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  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    edited March 22
    Inside The Brutal Realities of the Spanish Flu 11:03

    In 1918 and 1919, the world took on a new, invisible enemy: the so-called "Spanish flu" pandemic sweeping the globe. The pandemic left tens of millions of casualties in its wake as it devastated one community after another. Given the scale of the disease, what was it like to live through the influenza pandemic?

    A particularly aggressive strain of influenza began infecting WWI troops in 1918. Though there isn't a consensus on where it came from, it's likely the strain originated in Kansas and spread to the rest of the world via troop movements.

    Peas on
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  • KrieghundKrieghund Registered User regular
    History thread, a question came up from a friend of mine. How did information about the Black Plague get around? The fastest form of communication was a guy on a horse. How did people in the next town, valley, country know what was going on? Did people have any idea how the rest of Europe was doing? Aside from thinking it was the apocalypse, what was the mindset?

  • PlatyPlaty Registered User regular
    Krieghund wrote: »
    History thread, a question came up from a friend of mine. How did information about the Black Plague get around? The fastest form of communication was a guy on a horse. How did people in the next town, valley, country know what was going on? Did people have any idea how the rest of Europe was doing? Aside from thinking it was the apocalypse, what was the mindset?

    Boccaccio's Decameron
    One citizen avoided another, hardly any neighbour troubled about others, relatives never or hardly ever visited each other. Moreover, such terror was struck into the hearts of men and women by this calamity, that brother abandoned brother, and the uncle his nephew, and the sister her brother, and very often the wife her husband. What is even worse and nearly incredible is that fathers and mothers refused to see and tend their children, as if they had not been theirs.
    [...] The plight of the lower and most of the middle classes was even more pitiful to behold. Most of them remained in their houses, either through poverty or in hopes of safety, and fell sick by thousands. Since they received no care and attention, almost all of them died.
    [...]Most of them were treated in the same manner by the survivors, who were more concerned to get rid of their rotting bodies than moved by charity towards the dead.

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  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    Villages also got super isolationist. While they didn't understand how disease worked, they did know that it came in with new people and it was not uncommon for visitors or strangers to be killed or chased off, regardless of whether they had the disease or not.

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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    quarantines were not new

    disease outbreaks were somewhat understood, they just did not know about germ theory or proper sanitation practices yet

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  • JedocJedoc Once to start a new life and once just to start a fireRegistered User regular
    edited March 22
    Krieghund wrote: »
    History thread, a question came up from a friend of mine. How did information about the Black Plague get around? The fastest form of communication was a guy on a horse. How did people in the next town, valley, country know what was going on? Did people have any idea how the rest of Europe was doing? Aside from thinking it was the apocalypse, what was the mindset?

    If you or your friend is interested, I recommend Millennium by Ian Mortimer. It's entirely Eurocentric (on purpose) and largely Anglocentric (mostly by accident) but it does a better job than any history I've ever read about describing what it was like living through the changes that tend to get summed up in a paragraph or two in textbooks.

    In 14th century Europe, high-speed communication was expensive. The speed difference between a guy on a horse and a guy with access to fresh horses every twenty miles was huge. The only entities who could really afford it were monarchs and high nobles, extremely wealthy merchants, and the Church.

    Most direct interstate communication was conducted through freelance couriers who primarily carried messages back and forth between bishops and the Pope, and earned extra cash by carrying shorter-range messages between nobles and merchants along the way and selling information to cultivated contacts. Bishops sent information about local conditions to the Vatican, and in turn received important news from across Europe. Information filtered through them (often with a bit of spin added by the local monarch) down to the rest of the clergy, where it was passed on to ordinary people (often with a lot of spin added by local feudal lords) via sermons.

    This was before the breakup of serfdom and the consolidation of market towns in most of Europe, which meant that the vast majority of people were tied to the plot of land they were born on. If a 14th century serf fell in love with someone who lived on land belonging to a different lord, they would have to ask permission to marry them. Since this would essentially involve a transfer of labor from one lord to another, these requests were often denied. Most people born in this period (who survived childhood, natch) would grow old and die without ever travelling more than twenty miles from their birthplace. Rumors could and did spread across large swathes of Europe just from networks of farmers gossiping over fencelines, but this was a slow and unreliable method of broadcasting information.

