History Archive

Jo Walton's "Informal History of the Hugos" coming July 2017

Tor will collect Jo Walton’s excellent series of essays on the winners and nominees of the past Hugos in a book called An Informal History of the Hugos coming in July 2017. The Hugo Awards have been the locus of controversy thanks to a multi-year assault by alt-right/white supremacist groups who argued that the small number of nominees whose work featured diverse …

New York Deaf Theater performs Hamilton's Cabinet Battle #2

New York Deaf Theater performs Hamilton’s Cabinet Battle #2 / Boing Boing The cast of Hamilton joined with the New York Deaf theater in a video that is pure amazeballs. If this pleases you, you’ll love this. This week, which is also known as Deaf Awareness Week, the Hamilton cast combined forces with members of the New York Deaf Theatre for …

When "computers" were young, brilliant black women mathematicians

Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures recovers the lost history of the young African American women who did the heavy computational work of the Apollo missions, given the job title of “computer” — her compelling book has been made into a new motion picture. One such woman was Katherine G. Johnson. At 98, she still lives in Hampton, and has emerged as …

A socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance, which used to be accompanied by Nazi salutes

Socialist minister Francis J. Bellamy wrote the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1890s in an effort to paper over the post-Civil War divisions; to accompany it, he devised the “Bellamy Salute”: “raise your right hand, flip your palm down, point it toward the flag in a salute and recite the words.” Fifty years later, Americans switched to holding their hands over their hearts, …

Priceless 170-year-old Japanese fart scroll digitized

Priceless 170-year-old Japanese fart scroll digitized / Boing Boing About 170 years ago, during Japan’s Edo period, a 34-foot scroll called Fart Battle (He-gassen) was created by unknown artisan(s). The work lives on in glorious hi-res digitized collection at Waseda University. Nothing is safe in this fart battle, not even cats. Some fart battle participants use fans defensively against their opponents. The …

Funklet: drum sequences from classic tracks

Funklet is a new archive of drum patterns (not sampled loops) from classic funk songs, complete with brief histories and musical context. Each can be edited in a simple embedded sequencer and shared. report this ad Randy Bachman of The Guess Who tells the origin story of “American Woman” (1970). It involves the Vietnam war and a broken guitar string. Here’s the song: READ …

Alec Baldwin Is President Millard Fillmore's Doppelgänger

When Lillian Cunningham, host of the podcast Presidential, offhandedly mentioned that Alec Baldwin resembles 13th President of the United States, Millard Fillmore, it didn’t prepare me to find a photograph that looked like Jack from 30 Rock had been subjected to an old-west photo booth. Presidential covers the character and legacy of each of the 44 U.S. Presidents, one per week leading up to Election …

On Trump and totalitarianism

People talk about Trump and totalitarianism in such a facile way. They don’t know how close we came to the brink. report this ad John Scalzi makes a very good case that the DNC’s major message is that “this year is not about Democrat versus Republican, or conservative versus liberal, it’s about normal versus highly fucking abnormal” — but Corey Robin persuasively argues that abnormality …