge with the voices of local participants.
art  china  history  taiwan  music  propaganda 
18 days ago by terry
ArtAsiaPacific: Sonic Territories Performance Recap
For “Sonic Territories,” five artists took over the still partially functioning Beishan Broadcast Wall. Comprising deeply site-specific performances, curator Ada Kai-Ting Yang’s ensemble rippled with resonances that spoke of peace while stirring at shared memories of displacement and conflict. 
china  taiwan  propaganda  music  history  art 
18 days ago by terry
Aural exhibition inspired by Kinmen’s Beishan Broadcast Wall bound for Berlin
Yang said instead of focusing on the pain caused by war, the exhibition emphasizes blessings, peace and the need to cloak the former battlefield with a sense of spiritual calm. It is also an attempt to heighten international awareness of Kinmen’s complicated history and the development of democracy in Taiwan, she added.
china  taiwan  propaganda  music  history  art 
18 days ago by terry
Beishan Broadcast Wall: Taiwan’s eerie sonic weapon
A stronghold of ‘sonic power’ has been brought back to life. Vivienne Chow talks to the artists behind a new project about different forms of propaganda – and the politics of silence.
taiwan  china  propaganda  art  music  history 
18 days ago by terry
"A Geological Parable" - Futility Closet
The Archaeopteryx was feeling pretty gloomy, for at that morning’s meeting of the Amalgamated Association of Enaliosaurians he had been blackballed. He was looked down upon by the Pterodactyl and the Ichthyosaurus deigned not to notice him. Cast out by the Reptilia, and Aves not being thought of, he became a wanderer upon the face of the earth. ‘Alas!’ sighed the poor Archaeopteryx, ‘this world is no place for me.’ And he laid him down and died; and became imbedded in the rock.
dinosaurs  history  fossils  science  humour 
18 days ago by terry
At the Newark Public Library, shopping bags carry local history
he Newark Public Library in Newark, New Jersey, has an unusual collection that can’t be found in its stacks. Stored in the library’s Special Collections department, in one filing cabinet and 61 archival Solander boxes—some of which are so full their latches barely close—are over 2,000 shopping bags. Meticulously cataloged by geographic location, size, and theme, the collection records the history of graphics, culture, and everyday life from the mid-20th century to the current day.
history  design  shopping 
19 days ago by terry
Pass the tortoise shell: Eve Houghton explores reading and writing across time and space
The history of the book does not always involve the study of either history or books. As James Raven shows in this slim, engaging volume, the question of what sort of object might count as a book remains very much up for debate. The history of the book in the Western world has traditionally made “book” synonymous with “codex” – gatherings of leaves folded or stitched together – but in Professor Raven’s geographically and chronologically wide-ranging account, it takes a variety of material forms: Chinese tortoise shells inscribed 3,000 years ago; Sumerian clay tablets impressed with cuneiform scripts; knotted string records, or khipus, used for record-keeping by South American Incan officials. The boundaries of the book seem even less clearly defined in the era of the blog post and Kindle.
books  history  reading 
19 days ago by terry
The breeds, personalities, temperaments and physical traits of the beloved pet dogs of Ancient Rome
In a tail-wagging video essay, Julien Blarel of Invicta History takes a look at an often ignored facet of daily ancient Roman life – their pet dogs. Blarel explains the type of breeds available along with their physical traits, personality and temperament with the help of wonderful illustrations by Beverly Johnson.
history  animals  dogs  rome 
19 days ago by terry
Conserve the sound
»Conserve the sound« is an online museum for vanishing and endangered sounds. The sound of a dial telephone, a walkman, a analog typewriter, a pay phone, a 56k modem, a nuclear power plant or even a cell phone keypad are partially already gone or are about to disappear from our daily life.
audio  history  museum  sound 
27 days ago by terry
How the index card cataloged the world
Carl Linnaeus, the father of biological taxonomy, also had a hand in inventing this tool for categorizing anything.
history  information  records 
28 days ago by terry
12 letters that didn't make the alphabet
You know the alphabet. It’s one of the first things you’re taught in school. But did you know that they’re not teaching you all of the alphabet? There are quite a few letters we tossed aside as our language grew, and you probably never even knew they existed.
writing  alphabet  history  language 
4 weeks ago by terry
Recently digitized journals grant visitors access to Leonardo da Vinci’s detailed engineering schematics and musings
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London recently published scans of two of the Leonardo da Vinci notebooks so website visitors can digitally zoom and flip through the drawings and musings of the Italian Renaissance painter, architect, inventor, and sculptor. Jumbled together in the delicate journals are thoughts on both science and art—detailed charts and speculations contained on the same pages as observational sketches of hats or horse hooves.
davinci  notebooks  books  history  engineering 
4 weeks ago by terry
In 1988, Acid House swept Britain. These fliers tell the story.