    So for most people, you learned about how the Black Death was progressing in the rest of Europe at church, and you learned about how it was going in the next town over when fleeing plague survivors showed up in your town to seek refuge and give you the goddamn plague.

    It's hard to get into the proper mindset to understand how they were feeling, because it's possible that nothing this traumatic happened to such a large proportion of humanity since the rise of civilization, and nothing remotely like it has happened since. The initial plague outbreak and World War I both lasted about four years. The Black Death killed off nearly half the population of England, while World War I killed off around 25% of the British soldiers who served in the trenches, or about 4% of the total population of Great Britain. Just being alive in England during the Black Death was deadlier than fighting in World War I, and it's not even close.

    People were not psyched.

    Jedoc on
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  • GrisloGrislo Registered User regular
    PiptheFair wrote: »
    quarantines were not new

    disease outbreaks were somewhat understood, they just did not know about germ theory or proper sanitation practices yet

    I can't be bothered looking up a precise version of it, but the Quran, for example, talks about quarantine. Basically: "If there's disease, stay away". And, more interesting, "if disease breaks out while you are in a place, stay there."

    This post was sponsored by Goop.

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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    Grislo wrote: »
    PiptheFair wrote: »
    quarantines were not new

    disease outbreaks were somewhat understood, they just did not know about germ theory or proper sanitation practices yet

    I can't be bothered looking up a precise version of it, but the Quran, for example, talks about quarantine. Basically: "If there's disease, stay away". And, more interesting, "if disease breaks out while you are in a place, stay there."

    a lot of micvahs from the torah are about cleanliness and sanitation practices 3000 years before germ theory

    ancient peoples weren't stupid, knowledge is just iterative

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  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    Miasma was overwhelmingly popular for a long time though. That was carried from Ancient Greece to the 1860s, with a few challenges but always dominant.

    What's particularly crazy is that smallpox vaccination predates germ theory by over half a century. Nobody knew how it worked, but it worked so they did it...

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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    SanderJK wrote: »
    Miasma was overwhelmingly popular for a long time though. That was carried from Ancient Greece to the 1860s, with a few challenges but always dominant.

    What's particularly crazy is that smallpox vaccination predates germ theory by over half a century. Nobody knew how it worked, but it worked so they did it...

    it was noted that people who worked with cattle frequently did not contract the disease, and was theorized due to the exposure to cow pox

    so jenner went "check this shit out"

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  • ChicoBlueChicoBlue Registered User regular
    Goodness bless that Mister Jenner and his proclivity for eyeing up milkmaids.

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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    ChicoBlue wrote: »
    Goodness bless that Mister Jenner and his proclivity for eyeing up milkmaids.

    look sometimes being a gross pervert helps society in the end

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  • JedocJedoc Once to start a new life and once just to start a fireRegistered User regular
    SanderJK wrote: »
    Miasma was overwhelmingly popular for a long time though. That was carried from Ancient Greece to the 1860s, with a few challenges but always dominant.

    What's particularly crazy is that smallpox vaccination predates germ theory by over half a century. Nobody knew how it worked, but it worked so they did it...

    In the case of bubonic plague, some astrologer spouted some bullshit about three planets aligning that a bunch of smart people read.

    So after that most people for the next century were like "Yeah, this shit is just raining down from the heavens on everyone no matter how many fleas they have, nothing to do about it but pray I guess."

    It was really the low point in Western medicine between the ancient Greeks taking a vague interest in anatomy and germ theory. The Middle East was miles ahead of everyone west of the Danube for centuries.

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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    Jedoc wrote: »
    SanderJK wrote: »
    Miasma was overwhelmingly popular for a long time though. That was carried from Ancient Greece to the 1860s, with a few challenges but always dominant.

    What's particularly crazy is that smallpox vaccination predates germ theory by over half a century. Nobody knew how it worked, but it worked so they did it...

    In the case of bubonic plague, some astrologer spouted some bullshit about three planets aligning that a bunch of smart people read.

    So after that most people for the next century were like "Yeah, this shit is just raining down from the heavens on everyone no matter how many fleas they have, nothing to do about it but pray I guess."

    It was really the low point in Western medicine between the ancient Greeks taking a vague interest in anatomy and germ theory. The Middle East was miles ahead of everyone west of the Danube for centuries.

    The Muslim Golden Age ended well before the plague though.

