Programmata were painted political campaign notices in the ancient Roman empire. These were a common sight in Pompeii in its heyday, and provide us an invaluable insight into the intricacies of Roman and specifically Pompeiian politics at the time of Mount Vesuvius’ eruption. In a study of over 1,500 programmata, 128 were found to giveContinue reading “‘Programmata’ and Political Campaigns”
So I was going to relaunch Factoid Fridays today, but with the status of the wildfires in California, I think I’d rather use this space to bring up some resources for how those away from the fires can help firefighters and evacuees. I’ve set up a carrd of resources, as well as some background informationContinue reading “Fires in California”
The first movie to be classed as a “Talkie” was Al Jolson’s “The Jazz Singer” in 1927, which used Vitaphone tech to record the sound. The scenes depicting Jolson singing were recorded on the set, using creative methods to mask the loud camera equipment and work around the limited-range microphones. Sources: Museum of Modern ArtContinue reading ““The Jazz Singer”, First of the Talkies”
By now the expected full blossom has passed, but the practice of hanami, cherry blossom viewing parties, has been around since the 8th century Nara period in Japan. Originally designed for viewing ume, plum blossoms, the practice shifted to viewing sakura, cherry blossoms, in the Heian period in the 8th thru 12th centuries. With shelter-in-placeContinue reading “Hanami, the Cherry Blossom Viewing”
The oldest known board game is the Egyptian game Senet. It is thought that the game was seen as a connection between the worlds of the living and the dead, with art from tombs showing the deceased playing Senet against their still-living friends and family Sources: Science MagImage Source: Wikimedia Commons (public domain image)
The modern celebration of the New Year on January 1st dates back to the days of Julius Caesar, who changed the celebration of the new year from the Spring Equinox in March to January 1st in honor of the Roman god Janus. Janus was the god of change & beginnings, and was always depicted withContinue reading “Modern New Years”
Ether was first used as a general anesthesia by Dr Crawford Williamson Long in 1842, when he used it as an anesthetic before a surgery to remove a tumor from a patient’s neck. Ether was soon beat out by chloroform as the anesthesia of choice during the Civil War. Sources: History
The original Jack-o-Lanterns were made from turnips and beets. They come from an Irish legend about Stingy Jack, who tricked the Devil and kept him hostage using crosses, promising to release the Devil if he would not take his soul to Hell with him. The Devil agreed, and when Stingy Jack died, he could notContinue reading “Stingy Jack”
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