Mr. Little started doing sleeves for a friend’s record label, which led to the work on fliers. The Spectrum job did not pay well, he said — “I think about £100 and free entry to the club for life” — but he put a lot of effort into its fliers. He was told that the design had to feature an all-seeing eye, and he tried to give the flier a direct link to ’60s psychedelia, filling it with coded references to the Grateful Dead’s artwork. “Maybe three out of the 10,000 people made the reference,” Mr. Little said. But everyone who picked up one kept it, he said. “No one threw it in the street.”
music  design  history 
5 weeks ago by terry
Caerleon Amphitheatre
This Roman amphitheater is said to be King Arthur's legendary Round Table.
wales  history  newport 
5 weeks ago by terry
In 1900, photographing an entire train required the world’s biggest camera
Lawrence quickly went to work designing a camera that could hold a glass plate measuring 8 feet by 4 1/2 feet. It was constructed by the camera manufacturer J.A. Anderson from natural cherry wood, with bespoke Carl Zeiss lenses (also the largest ever made). The camera alone weighed 900 pounds. With the plate holder, it reached 1,400 pounds. According to an August 1901 article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the bellows was big enough to hold six men, and the whole camera took a total of 15 workers to operate.
history  photography 
5 weeks ago by terry
K10k - Web Design Museum
Year: 2003; Categories: Design & Art, Magazines; Style: Pixel Design, Creative.
internet  design  history  webdesign 
5 weeks ago by terry
Web Design Museum
At present, Internet Archive keeps the visual form of over 327 billion websites, the oldest of which date back to 1996. This service is undoubtedly a great aid to anyone who would like to look at the internet past. Unfortunately, it does not enable to follow past trends in web design or to go through websites originating only in a certain period. The thing is that Internet Archive is not a museum with carefully sorted exhibits that would give visitors a comprehensive picture of the web design past with the use of selected examples. It is more like a full archive of the internet.

Therefore, Web Design Museum sets the main objective to trace the past web design trends, and to give general public the full picture of the web design past with the use of selected exhibits. At the same time, it seeks to use selected websites to outline the development of websites from the most distant past until present.
internet  design  history  webdesign 
5 weeks ago by terry
How the smiley face became a counter-cultural symbol
The yellow smiley face as we know it has been around for over half a century, but where did it come from? And how does it continue to grin when the general consensus says there isn’t much to smile about these days? Here, we trace the origins of the iconic graphic, from its corporate beginnings to its counter-cultural adoption.
design  history 
6 weeks ago by terry
The twenty-five-year journey of Magic: The Gathering
To change more rules, you needed to buy more cards. Many of the most powerful cards were rarely printed, which drove fans to crack open even more packs. By November of 1993, under the headline “Professor’s Game Casts Magic Spell on Players,” the Seattle Times reported that ten million cards had been sold in a few months. “I’ve wasted—no not wasted—I’ve used all my money just buying Magic cards,” an eleven-year-old boy named Jake told the Washington Post. He carried his deck around with him everywhere he went in case a game broke out. By 1997, Magic: The Gathering was so successful that Wizards of the Coast acquired Dungeons & Dragons. Newsweek noted that Wizards had sold two billion cards. A game like Magic, Garfield told the reporter, could “take over your personal operating system, like a virus.”
games  history  cards 
7 weeks ago by terry
'Spectacular' ancient public library discovered in Germany
It is not clear how many scrolls the library would have held, but it would have been “quite huge – maybe 20,000”, said Schmitz. The building would have been slightly smaller than the famed library at Ephesus, which was built in 117 AD. He described the discovery as “really incredible – a spectacular find”.
libraries  history  archaeology 
10 weeks ago by terry
Cosmography manuscript (12th Century)
This wonderful series of medieval cosmographic diagrams and schemas are sourced from a late 12th-century manuscript created in England. Coming to only nine folios, the manuscript is essentially a scientific textbook for monks, bringing together cosmographical knowledge from a range of early Christian writers such as Bede and Isodere, who themselves based their ideas on such classical sources as Pliny the Elder, though adapting them for their new Christian context.
