Category Archives: History

In 1662, a 19 year old Isaac Newton wrote a list of all the sins he believed that he’d committed ‘before and after Whitsunday of that year’. They included:

Making pies on Sunday night

Threatning my father and mother Smith to burne them and the house over them.

Making a feather while on Thy day.

Denying that I made it.

Putting a pin in Iohn Keys hat on Thy day to pick him.

Striving to cheat with a brass halfe crowne.

Having uncleane thoughts words and actions and dreamese.

Striking many

Wishing death and hoping it to some

Denying my chamberfellow of the knowledge of him that took him for a sot.

MORE: The Newton Project

(Pic: portrait of Isaac Newton by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1689)

kottke

Featuring this month at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival – director Marshall Curry’s narration-free edit of the 1939 Amerikadeutscher Volksbund Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden in New York, attended by 20,000 people:

…an event largely forgotten from American history… A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN uses striking archival fragments recorded that night to transport modern audiences into this gathering and shine a light on the disturbing fallibility of seemingly decent people.

The director explains more in this Q&A with Field Of Vision.

shortoftheweek

No ordinary 1968 Ford Mustang, rather, one of two fastbacks driven by Steve McQueen in Peter Yates’ ultra stylish Bullitt (1968).

This is the ‘hero’ car (the battle-scarred stunt double has since disappeared, having been sold to a salvage yard after filming).

Formerly believed to have been lost (or, worse still, scrapped like its stunt double), it’s actually belonged to the same New Jersey family since 1974 and was unveiled this week at the 2018 Detroit Motor Show, close to the 50th anniversary of the cinematic car chase that sealed its reputation.

Yours for between €2.5 and €4.0 million. Were it for sale. Which it’s not.

Meanwhile, less interestingly, Ford has announced a Bullitt-themed 2019 Mustang.

MORE: Steve McQueen’s “Lost” Bullitt Mustang Is Unveiled (Vanity Fair)

Uli Westphal’s Elephas Anthropogenus project – a collection of images depicting how Europeans imagined elephants from the Fall of Rome to the end of the Rennaissance. to wit:

After the fall of the Roman Empire, elephants virtually disappeared from Western Europe. Since there was no real knowledge of how this animal actually looked, illustrators had to rely on oral and written transmissions to morphologically reconstruct the elephant, thus reinventing an actual existing creature.

MORE: Elephas Anthropogenus

kottke

The bizarre and wonderful world of Soviet-era bus stops, captured (in the course of a 16,000 km round trip of Russia) by photographer Christopher Herwig in a follow up to a previously published homage. To wit:

A foreword by renowned architecture and culture critic Owen Hatherley, reveals new information on the origins of the Soviet bus stop. Examining the government policy that allowed these ‘small architectural forms’ to flourish, he explains how they reflected Soviet values, and how ultimately they remained – despite their incredible individuality – far-flung outposts of Soviet ideology.

Soviet Bus Stops Volume II (Christopher Herwig)

dyt

An extraordinary artefact recently discovered among a cache of burial treasures at the 3,500 year old tomb of a Bronze Age warrior in southwest Greece: the Pylos Combat Agate – a carved sealstone less than 4cm wide featuring an astonishingly detailed depiction of two fighters clashing over the slain body of a third.

Professor Jack Davis of the University of Cincinnati (whose researchers originally unearthed the tomb) sez of it:

What is fascinating is that the representation of the human body is at a level of detail and musculature that one doesn’t find again until the classical period of Greek art 1,000 years later.

MORE: Unearthing A Masterpiece (UC magazine)

neatorama

Photographer Keisuke’s spectacular images of some of Japan’s 200-odd hanabi taikai, or firework festivals, held in July and August.

The tradition – originally intended to ward off evil spirits – sparks huge competitiveness among pyrotechnicians and dates back to the 18th century.

colossal