A socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance, which used to be accompanied by Nazi salutes


Socialist minister Francis J. Bellamy wrote the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1890s in an effort to paper over the post-Civil War divisions; to accompany it, he devised the "Bellamy Salute": "raise your right hand, flip your palm down, point it toward the flag in a salute and recite the words." Read the rest

Watch artisans make Freddie Mercury's Blue Plaque


Freddie Mercury's childhood home in London will now have a blue plaque, the UK's acknowledgement of a significant historical person or place. This endearing film chronicles how it was made. Read the rest

Priceless 170-year-old Japanese fart scroll digitized


About 170 years ago, during Japan's Edo period, a 34-foot scroll called Fart Battle (He-gassen) was created by unknown artisan(s). The work lives on in glorious hi-res digitized collection at Waseda University. Read the rest

Satirist Paul Thomas mixes fiction with facts in An Unreliable History of Tattoos


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

An Unreliable History of Tattoos by Paul Thomas Nobrow Press 2016, 96 pages, 7.9 x 10.6 x 0.7 inches (hardcover) $3 Buy a copy on Amazon

A minor celebrity/reality star, whose name I can’t remember, said in a recent interview that she thinks of people without tattoos as being “unicorns” because they are so rare. It’s true that today tattoos are much more popular than when I was a kid. In my day, only sailors or criminals had dye permanently etched into their bodies, but according to the graphic novel, An Unreliable History of Tattoos, inking people has been around since Day 1 (think Adam and Eve).

In his first book, award-winning British political cartoonist Paul Thomas loosely traces the origins of body art. There’s definitely a focus on European (and specifically British) history in this book, but Thomas also pokes fun at a few famous Americans. Mixing fiction with facts, (honestly sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s made up) this book is interesting, humorous, and very unusual!

I don’t know if the Upper Paleolithic man really punctured his skin with blunt twigs, nor do I know if King Harold II had his wife Edith’s name tattooed on his chest way back in 1066. Should I believe Anne Boleyn’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth, had her knuckles tattooed? Was Kings Charles II’s chest covered in permanent ink with names of all his many bedroom conquests? According to this parody, Queen Victoria, Sir Winston Churchill, and even President Obama love body art too. Read the rest

Robert Moses wove enduring racism into New York's urban fabric

Robert Moses gets remembered as the father of New York's modern urban plan, the "master builder" who led the proliferation of public benefit corporations, gave NYC its UN buildings and World's Fairs, and the New Deal renaissance of the city: he was also an avowed racist who did everything he could to punish and exclude people of color who lived in New York, and the legacy of his architecture-level discrimination lives on in the city today. Read the rest

Funklet: drum sequences from classic tracks

Funklet is a new archive of drum patterns (not sampled loops) from classic funk songs, complete with brief histories and musical context. Each can be edited in a simple embedded sequencer and shared. [via r/InternetIsBeautiful] Read the rest

The surprising spryness of fighters in 15th C armor

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Paris's Musée national du Moyen Âge teamed up with The University of Geneva to make this video demonstrating the fighting techniques available to people in 15th century armor, which are much more fluid and athletic that I had presumed -- turns out you can really move in those tin cans. (via We Make Money Not Art) Read the rest

People being stabbed in medieval art and lovin' it

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Medieval manuscripts were the imageboards of their day, full of murderous rabbits and lewd butts, a new (to me) subgenre is "people who don't seem to mind that they've just been stabbed" -- perhaps the origin of the Black Knight? Read the rest

The story of the story of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion


The LA Times investigates the many, fragmentary, much-revised storyline of the Haunted Mansion, the greatest ride that Disney ever built (though Walt himself had to die before the constraints he imposed on the ride could be set aside and the ride finished). Read the rest

The most common job in every state


Most states being large and empty, the most frequent answer to the question "what is the most common job in your state?" is "truck driver." For everywhere else, teachers and software developers prevail. And where even roads are rare, farmers. Hawaii, though...

NPR's map is fascinating, though, in that you can jump back to earlier days. In 1978s, what did we all do before software development was the day job of millions?

What's with all the truck drivers? Truck drivers dominate the map for a few reasons.

Driving a truck has been immune to two of the biggest trends affecting U.S. jobs: globalization and automation. A worker in China can't drive a truck in Ohio, and machines can't drive cars (yet).

Let's see about that in a decade. Read the rest

Alec Baldwin Is President Millard Fillmore's Doppelgänger

Alec Baldwin and Millard Fillmore

When Lillian Cunningham, host of the podcast Presidential, offhandedly mentioned that Alec Baldwin resembles 13th President of the United States, Millard Fillmore, it didn't prepare me to find a photograph that looked like Jack from 30 Rock had been subjected to an old-west photo booth.

Read the rest

Two teens carve into 5,000-year-old rock carving, just trying to help


This famed 5,000-year-old rock carving on the island of Tro, near Nordland, Norway, depicting a figure on skis, is one of the most important historical sites in the country. Two teenagers may be prosecuted for scratching into the stone to make the artwork clearer. (Above: image at left is before, right is after.)

The boys came forward last week, and apologized for their actions.

“It was done out of good intentions," said local mayor Bård Anders Langø. "They were trying to make it more visible actually, and I don’t think they understood how serious it was."

According to The Telegraph, the teens may still face prosecution under Norway’s Cultural Heritage Act.

“It’s a sad, sad story,” Nordland Country archaeologist Tor-Kristian Storvik said. “The new lines are both in and outside where the old marks had been. We will never again be able to experience these carvings again the way we have for the last 5,000 years.”

Read the rest

TV Dreamland

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This week on HOME: Stories From L.A.:

When TV producer Phil Savenick started collecting vintage TVs and TV memorabilia, he didn’t anticipate that he’d end up with what he now calls a “dreamland of televisions” in the living room of his West Los Angeles home — or that he’d end up helping the family of the man who invented TV heal some old wounds.

HOME is a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network. If you like the show, take a minute to drop by the iTunes Store and give it a rating and/or review. 

NEW: Subscribe to the HOME newsletter for bonus content and instant-ish notifications of new episodes.

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS Read the rest

Reminder: the GOP has been attacking veterans and their families for years


After Donald Trump attacked the family of a dead Army captain, fallen in the field, on the ground that they were Muslims, many were shocked at the new low that the Republican presidential candidate had sunk to. Read the rest

The history of the home pregnancy test is a microcosm of misogyny, chauvinism, and erasure


When Pagan Kennedy wrote her 2012 New York Times Magazine history of home pregnancy testing, it didn't mention Margaret Crane, the product designer who created, designed and championed the test and all it stood for: the right of "a woman to peer into her own body and to make her own decisions about it, without anyone else — husband, boyfriend, boss, doctor — getting in the way." Read the rest

On Trump and totalitarianism

People talk about Trump and totalitarianism in such a facile way. They don't know how close we came to the brink. Read the rest

Watch this side-by-side video of Los Angeles in the 1940s and today


A drive through downtown Los Angeles in the 1940s and today. Spoiler: Less traffic then! Uglier now!

Read the rest

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