Posts Tagged: ‘Stuff You Missed in History Class Show Notes’
The Middle Ages: They were dirty and impoverished and disease-ridden and full of such infamous events as the Black Death and the Crusades. At least, that generalization is what you might hear if your education is mostly focused on Europe. In other parts of the world, those years were another story altogether. Today’s episode looks at the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, a lady-in-waiting to an empress, and what we can glean from it about the Heian period (794-1185) in Japan.
Coincidentally, I’m writing up the show notes for our episode on the Boston massacre while sitting in Boston, Mass. And, yesterday a Boston native informed me that the distinctive un-massacre-y-ness of the Boston massacre is a well-known fact among people who have grown up here. Not so for many others – everyone in my completely unscientific poll in which I asked, “How many people do you think died in the Boston Massacre?” guessed a number of twenty or more. The reality was much smaller, and the massacre moniker exists today because of some very determined colonial spin doctoring.
Katie and Sarah did a short episode on Zenobia way back in 2010, but we wanted to take a closer look at her rule of Palmyra and her relationship with Rome. So, while some of this may sound somewhat familiar to long-time listeners, we’re taking a deeper look at this first-century ruler. During her lifetime, she expanded the borders of Palmyra and minted her own money – but eventually, the tide turned against her.
First things first. Yes, we know “Sleepy Hollow” changed up the origin story of the Headless Horseman on last week’s episode. We recorded this one way back on Nov. 5, so it was with much chagrin (along with all the usual delight) that we tuned in to the Nov. 18 episode of the show.
Often described as mercenaries that fought for Britain during the American Revolution, the Hessians were really auxiliary troops that fought for lots of governments in lots of military actions. Today’s episode takes us through how German principalities got into the business of armies for hire in the first place, why Britain needed these troops during the American Revolution, and the most famous altercation between the colonists and the Hessians during the Revolutionary War.
When smallpox existed in the wild, it killed about 30 percent of the people who got it. For babies, that number was between 80 and 90 percent. Smallpox epidemics wiped out armies in the field, changed lines of royal succession and devastated the native population when it was introduced to the Americas. An epidemic near the end of the Roman Empire killed almost 7 million people, and in the 18th century, as much as 10 percent of the population of Europe died of it every year.
Today it’s gone, existing only in a few lab specimens. And the man who gets the credit for starting the world on that path is Edward Jenner.
November 22, 2013, is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and today’s episode looks at one of the (many) ongoing unknowns in the case – the identity of a witness who came to be known as the babushka lady. Only one person has ever come forward with the claim of being the babushka lady, but her story isn’t entirely consistent.
Rudolf II of Austria was an art patron who loved science and spoke many languages. He was also known for having an unstable temper and a dour mood. His reign, which lasted from 1517 to 1612, is considered to be the golden age of Prague, but his poor decisions as a ruler are also credited with leading to the Thirty years War.
There are so many amazing, heroic stories of people who risked their own lives (and the lives of their families and friends) to protect Jews and other people at risk before and during the holocaust. Yad Vashem honors people with the title of Righteous Among the Nations on behalf of Israel. These are non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust – and as of Jan. 1, 2013, 24,811 people had been awarded this honor. Some of these people have become quite well-known today, particularly bureaucrats and deep-pocketed, well-connected civilians who pulled strings and paid bribes. (Oskar Schindler is perhaps the most famous example.)
There are also a few stories of rescue that are so improbable that it’s hard to believe they actually worked – and they’re also a testament to the lengths some people will go to protect other human beings. We look at five of these stories in today’s episode.
We pick up part two of our two-part episode on Audre Lorde (here are notes for part one) with her marriage to Edward Ashley Rollins, who was also father to her two children. She became an award-winning poet and an influential activist, as well as a teacher. In 1978, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she died of cancer in 1992.
Audre Lorde called herself a “black feminist lesbian mother poet warrior,” but for a lot of people, she’s best known for the “poet” part. She gained the admiration and support of other prominent poets really early in her career, and she went on to become a teacher and activist, using language to raise awareness and fight against discrimination in all forms. Her life, which naturally influenced her creative work, was so rich that we’ve divided her story into two episodes. Part one begins with her parents and early family life, taking us through her college years. In part two, we’ll talk about her life as a wife, a mother, a teacher and a poet, along with her experience with breast cancer. (In part two, we’ll also share one of her poems.)
Recent Postings by Category
- Thank You and Best Wishes to Marshall Brain
- Contest – Design a $300 house and win $25,000
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The Coolest Stuff on the Planet
- Why can a 5 foot 8 inch man dunk a basketball on a 10 foot rim while some people of taller stature can’t?
- What happens to our sun once it runs out of fuel?
- How do we know the age of the universe?
Stuff Mom Never Told You
Stuff to Blow Your Mind
- Blow Your Mind: Slay Your Paper Tigers
- Space Religion: Cao Dai and the 72 Inhabited Exoplanets
- Blow the Mind: Objects of Love
Stuff You Should Know
- “In The Neighborhood” by Jon Stewart Mosman
- “Thanatos” by Christopher Vincola
- “Frame Story” by Adam Pracht
The Stuff of Genius
- Show Notes: Heart-stopping Last Laps of Racing
- Never say Never: Jaguar XJ220 Spotted in the Wild!
- What’s your pick for the 2013 Indianapolis 500 pace car?
- PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 152: Final Episodes
- PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 151: Mailbag!
- PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 150: Barbie!
Stuff They Don't Want You To Know
Stuff to Change the World
- Who will own the Arctic?
- Obesity: The New Global Crisis
- Bill Gates Makes For A Pretty Decent Cartoon
Stuff You Missed in History Class
- Missed in History: Sei Shonagon
- Missed in History: The Boston Massacre
- Missed in History: Zenobia (Revisited)