astrology  diagrams  history  science  maps 
11 weeks ago by terry
Famous landmarks, before they were finished
It isn’t always possible to find an unusual perspective on famous landmarks, but photos taken during their construction can often provide one. In black-and-white or grainy color, they’re filled with promise but not yet substance—scaffolding around a skyscraper skeleton, pieces of a sculpture in a workshop, the foot of a tower reaching into nothing.
photography  architecture  history 
11 weeks ago by terry
Indigenous geographies overlap in this colorful online map
FOR CENTURIES, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND their traditional territories have been purposefully left off maps by colonizers as part of a sustained campaign to delegitimize their existence and land claims. Interactive mapping website Native Land does the opposite, by stripping out country and state borders in order to highlight the complex patchwork of historic and present-day Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages that stretch across the United States, Canada, and beyond.
history  geography  usa  australia  maps 
11 weeks ago by terry
Now That’s What I Call an oddly important document of British visual culture: Now releases its 100th CD
Older than the Macintosh PC, the Air Jordan, and the entire World Cup winning French squad, the Now series has finally notched up 100 editions, each stuffed to the gills with the kind of pop hits that pack a potent enough nostalgic punch to floor unwitting listeners.
music  history 
12 weeks ago by terry
How the Blog broke the Web
The old web, the cool web, the weird web, the hand-organized web… died.

And the damn reverse chronology bias — once called into creation, it hungers eternally — sought its next victim. Myspace. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest, of all things. Today these social publishing tools are beginning to buck reverse chronological sort; they’re introducing algorithm sort, to surface content not by time posted but by popularity, or expected interactions, based on individual and group history. There is even less control than ever before.
culture  history  internet  web  webdesign 
july 2018 by terry
The epic story of the map that gave America its name
Contrarily, according to a letter dated 1504 from Vespucci to Duke Renè that was reprinted in Introduction to Cosmography and describes his four voyages from 1497 to 1504, he reached the mainland a year earlier than Columbus. Historians have called the authenticity of this letter into doubt, but Waldseemüller and Ringmann took Vespucci’s letter at face value, basing their naming of the new continent on its contents.
geography  maps  history 
july 2018 by terry
Below the Surface - Archeologische vondsten Noord/Zuidlijn Amsterdam
Rivers in cities are unlikely archaeological sites. It is not often that a riverbed, let alone one in the middle of a city, is pumped dry and can be systematically examined. The excavations in the Amstel yielded a deluge of finds, some 700,000 in all: a vast array of objects, some broken, some whole, all jumbled together.
archaeology  archive  history 
july 2018 by terry
A visual history of the future
“A Visual History of the Future” will explore how imagery in advertising, magazines, and other media has been used to inspire, sell, and build our ideas of the future. We’ll look at everything from the home to infrastructure to the cities we live in — at ideas that ranged from the insightful to the absurd. And we’ll be looking at the times in which these images were created: what was happening in the world that formed “the future” of that time?

When we celebrate progress, we often talk about scientists, engineers, and designers who developed theories or built tangible things. Artists are often overlooked, and their contributions — the production, visualization and distribution of ideas — are less tangible. This series will shine a light on these creators and how they reached the audiences of the day.
advertising  future  history  technology 
june 2018 by terry
Why Hitchcock’s Kaleidoscope was too shocking to be made
Determined to catch up with Europe’s most innovative directors, Hitchcock wanted to apply their radical methods to one of his own typically dark narratives. If he had succeeded, we might currently be celebrating the 50th anniversary of a boundary-pushing, taboo-shattering masterpiece. But it wasn’t to be. Kaleidoscope was deemed so transgressive that not even the man behind Psycho was allowed to make it.
film  history  movies  hitchcock 
june 2018 by terry
Putting time in perspective
Humans are good at a lot of things, but putting time in perspective is not one of them. It’s not our fault—the spans of time in human history, and even more so in natural history, are so vast compared to the span of our life and recent history that it’s almost impossible to get a handle on it. [...] To try to grasp some perspective, I mapped out the history of time as a series of growing timelines—each timeline contains all the previous timelines.
