How to Make Ancient Mesopotamian Beer: See the 4,000-Year-Old Brewing Method Put to the Test




The philosopher Giambattista Vico had quite a few ideas, but we remember him for one above all: Verum esse ipsum factum, often shortened to the principle of verum factum. It means, in essence, that we understand what we make. In accordance with verum factum, then, if you want to understand, say, ancient Mesopotamian beer, you should make some ancient Mesopotamian beer yourself. Such is the path taken in the video above by Max Miller, host of the Youtube series Tasting History.

We previously featured Tasting History here on Open Culture for its humorous and as-faithful-as-possible re-creations of dishes from the past, including periods as recent as the nineteenth century and as distant as the dawn of civilization. No matter the era, humanity has always been eating and drinking — and, just as soon as the necessary technology became available, getting drunk. That we were doing it 4,000 years ago is evidenced by the recipe Miller follows in his quest to re-create Mesopotamian beer, for which even the research proves to be no simple matter.

In fact, he begins with not a recipe at all, but a hymn to Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess of beer. But this holy text constitutes only a starting point: Miller goes on to consult not just other information preserved on archaeological artifacts, but at least one expert in the field. The resulting beer-making procedure isn’t without its ambiguity, but you can certainly try it at home. You can try it at home if you’ve got about a week to do so, that is; even ancient beer needed to ferment. (If you’re anything like Miller, you’ll use the waiting time to research more about Mesopotamian society and the significant place of beer within it.)

How does the final product taste? Miller describes it as not carbonated but “effervescent,” with a “nuttiness” to its flavor: “I’m getting, like, a little bit of a cardamom.” (Moderns who prefer a sweeter beer will want to add date syrup.) Perhaps it would go well with a Babylonian lamb stew, or one of the other ancient dishes Miller has re-created on Tasting History. Such a meal would provide a fine occasion to test the principle of verum factum — or an even finer way to test the Sumerian proverb “He who does not know beer, does not know what is good.”

Related Content:

Discover the Oldest Beer Recipe in History From Ancient Sumeria, 1800 B.C.

Cambridge University Professor Cooks 4000-Year-Old Recipes from Ancient Mesopotamia, and Lets You See How They Turned Out

Watch a 4000-Year Old Babylonian Recipe for Stew, Found on a Cuneiform Tablet, Get Cooked by Researchers from Yale & Harvard

5,000-Year-Old Chinese Beer Recipe Gets Recreated by Stanford Students

Beer Archaeology: Yes, It’s a Thing

Tasting History: A Hit YouTube Series Shows How to Cook the Foods of Ancient Greece & Rome, Medieval Europe, and Other Places & Periods

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The Map of Engineering: A New Animation Shows How All of the Different Fields in Engineering Fit Together




In his latest animation, physicist and science writer Dominic Walliman maps out the entire field of engineering and all of its subdisciplines. Civil engineering, chemical engineering, bio engineering, biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, marine engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering–they’re all covered here.

In the past, we’ve featured Walliman’s other educational animations that cover Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Quantum Computing, Computer Science, and more. Click the links to explore each video.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newsletter, please find it here.

If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks!

Related Content 

The Map of Computer Science: New Animation Presents a Survey of Computer Science, from Alan Turing to “Augmented Reality”

The Map of Mathematics: Animation Shows How All the Different Fields in Math Fit Together

The Map of Physics: Animation Shows How All the Different Fields in Physics Fit Together

The Map of Chemistry: New Animation Summarizes the Entire Field of Chemistry in 12 Minutes

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What’s Entering the Public Domain in 2023: Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Franz Kafka’s Amerika & More




It’s safe to say that few, if any, of us alive today were doing any movie-going in 1927. But that shouldn’t stop us from recognizing the importance of that year to cinema itself. It saw the release of, among other pictures, The Lodger, with which the young Alfred Hitchcock first fully assembled his signature mechanics of suspense; Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s still-influential vision of Art Deco dystopia; F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise, a lavish romantic drama complete with sound effects; and even the very first feature-length “talkie,” The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson. And don’t even get us started on what a year 1927 was for literature.

Rather, take it from Hyperallergic’s Rhea Nayyar, who highlights Franz Kafka’s posthumously published first novel Amerika, which is now “considered one of his more realistic and humorous works.” Nayyar also mentions Virginia Woolf’s much better-known To the Lighthouse, which, like Amerika as well as all the aforementioned films, has just entered the public domain in the United States in 2023 for anyone to enjoy and use as they please.

So has Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, the final book of stories featuring that iconic detective, Ernest Hemingway’s collection Men Without Women, Hermann Hesse’s Der Steppenwolf, and even the very first Hardy Boys novel, The Tower Treasure.

