1703 posts tagged with history.
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Medieval Knick Knacks?

Are there any surviving evidence of household decorations from medieval times in Europe? [more inside]
posted by xarnop on Jul 4, 2015 - 6 answers

History Steel Pier in Atlantic City

Google challenge: Name the architect who built the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. [more inside]
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Jul 2, 2015 - 7 answers

LAZURASNAIL: What happened to the British Museum's revenant mollusc?

In the mid-1800s, a snail spent years glued to a specimen card in the British Museum before scientists realized it was still alive. What became of this snail? Help me solve a scientific History Mystery, AskMe! [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack on Jul 1, 2015 - 14 answers

Seeking recommendations: books about African history

Once again, I'm reminded of everything I don't know, so it's time to start organizing my next round of what-to-read. This time: African history. Any recommendations would be very welcome. [more inside]
posted by ElaineMc on Jun 28, 2015 - 7 answers

How Long Until They Knew Who Won The Battles?

I'm interested in better understanding the rate at which data transmission has increased through human history. I would like to graph this to understand better how to compare ancient events with modern based on how long it would take an idea to filter through a population at a given time. I know this is a tall order, and so I've settled on one variable that I think will be useful for me: the speed at which the results of a battle were relayed back to the relevant parties. [more inside]
posted by jefficator on Jun 20, 2015 - 7 answers

Modern criticism of Gibbon to keep in mind during reading?

I'm embarking on Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," and won't be dissuaded (plus, I already bought a great, modern edition). I am, however, aware that some parts of it have aged better than others. What should I be keeping in mind as I read? [more inside]
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Jun 19, 2015 - 3 answers

Where can I find historical residential gas prices?

For Louisville, Kentucky but I guess anyplace will do. I am trying to determine if I need to switch my aging furnace from gas to electric and for the life of me I can't find any pricing over time ( like years ) to compare rate hikes. Any suggestions?
posted by usermac on Jun 14, 2015 - 3 answers

Mnemonic version for Saxon kings

I'm familiar with the William the Conqueror onwards verse about English kings (Willie, Willie, Harry, Stee, etc), but I know that I saw one for the Saxon kings somewhere and I can't find it. I recall bits like "With Egbert's name our tale is led, then Aethels Wulf, Bald, Bert, and Red" and "Never-ready Aethelred" and you'd really think I would be able to google up an answer with that as a start, but I've got nothing.
posted by It's Never Lurgi on Jun 11, 2015 - 3 answers

Best books on colonial American history?

I was recently looking at my family tree and curious about the lives of my ancestors, many of whom emigrated to Massachusetts/Rhode Island/New York from England in the early 1600s. Especially interested in books about Rhode Island and particularly anything about Roger Williams or Stephen Hopkins, who are great-great-etc grandfathers of mine (but also interested in just learning about everyday life for colonists, and what the transition was like moving from England). Assume I know little beyond the basics of American history.
posted by three_red_balloons on Jun 11, 2015 - 8 answers

The best non-fiction I ever read. Help me find more.

I recently finished The Making of The Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes and it is probably the best non-fiction book I ever read. I picked it up based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews not because I have any particular interest in WWII or wars in general. [more inside]
posted by laptolain on Jun 9, 2015 - 86 answers

Cool history podcasts (and other podcasts) for a 8 year old boy

My 8 year old son LOVES history. He also loves audiobooks and podcasts as he can listen whilst doing his other great love - Lego! Can anybody recommend good history podcasts aimed specifically at primary school aged children? I would also appreciate details of any other good age appropriate podcasts that you think he would enjoy. Thanks!
posted by ozem on Jun 6, 2015 - 11 answers

Yahweh or the highway

I'm interested in reading a popular but scholarly book about the development of Yahweh from one of many gods in a polytheistic system to a singular monotheistic god. A history of the peoples of Palestine from pre-history up to Christianity, which tackles the Bible in its appropriate historical context, could hit the spot as well. What's best?
posted by lewedswiver on Jun 3, 2015 - 9 answers

How can I create a Maya Angelou costume?

