1930s Fashion Designers Predict How People Would Dress in the Year 2000

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From 1930 to 1941, Pathetone Weekly ran film clips that highlighted ‘the novel, the amusing and the strange.’ At some point during the 1930s (the exact date isn’t clear), Pathetone asked American designers to look roughly 70 years into the future and hazard a guess about how women might dress in Year 2000.


Hear the Only Castrato Ever Recorded Sing “Ave Maria” and Other Classics (1904)

≡ Category: History, Music |2 Comments


Every human culture has practiced some form of ritual mutilation, from the mild marring of a Spring Break tattoo to the disfigurement of foot-binding. On the more extreme end of the scale, we have the early modern European practice of castrating young boys to inhibit growth of their vocal cords and thyroid glands during puberty.


1,000 Vintage Postcards Show Famous Actors Performing Shakespeare’s Plays from 1880 to 1914

≡ Category: History, Photography, Theatre |1 Comment


We’ll never fully know how anything looked in Shakespeare’s time, much less how the Bard’s own plays did when first performed on the stage of the Globe Theatre.


Hear Ernest Shackleton Speak About His Antarctic Expedition in a Rare 1909 Recording

≡ Category: History |1 Comment


What more harrowing story has the history of twentieth-century exploration produced than that of Ernest Shackleton‘s disastrous Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-17? With one of their ships, the appropriately named Endurance, crushed by pack ice, Shackleton and company had to spend years far outside civilization, living in m


The Atlantic Slave Trade Visualized in Two Minutes: 10 Million Lives, 20,000 Voyages, Over 315 Years

≡ Category: Animation, Education, History, Online Courses, Podcast Articles and Resources |5 Comments

Not since the sixties and seventies, with the black power movement, flowering of Afrocentric scholarship, and debut of Alex Haley’s Roots, novel and mini-series, has there been so much popular interest in the history of slavery.


Filmmaker Ken Burns Urges Stanford Graduates to Defeat Trump & the Retrograde Forces Threatening the U.S.

≡ Category: Graduation Speech, History, Politics |8 Comments

This time of year, we see graduation speeches popping up all over the web. The commencement address as a genre focuses on the opportunities, challenges, and responsibilities graduates will face post-college, and often espouses timeless life lessons and philosophies.


“Forbidden Images,” a Compilation of Scandalous Scenes from the Early Days of Cinema (NSFW in 1926)

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Last night I caught a screening of Park Chan-wook’s new movie The Handmaiden, whose daringly frank love scenes — by the standards of mainstream cinema, at least — have already drawn no small amount of international notoriety.


Malcolm Gladwell Has Launched a New Podcast, Revisionist History: Hear the First Episode

≡ Category: History, Podcast Articles and Resources |4 Comments

Malcolm Gladwell has a podcast. Some of you will require no further information, and in fact have already clicked over to iTunes (or another podcast downloading application of your choice), desperate to download the first episode.


1978 News Report on the Rocky Horror Craze Captures a Teenage Michael Stipe in Drag

≡ Category: Film, History |Leave a Comment

The impact of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in the ‘70s came from a perfect cocktail of several time-specific ingredients: A liberated, post-’60s generation of young people emboldened by glam and the sexual revolution finding their voice; the proliferation of cinemas that found that midnight screenings were good for business; and the


The Books on Young Alan Turing’s Reading List: From Lewis Carroll to Modern Chromatics

≡ Category: History, Math, Physics |Leave a Comment


Image via Wikimedia Commons
We now regard Alan Turing, the troubled and ultimately persecuted cryptanalyst (and, intellectually, much more besides)—who cracked the code of the German Enigma machine in World War II—as one of the great minds of history.


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