Vintage Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, Taken Circa 1858

≡ Category: History, Photography |Leave a Comment

Historians have debated for centuries how Napoleon Bonaparte managed to turn the same men who once overthrew a king in the name of liberté, égalité  and fraternité into a formidable fighting force devoted to an emperor. But that’s precisely what he did.

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Modern Art Was Used As a Torture Technique in Prison Cells During the Spanish Civil War

≡ Category: Art, History |1 Comment

We’ve all got those friends or family members who consider “modern art” a form of torture.

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Young Stanley Kubrick’s Noirish Pictures of Chicago, 1949

≡ Category: Film, History, Photography |2 Comments

When Stanley Kubrick was a mere high school student in April 1945, just after FDR died, he snapped a picture of a news vendor framed on either side by posters announcing the president’s death. He was so excited by the picture that he skipped school to develop it and then marched right into the office of Look magazine.

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H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle & Other British Authors Sign Manifesto Backing England’s Role in WWI

≡ Category: History |Leave a Comment

Thinkers have said a great deal about the relative might of the pen and the sword—often one well-known phrase in particular—but still, the subject of intellect versus might remains a matter of active inquiry.

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The C.I.A.’s “Bestiary of Intelligence Writing” Satirizes Spook Jargon with Maurice Sendak-Style Drawings

≡ Category: Comedy, Creativity, English Language, History |Leave a Comment

Ten years in academia gave me a healthy dislike of clichéd jargon, as well as an appreciation for jokes about it. There are a few, like the academic sentence generator and Ph.D. Comics, that capture a bit of what it’s like to go to school and work in higher ed. Corporate drones, of course, have Office Space and Dilbert.

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Take Big History: A Free Short Course on 13.8 Billion Years of History, Funded by Bill Gates

≡ Category: History, Online Courses |Leave a Comment

Last month, The New York Times Magazine published a long piece called “So Bill Gates Has This Idea for a History Class …”, which begins with these very words:
In 2008, shortly after Bill Gates stepped down from his executive role at Microsoft, he often awoke in his 66,000-square-foot home on the eastern bank of Lake Washington an

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Photos of Hiroshima by Hiroshima Mon Amour Star Emmanuelle Riva (1958)

≡ Category: Film, History, Photography |1 Comment

Hiroshima Mon Amour, Alain Resnais’s landmark 1960 meditation on war and memory, was Emmanuelle Riva’s first starring role. She plays a married actress (catch a scene here) who, while making a movie in Japan, has an affair with a Japanese architect played by Eiji Okada.

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Woman Takes LSD in 1956: “I’ve Never Seen Such Infinite Beauty in All My Life,” “I Wish I Could Talk in Technicolor”

≡ Category: History, Life, Science |Leave a Comment

A decade before tens of thousands turned on, tuned in, and dropped out at the Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park, psychiatrist Sidney Cohen was investigating the effects of LSD on human consciousness.

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Ben Franklin’s List of 200 Synonyms for “Drunk”: “Moon-Ey’d,” “Hammerish,” “Stew’d” & More (1737)

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

How many Americans could, off the top of their heads, tell you exactly why history remembers Benjamin Franklin? Not many, I suspect, though we all know that he did a great deal worth remembering, even by the standards of a Founding Father. (Something got him on the $100 bill, after all.

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Bruce Springsteen Plays East Berlin in 1988: I’m Not Here For Any Government. I’ve Come to Play Rock

≡ Category: History, Music, Politics |2 Comments

And you thought Ronald Reagan single-handedly brought down the Berlin Wall and ended the Cold War with his “Tear Down This Wall Speech” in 1987….

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