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Posts tagged with history

Places and languages

inside elevationinside elevation by parramitta (cc by)

Why does Wyoming have such a low population compared to neighboring states? barchan explains, jeb adds: "everything in the West comes back to water".

Ever wonder what a "nor'easter" is? Check out the great answers from Seymour Zamboni, plastic_animals, and weathergal in rules of thumb for weather patterns in the USA.

Lots of different places have unique colloquial weather terms too. (Gullywashers, the foxes' wedding, and lots of wind terms again from barchan.)

Also in language surveys: What are some antiquated place nicknames (like the Borscht Belt)? What do other languages call it when your foot "falls asleep"?

Different cultures also have their own languages of flower-meanings. Plus some cool info from sukeban on how new imported flowers like roses made their way into kimono designs in the late 19th century.

For geography/history detectives: How can I tell, just from clues in the document itself, when a world map was made or figure out when a photograph was taken?

Did you see the new photos from the formerly-hidden-from-visitors North Korean subway system?

Some great answers in travel threads recently: Italy: non-traditional but amazing?, and also Scotland: what not to miss.

Teching the tech tech

Ain Manawir (VII)Ain Manawir (VII) by isawnyu (cc by)

JoeZydeco on how a vending machine knows what coin you've put in (and why the Mars candy company spun off an electronics company)

seasparrow on ancient underground water-distribution systems called "qanats"... including diagrams

codacorolla on their academic research on Minecraft players

The evolution of thimble technology, as seen in artifacts found scattered across England

A nice discussion of the importance of the skills needed to maintain old systems

Ley Lines IV

Pont en RoyansPont en Royans by FrenchHope (cc by)

Recently on Mefi, people and places around the world, enchanting, mysterious and magnetic:

Good luck finding parking: "The Precarious Architecture of 7 European Cliff Cities"

The REMAINS of Greenland project is attempting to locate and preserve archaeological sites in Greenland before they are lost to the destructive effects of climate change

Italians Compare the Arrival of Starbucks to the Apocalypse: pjsky's roundup of the unthinkable

Grace's Guide to British Industrial History is a project publishing the history of industry in the UK and elsewhere

"Being Iceland, it gets complicated": Saga Thing is a podcast about the Sagas of the Icelanders

Roadtrip like it's 1966: 1966 video photolog trips of selected highways via BC Ministry of Transportation

No vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end: A short video from the British Geological Survey about Siccar Point

03/03/16
by taz

By George

NYC - Metropolitan Museum of Art - George WashingtonNYC - Metropolitan Museum of Art - George Washington by wallyg (cc by-nc-nd)

George Washington's hairstyle mystery -- how did he keep his white hair powder off his shoulders? Mefite nickyskye has the answer.

Minor Medieval Maladies, M'dear

13th century anatomical illustration

What happened when someone in the Middle Ages got pink eye, or someone in Elizabethan England got athlete's foot or crotch rot? Did the infections just hang around forever? Was everyone just infected with this type of stuff? (It's pretty well-known that basically everyone had lice and fleas, I believe.)

In Ask Me: Minor infections in the days before anti-biotics or anti-fungals? Many good answers, and Jane the Brown brings the serious history again.

12/08/15
by taz

♪ We'll order now what they ordered then ♫

17th Century commonplace book17th Century commonplace book via themillions.com

Before Jezebel, The Toast, and Twitter there were wise and witty women handily perpetrating "epic feminist takedowns of the ages," as illustrated in yarntheory's interesting post about Mary Collier and her 18th century poem, "The Woman's Labour"

... and before Pinterest and Evernote and Tumblr, "there was the humble commonplace book, a space for gathering and reflecting on ideas, quotations, observations, lines from poems, and other information." MonkeyToes gives us a loving magpie's roundup of this "venerable tradition of idea curation."

12/07/15
by taz

Vintage A/V and Legacy Tech Tales

Projection BoothProjection Booth by limecools (cc by-nc-sa)

"I set Anchorman on fire": Tales from Mefite film projectionists.

To make that sparkly tv logo without computers, the artists "stayed up all night doing drugs." - How they made animated graphics for tv before CGI.

Betamax nostalgia here - Plus how videotape and adhesive tape are made on the same machines.

Remember those 1-800- commercials from late-night tv? - I made those ads, and I worked in a call center, and we could tell when the ads aired.

Stock trader tech - lots of love for the bottomless Bloomberg terminal (internal Craigslist! extra emoji!), history of some alternatives to Bloomberg in the early 1980s, and extra tough phone equipment to survive frustrated smashing by floor traders.

Electronic medical records - A harder problem than it seems, how it's a pain for doctors, and why a lot of medical info systems still rely on fax or modem.

Cabinet of secrets

cabinetCabinet constructed in 1716 contained a secret letter from its craftsman

Great post from bonobothegreat about a letter concealed three centuries ago in the secret compartment of an elaborately carved and constructed writing cabinet. (Mefites have also left hidden artifacts for future historians to analyze and puzzle over.)