You’ll find many such notable books, movies, and musical compositions — that last group including such immortal tunes as “The Best Things in Life are Free,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and “(I Scream You Scream, We All Scream for) Ice Cream” — rounded up here by Jennifer Jenkins, director of Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain. She also explains why we should care: “1927 was a long time ago. The vast majority of works from 1927 are out of circulation. When they enter the public domain in 2023, anyone can rescue them from obscurity and make them available, where we can all discover, enjoy, and breathe new life into them.” We know that many works created in 1927 have stood the test of time; now to find out what they’ll inspire us to create in 2023.

Find a list of important works entering the public domain here.

via Duke University Law School

Related content:

The Lodger: Alfred Hitchcock’s First Truly ‘Hitchcockian’ Movie (1927)

Metropolis: Watch Fritz Lang’s 1927 Masterpiece

Free: F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise, the 1927 Masterpiece Voted the 5th Best Movie of All Time

Why Should We Read Virginia Woolf? A TED-Ed Animation Makes the Case

Franz Kafka: An Animated Introduction to His Literary Genius

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Joni Mitchell’s Catalog of Albums Now on YouTube: Stream Them Online

2022 – another difficult year for so many – has drawn to a close.

While not a remedy for all the hardships and privations we’ve been privy to, Joni Mitchell’s music remains good medicine. Listening to her always makes us feel more connected, reflective and calm for at least an hour or two.

Lucky us. The beloved singer-songwriter has given us a New Year’s gift – all her albums posted to her official Youtube channel.

What a lovely way to usher the old year offstage, and quietly welcome the new.

We all have our allegiances, though many who identify as fans may discover they’ve missed a couple releases along the way.

She has, to date, released 19 studio albums, 5 live albums, and an EP, as well as inspiring 2 tribute albums. A recent remark on Elton John’s Rocket Hour left us hopeful that more may be in the offing.

Sir Elton is but one of many well known musicians who are unabashed Mitchell fans. Artists as diverse as Harry Styles, k.d. lang, and Herbie Hancock have written songs in response to their favorite Joni cuts.

And the internet teems with covers from both heavy hitters and unknowns. (See them organized by song title on Mitchell’s website, where “Both Sides Now” remains the champ with a whopping 1576 renditions.)

Her fourth album, 1971’s Blue, seems to garner the most fervent praise…

Taylor Swift: She wrote it about her deepest pains and most haunting demons. Songs like ‘River,’ which is just about her regrets and doubts of herself – I think this album is my favorite because it explores somebody’s soul so deeply.”

James Taylor:  I said it probably too many times that Joni is like, you tap the tree, and you know, it’s like maple syrup. This stuff, this nectar comes out of the most unusual places.

Jewel: On Blue, you hear everything she experienced, the highs and the lows. It’s such a lonely album — not in the “I don’t have any friends” sense but in the sense that you’re a little bit removed, and always watching. It takes a lot of courage to be that honest, especially as a woman. 

Prince on The Hissing of Summer Lawns:

It was the last album I loved all the way through.

Boy George on Court and Spark:

I’ve bought this for many people because it is probably her most accessible [album]. I love unusual voices and I’ve sat and cried to so many of her songs. My favorite is Car On A Hill because I’ve done what it’s about: waited for the boyfriend to turn up as the cars go by.

Björk on 1977’s double album, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter and Hejira:

I think it was that accidental thing in Iceland, where the wrong albums arrive to shore, because I was obsessed with Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter and Hejira as a teenager. I hear much more of her in those albums. She almost made her own type of music style with those, it’s more a woman’s world.”

Sisters Danielle and Este Haim on 1974’s live album Miles of Aisles:

There’s a little bit of everything. Songs from all her albums up until then, and she’s playing them with the L.A. Express, which was this amazing jazz band… a reimagining of a lot of her early work through this jazz lens.

Enjoy a lovely wander through Joni Mitchell’s oeuvre here. When you click on this page, scroll down to the “Albums & Singles” section, and then move (from left to right) through the entire discography.

