‘Programmata’ and Political Campaigns

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”

Fires in California

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 Jazz Singer”, First of the Talkies

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”

Hanami, the Cherry Blossom Viewing

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”

Columns of Piazza San Marco

When you picture Venice, you probably think of the canal waterways, and the two columns that stand tall in the Piazza San Marco. The two columns were actually not built in Venice, but rather were the spoils of conquest in Constantinople. They were brought in by ship, and erected in the Piazza after much trialContinue reading “Columns of Piazza San Marco”