11/09/15
by taz

Tuck In

Afternoon Tea Paskeston Hall, PembrokeshireAfternoon Tea Paskeston Hall, Pembrokeshire by Hippy-dippy

Food and drink from the Mefi larder: Can't find the ingredient you're missing from your native cuisine? Try these immigrant food substitutions. What should we do with our leftovers? The ingenuity of meatloaf. If you don't have leftovers for lunch, enjoy packed lunches from around the world.

How can I feed my picky child? A reassuring answer.

Washing in milk, historic mealtimes, and why food was served cold to the rich, explained in unexpected facts about everyday life in the past.

Let's get serious about tea or go to Kentucky for a tour guide to bourbon country.

Super! Natural!

Metamorphosis insectorum SurinamensiumMetamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium by paukrus (cc by)

Some great recent posts on the natural world:

A 17th-Century Woman Artist’s Butterfly Journey: gorgeous images and bio info on early entomologist-artist Maria Sibylla Merian

The inner life of the fig: documentary on the sycamore fig tree, focusing on the intricate mutualism between a fig tree and its fig wasp

A tree grows in Israel: an extinct Judean Date Palm is grown from an ancient jar of seeds unearthed by archaeologists

My hovercraft is full of Petromyzon marinus: science, lore, and more on the fearsome sea lamprey

Satan Put the Kettle On: the mystery of Devil's Kettle Falls' vanishing waterfall

09/17/15
by taz

Curious Virgo

NYC Subway 80sNYC Subway 80s by Olivier Nade (cc by-nc)

What was it like to be alive on September 15, 1985? "from the mundane to the profound, what do you remember about that time?"

09/16/15
by taz

Navel Grazing

FGR: BellyFGR: Belly by bloody marty mix (cc by-nc-nd)

The oldest use of the f-word has been discovered, dating the word some 165 years earlier that had ever been seen. It appeared in the name "Roger Fuckebythenavele"

and in the dream-jobs-you-never-knew-you'd-kill-to-have department, litlnemo offers, "I teach a class on dirty surnames (yes, really) and this one so has to go into my list. Those medieval English people were not the most delicate of speech, let's just put it that way."

In other deep thoughts on names and other things, MCMikeNamara asks, Has Axl Rose ever commented on the fact that his stage name is an anagram for "oral sex"?

09/12/15
by taz

Keeping Time

Delia DerbyshireDelia Derbyshire

A polyphony of music past recently in the blue:

11+ documentaries on the history of electronic music; Larry Chung talks about and plays a 1934 Gibson L-5; A three-hour mixtape of Goth history, nearly 50 tracks of early-to-mid eighties Goth classics; Pitchfork's 200 Best Songs of the 1980s; Anton Karas plays the Theme from the Third Man, on zither; Using Spotify plays to quantify how old music has stood the test-of-time; "massive chords of intemperate savagery" – the strange story of Jón Leifs' Organ Concerto; great highlights from This is Tom Jones, a variety show that ran from 1969-1971; "Old Weird America", you say? I got some right here for ya

09/02/15
by taz

Time And Time Again

1755 copper engraving of Lisbon earthquake aftermathCopper engraving from 1755 shows Lisbon in ruins and in flames

Remembrances of things past via recent history posts on the blue:

More than 600 secret societies in the US, documented in 1899: here is "The Cyclopædia of Fraternities"; a compilation of existing authentic information and the results of original investigation

"Count Pier Francesco Orsini was a man much given to melancholy": Orsini's Sacro Busco, or the Park of Monsters

Ghosts at the Banquet: "Martin Gusinde documented the life and rituals of the Selk'nam people of Tierra del Fuego ... They had been nearly wiped out by a genocide led by Julius Popper, the Tyrant of Tierra del Fuego"

"In 1986, workers in Sichuan province in China were digging for clay for bricks when they stumbled onto an archaeological treasure: a major site for a Bronze Age civilization previously only guessed at"

Road tripping back in time on the Old Spanish Trail: "Today, you can still find remnants of that road, and there's a group of people who are trying to revive this historic highway."

"after the earthquake, King Joseph I was so afraid of buildings he moved out of Lisbon; his claustrophobia was so severe he lived in tents for the rest of his life. Artists depicted the chaos of the city in the aftermath of the disaster": The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755

08/30/15
by taz

What does the fox say?

Lego FirefoxLego Firefox by Johnath (cc by-sa)

... but a distressing number of our users wind up making some unwise choices and/or installing some dodgy third-party software that a guy on the corner said would be perfectly safe and legal and also a good time, and wake up with a headache and no wallet and some addons that don't _quite_ do what that guy on the corner said they would. And when they try to figure out why their computer is suddenly so slow, process monitor isn't going to tell them it's because that download-accelerator that ad on the torrent site said to install is mining bitcoins on the side, it's going to say "Firefox, 99% CPU".

Mozillian MeFite Mhoye adds insight and answers questions in Rhaomi's recent multi-link Crazy like a (Fire)Fox post.

08/25/15
by taz

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