time  charts  history 
june 2018 by terry
Best YouTube videos of all time, ranked
As you scroll through the cavalcade of videos on this list, you'll encounter viral videos you definitely remember, viral videos you definitely forgot, selections that have aged like fine wines, and a few relics from less enlightened times that, on their own terms, still have merit. Not every viral video is great, and not every great video goes super-viral. We've almost certainly left off your personal favorite. At the end of the day, what makes a YouTube video great? Like most treasures online, you know it when you see it.
history  video  youtube  humour 
june 2018 by terry
UK makes Windrush Day official with £500k grant to support events
Windrush Day will take place on 22 June, the day when around 500 migrants from the Caribbean arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex in 1948 aboard the MV Empire Windrush.


The communities minister, Lord Bourne, said the annual celebration will help to “recognise and honour the enormous contribution” of those who arrived between 1948 and 1971.
windrush  politics  history 
june 2018 by terry
The khipu code: the knotty mystery of the Inkas’ 3D records
But, after more than a century of study, we remain unable to fully crack the code of the khipus. The challenge rests not in a lack of artifacts – over 1,000 khipus are known to us today – but in their variety and complexity. We confront tens of thousands of knots tied by different people, for different purposes and in different regions of the empire. Cracking the code amounts to finding a pattern in history’s knotted haystack.
language  writing  numbers  history 
june 2018 by terry
It is sufficient to turn this opening in the direction of whatever one wishes to observe and the curiosity is immediately satisfied. Its usefulness is confined to letting us see surreptitiously a person we seem not to be observing. This lorgnette may have been called a decorum glass because there is nothing more rude than to use an ordinary opera glass for looking at some one face to face.
gadgets  history  opera 
june 2018 by terry
Studying the Middle Ages through its monsters
Artefacts such as illuminated manuscripts and tapestries are adorned with unicorns, dragons, antelopes with forked tails, blemmyes—humanoids with no heads, their faces instead on their chests—and more. These images inspire awe and a keen respect for medieval artists’ use of colour, but it is the undertones of racial and gendered prejudice that make the exhibition more than a spooky show and tell.
history  art  painting 
june 2018 by terry
Ancient Earth globe
What did Earth look like 240 million years ago?
geography  geology  history  science  earth 
june 2018 by terry
The fleeting tale of great lost books, now gone forever
And fire too (perhaps) destroyed the papers Walter Benjamin is said to have carried with him in a black suitcase on his failed flight from France to Spain, escaping Nazi persecution. The novelist Bruno Arpaia, thinking wishfully in The Angel of History, imagines that Benjamin gave the suitcase to a Spanish partisan to carry across the border. Van Straten suggests, rather, that Benjamin might have used his papers to light a bonfire to keep him and his fellow exiles warm in the cold night of the Pyrenees. Or, he asks, almost as an afterthought, “is it too much to hope that sooner or later – by chance, scholarship or passion – someone will discover those pages and enable us to read them at last?”
books  history  libraries  literature 
june 2018 by terry
Dante and The Divine Comedy: He took us on a tour of Hell
Right there that suggests this view of the afterlife is coloured by authorial wish-fulfillment: Dante gets a personal tour from his father-figure of a literary hero and the woman on whom he had a crush. In the parlance of contemporary genre writing, Dante’s version of himself in The Divine Comedy is a Mary Sue, a character written to be who the author wishes he could be, having experiences he wishes he could have. Sandra Newman, author of How Not to Write a Novel, has said that “The Divine Comedy is really a typical science fiction trilogy. Book one, a classic. Book two, less exciting version of book one. Book three, totally bonkers, unwanted insights into author’s sexuality, Mary Sue’s mask slipping in every scene.”
history  religion  literature  italy 
june 2018 by terry
The Vermont town that has way too many organs
In its heyday, the Estey Organ Company factory was the beating, bleating heart of Brattleboro, Vermont. It produced more than half a million organs in total and, at its peak, employed more than 500 people. On a fateful day in 1960, however, the assembly lines shut down and workers departed. After nearly a century in operation, the organ factory had gone silent. And then, like the most improbable boomerangs, the organs started coming back.
music  history  museums 
june 2018 by terry
Gleanings from the past #54
The French sailors, of course, manned the yards of their ships, and shouted ‘Vive l’Impératrice!’ The American Admiral knew that it was impossible to teach these words to his men in the time left to him, so he ordered his crew to shout ‘Beef, lemons, and cheese!’ The imperial yacht came on, and as it passed the fleet there was a mighty roar of ‘Beef, lemons, and cheese.’ And the Empress said she had never received such an ovation before.