My 10 year old (Caucasian) daughter wants to participate in an end-of-school-year social studies project where she has to dress up as Maya Angelou. This is part of a class presentation on famous North Carolinians (we love to claim Dr. Angelou even though she wasn't born here), and my daughter will also give a short speech. [more inside]
posted by little mouth on May 31, 2015 - 17 answers

European History for the ignorant

I was staring at the map of Europe yesterday, and I realized that I know very little history. To start I would like to learn about the Colonial Period and the major power players there in. I seem to be ingesting a lot of podcasts and audiobooks lately so that would be perfect. To be clear, I'm looking for an introductory level work to get me started. [more inside]
posted by aeighty on May 29, 2015 - 6 answers

Best books on medieval / early modern British history?

I'm seeking pretty much what it says on the tin: books that are about medieval and early modern British history, especially anything about Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Non-fiction preferred, well sourced fiction okay. [more inside]
posted by youcancallmeal on May 23, 2015 - 7 answers

Recommend us stuff to read in Spain, about Spain.

tau_ceti and I are leaving for a vacation in Spain this week, hitting Madrid/Basque Country/Barcelona. We're looking for recommendations of stuff to read on our Kindles about the history, culture, geology, etc of regions we might be driving through. Ideas? [more inside]
posted by deludingmyself on May 18, 2015 - 14 answers

Little known American city perfect for a lone woman of colour tourist?

I would like to visit a city in the US that is not commonly thought of as a vacation destination, but still has a lot to offer a tourist. However, as a woman of colour that does not drive and will be travelling alone, I would like a safe and friendly choice. I would like ideas for places with a lot of history and fine dining, which are easy to travel by foot/ public transportation, and friendly towards different looking people. Examples of what I am and am not looking for inside... [more inside]
posted by partly squamous and partly rugose on May 17, 2015 - 26 answers

Why did my Irish ancestors leave from Liverpool instead of Londonderry?

My 3-greats grandfather departed Liverpool, England with all of his children for America and arrived here in New York on November 18, 1866. The thing is, I am as sure as I can be that he lived in Raphoe, Donegal, Ireland. Why would he go alll the way to Liverpool when Londonderry was so close? [more inside]
posted by brownrd on May 13, 2015 - 7 answers

Who Were Those Guys?

Mr. K and I are interested in the history of the Oregon Trail. He's good at research, but is coming up blank on papers or discussions to help understand who went, and WHY they decided to spend six months on an incredibly difficult trek in order to try to carve out a living in Oregon. [more inside]
posted by kestralwing on May 4, 2015 - 11 answers

Examples of coercive rules that spread by imitation?

HIVEMIND! Does anyone know any examples of rules or institutions imposed by powerful individuals that other powerful individuals then copied, with the rule eventually spreading through a population? I imagine that someone might impose a rule and that someone else might think, "woah, that's a good idea - I'm gonna impose that, too," and then it spreads. Possible examples might include the origins of Jim Crow laws, or the development of norms of respect (like bowing to old people). I'm especially looking for examples that are discussed in the academic literature, but any thoughts or suggestions are welcome. THANKS!!
posted by mrmanvir on May 3, 2015 - 25 answers

How to get a complete list of my traffic tickets from the past 21 years?

I'm applying to the bar in Virginia, and just realized I need a list of all traffic violations I've ever committed. My regular DMV record doesn't go back that far. I need this information in the next 7 days. Where to go? [more inside]
posted by skewed on May 3, 2015 - 5 answers

Bedtime stories redux: looking for short histories of famous women

My daughter is 8 and she loves her bedtime stories, but she doesn't want to be read to, she would rather we recite a story out loud while sitting in the dark. Well yesterday my imagination ran out so I told her the story of Mata Hari as best I knew it and she loved it! [more inside]
posted by Vindaloo on Apr 30, 2015 - 16 answers

Why is Severnaya Zemlya censored on Google Maps?

