Have you ever wondered why the world’s largest cities sprout up where they sprout up? It has a lot to do with water, natural resources, history, and being in the northern hemisphere.
A 17th century map was found in a chimney in Scotland and then delivered to the National Library of Scotland crumpled inside a plastic bag and basically destroyed. Just unraveling the fragile, centuries-old map seemed impossible enough, but the team at the National Library managed to figure out a way to salvage and…
A pair of warships lost during a historic 1942 naval battle have completely disappeared from their resting places at the bottom of the Java Sea. Large portions of a third ship are also missing. An international investigation has been launched in hopes of solving this bizarre maritime mystery.
In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out with two Royal Navy ships to hunt for a Northwest Passage through the Arctic ice; neither returned, and all 129 men involved perished pretty horribly. More than a century and a half later, researchers say they’ve found the second of the two ships, known as the HMS Terror. Perhaps the…
Soooo...as I am wont to do, I was checking out my Twitter tl, and I found this nugget of baseball history that I had no idea about:
So there’s this dude in the UK; his name’s Luke Irwin and he was doing some work in his back forty. Specifically, he was trying to lay an electrical line to his barn so it could be an indoor play area for his kids. Anyway, he’s digging when he uncovers...a mosaic. He snaps a pic, sends it to the local council. 24…
because this would be an awesome story for them to put their particular style to. Who would’ve thought that Prohibition could’ve birthed something like this?
Maybe...just maybe. A research team, led by archaeologist Sarah Parcak, used high-resolution satellite images to search for signs of them. As y’all may know, there’s one at L’anse aux Meadows, near Newfoundland’s northern tip. The new possible site is hundreds of miles away, near the southwestern corner of the island.…
From the Toronto Star;
Soooo...I was reading that piece about how Idiocracy is a cruel film, and I saw the mention of Al Capp in the body of the piece. I immediately thought of these bagged crunchy things, only to find that they were Andy Capp’s, not Al’s. Did you ever eat these things? The taste was questionable, but the texture and crunch…
The tomb of a previously unknown Egyptian queen has been discovered by a Czech archaeological team. Queen Khentkaus III died sometime between 2445 and 2421 BC.
Forget all those Roman epics with sprawling casts of white actors speaking in (real or fake) British accents. New findings suggest that London circa 50 A.D. was pretty diverse.
This is a pretty incredible find: a map of Middle Earth featuring annotations from its creator, J.R.R. Tolkien was recently discovered in a copy of a book owned by illustrator Pauline Baynes, which sheds some light on some of the inspiration behind it.
Carnegie Mellon University and Georgetown University have unveiled a digital humanities project called “Six Degrees of Francis Bacon” that shows a British early modern social network. It can “trace the personal relationships among figures like Bacon, Shakespeare, Isaac Newton and many others.”
This ridiculous rhinestone-studded disco-ball is actually a high-precision laser-reflecting satellite still in orbit around the Earth. With only tiny reflectors and no active instruments, it’s provided vital data on the planet’s shape for decades.
New chapters in the millennia-old saga of Gilgamesh have been confirmed as genuine. The tablets were bought from a smuggler during the Iraq War.
Scientists in South Africa have announced the discovery of a hithero-unknown branch of the hominid tree that produced humanity. The fossils were found in a cave, and they’re some of the most complete ever recovered. The haul so far is 1,500 items, which may be from at least 15 different individuals.
A group of disparate explorers settle in a bountiful alien land. Through technology they transform the world, making it beautiful, hospitable, profitable. And little by little, they doom themselves. The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Egan, is a…
In 1954, a quartet of young women set off across Canada in a Plymouth. Now, thanks to Library and Archives Canada, you can see the photos one of the group took, alongside excerpts from her diary of the trip. Fair warning—it will make you want to take off for wide open spaces in a borrowed car of boat-like dimensions.