Take a Virtual Tour of the Dictionary Shakespeare May Have Owned and Annotated

≡ Category: History, Literature |Leave a Comment


You surely heard plenty about Shakespeare’s birthday yesterday. But did you hear about Shakespeare’s beehive? No, the Bard didn’t moonlight as an apiarist, though in his main line of work as a poet and dramatist he surely had to consult his dictionary fairly often.


H.G. Wells Interviews Joseph Stalin in 1934; Declares “I Am More to The Left Than You, Mr. Stalin”

≡ Category: History, Literature |3 Comments

From the 20/20 point of view of the present, Joseph Stalin was one of the 20th century’s great monsters. He terrified the Soviet Union with campaign after campaign of political purges, he moved whole populations into Siberia and he arguably killed more people than Hitler.


Free: British Pathé Puts Over 85,000 Historical Films on YouTube

≡ Category: Film, History |7 Comments

British Pathé was one of the leading producers of newsreels and documentaries during the 20th Century. This week, the company, now an archive, is turning over its entire collection — over 85,000 historical films – to YouTube.


Rare Audio: Albert Einstein Explains “Why I Am an American” on Day He Passes Citizenship Test (1940)

≡ Category: History |Leave a Comment

Most Americans by birth, myself included, have little reason to think about the process of attaining our highly sought-after nationality.


How the CIA Turned Doctor Zhivago into a Propaganda Weapon Against the Soviet Union

≡ Category: Books, History, Literature, Politics |Leave a Comment

Humanity has long pondered the relative might of the pen and the sword. While one time-worn aphorism does grant the advantage to the pen, most of us have entertained doubts: the sword, metaphorically or literally, seems to have won out across an awfully wide swath of history.


Old Books Bound in Human Skin Found in Harvard Libraries (and Elsewhere in Boston)

≡ Category: Books, History |4 Comments

For at least a decade now, the “death of print” has seemed all but inevitable. Amidst all the nostalgia for printed literature, it’s easy to forget that mass-produced books and media, and a literate population, are fairly recent phenomena in human history.


Batgirl Fights for Equal Pay in a 1960s Television Ad Supporting The Equal Pay Act

≡ Category: History, Politics, Television |3 Comments

Featured on the Emily’s List Facebook Page today is this “PSA from the 1960s,” where “Batgirl advocates for equal pay while saving Batman and Robin.


Eleanor Roosevelt’s Durable Wisdom on Curiosity, Empathy, Education & Responding to Criticism

≡ Category: Education, History, Life, Politics |Leave a Comment

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was a prolific columnist and writer, with an impressive list of clips produced both during FDR’s tenure in the White House and afterwards.


New York Public Library Puts 20,000 Hi-Res Maps Online & Makes Them Free to Download and Use

≡ Category: History, Maps, Technology |6 Comments

When I was a kid, my father brought home from I know not where an enormous collection of National Geographic magazines spanning the years 1917 to 1985. I found, tucked in almost every issue, one of the magazine’s gorgeous maps—of the Moon, St. Petersburg, the Himalayas, Eastern Europe’s ever-shifting boundaries.


Thomas Edison & His Trusty Kinetoscope Create the First Movie Filmed In The US (c. 1889)

≡ Category: Film, History |1 Comment

Thomas Edison is undoubtedly America’s best-known inventor. Nicknamed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” for his prolific creativity, Edison amassed a whopping 1093 patents throughout his lifetime.


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