Severnaya Zemlya, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia is censored on Google Maps. Anybody know why? Here it is: link
posted by tellUwut on Apr 21, 2015 - 5 answers

Adaptable Peripatetic Inquisitor

What is the origin of the term API (Application Programming Interface)? Who coined it? What terms did it compete with?
posted by michaelh on Apr 17, 2015 - 5 answers

Helen Keller on the queers

Did Helen Keller ever express any position for or against homosexual rights? [more inside]
posted by kalapierson on Apr 17, 2015 - 2 answers

Historical data on ad spending by medium

I'm having some trouble finding historical data on (overall) ad spending by medium. What I would really like, is a single graph or at least table, with some numbers going back ~30 years (or more is fine) that goes up to the present (~2014 let's say). I am uninterested in forecasts, and I'm uninterested in data sets with shorter time windows; my search results are just getting swamped by organizations that (i) are selling something, usually forecasting, and (ii) aren't focused on anything older than a few years ago. [more inside]
posted by advil on Apr 15, 2015 - 4 answers

What the monk is he doing?

In Eduard von Gr├╝tzner's painting Vor der Brotzeit, the monk has something in his hand. What is it?
posted by naturalog on Apr 6, 2015 - 8 answers

Theory that the biblical holy land was not in present day Israel

I'm trying to find an article by some historians that posited that the places described in the Bible we not actually in present day Israel. The historians had done some theorizing that the mountains and valleys mentioned in the bible (can't remember which book) fit better with an area in Saudi Arabia off the coast of the Red Sea. I've searched the Google but can't find any mention of this theory. I would love to find it again. Thanks, MeFi!
posted by drinkmaildave on Apr 2, 2015 - 5 answers

Did Johnny von Neumann say it?

This quote is commonly attributed to John von Neumann: "You insist that there is something that a machine can't do. If you will tell me precisely what it is that a machine cannot do, then I can always make a machine which will do just that." Did he say it, or something like it? Where? If not, who did?
posted by phrontist on Apr 1, 2015 - 2 answers

Long Form History Podcasts

The impossible has happened - I am caught up with, or have finished, all my favorite history podcasts. I'm looking for some new ones to add to the line-up. [more inside]
posted by kanewai on Mar 27, 2015 - 19 answers

Old Timey Name That I Lost

I'm looking for the old time name of a job that I know one of my ancestors did for several generations. It's a weird sounding name for a person that makes sheep gates out of hazel or willow hurdles. I knew it a couple of years ago and have since lost it from my memory and bookmarks. The name was obscure enough that I had no inkling that it was a 'sheepgate maker'(portable sheep fencing) until I googled it and found a reference in a piece or blog about Victorian era occupations. I remember laughing at what it was. [more inside]
posted by Jalliah on Mar 22, 2015 - 9 answers

Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell

What is the equivalent of Halberstam's The Children for the American feminist movement of the late 60's and early 70's? [more inside]
posted by crush-onastick on Mar 16, 2015 - 5 answers

Citation Manager Advice for Amateur Historian?

I'm writing an article for my local historical society that I may expand into a book. Can anyone help me choose a citation manager? [more inside]
posted by entropicamericana on Mar 13, 2015 - 4 answers

Continuous showing?

Hey -- when did film theaters start doing continuous showing, how frequent was it -- that is was it a big city thing or was it everywhere -- and when did continuous showing end, does anyone know?
posted by maddalo on Mar 13, 2015 - 6 answers

Italian Futurism quote about murderous art gangs?

A strange and learned young comedian once told me about a famous Futurist artist who professed that the best way to die was to be be killed by rival artists in the streets of a hyper-competitive future, or some such. He was most certainly paraphrasing. Anyone have a clue who he was talking about and what was actually said? [more inside]
posted by es_de_bah on Mar 6, 2015 - 4 answers

How long have doctors been doing Quadriceps surgeries?

At some point in the past, thigh and knee surgery wasn't as advanced / available / affordable as it is now, and the average Joe-Schmoe-Quad-Tear like me would have just put a splint on it and had a lame leg the rest of his life. I wonder how many years ago that changed? 1950's? 1970's? 1930's? [more inside]
posted by chickencoop on Mar 6, 2015 - 3 answers

Source/original version of Super-Kamiokande Photo

This is one of my favourite photos ever. A worker bowing their head in front of the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector, in Japan. I recently came across it again after many internet years, but can't find a larger - or the original - version. Any ideas?
posted by 0bvious on Mar 4, 2015 - 5 answers

Was that rotation in 1793 or 1794, rabbit?

