Photos of Jean-Paul Sartre & Simone de Beauvoir Hanging with Che Guevara in Cuba (1960)

≡ Category: History, Photography |2 Comments

In 1960, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir ventured to Cuba during, as he wrote, the “honeymoon of the revolution.” Military strongman Fulgencio Batista’s regime had fallen to Fidel Castro’s guerilla army and the whole country was alight with revolutionary zeal.

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“The Civil War and Reconstruction,” a New MOOC by Pulitzer-Prize Winning Historian Eric Foner

≡ Category: History, Online Courses |Leave a Comment

It ended in early April 149 years ago. But it begins again on Wednesday.

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The Historic LSD Debate at MIT: Timothy Leary v. Professor Jerome Lettvin (1967)

≡ Category: History, MIT |Leave a Comment

On May 3, 1967, Dr. Timothy Leary, that high priest of hallucinogens, faced off in a debate with MIT professor Dr. Jerome Lettvin about LSD in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium. Leary spent the debate in the lotus position, dressed in a white gown, beads and bare feet. The very picture of a counter culture icon.

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Portraits of Vice Presidents with Octopuses on Their Heads — the Ones You’ve Always Wanted To See

≡ Category: Art, History |Leave a Comment

Last year, after parting ways with a punishing, thankless corporate job but before my wife gave birth to my first child, my friend invited me to participate in the From Dusk til Drawn fundraiser at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santa Barbara. Basically, it involved drawing for 24 straight hours. At that point in my life – i.e.

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The Art of Swimming, 1587: A Manual with Woodcut Illustrations

≡ Category: Art, History, Sports |Leave a Comment

As the late great Robert Shaw remarked in Jaws, “here’s to swimmin’ with bow-legged women.”
Or failing that, an extremely bow-legged man, as featured in Sir Everard Digby’s 1587 treatise-cum-manual, De Arte Natandi (The Art of Swimming). Hubba hubba, who needs trunks?
There were no pools at the time.

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Yale Launches an Archive of 170,000 Photographs Documenting the Great Depression

≡ Category: Archives, History, Photography |6 Comments

During the Great Depression, The Farm Security Administration—Office of War Information (FSA-OWI) hired photographers to travel across America to document the poverty that gripped the nation, hoping to build support for New Deal programs being championed by F.D.R.’s administration.

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Foodie Alert: New York Public Library Presents an Archive of 17,000 Restaurant Menus (1851-2008)

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

To be a New Yorker is to be a gourmand—of food carts, local diners, supermarkets, outer borough mercados, whatever latest upscale restaurant surfaces in a given season…. It is to be as likely to have a menu in hand as a newspaper, er… smartphone…, and it is to notice the design of said menus. Well, some of us have done that.

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Wonderfully Weird & Ingenious Medieval Books

≡ Category: Books, History |1 Comment

Leiden University book historian Erik Kwakkel describes his tumblr site as follows: “I post images from medieval books.” In the words of Samuel L. Jackson on the immortal Snakes on a Plane, you either want to see that, or you don’t.

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The Five Best North Korean Movies: Watch Them Free Online

≡ Category: Film, History |Leave a Comment

According to official propaganda, Kim Jong-Il was a remarkably impressive individual. He learned to walk when he was just three weeks old; he wrote 1,500 books while at university; and, during his first and only game of golf, he scored 11 holes in one.

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Saul Bass’ Jazzy 1962 Animation Tackles the 1626 Sale of Manhattan

≡ Category: Animation, Comedy, History, Television |Leave a Comment

You know that story about Dutch settlers buying the whole of Manhattan for $24 (or 60 guilders) worth of junk jewelry? Not true. 
What really happened in 1626 is closer in spirit to those old yarns about hapless suckers tricked into buying the Brooklyn Bridge by cunning locals.

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