Related Content 

Joni Mitchell Tells Elton John the Stories Behind Her Iconic Songs: “Both Sides Now,” “Carey” & More

Watch the Full Set of Joni Mitchell’s Amazing Comeback Performance at the Newport Folk Festival

Songs by Joni Mitchell Re-Imagined as Pulp Fiction Book Covers & Vintage Movie Posters

Hear Demos & Outtakes of Joni Mitchell’s Blue on the 50th Anniversary of the Classic Album

How Joni Mitchell Learned to Play Guitar Again After a 2015 Brain Aneurysm–and Made It Back to the Newport Folk Festival

How Joni Mitchell Wrote “Woodstock,” the Song that Defined the Legendary Music Festival, Even Though She Wasn’t There (1969)

Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

“Weird Al” Yankovic Breaks Down His Most Iconic Tracks: “Eat It,” “Amish Paradise,” “White and Nerdy,” and His Other Hilarious Songs

Few things could have been more amusing to a twelve-year-old in 1996 than an Amish-themed parody of the late Coolio’s portentously grim life-in-the-hood anthem “Gangsta’s Paradise.” As luck would have it, “Weird Al” Yankovic released just such a song in 1996, when I happened to be twelve years old myself. Like everyone who’s been a kid at some point in the past 40 years, I grew up hearing and appreciating Yankovic’s prolific output of parodies, pastiches, and even original songs. From “Eat It” to “Smells like Nirvana” to “White and Nerdy,” there was hardly a pop-music phase of my childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood that he didn’t make funny.

That’s to make funny, as distinct from to make fun of: unlike that of a predecessor in comedy songwriting like Tom Lehrer, Yankovic’s body of work evidences not the least tendency toward harshness or ridicule.

Hence his appeal from his very first recording “My Bologona,” an accordion-based parody of “My Sharona” recorded in the bathroom of his college radio station, to no less an advocate of silliness than Dr. Demento, whose airplay launched the young Weird Al’s career — a career that, as Yankovic acknowledges while telling the stories behind his iconic songs in the GQ video above, has not gone without its strokes of luck.

Yet few living performers more clearly personify the old aphorism describing luck as the meeting of preparation and opportunity. “Weird Al approaches the composition of his music with something like the holy passion of Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel,” writes Sam Anderson in a 2020 New York Times Magazine profile. Seeing Yankovic’s notes for “White & Nerdy” “file felt like watching a supercomputer crunch through possible chess moves. Every single variable had to be considered, in every single line.” To work in musical form, even the silliest humor demands his total dedication.

Yankovic has long showed a willingness straightforwardly to discuss what it’s like to be Weird Al, as well as what it takes to be Weird Al. For a considerably less straightforward version, we can watch The Roku Channel’s new Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. Most biopics take artistic liberties with the lives of their subjects, but Weird goes all the way, parodying the very form of the biopic itself while performing colossal (and surely fan-delighting) exaggerations of the facts of Yankovic’s life. In the GQ video, for example, he mentions getting the idea for “Like a Surgeon” by hearing Madonna throw it out in an interview; in the trailer above, Madonna turns at the door at his opulent mansion, a veritable succubus ready to drag him into the musical underworld. And it seems a safe bet that things only get Weirder thereafter.

Related content:

“Weird Al” Yankovic Releases “Word Crimes,” a Grammar Nerd Parody of “Blurred Lines”

Two Legends: Weird Al Yankovic “Interviews” James Brown (1986)

Dr. Demento’s New Punk Album Features William Shatner Singing The Cramps, Weird Al Yankovic Singing The Ramones & Much More

Monty Python’s Eric Idle Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The Archives of the Planet: Explore 72,000 Photos Taken a Century Ago to Document Human Cultures Around the World

The world, we often hear, used to be bigger. Today, if you feel the faintest twinge of curiosity about a distant place — Beijing, Paris, Cambodia, Egypt — you can near-instantaneously call up countless hours of high-quality video footage shot there, and with only a little more effort even communicate in real-time with people actually living there. This may be the case in the early twenty-first century, but it certainly wasn’t in the early twentieth. If you’d wanted to see the world back then, you either had to travel it yourself, an expensive and even dangerous proposition, or else hire a team of expert photographers to go forth and capture it for you.

Albert Kahn, a successful French banker and speculator, did both. A few years after making his own trip around the world, taking stereographic photos and even motion-picture footage along the way, he came up with the idea for a project called Les archives de la planète, or The Archives of the Planet.

Directed by the geographer Jean Brunhes (and influenced by the philosopher Henri Bergson, a friend of Kahn’s), Les archives de la planète spent most of the nineteen-tens and nineteen-twenties dispatching photographers to various ends of the earth on fewer than four continents: Europe, America, Asia, and Africa. And if you click on those links, you can see the project’s photos from the relevant regions yourself.

