An Ancient Philosophical Song Reconstructed and Played for the First Time in 1,000 Years

≡ Category: History, Music |3 Comments

Above and below, you can watch musicians perform “Songs of Consolation,” a 1,000-year-old song set “to the poetic portions of Roman philosopher Boethius’ magnum opus The Consolation of Philosophy,” an influential medieval text written during the 6th century.


Mesmerizing Animation, Made of Photos from Early-1900s America, Lets You Travel in a Steampunk Time Machine

≡ Category: Animation, History |Leave a Comment

Surely you remember Cheers, if only from the sitcom’s syndicated reruns ceaselessly aired around the world. And if you remember Cheers, you’ll remember no part of it more vividly than its opening credits sequence, which broke from the well-established tradition of showing the faces of the series’ cast members.


Download 67,000 Historic Maps (in High Resolution) from the Wonderful David Rumsey Map Collection

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

Stanford University’s been in the news lately, what with expanding its tuition waiver last year and now facing renewed scrutiny over its ultra-low admissions rate.


Behold the First Electric Guitar: The 1931 “Frying Pan”

≡ Category: History, Music |1 Comment

The names Leo Fender and Les Paul will be forever associated with the explosion of the electric guitar into popular culture. And rightly so. Without engineer Fender and musician and studio wiz Paul’s timeless designs, it’s hard to imagine what the most iconic instruments of decades of popular music would look like.


Watch the Titanic Sink in Real Time in a New 2-Hour, 40 Minute Animation

≡ Category: Animation, History |1 Comment

From the makers of Titanic: Honor and Glory—a PC video game that lets you sail aboard a fully detailed re-creation of the RMS Titanic–comes an animation that lets you watch the sinking of the Titanic in real time. According to the web site Titanic Facts, the ship sank in two hours and 40 minutes in 1912.


The Birth of London’s 1950s Bohemian Coffee Bars Documented in a Vintage 1959 Newsreel

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

I live in Seoul, by some measures the most coffee shop-saturated city in the world. But modern coffee life here (which I recently wrote about for the Los Angeles Review of Books) only really developed after Starbucks came to town around the turn of the 21st century.


Leonardo da Vinci Draws Designs of Future War Machines: Tanks, Machine Guns & More

≡ Category: History, Technology |Leave a Comment

We think of Leonardo da Vinci as one of the great humanists, a thinker and creator whose achievements spanned the realms of art, architecture, natural science, engineering, and letters.


Albert Camus’ Historic Lecture, “The Human Crisis,” Performed by Actor Viggo Mortensen

≡ Category: History, Philosophy |9 Comments

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The Met Digitally Restores the Colors of an Ancient Egyptian Temple, Using Projection Mapping Technology

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

Thanks to the tireless efforts of archaeologists, we have a pretty clear idea of what much of the ancient world looked like, at least as far as the clothes people wore and the structures in and around which they spent their days.


Florence Nightingale Saved Lives by Creating Revolutionary Visualizations of Statistics (1855)

≡ Category: Health, History, Science |2 Comments

I’ve long counted myself as a fan of Edward Tufte, the preeminent living expert on the visual display of quantitative information. I like to think this puts me in the company of Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing as well as a prolific writer and still today a household name.


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