Boing Boing 

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.

Fun Orwell facts!


14 bits of interesting trivia about Nineteen Eighty-Four, including the fact that he was under surveillance for his communist sympathies while he wrote it.

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Watch footage of Amelia Earhart from 1937

This newly-discovered film footage of Amelia Earhart from 1937 was released in conjunction with an e-book titled "Amelia Earhart's Last Photo Shoot."

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Bach: The Well Tempered Clavier

x 2015-05-28 at 7.10.58 AM "My film draws inspiration from minimalist sculpture and graphical notation, an alternative to traditional sheet music notation that evolved in the 1950s and often involves abstract symbols and experimental visual codes." https://vimeo.com/128275855

The vast, unplayable history of video games

We face a practical -- and cultural -- archiving crisis unprecedented in any other medium. It's time to change that.Read the rest

Brief history of the wristwatch

2305FF_watch01_PR[7][1] The ladies' fashion novelty became popular among British soldiers during the Boer War, recounts Uri Friedmen, a practice that spread during World War I.

Are you a member of The Oregon Trail Generation, the last before mainstream social media?

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If you count yourself among The Oregon Trail Generation, count yourself lucky.

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Got a 3D printer? Help make a giant bust of Poe!


Todd writes, "We the Builders just started our third crowdsourced 3D printing project -- anyone with access to a 3D printer can download their piece from the website, print it out, mail it to us in Baltimore, and then we'll glue it together to form a giant sculpture."

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Photo celebrates unsung NASA software engineer Margaret Hamilton

Maragret Hamilton

Female accomplishments are too often overlooked in our history books, but this photo looks to change that by celebrating one of history's coolest ladies.

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The crazy shapes of 17th-century pies

Why were pies in the 1600s baked in such improbable shapes? Over at HiLobrow, Tom Nealon investigates, and Deb Chachra drops some science on the question.

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Was the world's oldest deck of cards any fun?

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The oldest complete deck of cards in the world is from the distinctly-unhappy 15th century, and lives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Cloisters location. The oblong cards are nifty-looking—but what would people play with them?

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Obituary for an amazing history teacher


Katie sez, "This is an article by a friend of mine about a teacher who passed this week from our high school in Ontario, Canada. This history teacher had the students dig trenches, sleep in cold, wet tents, march and "mow down" other students all in an awesome example of teaching. I had already graduated after the first class did this, but it made headlines every year."

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