Posts Tagged ‘history’

Happy Birthday Charlie Darwin

February 12, 2019

Happy Birthday Charlie Darwin

 

Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809. His birthday has, um, evolved into a worldwide celebration of science and rational thought, Darwin Day.

More:

“For Darwin Day, 6 facts about the evolution debate,” David Masci, PewResearch.org

“Rewriting Nature: Charles Darwin, natural novelist.” Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

The complete works and manuscripts of Charles Darwin are available online, free.

Best Darwin Day graphic.

Bonus: Darwin, the comic book.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Dr. King on the Roots of Economic Inequality

January 21, 2019

Dr. King on the Roots of Economic Inequality

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) planned a Poor People’s Campaign for May 1968 to demand jobs, unemployment insurance, a fair minimum wage, affordable housing, and education for poor adults and children, an Economic Bill of Rights. The effort was to involve poor people of all races from all parts of the country, urban and rural, but the historical roots of racial economic disparity could not be ignored:

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The 8th of January

January 8, 2019

On December 23, 1814, American forces began a week-long defense of the city of New Orleans from British attackers. Neither force knew that a treaty ending the war was signed on December 24th, so the battle continued. U.S. forces under Major General Andrew Jackson were finally victorious on January 8, 1815. Frontier Americans commemorated the feat with a fiddle tune, “The 8th of January,” which entered tradition. In 1936, Arkansas schoolteacher and folksong buff James Morris (later Jimmy Driftwood) wrote a song about the battle to go with that fiddle tune, and Country-Western star Johnny Horton recorded it in 1959. If Americans know anything about the battle, it’s probably that song.

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Who Invented the iPhone?

December 4, 2018

Who Invented the iPhone?

Steve Jobs invented the iPhone in 2007, right?

Well … it’s complicated. Eric Arthur Johnson invented the touchscreen in the 1960s.  Stanley Whittingham invented the lithium battery in the 1970s. And a whole bunch of people gave us the Internet.

But surely Steve Jobs saw all this stuff and went “Eureka!”

Nope.

“When Apple engineer Andy Grignon first added internet functionality to an iPod in 2004, Steve Jobs was far from enthusiastic: ‘This is bullshit. I don’t want this. I know it works, I got it, great, thanks, but this is a shitty experience.’”

— “Who Invented the iPhone?” Matthew Hayes, Scientific American

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Image (“Portrait of a Young Girl With an iPhone, after Agnolo Bronzino”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Birth of the Price Tag

November 20, 2018

For centuries buying something meant haggling, negotiating with shopkeepers to get a lower price. As a result, the same goods cost different people different prices. In the mid-19th century, U.S. Quakers came to believe that charging people different amounts for the same item was immoral, so they started using price tags which, if not more moral, are more efficient.

An NPR Planet Money video.

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Labor Day

September 3, 2018

Labor Day“Every dollar that the boss did not work for, one of us worked for a dollar and didn’t get it.”

William “Big Bill” Haywood

Related:

“What Is Labor Day? A History of the Workers’ Holiday,” Karen Zraick, New York Times

“Most Americans view unions favorably, though few workers belong to one,” Drew DeSilver, Pew Research Center

“Unions struggle in the courts, but they have a fighting chance in the streets,” Barry Eidlin, Washington Post

“Trump Celebrates Labor Day by Attacking Labor Leader,” Benjamin Hart, New York Magazine

“Trump rolls back worker safety rules,” Ian Kullgren, Politico

“Donald Trump’s war on workers,” Paul Waldman, Washington Post

“A Labor Day Reflection on Unions, Race, and Division,” Dan Kaufman, The New Yorker

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The History of Chocolate

August 27, 2018

“The History of Chocolate,” a TED-Ed video by Deanna Pucciarelli. Directed and animated by Lisa LaBracio.

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How World War I Changed Europe’s Borders

May 28, 2018

World War I, the “Great War,” involved 32 nations and lasted 5 years. When it ended in 1919, it redrew the world map, and  many borders in Europe, The collapse of the Russian Empire created Poland, the Baltics, and Finland. The Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved into Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. When the Ottoman Empire collapsed, Turkey was established. The German Empire became Germany, and Germany lost substantial territory outside Europe.

Video by Business Insider
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Birth Of The Bike

May 18, 2018

“Birth Of The Bike,” 1937. A short film by British Pathé.

Note: Today is “Bike to Work Day” in Washington DC.

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Tap: Made in America

March 12, 2018

Tap dancing, like many things in the US, was manufactured here from imported components. Vox explains.
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