Items tagged "history":

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  2. npr:

    There’s a tune that you’ve probably heard throughout your life. It’s nine notes long, and it’s almost always used to signal that something vaguely Asian is happening or is about to happen.

    You know what I’m talking about. The tune’s most prominent role is probably in that 1974 song, “Kung Fu Fighting.” It comes in right as Carl Douglas is singing that anthemic “Oh-hoh-hoh-hoah.”

    The tune is ubiquitous. And like many things that are just in the air, few ever ask where it came from. But we did.

    How The ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ Melody Came To Represent Asia

    Photo credits: (Top) Michael Putland/Getty Images and Courtesy of Martin Nilsson


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  5. archatlas:

    I ponti della valle [Rilievo di un acquedotto post-romano] The bridges of the valley [graphic representation of a post-Roman aqueduct] Beniamino Servino


  6. artnet:

    Iraq’s religious and cultural heritage has become the latest taget of the militant group ISIS, which is destroying mosques, churches, and archeological sites.

    (via darksilenceinsuburbia)


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  8. todaysdocument:

    #DDAY70 Recap:

    Seventy years ago last week one of the largest amphibious invasions in history took place as over 150,000 troops of the combined Allied Expeditionary Forces began the Normandy Invasion of German-occupied western Europe, on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

    See our complete series of D-Day posts with the #DDAY70 tag →

    While a few Tumblr posts can hardly do a topic of this magnitude justice, you can dig deeper with National Archives Records Relating to D-Day, and check out the new immersive D-Day exhibit from the National Archives on the Google Cultural Institute.

    (via ilovecharts)


  9. jedhenry:

    Amazing Anime!!! 

    This came out last year in Japan. If you love Japan, you will love all 4 of these shorts! “Combustible” was directed by Otomo Katsuhiro, creator of AKIRA.

    ショート・ピース (Short Peace) anthology preview


  10. torontocomics:

    KATE BEATON is a Featured Guest at TCAF!

    Kate Beaton is a Canadian cartoonist who appeared in the comics scene in 2007 with her online work “Hark! A Vagrant!”.  Since then, she has become a fan favorite and has gathered a significant following, with illustrations appearing in places like The New Yorker, Harper’s and Marvel’s Strange Tales anthology. Praised for their expression, intelligence and comic timing, her cartoons often display a wonderfully light touch on historical and literary topics. Her first strip collection, Never Learn Anything From History, has been a bestseller for Publisher Topatoco since its release in 2009, and her 2012 release, published by Drawn & Quarterly also called Hark! A Vagrant, was a New York Times Best Seller.


    Kate Beaton at Topatoco:

    TCAF is The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, taking place May 9-11, 2014, in Toronto, Canada. More at

    (via beatonna)


  11. rhamphotheca:

    New Research Finds That Humans Are Responsible for Extinction of Giant Birds on New Zealand

    by Jeremy Hance

    Moas were a diverse group of flightless birds that ruled over New Zealand up to the arrival of humans, the biggest of these mega-birds stood around 3.5 meters (12 feet) with outstretched neck. While the whole moa family—comprised of nine species—vanished shortly after the arrival of people on New Zealand in the 13th Century, scientists have long debated why the big birds went extinct. Some theories contend that the birds were already in decline due to environmental changes or volcanic activity before humans first stepped on New Zealand’s beaches. But a study released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds no evidence of said decline, instead pointing the finger squarely at us.

    To find the moa’s smoking gun, scientists analyzed two different sets of DNA from 281 specimens made up of four species: the South Island giant moa (Dinornis robustus), the biggest of the family; the heavy-footed moa (Pachyornis elephantopus); the eastern moa (Emeus crassus); and the coastal moa (Euryapteryx curtus). Instead of showing a slow, genetic decline, the DNA told a different story: moas were thriving even as humans arrived…

    (read more: MongaBay)

    illustration by MIchael B.H./Wikimedia Commons

    (via scientificillustration)


  12. medievalpoc:

    The Codex Mendoza

    fol. 070r: Advice on Respectable Careers for Young Men, Contrasted With Examples of Wasted Lives

    Aztec Manuscript Created under Colonial (Spanish) Supervision (1541)

    What you are looking at is a section of the Codex Mendoza that is meant to depict the “daily lives” of the Mexica/Aztec people. The majority of Aztec books were purposely destroyed by the Spanish, and “approved” re-creations or copies were created by indigenous artists and writers, under Spanish supervision and pending their approval of the contents.

    Even those these copies are obviously adulterated, many academics seem content to extrapolate on manuscripts like these as a completely accurate portrayal of pre-colonial peoples in the Americas. The ideas pervasive in pop culture about the indigenous people of Central America is shaped by these works, meant to glorify the colonial objectives of conversion to Christianity, ‘civilizing’ native peoples, and presenting themselves and their actions in a positive or justified light.

    The images above read very much like a “Goofus and Gallant" style etiquette manual from the 1950s, and you could wonder whether such a binary system of valuation and morality was inherent to Mexica/Aztec culture, or if it was imposed on traditional beliefs by the colonizers.

    Description of the images and actions above:

    (1) (upper) At the centre, a ‘Father who counsels his son to be virtuous and not roam about as a vagabond’. On either side, the honorable careers of messenger (left) and singer-musician (right).

    (2) (upper middle) On the left, in the ‘house where they assemble for public works’, sits the majordomo, who asks the two seated youths to perform services with digging-sticks and baskets: they weep at the prospect.

    Bad examples for the youths are depicted on the right: (clockwise) a vagabond with twisted feet and hands, a ball player who bounces a rubber ball from his hip, a ‘player of patolli, which is like dice’ (gambling perhaps with his clothes), and a thief.

    (3) (lower half). On the left, five scenes of artisans teaching their trades to their sons: a carpenter shaping wood with an axe; a lapidary polishing a green stone with a cane tool; a codex-painter (tlacuilo) illustrating a document in red and black; a metalworker blowing to raise the temperature in his brazier for melting gold; and a featherworker preparing coloured feathers for application, his son helping with needle and thread.

    On the right, by contrast, are two further bad examples: the large standing figure, with a glyph of two snakes’ heads above his head, is marked in Spanish ‘person with a vicious tongue, and a gossiper’. Below, ‘the vice of drunkenness leads to thieving’: a man and woman sit on either side of a looted coffer drinking pulque, its potency to be enhanced by the rope-like quapatli root on the right.

    Further context and history of the manuscript:

    A picture-book of European paper and format, with images painted by a native artist and annotated in Spanish, probably for Don Antonio de Mendoza, first Viceroy of New Spain (1535-50), and most likely in the early 1540s. Acquired no later than 1553 by the French cosmographer André Thevet (d. 1592).

    The manuscript is arranged in three parts: I A pictorial history of the Aztec emperors and their conquests from 1325 to 1521 (fols. 1r-16v). Between Parts I and II is an intermediate section (fols. 17v-18r), not belonging clearly to either. II An illustrated catalogue of the annual tribute paid by the towns of the empire to the last emperor, Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin, also known as Montezuma II (fols. 18v-55r). III An illustrated account of Aztec life-cycles, male and female, from birth to death (fols. 56v-71v).