    Shadowhope
  • GundiGundi Serious Bismuth Registered User regular
    Well it kind of ended with the plague.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited March 23
    Jedoc wrote: »
    Krieghund wrote: »
    History thread, a question came up from a friend of mine. How did information about the Black Plague get around? The fastest form of communication was a guy on a horse. How did people in the next town, valley, country know what was going on? Did people have any idea how the rest of Europe was doing? Aside from thinking it was the apocalypse, what was the mindset?

    If you or your friend is interested, I recommend Millennium by Ian Mortimer. It's entirely Eurocentric (on purpose) and largely Anglocentric (mostly by accident) but it does a better job than any history I've ever read about describing what it was like living through the changes that tend to get summed up in a paragraph or two in textbooks.

    In 14th century Europe, high-speed communication was expensive. The speed difference between a guy on a horse and a guy with access to fresh horses every twenty miles was huge. The only entities who could really afford it were monarchs and high nobles, extremely wealthy merchants, and the Church.

    Most direct interstate communication was conducted through freelance couriers who primarily carried messages back and forth between bishops and the Pope, and earned extra cash by carrying shorter-range messages between nobles and merchants along the way and selling information to cultivated contacts. Bishops sent information about local conditions to the Vatican, and in turn received important news from across Europe. Information filtered through them (often with a bit of spin added by the local monarch) down to the rest of the clergy, where it was passed on to ordinary people (often with a lot of spin added by local feudal lords) via sermons.

    This was before the breakup of serfdom and the consolidation of market towns in most of Europe, which meant that the vast majority of people were tied to the plot of land they were born on. If a 14th century serf fell in love with someone who lived on land belonging to a different lord, they would have to ask permission to marry them. Since this would essentially involve a transfer of labor from one lord to another, these requests were often denied. Most people born in this period (who survived childhood, natch) would grow old and die without ever travelling more than twenty miles from their birthplace. Rumors could and did spread across large swathes of Europe just from networks of farmers gossiping over fencelines, but this was a slow and unreliable method of broadcasting information.

    So for most people, you learned about how the Black Death was progressing in the rest of Europe at church, and you learned about how it was going in the next town over when fleeing plague survivors showed up in your town to seek refuge and give you the goddamn plague.

    It's hard to get into the proper mindset to understand how they were feeling, because it's possible that nothing this traumatic happened to such a large proportion of humanity since the rise of civilization, and nothing remotely like it has happened since. The initial plague outbreak and World War I both lasted about four years. The Black Death killed off nearly half the population of England, while World War I killed off around 25% of the British soldiers who served in the trenches, or about 4% of the total population of Great Britain. Just being alive in England during the Black Death was deadlier than fighting in World War I, and it's not even close.

    People were not psyched.

    The nearest comparable event would be something we don't have much of a record of, for a lot of reasons, and that would be Americans dying before Europeans arriving en masse to Providence and Jamestown and so on.

    Fencingsax on
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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    Gundi wrote: »
    Well it kind of ended with the plague.

    theres a lot of debate, some argue it ended after al ghazali, or when the abbasid empire fell

    the plague didn't affect bagdhad/ the surrounding are nearly as badly as the west and near-east

  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Jedoc wrote: »
    Krieghund wrote: »
    History thread, a question came up from a friend of mine. How did information about the Black Plague get around? The fastest form of communication was a guy on a horse. How did people in the next town, valley, country know what was going on? Did people have any idea how the rest of Europe was doing? Aside from thinking it was the apocalypse, what was the mindset?

    If you or your friend is interested, I recommend Millennium by Ian Mortimer. It's entirely Eurocentric (on purpose) and largely Anglocentric (mostly by accident) but it does a better job than any history I've ever read about describing what it was like living through the changes that tend to get summed up in a paragraph or two in textbooks.

    In 14th century Europe, high-speed communication was expensive. The speed difference between a guy on a horse and a guy with access to fresh horses every twenty miles was huge. The only entities who could really afford it were monarchs and high nobles, extremely wealthy merchants, and the Church.

    Most direct interstate communication was conducted through freelance couriers who primarily carried messages back and forth between bishops and the Pope, and earned extra cash by carrying shorter-range messages between nobles and merchants along the way and selling information to cultivated contacts. Bishops sent information about local conditions to the Vatican, and in turn received important news from across Europe. Information filtered through them (often with a bit of spin added by the local monarch) down to the rest of the clergy, where it was passed on to ordinary people (often with a lot of spin added by local feudal lords) via sermons.

