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This Day in Ancient History ~ ante diem xii kalendas decembres

ante diem xii kalendas decembres Mercatus — time to restock the cupboards after the Jupiterfest! 63 A.D. — shipwreck of St. Paul (by one reckoning) 270 (?) — birth of the future emperor Maximinus Daia (more) 284 A.D. — elevation of Diocletian to the rank of Caesar (more) 1846 — birth of Maurice Croiset (one of the […]

A Midcentury Composer's Luminous Rainbow Wheels Representing Music Through Color

Russian composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky was a 20th-century avant-garde pianist devoted to “creating a work capable of awakening in every man the slumbering forces of cosmic consciousness,” according to his journal. To achieve this mystical ideal, he set out to create sounds that no one had ever heard before. Show More Summary

Royal Collection restorers find hidden pooper

A painting in the Royal Collection has been hiding a man captured in the moment of answering a call of nature for more than a hundred years. A Village Fair with a Church Behind by 17th century Dutch painter Isack van Ostade is a vibrant, bustling scene of peasants exploring market wares in a fictional [...]

What Was Gay?

“You know,” observed a recent dinner guest, glancing around our living room between sips of his digestif, “there are a lot of strong women in this apartment.” I follow his gaze toward the massive tangerine-on-yellow She-Ra painting that anchors one end of the room—a tough lady if there ever was one. Show More Summary

How Texas Could Mess With Us

By last Friday, three days after the re-election of President Obama but before the final tally of electoral votes had been confirmed, a curious phenomenon was already taking place on the "We the People" website, which the Obama White House set up in 2011 as an easy way for Americans to petition the executive branch for the redress of grievances. Show More Summary

Compounding a fraud

By now, many or most of my readers, I'm sure, have read of the scandal surrounding Lincoln historian Thomas P. Lowry. There are several online articles detailing how Lowry admitted, earlier this month, to falsifying a date on an Abraham Lincoln soldier pardon in the National Archives from 1864 to 1865. Show More Summary

1,000,000 minutes of historical news on YouTube

Remember when British Pathé uploaded their archives to YouTube last year and I was all “Smell ya later, guys. I’ma be watching newsreels for the next 48 hours straight.”? Well, those 85,000 historic films comprising 3,500 hours of footage were a modest little rabbit hole compared to this one. The Associated Press and its partner [...]

What Was Gay?

As a member of Slate Plus, you’re reading this Slate story before anyone else! This story is exclusive to Slate Plus members until Tuesday morning. Be sure to check out the special Slate Plus exclusives related to this story, including a full audio version of the piece, a behind-the-scenes conversation with J. Show More Summary

Why Every President Sucked...

I recently received an email from Eric Olsen, a marketing writer and consultant. He seems like a brilliant chap. One of those guys that's good at everything... he appears to be very successful in life and in career. The reason he contacted me... Show More Summary

Objects from royal yacht shipwreck back in Hawaii

After years of conservation to preserve organic remains, artifacts from the wreck of the 19th century Hawaiian royal yacht the Ha’aheo o Hawai’i have returned to Hawaii. They will become part of the permanent collection of the Kaua’i Museum where they will go on display close to where they spent almost two centuries under the [...]

World War 1 from Above

A follower from the U.S. has informed me that the "World War 1 from Above" programme is available on YouTube and is well worth a look. In the supporting material, there is a very good account of the "Messines Ridge" battle that was part of Harry's war. Show More Summary

Exact 3D replica of King Tut’s tomb opens

An exact 3D facsimile of King Tutankhamun’s tomb opened outside the entrance to the Valley of the Kings Wednesday. This ground-breaking approach to heritage preservation and sustainable tourism has been a long time in the making. Zahi Hawass was still in charge in November of 2008 when the Supreme Council of Antiquities approved a project [...]

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