20 Lessons from the 20th Century About How to Defend Democracy from Authoritarianism, According to Yale Historian Timothy Snyder

≡ Category: History |Leave a Comment

Image by Rob Kall, via Flickr Commons
Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History at Yale University, is one of the foremost scholars in the U.S. and Europe on the rise and fall of totalitarianism during the 1930s and 40s.

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12 Million Declassified CIA Documents Now Free Online: Secret Tunnels, UFOs, Psychic Experiments & More

≡ Category: History |Leave a Comment

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Image by Duffman, via Wikimedia Commons
“The United States Government has not yet made any official reply to the Soviet and East German allegations and protests concerning the 300-yard tunnel that American intelligence operatives are said to have built underneath the border between West and East Berlin for espionage purposes,” says a Washingto

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Learn What Old Norse Sounded Like, with UC Berkeley’s “Cowboy Professor, Dr. Jackson Crawford

≡ Category: History, Language Lessons |1 Comment

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If you want to study another language, by all means feel free to study such widely spoken ones as English, Spanish, and Chinese. But obscurity, as we all learn at one point or another growing up, also has an appeal, though we often need someone cool to give us a hint as to which obscurities to pursue.

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The Women’s Suffrage March of 1913: The Parade That Overshadowed Another Presidential Inauguration a Century Ago

≡ Category: History |8 Comments

On Friday, a person who has insulted, demeaned, and threatened tens of millions of the country’s citizens will take the oath of office for the presidency of the United States.

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Watch Priceless 17-Century Stradivarius and Amati Violins Get Taken for a Test Drive by Professional Violinists

≡ Category: History, Museums, Music |Leave a Comment

Materials like carbon fiber and Lucite have been making their way into classical stringed instrument design for many years, and we’ve recently seen the 3-D printed electric violin come into being. It’s an impressive-sounding instrument, one must admit.

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Education for Death: The Making of Nazi–Walt Disney’s 1943 Propaganda Film Shows How Fascists Are Made

≡ Category: Animation, History |5 Comments

During World War II, Walt Disney entered into a contract with the US government to develop 32 animated shorts. Nearly bankrupted by Fantasia (1940), Disney needed to refill its coffers, and making American propaganda films didn’t seem like a bad way to do it.

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How the World’s Oldest Computer Worked: Reconstructing the 2,200-Year-Old Antikythera Mechanism

≡ Category: Astronomy, History, Technology |3 Comments

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In 1900, Greek sponge divers discovered a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. The artifacts they came back up with included money, statues, pottery, and various other works of art and craft, as well as a curious lump of bronze and wood that turned out to be by far the most important item onboard.

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Albert Einstein Explains How Slavery Has Crippled Everyone’s Ability (Even Aristotle’s) to Think Clearly About Racism

≡ Category: History, Politics, Science |4 Comments

Image by Ferdinand Schmutzer, via Wikimedia Commons
“Should we allow celebrities to discuss politics?” goes one variation on an evergreen headline and supposedly legitimate public debate. No amount of public disapproval could have stopped some of the most outspoken public figures, and we’d be the worse off for it in many cases.

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Hear a 9,000 Year Old Flute—the World’s Oldest Playable Instrument—Get Played Again

≡ Category: History, Music |2 Comments

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Classical music enthusiasts seem to agree that the renewal of interest in period instruments made for a noticeable change in the sound of most, if not all, orchestral performances.

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A Gallery of Visually Arresting Posters from the May 1968 Paris Uprising

≡ Category: Art, History, Politics |2 Comments

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In 1968, both Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated, and U.S. cities erupted in riots; anti-war demonstrators chanted “the whole world is watching” as police beat and tear-gassed them in Chicago outside the Democratic convention.

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