    This was before the breakup of serfdom and the consolidation of market towns in most of Europe, which meant that the vast majority of people were tied to the plot of land they were born on. If a 14th century serf fell in love with someone who lived on land belonging to a different lord, they would have to ask permission to marry them. Since this would essentially involve a transfer of labor from one lord to another, these requests were often denied. Most people born in this period (who survived childhood, natch) would grow old and die without ever travelling more than twenty miles from their birthplace. Rumors could and did spread across large swathes of Europe just from networks of farmers gossiping over fencelines, but this was a slow and unreliable method of broadcasting information.

    So for most people, you learned about how the Black Death was progressing in the rest of Europe at church, and you learned about how it was going in the next town over when fleeing plague survivors showed up in your town to seek refuge and give you the goddamn plague.

    It's hard to get into the proper mindset to understand how they were feeling, because it's possible that nothing this traumatic happened to such a large proportion of humanity since the rise of civilization, and nothing remotely like it has happened since. The initial plague outbreak and World War I both lasted about four years. The Black Death killed off nearly half the population of England, while World War I killed off around 25% of the British soldiers who served in the trenches, or about 4% of the total population of Great Britain. Just being alive in England during the Black Death was deadlier than fighting in World War I, and it's not even close.

    People were not psyched.

    The nearest comparable event would be something we don't have much of a record of, for a lot of reasons, and that would be Americans dying before Europeans arriving en masse to Providence and Jamestown and so on.

    the plague of athens(a plague which affected way more than athens)

  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    SanderJK wrote: »
    Miasma was overwhelmingly popular for a long time though. That was carried from Ancient Greece to the 1860s, with a few challenges but always dominant.

    What's particularly crazy is that smallpox vaccination predates germ theory by over half a century. Nobody knew how it worked, but it worked so they did it...

    A lot of scientific theory is predated by folk wisdom or practical understanding. The science is just folks ironing out the details.

    Which is not to say that those details aren't important, but I think it's valuable you remember that people weren't like, entirely ignorant of how disease spreads or how gravity happens or whatever before unified theories were developed. They might not have been able to explain it, but hell, on a certain level that's going to remain true up into the present.

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  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    PiptheFair wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Jedoc wrote: »
    Krieghund wrote: »
    History thread, a question came up from a friend of mine. How did information about the Black Plague get around? The fastest form of communication was a guy on a horse. How did people in the next town, valley, country know what was going on? Did people have any idea how the rest of Europe was doing? Aside from thinking it was the apocalypse, what was the mindset?

    If you or your friend is interested, I recommend Millennium by Ian Mortimer. It's entirely Eurocentric (on purpose) and largely Anglocentric (mostly by accident) but it does a better job than any history I've ever read about describing what it was like living through the changes that tend to get summed up in a paragraph or two in textbooks.

    In 14th century Europe, high-speed communication was expensive. The speed difference between a guy on a horse and a guy with access to fresh horses every twenty miles was huge. The only entities who could really afford it were monarchs and high nobles, extremely wealthy merchants, and the Church.

    Most direct interstate communication was conducted through freelance couriers who primarily carried messages back and forth between bishops and the Pope, and earned extra cash by carrying shorter-range messages between nobles and merchants along the way and selling information to cultivated contacts. Bishops sent information about local conditions to the Vatican, and in turn received important news from across Europe. Information filtered through them (often with a bit of spin added by the local monarch) down to the rest of the clergy, where it was passed on to ordinary people (often with a lot of spin added by local feudal lords) via sermons.

    This was before the breakup of serfdom and the consolidation of market towns in most of Europe, which meant that the vast majority of people were tied to the plot of land they were born on. If a 14th century serf fell in love with someone who lived on land belonging to a different lord, they would have to ask permission to marry them. Since this would essentially involve a transfer of labor from one lord to another, these requests were often denied. Most people born in this period (who survived childhood, natch) would grow old and die without ever travelling more than twenty miles from their birthplace. Rumors could and did spread across large swathes of Europe just from networks of farmers gossiping over fencelines, but this was a slow and unreliable method of broadcasting information.