Having been digitized, the fruits of Les archives de la planète now reside online, at the web site of the Albert Kahn Museum. You can browse its collection there, or on this image portal, where you can view featured photos or access whichever part of the world in the early twentieth century you’d like to see. (Just make sure to do it in French.) The online archive contains a large chunk of the 72,000 autochrome pictures taken in 50 countries by Kahn’s photographers before he was wiped out by the stock market crash of 1929. Made freely available in high resolution a century after the height of his project, these vivid and evocative pictures remind us that, however small the world has become, the past remains a foreign country.

via ArtNet News/Petapixel

Related content:

Around the World in 1896: 40 Minutes of Real Footage Lets You Visit Paris, New York, Venice, Rome, Budapest & More

Footage of Cities Around the World in the 1890s: London, Tokyo, New York, Venice, Moscow & More

Behold the Photographs of John Thomson, the First Western Photographer to Travel Widely Through China (1870s)

How Vividly Colorized Photos Helped Introduce Japan to the World in the 19th Century

1850s Japan Comes to Life in 3D, Color Photos: See the Stereoscopic Photography of T. Enami

Petite Planète: Discover Chris Marker’s Influential 1950s Travel Photobook Series

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

How the Ancient Romans Built Their Roads, the Lifelines of Their Vast Empire

At its peak in the second century, the Roman Empire dominated nearly two million square miles of the world. As with most such grand achievements, it couldn’t have happened without the development of certain technologies. The long reach of the Eternal City was made possible in large part by the humble technology of the road — or at least it looks like a humble technology here in the twenty-first century. Roads existed before the Roman Empire, of course, but the Romans built them to new standards of length, capacity, and durability. How they did it so gets explained in the short video above.

On a representative stretch of Roman-road-to be, says the narrator, a “wide area would be deforested.” Then “the topsoil would be removed until a solid base was found.” Atop that base, workers laid down curbs at the width determined by the road plan, then filled the gap between them with a foundation of large stones.

Atop the large stones went a layer of smaller stones mixed with fine aggregates, and finally the gravel, sand, and clay that made up the surface. All of this was accomplished with the old-fashioned power of man and animal, using tipper carts to pour out the materials and other tools to spread and compact them.

Roman road-builders didn’t just use any old rocks and dirt, but “carefully selected materials of the highest quality” — including formidably long-lasting Roman concrete, the secrets of whose sturdiness have only been fully understood in the past decade. In another ingenious design choice recently discovered, “ditches were placed to prevent access to the road from unauthorized vehicles,” as well as to widen the peripheral view of the road’s users. In the video just above, civil-engineering specialist Isaac Moreno Gallo takes a closer look at a section of a real Roman road being excavated where it will intersect with a modern highway under construction. The new road will surely stand for a long time to come — but will it inspire fascination a couple millennia from now?

Related content:

The Roman Roads and Bridges You Can Still Travel Today

How to Make Roman Concrete, One of Human Civilization’s Longest-Lasting Building Materials

The First Transit Map: a Close Look at the Subway-Style Tabula Peutingeriana of the 5th-Century Roman Empire

How Did Roman Aqueducts Work?: The Most Impressive Achievement of Ancient Rome’s Infrastructure, Explained

The Roads of Ancient Rome Visualized in the Style of Modern Subway Maps

The Roman Roads of Britain Visualized as a Subway Map

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Paul McCartney Explains How Bach Influenced “Blackbird”

If you’re going to steal, steal from the best.

For most of humanity, this might mean nabbing a lick or two from Paul McCartney’s playbook.

For Paul McCartney, it meant borrowing from Bach – the fifth movement from Suite in E minor for Lute, to be specific.

As he explained during the above 2005 appearance on the Parkinson Show, when he and his buddy, George Harrison, used to sit around teaching themselves basic rock n’ roll chords, their show off move was a bit of semi-classical fingerpicking that Sir Paul modestly claimed to be “not very good at:”

It was actually classical but we made it semi.

Thusly did the chord progressions of Bach’s Bourree in E minor  – a piece which “I never knew the title of, which George and I had learned to play at an early age; he better than me actually”  – inspire Blackbird:

Part of its structure is a particular harmonic thing between the melody and the bass line which intrigued me. Bach was always one of our favorite composers; we felt we had a lot in common with him. For some reason we thought his music was very similar to ours and we latched on to him amazingly quickly. We also liked the stories of him being the church organist and wopping this stuff out weekly, which was rather similar to what we were doing. We were very pleased to hear that…The fingerpicking style was something we admired in Chet Atkins, particularly in a piece called Trambone, though it was also played by Colin Manley, from a group called The Remo Four. They’d started out in Liverpool around the same time as The Beatles.

This deceptively slow burn, now a staple of Sir Paul’s setlists, debuted as a solo acoustic track on the White Album.

Bach’s Bourree in E minor also inspired Jethro Tull and, hilariously, Tenacious D.