humour  history  france 
may 2018 by terry
An interactive map shows just how many roads actually lead to Rome
No one can give you exact directions to Milliarium Aureum (aka the Golden Milestone). Just a few carved marble fragments of the gilded column’s base remain in the Roman Forum, where its original location is somewhat difficult to pinpoint. But as the image above, from interactive map Roads to Rome, shows (view it here), the motto Emperor Caesar Augustus' mighty mile marker inspired still holds true. All roads lead to Rome.
maps  history  italy  rome 
may 2018 by terry
This 11-Foot 'ribbon map' puts the whole Mississippi River in your pocket
It wasn’t just a marketing gimmick, though. By choosing this particular form, Coloney and Fairchild leaned into a particular depiction of the Mississippi that took shape during the Civil War. “There was this idea that because the river went from north to south, it was a great unifier for the country,” Luarca-Shoaf says—that it tied the divided North and South together like, well, a ribbon. At the same time, they took pains to include important battle sites, like Vicksburg. That these sites made it onto the map just a year after the war ended “shows that the war had marked the landscape in more than physical ways,” she says. “It had become part of the history of the place.”
usa  maps  history 
may 2018 by terry
If were a book — by Craig Mod
There are so few websites that have been around for twenty years. Certainly so few that are not explicitly commercial in intent, built on a singular voice and point of view. Because of that, sites like have a special emotional ressonance not often found online. For those of us who have not just used the web but built on the web for decades, a place like becomes almost physical in its emotional resonance.
internet  design  webdesign  books  history 
may 2018 by terry
History: Georgian–Abkhaz conflict
Tensions between different ethnic groups living in Abkhazia, on the Black Sea coast, erupted in violent conflict in 1992-93. These tensions centred around competing historical claims by Georgians and Abkhaz on the territory of Abkhazia, fuelled in part by different interpretations of the Soviet past.
russia  history 
may 2018 by terry
The secret libraries of history
“The new technique is amazing in that it shows us fragments – medieval text – that we could otherwise never see because they are hidden behind a layer of parchment or paper,” wrote Kwakkel in a blog post about his Hidden Library project. While the technology needs to be improved, it hints at a process that could reveal a secret library within a library. “We might be able to access a hidden medieval ‘library’ if we were able to gain access to the thousands of manuscript fragments hidden in bindings.”
archives  books  history  libraries 
may 2018 by terry
A photographer’s journey through the former spas of Soviet Georgia
Van de Velde didn’t know what to expect once he finally got into Abkhazia. “You enter a country no one ever visits, no one ever sees. You enter this fascinating entity secluded from the outside world. It’s unspoiled, its unknown, it’s subtropical, it’s war-torn, but it’s also incredibly beautiful and pristine,” he recalls. Evidence of violent conflict is still impossible to escape. “All the roads remain severely damaged and potholed, many homes are abandoned, and when you inspect them up close you see the impacts of bullets and shelling.”
photography  history  architecture 
may 2018 by terry
Napoleon's Kindle: see the miniaturized traveling library he took on military campaigns
This prefigured in a highly analog manner the digital-age concept of recreating books in another format specifically for compactness and convenience — the kind of compactness and convenience now increasingly available to all of us today, and to a degree Napoleon never could have imagined, let alone demanded.
books  kindle  history  libraries 
april 2018 by terry
Windrush: Who exactly was on board?
The former passenger liner's journey up the Thames on that misty June day is now regarded as the symbolic starting point of a wave of Caribbean migration between 1948 and 1971 known as the "Windrush generation". Many were enticed to cross the Atlantic by job opportunities amid the UK's post-war labour shortage. But, despite living and working in the UK for decades, it has emerged that some of the families of these Windrush migrants have been threatened with deportation, denied access to NHS treatment, benefits and pensions and stripped of their jobs. The UK government has been forced to apologise and offer compensation.
history  immigration  windrush 
april 2018 by terry
The Classic Typewriter Page : all about typewriters
I'm Richard Polt, the creator and webmaster for The Classic Typewriter Page. I grew up loving typewriters and have been collecting them in earnest since 1994. I'm the editor of ETCetera, the magazine of the Early Typewriter Collectors' Association. I've been blogging with and about typewriters since 2010. And I'm the author of a book, The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist's Companion for the 21st Century.