    So for most people, you learned about how the Black Death was progressing in the rest of Europe at church, and you learned about how it was going in the next town over when fleeing plague survivors showed up in your town to seek refuge and give you the goddamn plague.

    It's hard to get into the proper mindset to understand how they were feeling, because it's possible that nothing this traumatic happened to such a large proportion of humanity since the rise of civilization, and nothing remotely like it has happened since. The initial plague outbreak and World War I both lasted about four years. The Black Death killed off nearly half the population of England, while World War I killed off around 25% of the British soldiers who served in the trenches, or about 4% of the total population of Great Britain. Just being alive in England during the Black Death was deadlier than fighting in World War I, and it's not even close.

    People were not psyched.

    The nearest comparable event would be something we don't have much of a record of, for a lot of reasons, and that would be Americans dying before Europeans arriving en masse to Providence and Jamestown and so on.

    the plague of athens(a plague which affected way more than athens)

    Justinian's Plague is a big one, too. Drew down the population of the eastern Mediterrean to a point where the Byzantines basically lost any long-term shot at re-taking the West or holding the Levant.

    IIRC, it took something like 150 years for the population to recover to previous levels in the major cities.

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  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    Inside the Secret CIA MK Ultra Program 11:43

    There are plenty of conspiracy theories out there about the CIA and, in particular, CIA mind control. When it comes to Project MKUltra, however, the conspiracies are frighteningly accurate. The public doesn’t have to rely on hearsay and rumors to judge the project, as there are still MKUltra survivors alive and willing to share their stories, as well as a host of highly redacted documents somewhat detailing the experiments of the program.

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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    Peas wrote: »
    Inside the Secret CIA MK Ultra Program 11:43

    There are plenty of conspiracy theories out there about the CIA and, in particular, CIA mind control. When it comes to Project MKUltra, however, the conspiracies are frighteningly accurate. The public doesn’t have to rely on hearsay and rumors to judge the project, as there are still MKUltra survivors alive and willing to share their stories, as well as a host of highly redacted documents somewhat detailing the experiments of the program.

    watch Wormwood on Netflix

    Peas
  • GundiGundi Serious Bismuth Registered User regular
    edited March 25
    Actually one of the reasons why I tend not to believe a lot of the more far out conspiracy theories about the US government is that the US government has a track record of generally being pretty bad at conspiracies. Both in having them accomplish what they want them to and even more so in not letting info get out.

    Like it's almost straight up comical how many times JFK tried to kill Castro but failed.

    Gundi on
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  • HobnailHobnail Registered User regular
    And yet the fact that Bernard Sanders was the second shooter that fateful day in Dallas goes widely unacknowledged

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  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    Vulgar in Design and Tawdry in Color: The Origin of Comic Books in the Platinum Age 20:28

    Superman's debut in 1938 marks the Golden Age of Comics. But comic books existed before superheroes. This episode takes a look at the history of comic books and the Platinum Age where conventions like panel to panel storytelling and word balloons came into existence. It focuses especially on the comic strips of the 1890s through 1930s and how newspapers battled each other by trying to carry the most popular comics, like The Yellow Kid.

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  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    edited March 30
    Construction on 500 Fifth Avenue, New York City, 1930 9:07

    500 Fifth Avenue, a 60-story office skyscraper at the corner of Fifth and 42nd Street, was built in 1930. Movietone sound cameras visited the construction site that summer and brought back some dizzying views from the top.
    Starting at 0:41, we see workmen on the scaffolding and steelwork. As was common at the time, nobody wears safety restraints. At 1:41 a worker appears to be tightening a bolt while other off-camera workers tease and throw water at him.
    At 3:05, the cameraman did a multi-shot 360-degree panorama. It starts looking east towards the Chrysler building, which is nearing completion. It then turns south, where (at 3:35 ), construction on the Empire State Building is well underway. At 4:05 , the camera is looking west along 42nd Street, where the Times Tower and the Paramount Building can be seen.
    4:56 is the start of an almost-surreal scene, taken in a single 3-minute shot: somebody has brought a portable phonograph to the work site, and workers gather round as it plays "When You're Smiling." At first, they laugh and horseplay for the camera, but then they become quiet. The camera pans out, and we see Bryant Park, the Sixth Avenue El and streetcars on 42nd Street. It's the beginning of the Great Depression out there.
    After the credits are some duplicate shots and outtakes from the outtakes.
    Note: this film is mis-cataloged at the MIRC: It is listed as being taken on the Chrysler building in July 1929. It is obvious from the film what building it was actually taken on. The state of construction on it, the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building indicates that it was taken in June and/or July 1930.
    NOTE: My apologies, but I had to disable comments on this video.