Related Content 

Watch Preciously Rare Footage of Paul McCartney Recording “Blackbird” at Abbey Road Studios (1968)

When the Beatles Refused to Play Before Segregated Audiences on Their First U.S. Tour (1964)

The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’ Sung in the Indigenous Mi’kmaq Language

Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Miley Cyrus & David Byrne Perform David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” on New Year’s Eve

Last night, Miley Cyrus and David Byrne performed David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” on the NBC holiday special Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party. And they also treated viewers to a performance of “Everybody’s Coming to My House,” from Byrne’s 2018 album American Utopia. Not a bad way to send off 2022.

Before leaving 2022 behind, we’ll also flag another Miley Cyrus collaboration–a performance from this summer’s celebration of the life of Taylor Hawkins. Below, watch her take the stage with Def Leppard and perform “Photograph” at the 3:45. No doubt, she can sing.

Happy 2023.

Related Content

How David Byrne and Brian Eno Make Music Together: A Short Documentary

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Watch David Byrne Lead a Massive Choir in Singing David Bowie’s “Heroes”

David Byrne’s Graduation Speech Offers Troubling and Encouraging Advice for Students in the Arts

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Isaac Asimov on How Libraries Can Radically Change Your Life (1971)

Back in 1971, Isaac Asimov sent a letter to celebrate the opening of a new library in Troy, Michigan. Thoughtful as always, his letter addressed the children of the Troy community as follows: “Congratulations on the new library, because it isn’t just a library. It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you—and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life.”

In total, 97 writers (including Dr. Spock, Dr. Seuss and E.B. White) sent letters to mark the occasion. You can read through them in the Troy Library Flickr stream here.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newsletter, please find it here.

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Isaac Asimov Laments the “Cult of Ignorance” in the United States (1980)

Isaac Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: A Witty, Erudite Atheist’s Guide to the World’s Most Famous Book

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How Isaac Asimov Went from Star Trek Critic to Star Trek Fan & Advisor

Watch Restored Versions of Classic Fleischer Cartoons on Youtube, Featuring Betty Boop, Koko the Clown & Others

Quite a few generations of American children have by now grown up knowing the names of Max and Dave Fleischer — albeit knowing even better the names of the characters they animated, like Betty Boop, Popeye the Sailor, and Superman. The kids who first thrilled to Max Fleischer’s early “Out of the Inkwell” series, which he started in the late nineteen-tens and continued into the late nineteen-twenties, would naturally have seen them in a movie theater. But most of us under the age of eighty would have received our introduction to the lively, whimsical, and often bizarre world of the brothers Fleischer through the television, a medium hungry for cartoons practically since its inception.

Now viewers of all ages can enjoy Fleischer cartoons on Youtube, and in newly restored form at that. “The Fabulous Fleischer Cartoons Restored team is dedicated to preserving Fleischer’s films by restoring them from original prints and negatives,” writes Boing Boing’s Rusty Blazenhoff, adding that “Adam Savage’s Tested visited the Blackhawk Films scanning facility in California and spoke with restoration expert Steve Stanchfield about the process of bringing these classic films back to life.”

The charm of Fleischer cartoons may still feel effortless a century after their creation, but anyone familiar with animation knows how painstaking that creation would have been; by the same token, bringing the surviving films back to pristine condition is a more complicated job than most viewers would imagine.

The current offerings on Fabulous Fleischer Cartoons Restored’s channel include Betty Boop and Pudgy in “Happy You and Merry Me,” Bimbo the Dog in “Teacher’s Pest,” and even the short but lavish Technicolor fantasy “Somewhere in Dreamland,” which brightened up the grim days of the Great Depression for all who saw it. The restorers have also worked their magic on Fleischer holiday cartoons like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Christmas Comes But Once a Year” (including with the latter a side-by-side comparison of the new restoration with the existing sixteen-millimeter DVD print). Yes, Christmas has just passed, but it will come again next year, and bring with it the latest generation’s chance to be delighted by Fleischer cartoons crisper and more vivid than the ones with which any of us grew up.

via Boing Boing

Related content:

Watch a Surreal 1933 Animation of Snow White, Featuring Cab Calloway & Betty Boop: It’s Ranked as the 19th Greatest Cartoon of All Time

The Harlem Jazz Singer Who Inspired Betty Boop: Meet the Original Boop-Oop-a-Doop, “Baby Esther”

The Original 1940s Superman Cartoon: Watch 17 Classic Episodes Free Online

The Trick That Made Animation Realistic: Watch a Short History of Rotoscoping

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Explained in One of the Earliest Science Films Ever Made (1923)

How Walt Disney Cartoons Are Made: 1939 Documentary Gives an Inside Look

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.





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