history  technology  typewriters 
april 2018 by terry
Further Adventures of the Celestial Sleuth: Using astronomy to solve more mysteries in art, history, and literature
From the author of "Celestial Sleuth" (2014), yet more mysteries in art, history, and literature are solved by calculating phases of the Moon, determining the positions of the planets and stars, and identifying celestial objects in paintings. In addition to helping to crack difficult cases, these studies spark our imagination and provide a better understanding of the skies. Weather archives, vintage maps, tides, historical letters and diaries, military records and the assistance of experts in related fields help with this work.
books  art  photography  astronomy  history  literature 
april 2018 by terry
Go Medieval by Attaching a Book to Your Belt
Girdle books were once common enough that they appear more than 800 times in paintings and other art of the period. But today there are just 26 girdle books known in the world. In her book, a catalogue of what she calls “relics of an age long gone by,” Smith has measured, photographed, and investigated the history of each one.
books  history 
april 2018 by terry
Topographische Anatomie des Menschen - Eduard Pernkopf
After he died suddenly in 1955, Pernkopf left behind the first three volumes of his monumental Topographische Anatomie des Menschen (The Topographical Anatomy of Man). The book was unlike anything attempted before—a watershed in the history in medical illustration. To many it was the most beautiful, detailed and important anatomical work ever published, but its troubled past eventually caught up with it and it became a contentious case study in biomedical ethics. Today the Anatomie is effectively banned; hidden away in library archives and listed as “out of circulation.”
books  science  history 
april 2018 by terry
Dare YOU face the orcs? 80s game books Fighting Fantasy return
Ian Livingstone calls it the “five-fingered bookmark”: that grip known to children of the 80s and 90s. You’d insert a finger into various sections of your Fighting Fantasy adventure game book in order to be able to return if, say, your choice to drink the “sparkling red liquid” and turn to section 98 turned out to be a bad one, or if attacking the Mirror Demon “from another dimensional plane” proved fatal.
books  games  interactive  history 
april 2018 by terry
Some very entertaining plastic, emulated at the Archive
Introducing the Handheld History Collection. This collection of emulated handheld games, tabletop machines, and even board games stretch from the 1970s well into the 1990s. They are attempts to make portable, digital versions of the LCD, VFD and LED-based machines that sold, often cheaply, at toy stores and booths over the decades.
history  computer  games 
march 2018 by terry
Why the PDF Is secretly the world's most important file format
Basically, every year just before tax season, the IRS would mail out tax forms to hundreds of millions of people around the United States. This annual mailing was, during non-Census years, the largest annual mailing that the postal service had to deal with—around 110 million individual mailings annually, according a 1991 New York Times article. And the IRS, dealing with a complicated tax code, had to manage and deal with a wide variety of exceptions and differing forms, for both businesses and individual taxpayers.
pdf  documents  history  technology  adobe 
march 2018 by terry
The hulking, retro computers that made way for your iPhone
His delightful images present every dial, button and screen in exquisite detail. The computers in Guide to Computing are quaint—slow and stodgy by today's standards—yet fascinating. They are the precursor to the machines so central to your life. Appreciate their importance, but also their beauty.
computers  technology  history  photography 
march 2018 by terry
Your old gadgets are likely good enough
The TV I watch with my wife when I'm kicking back is close to 12 years old. It pushes out pixels in 1080p. I don't care about the fact that it doesn't provide me with the sharpest image or that it's not as thin as new models are. I love it because my wife and I can cuddle on the couch in front of it and share an experience together. A newer model wouldn't do much to change that. My smartphone is two years old. It takes decent photos and lets me stay in touch with people. Sometimes I watch a movie on it. I can't imagine myself saying anything different about this year's handsets. Would I love an iPhone X? Probably. Do I think that it's worth forking over $1,000 for? Not for a second. I'll use it until the wheels fall off because it's good enough.
technology  gadgets  history 
february 2018 by terry
Give us our eleven days - the English Calendar Riots of 1752
There remained the problem of aligning the calendar in use in England with that in use in Europe. It was necessary to correct it by 11 days: the ‘lost days’. It was decided that Wednesday 2nd September 1752 would be followed by Thursday 14th September 1752. Claims of civil unrest and rioters demanding “Give us our eleven days” may have arisen through a misinterpretation of a contemporary painting by William Hogarth.