    Hooly shit

    Peas on
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  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    The imaginary king who changed the real world - Matteo Salvadore 5:33

    Get to know the legend of the king known as Prester John, whose myth would impact the decisions of European leaders for 400 years.

    --

    In 1165, copies of a strange letter began to circulate throughout Europe. It spoke of a fantastical realm, containing the Tower of Babel and the Fountain of Youth— all ruled over by the letter’s mysterious author: Prester John. Who was this powerful ruler, and was he even real? Matteo Salvadore shares the legend of a mythical king who impacted the decisions of European leaders for 400 years.

    Lesson by Matteo Salvadore, directed by Anna Nowakowska.

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  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    Who was the world's first author? - Soraya Field Fiorio 4:55

    Travel back in time to ancient Mesopotamia and meet Enheduanna, a high priestess and the world’s first author.

    --

    4,300 years ago in ancient Sumer, the most powerful person in the city of Ur was banished to wander the vast desert. Her name was Enheduanna, and by the time of her exile, she had written forty-two hymns and three epic poems— and Sumer hadn’t heard the last of her. Who was this woman, and why was she exiled? Soraya Field Fiorio details the life of history’s first author.

    Lesson by Soraya Field Fiorio, directed by Laura White.

    Animator's website: https://laurajenniferwhite.com/


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  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    The Real Typhoid Mary |The Original Asymptomatic Super-Spreader 11:34

    The story of the real Typhoid Mary - In the early 1900s, germ theory was a relatively new concept, and many – including doctors – were unaware of how diseases spread. At the time, bacterial diseases like typhoid and dysentery could still wipe out an entire family.

    Mary Mallon was an Irish immigrant who worked as a cook for affluent New York families. In her wake, she unknowingly left an outburst of typhoid fever, earning her the epithet "Typhoid Mary." By that time, doctors knew the disease was most commonly spread through excrement, and they were able to trace outbreaks by locating the start of an epidemic and following its spread.

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  • HobnailHobnail Registered User regular
    Umberto Eco's 'Baudolino' amounts to a fairly wonderful exploration of Prester John and medieval concepts of eastern exocitism in general

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    My Dad got a copy of Baudolino when I was like, twelve, and took it on holiday

    He couldn't get into it, and I had read all my books, so I read it instead. I tell you when you are twelve Baudolino is some wild shit

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited April 10
    As is Welcome to Temptation, similarly discarded by my mother the same year (although she finished it)

    A highly memorable summer of camping near Verona, that one

    Solar on
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  • DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    edited April 10
    I had a similar experience when I was like, 12 or 13, staying with my family in upstate "dense forests and weird woods people" NY

    I bought Slaughterhouse 5, Player Piano, and Cat's Cradle for 25¢ each at the local grocery/post office/library in the nearest "town."
    The proprietor was like "I had them for sale and nobody bought them, put them in the renting section, nobody wanted to rent them, so..."

    I had already read Harrison Bergeron in the big book of short stories they used in my school for English stuff so I was like "75¢ can't beat it"

    by the end of the trip my family was like, "why are you a hundred years old and chain-smoking Pall Malls?"

    edit: when I started smoking, it was Pall Malls because Vonnegut called them "a classy way to commit suicide."

    Depressperado on
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  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    I read about half of vonnegut's bibliography in the summer between...freshman and sophomore year of high school, I think

    for years thereafter, parts of bluebeard, deadeye dick, and hocus pocus all ran together and I'm still not sure I could tell you the plot of any of those novels without including something from one of the others

    DepressperadoFencingsaxSkeithElvenshae
  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    When a Billion Years Disappeared 11:30

    In some places, the rocks below the Great Unconformity are about 1.2 billion years older than those above it. This missing chapter in Earth’s history might be linked to a fracturing supercontinent, out-of-control glaciers, and maybe the diversification of life itself.

