The Sights & Sounds of 18th Century Paris Get Recreated with 3D Audio and Animation

≡ Category: History, Philosophy, Technology |Leave a Comment

In what is often called the “Early Modern” period, or the “Long Eighteenth Century,” Europe witnessed an explosion of satire, not only as a political and literary weapon, but as a means of reacting to a whole new way of life that arose in the cities—principally London and Paris—as a displaced rural population and expanding bo

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Charlie Chaplin Finds Comedy Even in the Brutality of WWI: A Scene from Shoulder Arms (1918)

≡ Category: Film, History |1 Comment

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A friend of the Roman poet Martial once asked him why he went to watch lions devour slaves at the Coliseum. “These are my times,” replied Martial, “and I must know them.

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Explore 5,300 Rare Manuscripts Digitized by the Vatican: From The Iliad & Aeneid, to Japanese & Aztec Illustrations

≡ Category: Archives, Books, History, Literature, Museums |Leave a Comment

Hundreds of years before vast public/private partnerships like Google Arts & Culture, the Vatican served as one of the foremost conservators of cultural artifacts from around the world.

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1944 Instructional Video Teaches You the Lindy Hop, the Dance That Originated in 1920’s Harlem Ballrooms

≡ Category: Comedy, Dance, History |Leave a Comment

1944’s MGM short Groovie Movie, above, bills itself as an instructional film for those wishing to learn the Lindy Hop and its extremely close cousin, the Jitterbug.
The educational model here is definitely of the “toss ‘em in the pool and see if they swim” variety.

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W.E.B. Du Bois Creates Revolutionary, Artistic Data Visualizations Showing the Economic Plight of African-Americans (1900)

≡ Category: Design, History |Leave a Comment

Few people have done more to accurately foresee and help shape the century ahead of them as W.E.B. Du Bois. And perhaps few intellectuals from the early twentieth century still have as much critical relevance to our contemporary global crises.

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A Map of Chicago’s Gangland: A Cheeky, Cartographic Look at Al Capone’s World (1931)

≡ Category: Comedy, Comics/Cartoons, History, Maps, Travel |2 Comments

Modern day Chicagoland gang activity does not inspire quippy cartoon “wonder maps.” Back when Al Capone ruled Chicago’s underworld, the public viewed gangsters with movie magazine breathlessness. Their violent crimes and glamorous lifestyles sold newspapers and movie tickets.

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400 Ways to Make a Sandwich: A 1909 Cookbook Full of Creative Recipes

≡ Category: Books, Food & Drink, History |Leave a Comment

Good news for anyone looking to escape the tired old sardine sandwich rut – The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich, above, boasts no fewer than ten variations, plus a handful of canapés.

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“The Wonderground Map of London Town,” the Iconic 1914 Map That Saved the World’s First Subway System

≡ Category: History, Maps |Leave a Comment

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Most major world cities now boast far-reaching and convenient subway systems, but London will always have the original from which all the rest descend. It will also, arguably, always have, in the Tube, by far the most iconic.

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An Animated Aldous Huxley Identifies the Dystopian Threats to Our Freedom (1958)

≡ Category: History, Sci Fi, Technology |Leave a Comment

20 years after Aldous Huxley published Brave New World (1931), he was still the media’s go-to futurist.

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Deconstructing Saving Private Ryan‘s Epic Opening Battle Scene: How Spielberg Captures Chaos with Clarity

≡ Category: Film, History |1 Comment

Not long after Saving Private Ryan came out, the buzz had it that, had nothing but a two-hour blank screen followed its opening sequence depicting the Omaha Beach assault of June 6, 1944, Steven Spielberg would still win an Oscar.

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