Pale skin, thin waists, sparkling eyes, rosy cheeks, red lips—all trademarks of 19th century English beauty trends, and all symptoms of the tuberculosis epidemic that ran rampant until the advent of germ theory in the early 20th century. Emily Mullin writes for Smithsonian on the new connections discovered between 19th century fashion and the aesthetic impact of tuberculosis....more
Posts Tagged: Smithsonian
The last painting Frida painted in her life was watermelons, and at the end of his life, Diego also painted watermelons. I always thought that was beautiful: this green fruit that opens up, the pulp, the flesh, the blood, these black seeds.
On the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo, Andrew Roberts argues that we’d all be better off with a little more Napoleon:
A vast amount of literature has explored why Napoleon fought such an unimaginative, error-prone battle at Waterloo. Hundreds of thousands of historians have pored over the questions of why he attacked when, where and how he attacked.
(n.) commonly, a little grebe or dabchick, a small water bird that dives underwater; also, a name for someone who disappears for a time before bobbing up again
His papers looked organized, from the outside, they weren’t messy, but there were tens of thousands of pages.
And all the other library blogs linked in this MetaFilter post, which upload pictures of all kinds of nifty stuff from their stacks, from “the original American serialized version of Charles Dickens’ Bleak House” to century-old cat postcards....more
We’ll just leave this here:
And it’s by Susan Orlean.
And it includes photos....more
The Voice of Witness project, founded by McSweeney’s Dave Eggers, is a nonprofit that records the narratives of those who have survived harrowing experiences. The project was started after Dave came back from the Sudan, where he witnessed people trying to rebuild their lives after the civil war....more
If you find clowns more sinister than hilarious, you’re in good company. Clowning has long been associated with a frisson of tragedy or fear, since way before It or John Wayne Gacy.
Smithsonian has an intriguing history of the art of clowning in all its guises, and the reasons why it has both captivated and creeped out audiences for hundreds of years....more
This Smithsonian article has been pinballing around the Internet, and for good reason.
It tells the story of a team of Russian geologists who went to remote Siberia in 1978 and stumbled upon a family who had been living there for decades in order to escape civilization and practice a religion so fundamentalist that bread was forbidden....more
Yeah, yeah, Obama, hurray(!) and stuff. What we were all really dying to know is if Measure B would pass in Los Angeles County.
The answer is yes, it did, and porn actors will now be required to wear condoms while filming....more
The Smithsonian delves into the history of nylon stockings in their recent “Stocking Series.”
Although these accessories may seem everyday and even out of fashion to us, the Smithsonian covers the mayhem surrounding the product’s introduction in the first installment of the series, a mayhem that only intensified as nylon was monopolized for army use during World War II:
“When the war was over and rations were eased, nylon stockings returned to stores and sold quickly....more