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    FleebSkeith
  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    edited April 17
    The Dark Secret Behind the Creator of Tintin 13:20

    Peas on
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    Neveron
  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    edited April 19
    How Cleopatra Nearly Ruled the World | The Life & Times of Cleopatra 7:49


    edit:
    The History Of Coffee 18:12

    Peas on
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    DouglasDanger
  • GundiGundi Serious Bismuth Registered User regular
    edited April 19
    There are a couple of misconceptions in that video.

    First, the Ptolemies were stupid wealthy compared to Rome. (at that point in history) Rome not really the legendary city of wealth in the time of Caesar and Cleopatra. It was getting there, but it kind of needed the huge influx of wealth that Egypt+controlling most of the trade that went into/out the Mediterranean for a few centuries. So the Ptolemies weren't really in debt in the sense of lack of money. Egypt produced enormous quantities of agricultural products, had a disproportionately high number of skilled craftsmen, and also sat on what was probably the most lucrative trade route, the Indian ocean silk road. But because the Ptolemies were so stupid rich they could afford to infight a lot. Which they did. And that made their armies pretty... unreliable. So Ptolemies had crazy resources, but eventually didn't have the armies you'd expect such a prosperous kingdom to have. So they bribed people not to fight them, or to help them fight each other. Especially Rome. Like Ptolemaic monarchs pretty regularly gave massive bribes to the Romans to either ask for favors or just try and dissuade Rome from attacking them. And the Ptolemies kind of, actually for reals, financed much of Rome's conquest of the rest of the Mediterranean. Even before the fall of the Ptolemaic dynasty Roman soldiers were often traveling on Egyptian ships and being paid in Egyptian coin.

    There's not a lot of evidence that Cleopatra actually made any initial attempt to seduce Caesar. She met and slept with Caesar when she was a young teenager and Caesar's the one who was known for sleeping with any woman he could get his hands on. Likewise Mark Antony. Plus in both cases they literally held her entire future in their hands. An alternative interpretation is her just making the best of bad situations. She definitely did do her best to control Mark Antony, Rome's legendary hothead, once she literally made her bed with him.

    Cleopatra was interesting in that basically her entire foreign policy was predicated on the idea of "Man Rome sure wants to invade Egypt. Like Rome wants Egypt so bad. Because Egypt is the nicest, richest place in the (known) world. How do I keep Rome from invading Egypt while also not antagonizing them? Because Rome's military is bigger, more loyal, and better trained than Egypt's."

    Also Cleopatra almost certainly didn't kill herself with an Asp. She was a master of poisons, and she would not have used Asp venom. Asps are what Ptolemies used to kill people they hate, cause dying from Asp venom sucks. (Plus that detail doesn't show up in the records until like, centuries after the fact.) People aren't even sure if she actually killed herself or not. She could have, or Octavian could have decided she was just too damn smart and charismatic to risk dragging her back to Rome to parade as a trophy. And if you were going to kill her, you wouldn't want to make it obvious, because that would give her legitimacy as a threat and rival. And a greek egyptian woman being a rival to the most powerful men in Rome? Not good imaging for someone who wants to rule the notoriously patriarchal and prideful empire. The only details that are super certain are that 1.) Yeah she did lock herself up in the Ptolemaic treasure vault before someone let Octavian's soldiers in and 2.) she definitely was dead soon after being brought into Octavian's custody.

    The sad fact is that Cleopatra as a historical figure and real person has been so destroyed by mythologizing that we will never know the truth of what she was like, except that she was smart and resourceful and ruthless. (As all Ptolemies were.) Pretty sure at least some of her kids survived for quite awhile.

    Gundi on
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  • JuggernutJuggernut Registered User regular
    edited April 20
    I'm watching Ken Burns Vietnam.

    Hoo boy just from the very begging that whole thing was a godawful, unnecessary shitshow 100% orchestrated by a bunch of old white men and their egos who couldn't leave well enough alone.

    Also we just completely ignored all the parallels there with the second Gulf War and just went right at, didn't we?

    Juggernut on
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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Juggernut wrote: »
    I'm watching Ken Burns Vietnam.

    Hoo boy just from the very begging that whole thing was a godawful, unnecessary shitshow 100% orchestrated by a bunch of old white men and their egos who couldn't leave well enough alone.

    Also we just completely ignored all the parallels there with the second Gulf War and just went right at, didn't we?

    There was money to be made.

    See also: every conflict the US has been involved in since 1946.

    MidniteIronKnuckle's Ghostvalhalla130
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