Boing Boing 

Wacky dudes in Russia open 1940s war ration can and eat it because Russia

ezgif-293158190According to the uploader's description, these jolly Russian gentlemen here are opening what is identified as a 70-year-old package of Soviet fighter pilot war chow.

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110-year-old message in a bottle gets returned to sender

A few months back, Marianne Winkler found a bottle on a German beach with a message inside requesting its return to the Marine Biological Association (MBA) that had dropped more than 1,000 bottles into the North Sea as part of a study of currents. Thing is, that experiment took place more than a century ago. From National Geographic:

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"We haven't had [a bottle] returned in living memory," says Guy Baker, an MBA spokesperson.

(Former MBA president and lead researcher on the bottle study George Parker) Bidder got about half of his messages back, says Baker. And the longest it took for one of his bottles to come home—before this current one—was about four years....

Bidder's bottle has also been submitted to the Guinness World Records for consideration as the oldest message in a bottle ever recovered. The current record-holder is a 99-year-old bottle discovered in a fishing net off the Shetland Islands in 2013.

"Century-Old Message in a Bottle Returned to Sender"

EFF-Austin panel commemmorating the 20th anniversary of the Steve Jackson Games raid

The Secret Service raid on Austin's Steve Jackson Games started the fight over freedom and privacy online, and resulted in the founding of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and EFF-Austin.

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Chastity belts were a joke, then a metaphor, then a hoax


Historian Albrecht Classen got so tired of hearing people blithlely assert that chastity belts were ever a thing that he wrote The Medieval Chastity Belt: A Myth-Making Process, explaining how a 15th century hoax that appeared in a manuscript that also feature fart jokes and devices for making people invisible became canon.

From Sarah Laskow:

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Inspiring and gorgeous patent drawings

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The best inventions are exciting, new and unique.

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This might be the world's earliest flowering life

fossil flower David Dilcher of Indiana University writes that this 130 million year-old fossil may represent the first life on earth to flower and pollinate underwater.

Based on the many fossil examples we examined, Montsechia floated in freshwater lakes and was submerged in the water. It had a spreading growth, branching freely. This flowering plant didn’t display any of the showy blossoms we tend to associate with flowers. But because it contains seeds enclosed in a fruit, the basic characteristic of angiosperms, it is classified as a flowering plant.

Memory Palace podcast about a Confederate monument honoring a real racist

Forrest

Nate DiMeo, host of the always excellent Memory Palace podcast, points us to the new episode "about the history of the Nathan Bedford Forrest monument (and Confederate monuments in general) that the city of Memphis is planning on moving from a prominent place downtown to a nearby cemetery, because Forrest was, essentially, a racist monster."

The Memory Palace: Episode 73

Gallery: 13 images that helped define the look of the electronic age

In INSIDE THE MACHINE: Art and Invention in the Electronic Age [W. W. Norton & Company], cultural historian Megan Prelinger guides readers through the history of electronics.Read the rest

Inside the Machine: a visual history of electronics, technology and art

Archivist Rick Prelinger writes, "It's been a long wait, but Inside the Machine, my spouse Megan's visual history of electronics, technology and art is finally out and propagating throughout the world, and we're having a release party in San Francisco at the McRoskey Mattress Factory on Monday, August 24!"

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Revealed for the first time: the seer stone that translated the Book of Mormon

In 1827, an angel directed the Prophet Joseph Smith to a spot in New York, where he found ancient golden plates inscribed with "reformed Egyptian" characters." Being unfamiliar with reformed Egyptian, Smith placed a "seer stone" (that he'd found when he was digging a well for his neighbor) into the bottom of hat and covered his face with the hat, which enabled him to view the words.

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"The Computer Girls," 1967 Cosmopolitan magazine article on women working with technology

computergirls

"The Computer Girls," a 1967 Cosmopolitan piece about a weird new field, programming, that was dominated by women.

Previously: Miniskirts and Mainframes.

[via Clive Thompson]

34 weird vintage photos of women in tiny miniskirts at huge old computers

Vintage Photos of Mini-skirts Behind Computers (4)

Sex sells Big Iron. Attractive women wearing as little clothing as the decency of the day allows--this tool has been a constant one in the history of advertising, although hemlines over those same years have been anything but constant.

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How .uk came to be (and why it's not .gb)


Matt Locke writes, "It's the 30th anniversary of the .uk domain this week, so here's an oral history of the internet pioneers who made it happen, and how they fought with the US internet gurus to make it .uk, not .gb"

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The People vs Disneyland: tracing the impact of lawsuits on themepark design

The People V. Disneyland: How Lawsuits & Lawyers Transformed the Magic is the latest from David Koenig, who wrote the excellent Mouse Tales books of true confessions from Disneyland staffers.

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Database: Old newspaper ads searching for loved ones lost to slavery


The Southwestern Christian Advocate ran its "Lost Friends" page from 1877 until "well into the first decade of the twentieth century."

The Historic New Orleans Collection has scanned 330 of these ads and made them available in a searchable database. They're not only an indispensable geneological and historical tool; they're also a powerful reminder of the bloody racial history of America.

Two dollars in 1880 bought a yearlong subscription to the Southwestern Christian Advocate, a newspaper published in New Orleans by the Methodist Book Concern and distributed to nearly five hundred preachers, eight hundred post offices, and more than four thousand subscribers in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The "Lost Friends" column, which ran from the paper's 1877 inception well into the first decade of the twentieth century, featured messages from individuals searching for loved ones lost in slavery.

This searchable database provides access to more than 330 advertisements that appeared in the Southwestern Christian Advocate between November 1879 and December 1880. Digital reproductions of the Lost Friends ads are courtesy of Hill Memorial Library, Louisiana State University Libraries.

Lost Friends: Advertisements from the Southwestern Christian Advocate [Historic New Orleans Collection]

(via Making Light)

Family records for slavery-era black Americans to be made available, free, online

“Group of Contrabands at Foller's House, 1862,” Library of Congress via


“Group of Contrabands at Foller's House, 1862,” Library of Congress via

A million and a half handwritten records from the 1860s about newly-freed slaves will no doubt be invaluable for black people trying to trace their family history.

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The evolution of the word 'dude'

"Dude" was the "hipster" of the 1880s.