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Posts Tagged ‘history’

********** was not socially acceptable in medieval Europe

Sweary historian Eleanor Janega writes on her Going Medieval blog (previously) that there was never a time in medieval Europe when ********** was socially acceptable, and brings the receipts in the form of eyewatering details on the punishments for having *** with animals.

Janega mentions that, of course, any non-procreative *** was doctrinally suspect in ...

Our olfactory heritage: researcher preserves scents before they’re lost forever

Smell is perhaps more closely intertwined with memory than sight, sound, or any other of our senses. Indeed, scents are an incredibly important part of history and culture. That's why Cecilia Bembibre and her colleagues at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage are working to preserve certain smells for the ages. After all, smells are ...

Secret history of the screwdriver

From old-school bOING bOING editor Gareth Branwyn's must-read e-newsletter "Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales":

I love The History Guy on YouTube. In this episode, he examines the history of the screwdriver and how world events shaped the development of the Phillips head and Robertson head drivers and screws. Even if you know something ...

Santa Claus is a psychedelic mushroom

One fantastic and wonderful origin theory of Santa Claus involves psychedelic mushrooms and shamanic rituals of the indigenous Sámi people who live in northern Finland. Paul Devereux wrote about this incredible hidden history in his fascinating 2008 book The Long Trip: A Prehistory of Psychedelia. Then, Brooklyn filmmaker Matthew Salton blew mainstream minds with ...

The weird history of magical ways to protect your home

Last month, I posted about "witch bottles" -- containers of curious items like human teeth, fish hooks, glass shards, and undetermined liquid -- sometimes found in chimneys or inside walls of old buildings where they were placed to ward off evil spells, spirits, and curses. Turns out that there's a new book -- "

The devastating 200-year-old tradition of running along a greasy pole in Malta

Presumably coming soon to ESPN's "The Ocho" is some version of this 200-year old tradition in Malta held in honor of St Julian the Hospitaller:

In the tournament, known as Gostra to the Maltese, a 16 meter-pole is covered by 15 liters of lard and fixed at an angle from the promenade into the sea. ...

Modern archaeology is entering a paywalled Lovecraftian forum to access a 1929 edition of an Egypt travel guide

I had hoped In the Valley of Gods, Campo Santo's follow up to Firewatch, was going to adapt some of the magic of the Indiana Jones and Brendan Fraser Mummy films, and add a modern sensibility. The trailer looked promising:

From the team that brought you Firewatch, In the Valley of Gods is a ...

Learning to See the Commons

[[Generations of propaganda about the instability of "the commons" and the desirability of assigning property rights in everything has led the human race into a very dark place: now, two scholars, David Bollier and Silke Helfrich, have published Free, Fair and Alive, which offers a critique of the "Tragedy," case studies of working commons, ...

At the chemist’s: recording of a 1930s conversation in England

The Sound Archive posted a 1930s-era recording of a conversation in a British pharmacy. The received-pronunciation chatter isn't quite reality--it was recorded to teach English as a foreign language--but it's a stark and amusing insight into English as she was spoke.

Madam. Would you like a hard brush, or a medium one?

The recording also ...