time  calendar  history 
february 2018 by terry
Playing Soviet
In the selections featured here, the user can see first-hand the mediation of Russia’s accelerated violent political, social and cultural evolution from 1917 to 1953. These conditions saw the proliferation of new styles and techniques in all the graphic arts: the diverse productivity of the Russian avant-garde, photomontage, experimental typography, and socialist realism.
books  design  history  illustration 
february 2018 by terry
A digital archive of Soviet children's books goes online: browse the artistic, ideological collection (1917-1953)
But if you grew up in the Soviet Union, at least at one of the right times and in one of the right places, you might feel a now much-discussed nostalgia, not for the economic difficulties of your Soviet childhood, but for the sensibilities of the vanished society you grew up in. An online interactive database called Playing Soviet: The Visual Languages of Early Soviet Children’s Books, 1917-1953 provides a kid's-eye view into the early decades of that society.
history  russia  books  illustration  children 
february 2018 by terry
Tracing the tangled tracks of humankind's evolutionary journey
Wait ... we interbred with another species? Yes, genetics shows that the ancestors of everyone outside of Africa interbred with Neanderthals, probably more than once. There was also interbreeding with another archaic group called the Denisovans. We don’t know much about what these other ancient cousins looked like as their fossils are so fragmented. But from a finger bone found in a cave in Siberia, scientists were able to extract high quality DNA belonging to a Denisovan girl who lived about 41,000 years ago.
history  science  evolution 
february 2018 by terry
Windrush 65th anniversary 2013
On May 27, 1948 the Empire Windrush sailed from Jamaica for Trinidad before setting its sights on England. On June 22, the West Indians landed and became the people who changed a nation. This is a must read feature for all who want to understand the black and Asian experience in the United Kingdom.
history  immigration  windrush 
february 2018 by terry
First ancient Britons had black skin and blue eyes
Dr Tom Booth, a scientist from the museum said that the findings that there was a 76 per cent chance that Cheddar Man was ‘dark to black’ – was ‘extraordinary’. He said in the documentary: ‘If a human with that colour skin wandered around now, we’d call him black, and a lot darker than we’d expect for Europe as well. He added: ‘It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories that we have are really very modern constructions, or very recent constructions that are really not applicable to the past at all.’ Dr Rick Schulting, an archaeology professor at Oxford University said: ‘It may be that we may have to rethink some of our notions of what it is to be British, what we expect a Briton to look like at this time.’
history  science 
february 2018 by terry
“Our weapon is public opinion” - Posters of the women’s suffrage movement at the University Library
“These posters are fantastic examples of the suffrage publicity machine of the early twentieth century,” says Chris Burgess, exhibitions officer at the Library. "They were created to be plastered on walls, torn down by weather or political opponents, so it is highly unusual for this material to be safely stored for over a hundred years.”
design  posters  politics  history 
february 2018 by terry
First modern Britons had 'dark to black' skin, Cheddar Man DNA analysis reveals
The discovery shows that the genes for lighter skin became widespread in European populations far later than originally thought – and that skin colour was not always a proxy for geographic origin in the way it is often seen to be today.

Tom Booth, an archaeologist at the Natural History Museum who worked on the project, said: “It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories that we have are really very modern constructions, or very recent constructions, that really are not applicable to the past at all.”
science  history 
february 2018 by terry
Why have mildly erotic nymphs been removed from a Manchester gallery? Is Picasso next?
Hylas and the Nymphs is no masterpiece. Its mildly erotic vision of a Greek myth is very silly, if you ask me, and if we were in front of it now I’d be poking fun. Yet we’d be looking, talking, perhaps arguing. Remove it and the conversation is killed stone dead. Culture falls silent as the grave.
art  painting  history  politics 
february 2018 by terry
‘A sign that you’re not keeping up’ – the trouble with Hotmail in 2018
With the passage of time and the absence of a brand overhaul, the word “hotmail” near your name started to be quite ageing; like “ntlworld” or “blueyonder”, it was a sign that you weren’t keeping up. It was a deduction that wouldn’t stand up in a court of law, but online it is inference, not certainty, that drags you down. When you could have an ageless Yahoo address, there is just no call to leave this kind of footprint, unless “incredibly old” is your calling card.
