One my very first acts as a new New Yorker many years ago was to make the journey across three boroughs to Woodlawn cemetery in the Bronx. My purpose: a pilgrimage to Herman Melville’s grave. I came not to worship a hero, exactly, but—as Fordham University English professor Angela O’Donnell writes—“to see a friend.[...]
Back in June we highlighted Neil Halloran’s 15 minute film, The Fallen of World War II, which used “innovative data visualization techniques to put the human cost of WW II into perspective, showing how some 70 million lives were lost within civilian and military populations across Europe and Asia, from 1939 to 1945.[...]
The lag time between our imagining of social equality and its arrival can be significantly long indeed, or it least it can seem so, given the limitations of human mortality.[...]
The Gandhi of history doesn’t line up with the Gandhi of legend, just as the beatified Mother Teresa presents a very different picture in certain astute critics’ estimation. But as with most saints, ancient and modern, people tend to ignore Gandhi’s many contradictions and troublingly racist and casteist views.[...]
The Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest narratives in the world, got a surprise update last month when the Sulaymaniyah Museum in the Kurdistan region of Iraq announced that it had discovered 20 new lines of the Babylonian-Era poem of gods, mortals, and monsters.[...]
On May 27, 1956, millions of Americans tuned in to The Ed Sullivan Show, expecting the usual variety of comedians, talents and musical guests. What they weren’t prepared for was a short animated film that Sullivan introduced thusly:
Just last week you read about the H-bomb being dropped.
Many of us keep a record of the movies we watch. Few of us, however, lead the free world.[...]
In 1973, the book Sybil – about a young woman struggling with 16 distinct personalities – became a cultural sensation, spawning a hugely successful made-for-TV movie in 1976 and an utterly unnecessary remake in 2007.[...]
We previously thought that the first use of the “F word” dated back to 1528 — to when a monk jotted the word in the margins of Cicero’s De Officiis. But it turns out that you can find traces of this colorful curse word in English court documents written in 1310.
On January 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission STS-51-L exploded in the sky, into a twisting plume of smoke, a mere 73 seconds after takeoff. It left a nation stunned, and seven astronauts dead.[...]