History

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Category archives for History

If you picked up The Poisoner’s Handbook (amazon.com) looking for a fool-proof recipe, I hope you have read the book through and realized at the end that such a thing does not exist: you’ll get busted. If they could figure it all out back in 1930s, can you imagine how much easier they can figure…

You may have heard some hypotheses. But you may be wrong. Go here to read the most current explanation.

To get disclaimers out of the way, first, Vanessa Woods (on Twitter) is a friend. I first met her online, reading her blog Bonobo Handshake where she documented her day-to-day life and work with bonobos in the Congo. We met in person shortly after her arrival to North Carolina, at a blogger meetup in Durham,…

‘Rent’ at Duke

The other night I went to the opening night of RENT at Duke, the latest production of the Hoof ‘n’ Horn ensemble, the ‘South’s oldest student-run musical theater organization’ (find them on Facebook and Twitter). Here’s the promo video, released before the opening night: I always have difficulty judging plays by amateur ensembles – at…

Explained here. Critiques in the comments are (mostly) valid, but for a first effort at using this kind of visualization technique, I’d say it’s pretty impressive.

Video of Anne Frank Surfaces on YouTube

Anne Frank: the only existing film images (0:09-0:14): July 22 1941. The girl next door is getting married. Anne Frank is leaning out of the window of her house in Amsterdam to get a good look at the bride and groom. It is the only time Anne Frank has ever been captured on film. At…

You may have heard about a recent Wikipedia hoax: A WIKIPEDIA hoax by a 22-year-old Dublin student resulted in a fake quote being published in newspaper obituaries around the world. The quote was attributed to French composer Maurice Jarre who died at the end of March. It was posted on the online encyclopedia shortly after…

Happy birthday Samuel Morse

Thanks to Google, we know that today is the birthday of the first Twitterer:

Why Study Science? (1955)

Thanks to reader Paul for this tip – what an amazing piece of history: an instructional movie from the Sputnik Era, explaining why one should study science. Many of the arguments have not changed since then, though the details of sciences and technologies used in the film are very different. The role of women is,…

Why Gandalf Never Married?

1985 talk by Terry Pratchett: ….One may look in vain for similar widespread evidence of wizards. In addition to the double handful of doubtful practitioners mentioned above, half of whom are more readily identifiable as alchemists or windbags, all I could come up with was some vaguely masonic cults, like the Horseman’s Word in East…