What Ancient Latin Sounded Like, And How We Know It

≡ Category: History, Language Lessons |1 Comment


Latin is a language
As dead as dead can be; 
It killed the Romans long ago, 
And now it’s killing me.

That famed ditty isn’t likely to resonate with many modern school children, but interest in ancient Rome remains fairly robust. 
We’ve come to accept that those stately ruins were once covered in graffiti.


When Steve Buscemi Was a Firefighter — and Took It Up Again After 9/11

≡ Category: Film, History |Leave a Comment

Steve Buscemi’s roles in movies like In the Soup, The Big Lebowski, and Ghost World have associated him for life with a certain kind of character: awkward, ineffectual, and even slightly creepy, but nevertheless strangely endearing.


The History of Civilization Mapped in 13 Minutes: 5000 BC to 2014 AD

≡ Category: History, Maps |2 Comments

Above, watch “a geopolitical history of all empires, nations, kingdoms, armies and republics” unfold in 13 minutes. Created by a YouTuber who simply goes by the name “kardboardking,” the video stitches together “more than 500 world maps spanning all historical events.” We start in Sumer, somewhere around 5500-4000 BC.


Bob Geldof Talks About the Greatest Day of His Life, Stepping on the Stage of Live Aid, in a Short Doc by Errol Morris

≡ Category: Film, History, Music |Leave a Comment

I remember being a teen in the UK when the news broke that Bob Geldof was assembling a group of pop stars to record a Christmas single to help the starving in Africa, particularly Ethiopia, which had been ravaged by famine since 1983.


Hear the Voice of Albert Einstein: Vintage Album Features Him Talking About E=MC2, World Peace & More

≡ Category: Audio Books, History, Physics |1 Comment


We all have a mental image of Albert Einstein. For some of us, that mental image doesn’t get much more detailed than the mustache, the unruly hair, and the rumpled dress, all of which, thanks to his achievements in theoretical physics, have become visual signifiers of forbidding intelligence.


Carl Jung Explains Why His Famous Friendship with Sigmund Freud Fell Apart in Rare 1959 Audio

≡ Category: History, Psychology |2 Comments

Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung—legendary friends and colleagues, then rivals—“were not good for one another,” wrote Lionel Trilling in a 1974 review of their newly-published correspondence. Their friendship, begun in 1907, “made them susceptible to false attitudes and ambiguous tones.


Japanese Craftsman Spends His Life Trying to Recreate a Thousand-Year-Old Sword

≡ Category: Art, History |Leave a Comment

Western culture has long used swords, and the smithing thereof, as a signifier of Japanese culture. It evokes revered tradition, perfectionistic craftsmanship, and a capacity for violence equally impulsive and formalized, all of which carry aspects of cliché and stereotype to which Eastward-looking Western artists often fall victim.


Hear 17,000+ Traditional Folk & Blues Songs Curated by the Great Musicologist Alan Lomax

≡ Category: History, Music |1 Comment

For all its success with steamrolling over entire populations to build highways, factory towns, and office campuses, the U.S. has also, since its earliest days, produced scores of committed ethnologists, musicologists, and other documentarians of human cultural production in all its variety.


The Digital Transgender Archive Features Books, Magazines & Photos Telling the History of Transgender Culture

≡ Category: Archives, History |Leave a Comment


Transgender issues have entered the public conversation in a big way. To those without much direct connection to them, they might all seem to have come up suddenly, with little precedent, within the past few years. But most phenomena that seem to have achieved instant prominence have a rich, if long-hidden, history behind them.


Watch Hannah Arendt’s Diagnosis of the Banality of Evil as an 8-Bit Video Game

≡ Category: History, Philosophy |Leave a Comment

Permit us a couple of great oversimplifications: Hannah Arendt became well-known by writing about evil. Video games, especially classic ones, usually challenge the player to fight some kind of evil.


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