In Ezra Pounds' Canto LXII, there is a minor chronological error, has it been noted before concerning Pounds work? [more inside]
posted by clavdivs on Feb 28, 2015 - 4 answers

Looking for world history books particularly about colonialism/empire

I'm looking for book recommendations for compelling history books, primarily about the advent of colonialism/imperialism and how the colonized in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East responded to it. More details inside and thanks in advance for your help! [more inside]
posted by johnasdf on Feb 23, 2015 - 13 answers

How did booking a rail ticket work in the early 20th century?

Was a physical description necessary for early 20th century railway travel? I've been looking through a lot classifieds from around 1910, specifically the For Sale and Wanted ads (mostly in Oregon), and there are a lot of rail tickets listed. In the ads the people almost always specify what they look like. [more inside]
posted by addelburgh on Feb 21, 2015 - 10 answers

Where is this Spanish Civil War clip art from?

My grandpa did an album about his time in the Spanish Civil War, and the liner notes (PDF) utilize five pieces of clip art. I'd like to know where the clip art came from. [more inside]
posted by SMPA on Feb 19, 2015 - 0 answers

Help me find these "Great People" flashcards from my youth.

Listening to the Hardcore History podcast about Ghengis Khan recently, I was reminded of a set of flash-card type things that I remember having when I was growing up. The cards featured a picture of a "great person" on the front, and a short write-up about him or her (but honestly I think they were mostly men) on the back. Can you help me find a set of them? [more inside]
posted by hwickline on Feb 15, 2015 - 8 answers

Entertaining background reading for Wolf Hall

So I recently read Hilary Mantel's old LRB piece on holy and secular anexoria, which reminded me of how much I like her style and insights in her non-fiction pieces and made me regret giving up on Wolf Hall a few years ago. Is there something on Tudor history that would help me enjoy Wolf Hall more? [more inside]
posted by crazy with stars on Feb 15, 2015 - 19 answers

Mystery Device

What is this intriguing device I noticed at a friend's house? Friend has no idea. It's about 6 inches in length. It was patented by Holland Mfg of Willamantic, CT, and a Google search suggests it might have something to do with 19th century silk manufacturing. Ideas?
posted by baseballpajamas on Feb 14, 2015 - 5 answers

Promiscuous Male Artists

Can you give me examples of male visual artists who are and were known for their gratuitous sexual behavior? Sexuality doesn't matter, and neither does period or style. I'm very curious. Thank you.
posted by CyborgHag on Feb 10, 2015 - 22 answers

In search of historical California commodity prices

This is a two-part question about commodity prices in California in the 1860s. Part 1: How is this newspaper report of "current" (1862) prices read? The @s throw me off. (My best guess is that those are price ranges.) Part two... [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Feb 5, 2015 - 2 answers

nerd alert: the history of duplexes

not sure if this is the case in other areas, but where i live there are zillions of one-bedroom duplexes built in the 1920s. why the sudden duplex housing boom in the 20s? and why are they all single bedrooms - were they meant for singles or couples without kids? i've googled and googled and can't find the answer, so hopefully one of y'all knows!
posted by megan_magnolia on Jan 30, 2015 - 23 answers

Website/e-book about sovereign default

I'm looking for a book or website I read a few years ago about sovereign default and how it's actually a GOOD thing. The author pointed out several examples in history where countries had defaulted on their debt and emerged more-or-less okay (if I recall correctly there were examples dating back to antiquity). Does anyone have any idea what this was?
posted by miltthetank on Jan 26, 2015 - 4 answers

I want the easiest-reading, most engrossing history books.

Tell me the history books you've read that you could not put down. History of just about anything, but especially historically significant people, say, before WWI. [more inside]
posted by fingersandtoes on Jan 25, 2015 - 38 answers

Japanese interest in 'exotic' cultures in the late 70's

Where can I learn more about Japan's heightened interest, starting in the late 70's, towards cultures they deemed to be exotic, especially in (but not limited to) music? [more inside]
posted by procrastinator on Jan 24, 2015 - 4 answers

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