Posts Tagged: ‘history’
And while Gatsby on screen might be a sumptuous Vogue-ready feast for the eyes, it skips right over the cultural significance of the flapper who openly defied the rules for how young women should conduct themselves. Sure, they dressed differently, smoked, danced and drank, but flappers also were turn-of-the-century feminists.
So if you’re reading (or re-reading) “The Great Gatsby” or going to see the movie spectacle, here’s some recommended reading to understand who the real Daisy Buchanan and her drop-waist dress-sporting gal pals might’ve been:
In wondering when and why such a random stereotype arose, I had figured it had plenty to do with Marilyn Monroe’s 1953 performance in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” in which she plays the preferable blonde (which is kind of funny when you consider that Norma Jean Mortenson was a brunette when she first headed out in Hollywood). It turns out, however, that the original dumb blonde — the ODB, if you will — came around a couple centuries prior…
Sure, you sprinkle nutmeg indifferently on your eggnog, but do you know its bloody history and psychotropic properties?
In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I discuss the weird, mind-bending, sickening and depressing side of an everyday spice. We’ll explain just why you should use it sparingly, but often.
Just look at that photo. It was 1935 and a leviathan of dust advanced on a parched and decimated land. Families fled. Farms fell into ruin. The Dust Bowl terrorized the prairie lands of North America and threatened to turn the entire region into desert.
In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie an I travel back to the ruined farms and black blizzards of the Great Depression. What agricultural practices led to this near-apocalypse and how did we plant trees to combat the ecological damage?
Americans bought around 2 billion Christmas cards in 2010, according to the Greeting Card Association. Despite women making 85 percent of greeting card purchases these days, we send and receive Christmas and holiday cards thanks to a British fellow (kind of like how men invented high heels).
You may now breathe a small sigh of relief; if you are the type to believe what you read in studies from the University of Tübingen, at least: The bacteria thought to be behind the Black Death plague that killed 50 million people in Europe and Asia in about five years in the middle of the 14th century is thought to now be extinct. Oh, there are related versions of the bacteria, Yersinia pestis, alive and well today. As many as 2,000 people die from it around the world each year. But the particularly virulent form that swept across the East like a black death, that one is probably no longer around.
You are what you eat, which poses an interesting conundrum for a species that eats everything from fermented baby birds and laboratory snake cakes to fresh fruit and grains. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I take a fascinating look at humanity’s earliest meals and how so many of our staples boil down to the incessant battle for survival in an unforgiving world.
Radiolab’s recent “A Clockwork Miracle” episode concerns a sixteenth-century mechanical monk, but Jad also briefly mentions the wonders of a robotic pooping duck from the 1700s. Yep, you read that right: a centuries-old automaton designed to digest food and poop it out like a duck.
The fabulous digesting duck was the handiwork of Jacques de Vaucanson, a French engineer who excelled in the creation of automatons — specifically “philosophical toys” (curios that combined science and amusement) composed of clockwork gears and moving parts. Here are just two of his creations leading up to the duck:
Yes, the notion of Vedic nuclear weapons decimating ancient Indian cities is a more than a bit far-fetched. Yet from the mysterious Antikythera mechanism to Archimedes’ death ray, we’re continually fascinated by the idea of ancient advanced technology. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I look at what we really know about the technology of the ancients.
Recent Postings by Category
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Stuff to Blow Your Mind
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- What’s your pick for the 2013 Indianapolis 500 pace car?
- PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 152: Final Episodes
- PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 151: Mailbag!
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Stuff They Don't Want You To Know
Stuff to Change the World
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