Tag Archive: History

May 18 2007

Cultural hitchhiking, genetic traits, and diffusion boundaries

Are you interested in the reasons places like Europe and the Middle East got the cultural/genetic boundaries they had before the Roman Empire mixed things up? If yes, read this, follow the links, and think about the consequences for a little while… Good worldbuilding material there, if nothing else.

May 07 2007

Cranking the Antikythera Mechanism

The New Yorker has an interesting article about the Antikythera Mechanism: Looking back over the first fifty years of research on the Mechanism, one is struck by the reluctance of modern investigators to credit the ancients with technological skill. The Greeks are thought to have possessed crude wooden gears, which were used to lift heavy …

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Jan 25 2007

A girl like me

This is going to make some waves I think… Back in 1954 psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark conducted a test with black children using dolls; one white, one black. The test showed that the children preferred the white dolls and ascribed more positive qualities to them. This finding was so explosive that it helped to …

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Feb 08 2006

“Hefting his heavy broadsword in one hand…”

What did historical swords weigh? The answer is unsurprising, if you consider that swords were a mature technology refined over millennia. Sadly, most modern ‘replicas’ don’t have the weight or balance correct.

Jan 26 2006

Ogg not use firestick, Ogg think bow for sissies

Pennsylvania’s game commissioner has given preliminary approval for deer hunting with a spear. Actually, with an atlatl; a spear throwing device some twenty-thousand years old. I’m guessing that, if this catches on, someone is going to start selling carbon fiber atlatl’s that throw high-tech aluminum alloy, titanium tipped spears. Think I’m kidding? Talk about everything …

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Jan 17 2006

Happy birthday Ben!

Today is Ben Franklin’s 300th birthday. Ben lived through and contributed heavily to one of the most important periods in American history, and we have much to thank him for. An inventor, scientist, philosopher, writer, musician, statesman, economist, ladies man, party animal, and consummate geek; Ben Franklin is number one on my list of personal …

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Jan 16 2006

Bound for Glory

Online exhibition of color images taken by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information during WWII. Tons of great Americana images there! Have I mentioned that I love this kind of stuff?

Jan 11 2006

Hamoukar, the oldest city known?

Archaeologists have unearthed Hamoukar, a large city destroyed by invasion about 5,000 years ago and which may date back as much as 8,000 years.

Jan 10 2006

Victorian Pulp

Your source for Penny Dreadfuls on the Internet. I don’t know about you, but I think things like this are what the Internet is for!

Oct 04 2005

Historic Yerkes Observatory saved from the wrecking ball

A Voyage to Acturus has the details.

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