Photographs: Native Americans of the early 1900s

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In the early 20th century, ethnologist Edward S. Curtis made 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of Native American language and music and took 40,000 photographs of people from more than 80 tribes, such as these.

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Science fiction's Islamic roots


From Ibn Tufail's 12th century Hayy Ibn Yaqzan to Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain's 1905 feminist masterpiece Sultana's Dream, the Islamic world produced some of the earliest proto-sf, which IO9's Charlie Jane Anders rounds up in an excellent post.

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The Economist defends America's enslavement of Africans


When The Economist reviewed The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, its anonymous reviewer condemned it, sticking up for America's legacy of slavery as a means of wealth creation, saying "Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery; almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains -- this is not history; it is advocacy."

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Half the remains of slain Vikings in England are female

In Warriors and women: the sex ratio of Norse migrants to eastern England up to 900 AD, published in 2011 in Early Medieval Europe 19/3, Medievalists from the University of Western Australia survey the remains of fallen Vikings found in eastern England that had been assumed to be male, partly because some were buried with sword and shield.

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An Exclusive Inside Look at Denver’s Dinosaur Hotel

Ethan Gilsdorf reports on the most awesome hotel in the country. Meet Stanley the Stegosaurus and friends!

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Confronting Lovecraft's racism


Award-winning horror writer David Nickle has been repeatedly frustrated in his attempts to have a frank and serious discussion of HP Lovecraft's undeniable racism; people want to hand-wave it as being a product of Lovecraft's times, but it is inseparable from Lovecraft's fiction.

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Timothy Leary with Aldous and Laura Huxley

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Pop songs as sonnets


Pop Sonnets is a tumblr that turns pop music into Shakespearean sonnets: above, YMCA ("Oh sweet and noble lad, be not aggrieved!").

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Aloha shirt featuring critters from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur


The 19th century German biologist's seminal illustrations of weird sea-life have been adapted for a gorgeous Betabrand cabana shirt.

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Great mistakes in English medieval architecture


The great cathedrals and palaces of medieval England were designed by people who made it up as they went along, and often discovered midway through a multigenerational project that they'd run out of space for an arch, or designed a building that couldn't hold up its own ceiling.

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WWII's VD posters: exciting nexus of propaganda, Mad Men, gender and design


Ryan Mungia's Protect Yourself: Venereal Disease Posters of World War II uncovers many obscure propaganda posters that were, once upon a time, just as popular as the iconic "We Can Do It!" woman.

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Orwell's review of Mein Kampf

From March, 1940, a fascinating look at the development of Hitler's reputation in Germany and the UK, and the way that his publishers were forced to change the way they marketed his book.

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Huge patriotic statues, crowdsourced from 3D printer owners across America


We the Builders creates massive, 3D printed busts of the likes of George Washington by asking 3D printer owners to print out small pieces of the overall statue and then gloms them together in large, collaged pieces.

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How Gary Gygax lost control over D&D and TSR


Jon Peterson, author of Playing at the World, tells the gripping tale of how Gary Gygax lost control over TSR and Dungeons and Dragons, ousted by his business partners after a series of miscalculations and mistakes.

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Weird, real titles of 19th century novels


The Toast has over 100 examples of the genre, including "The Adventures Of An Irish Smock, Interspersed With Whimsical Anecdotes Of A Nankeen Pair Of Breeches," "The Charms Of Dandyism; Or Living In Style. By Olivia Moreland, Chief Of The Female Dandies" and "Fashionable Infidelity." No wonder novels caused a moral panic akin to reefer madness, Seduction of the Innocents, PMRC music-bans and video-game violence hysteria.