e-mail  technology  history 
january 2018 by terry
The entire history of the world—really, all of it—distilled into a single gorgeous chart
The 5-foot-long Histomap was sold for $1 and folded into a green cover, which featured endorsements from historians and reviewers. The chart was advertised as “clear, vivid, and shorn of elaboration,” while at the same time capable of “holding you enthralled” by presenting: "the actual picture of the march of civilization, from the mud huts of the ancients thru the monarchistic glamour of the middle ages to the living panorama of life in present day America."
history  infographic  maps 
january 2018 by terry
What happens when a Japanese woodblock artist depicts life in London in 1866, despite never having set foot there
And the affinity goes both ways. When Prince Fushimi Sadanaru made a state visit to England forty years after Utagawa made his prints, he hoped to catch a performance of The Mikado, Gilbert and Sullivan's hit comic opera set very much in the Japan of the English mind (and one that faces accusations of cultural imperialism to this day). Alas, the British government had preemptively canceled all performances during the Prince's stay for fear of offending him.
japan  england  painting  history 
january 2018 by terry
Britain's Bayeux Tapestry
Here you can read the tale told by the Bayeux Tapestry - The story of William the Conqueror and Harold, Earl of Wessex, the men who led the Norman and Saxon armies in 1066. William's defeat of Harold at the Battle of Hastings ensured the success of the Norman invasion of England.
art  history 
january 2018 by terry
The Bayeux Tapestry – historic, yes, but is it any good?
France’s loan of this mighty thing to Britain is truly generous and exciting. The Bayeux Tapestry is much more than a chronicle of faraway events or a symbol of national identity. It is a disarmingly human window on a world that is not so different from ours after all – an age of cruelty and comedy, small pleasures and sudden deaths. Like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, this medieval treasure speaks eloquently to the modern world because it is a true picture of life in all its joy and sorrow.
art  history 
january 2018 by terry
The history of the hotel Venets: a 22-storey metaphor for Soviet utopia
Venets. Welcome to the Ideal explores the hotel as an allegory for Russia and the fall of the Soviet Union. It presents a fictional narrative, based on the true story of a journalist who once spent a year in the hotel, told through archival photography, images of the hotel as it exists now and a text by Grigor Atanasian. To complete the project, Kirill spent one night on every floor of the hotel, documenting his surroundings and interviewing the hotel’s workers.
history  photography  russia 
january 2018 by terry
A spreadsheet way of knowledge
There is no doubt that the electronic spreadsheet saves time and provides insight; there is no doubt that even greater benefits will one day be derived from these grids. Yet all these benefits will be meaningless if the spreadsheet metaphor is taken too much to heart. After all, it is only a metaphor. Fortunately, few would argue that all relations between people can be quantified and manipulated by formulas. Of human behavior, no faultless assumptions – and so no perfect model — can be made.
history  spreadsheets  business 
january 2018 by terry
The "Amen Break": the most famous 6-second drum loop and how it spawned a sampling revolution
Long before the Amen Break’s crude use in advertising, it was a keystone in such diverse cultural moments as black nationalist group Public Enemy’s “Bring the Noise”---from their ferocious 1988 groundbreaker It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back---to N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton,” to the theme song of Matt Groening’s Futurama.
music  history 
january 2018 by terry
A digital archive of the earliest illustrated editions of Dante's Divine Comedy (1487-1568)
These images, from Columbia's Rare Book and Manuscript Library, represent a 1497 woodcut edition, at the top, with a number of hand-colored pages; an edition from 1544, above, with almost 90 circular and traditionally-composed scenes, all of them probably hand-colored in the 19th century; and a 1568 edition with three engraved maps, one for each book, like the carefully-rendered visualization of purgatory, below.
art  history  books  libraries 
january 2018 by terry
Hear The Rite of Spring conducted by Igor Stravinsky himself: a vintage recording from 1929
But this record, as Peter Gutmann writes at, is "not by the composer of the Rite. No, I haven't uncovered a fraud. It's indeed Stravinsky who wields the baton, but in the 16 years since the premiere he had undergone a vast change of artistic personality. No longer the wild firebrand who had scandalized musical society, he had converted to neoclassicism, and that's just the type of reading he leads here – dispassionate, manicured and reticent, with the final sacrificial dance downright labored."
music  history 
december 2017 by terry
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