Feminist Frequency celebrates the brilliant life of Ada Lovelace

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As part of her Ordinary Women series, Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency examines the impressive achievement of Ada Lovelace, the “mother” of computer programming.

You can also watch the Ordinary Women profiles on Ching Shih and Ida B. Wells:

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William Gibson on individual privacy, governmental secrecy and the future of history

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In a thoughtful New York Times editorial, science fiction giant William Gibson mediates on the difference between the privacy that individuals have and deserve, the privacy that governments assert ("What does it mean, in an ostensible democracy, for the state to keep secrets from its citizens?"), and what this will mean for the historians of the future. Read the rest

1000 years of royalty: nice map of Europe's nastiest families

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Nadieh Breme's Royal Constellations is a delightful starry visualization of a millenium of familial connections between European royals, and it gets right down to business: "Royal & aristocratic families are known for their fondness of marrying within their own clique."

Pick any two and it draws a line between them, revealing ancestral lines going back to the beginning—from the kings of medieval Wales all the way to the Windsors. Read the rest

Old-timey mass evangelism and the phonograph

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The Grammy nominations were announced today and along with Beyonce, Drake, Adele, and Kanye there was a nomination that went to music recorded by Ira D. Sankey, Winfield Weeden, Silas Leachman and the Rittersville Singing Club. No, those are not artists from today… In fact, those performers lived 125 years ago and their recordings have been newly compiled by a husband/wife team dedicated to bringing back to life the music of the post-Industrial Revolution 19th century.

Richard Martin and Meagan Hennessey have one collective dream, and that is to preserve, expose and celebrate the earliest eras of recorded sounds for new generations of listeners. Their label Archeophone Records has produced dozens of releases showcasing music created even before electricity got in the way. These are acoustic recordings created when the music industry was still “cutting wax” and "the business” was in its infancy. John Phillips Souza’s marches were chart toppers, along with sappy ballads and jocular tunes. The world was introduced to “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight,” and of course, “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”

Richard and Meagan collect the cylinders for each release, digitize the music found in the 100+ year old grooves, painstakingly master the tracks, rabbit-hole copious amounts of research about the recordings, the artists, and the era, and bring forth a truly amazing product that takes any listener back to a time long forgotten..an almost alien world.

And while in many circles they are known for their Grammy-winning expert work, nothing can prepare an enthusiast for their latest epic deep dive. Read the rest

Happy birthday to the world's oldest person!

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Happy 117th birthday to Emma Morano of Verbenia, Italy! Morano is the oldest person on Earth and the last living individual born in the 19th century. From the BBC:

Ms Morano's longevity, she admits, is partly down to genetics - her mother reached 91 and several sisters reached their centenary - and partly, she says, down to a rather unusual diet of three eggs - two raw - each day for more than 90 years.

It was a regime she took up as a young woman, after the doctor diagnosed her with anaemia shortly after World War One.

These days, she has cut down to just two eggs a day, and a few biscuits.

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Kickstarting Soviet Daughter, a graphic novel memoir of coming of age in Ukraine after the Revolution

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Elly from Microcosm publishing writes: "Our next book has been in the works for years, but as we launch our Kickstarter we find it's become terrifyingly current: Soviet Daughter is a rather swashbuckling story of her great-grandmother Lola, who came of age in the Soviet Ukraine, in the wake of the October Revolution." Read the rest

Street photographer's fantastic series of "then and now" photos

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Peterborough, England photographer Chris Porsz's Reunions photo series and book presents his remarkable street snapshots of myriad characters taken in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s juxtapozed with those same individuals at the location of the original photographs. See more: Reunions

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A history of Chinese science fiction, from 475 BC to Cixin Liu

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At the 2016 Hugos, a Chinese book in translation made history by winning for Best Novel: Cixin Liu's "Three Body Problem". Read the rest

That time Walt Disney's oppo researchers claimed his business rival was laundering money for Jimmy Hoffa

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Len Testa writes, "Back in the early 1960's, Walt was interested in buying and developing the Mineral King ski area in California, which was being put up for sale by the U.S. government. Another potential bidder on the project was industrialist Robert Brandt, husband of Hollywood actress Janet Leigh." Read the rest

Lin-Manuel Miranda made a Hamilton mixtape

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...and it drops on Dec 2, with a $14.49 pre-order option: featuring tracks that didn't make the stage play, as well as Busta Rhymes' remix of "My Shot" and other guest appearances from Queen Latifah, Ben Folds, Kelly Clarkson, Jimmy Fallon, Ashanti, Wiz Khalifa, Chance the Rapper, Usher... I ordered this so hard it broke my mouse. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Vintage photos show NORAD's construction and operation

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The legendary underground lair of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) was so secretive that few photos have been published. Russ Kick at Memory Hole was good enough to locate one of 27 libraries in the world with an obscure book titled NORAD Command Post: The City Inside Cheyenne Mountain. The photos he shared will make you want to watch Dr. Strangelove again. Read the rest

An illustrated microhistory of micronations

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Sofie Louise Dam and Andy Warner drew up this charming overview of some of the more notable micronations in world history. Read the rest

The "weird familiarity" of century-old anti-feminist propaganda

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What's the difference between modern memes and old ones? Edwardian-era bigots used paint, not MS Paint. Adrienne LaFrance writes on "The Weird Familiarity of 100-Year-Old Feminism Memes." Even the same embittered mirthless "humor" prevails—the same fears of emasculation, too—though I rather like this one: Read the rest

Colorized film and photos of a deadly Antarctic Expedition in 1912

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In 1912, Herbert Ponting captured remarkable film and images of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition. Amateurs and pros have all worked to restore and colorize Ponting's work. Read the rest

The Modernist Utopia that never was

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HOME: Stories From L.A., a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network, is back for its fourth season. This week:

What happens to a utopia that never got off the ground? Bits and pieces of one, an experiment in postwar living for the masses, are hiding in plain sight in the hills above Sunset Boulevard. Architect and author Cory Buckner talks about Crestwood Hills, a Modernist vision for a cooperative future that never quite arrived.

A note from the producer: If you'd like to help HOME get off to a good seasonal start, drop by the iTunes Store and subscribe. And if you have a minute to leave a rating and/or review, that helps stir the algorithmic stew that gets shows noticed. Thanks for listening.

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Turing's law: UK to retroactively pardon thousands of men prosecuted for having sex with men

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When the Crown pardoned codebreaking war-hero and computer science pioneer Alan Turing in 2013, we noted that 50,000 other British men who were also convicted of "sodomy" remained criminals in the eyes of the law. Read the rest

US unemployment timelapse highlights 2008 crisis

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It's difficult to comprehend the onset and severity of the 2008 financial crisis, but this timelapse map of US unemployment data from 1990 through July 2016 helps put things in context. Read the rest

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