Timeline: a visual history of our world

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

I love the tidbits of history, the unique visual style, the subtle humor, and the breadth of coverage in Timeline: A Visual History of Our World. On each 10x29-inch page spread are whimsical curved text blocks filled with simply written – yet intriguing – historical facts. And each spread addresses one era of time. The book, which targets children 7 to 12-years old, starts with The Beginning of Life and includes a miniature image-based timeline of stromatolites, trilobites, ammonites and more. The author offers spreads dedicated to the major geological periods, as well as more brief and recent timespans. Our current decade is the last timeline covered, concluding with “As time goes by. . .” along with a person spreading black paint across the page.

The illustrations are fabulous. Goes uses a minimalist color palette that differs for each of his timelines. The Dinosaurs are on a wheat-toned page with black silhouettes accented by red and gold. The Ming Dynasty appears on a dusty rose background with dark pink and white accents, again using black as the major illustrative color. Goes' technique of black with two accent colors artfully draws the eye to visual vignettes on the page, while the curving text leads you to the next image. Wonderful. Engaging. Amusing.

This book makes for great conversational fodder. Did you know that, according to the page spread on 18th Century in Europe, “Mont Blanc was called Mon Maudit, or ‘cursed mountain,’ until the Enlightenment, when people stopped believing in curses”? Read the rest

Get inside Kathe Koja's Christopher Marlowe novel with a "bespoke edition" like no other

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Kathe Koja is one of literature's most versatile writers -- once the doyenne of "splatterpunk"; then the author a run of brilliant, touching YA novels; then the author of a darkly erotic war-trilogy -- and now she's doing something new and amazing. Read the rest

To download or stream: 1000 hours of classic jazz, mixed and annotated by a master collector

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David W Niven began collecting jazz records in 1925, when he was 10 years old. He continued to collect until 1991, amassing a nearly unparalleled collection of 78s and LPs, whose highlights he eventually transferred to cassette, boiling down 10,000 hours of music to 1,000 hours of tape with his spoken commentary, each cassette meticulously annotated with handwritten liner-notes. Read the rest

Great moments in the history of black science fiction

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Nisi "Writing the Other" (previously) Shawl has assembled a fantastic (in more ways than one) reading list for people interested in the history of science fiction written by black writers. Read the rest

KKK vs D&D: the surprising, high fantasy vocabulary of racism

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As John Holbo notes, the Ku Klux Klan's extensive, bizarre, fanciful "titles and vocabulary," set out in a 1916 volume called the "Kloran," has enough weirdness to match the Monster Manual for its "hydras, furies, nighthawks, giants, goblins, ghouls, titans, magi, monks, grand turks, dragons, wizards, cyclops." Read the rest

Rosa Parks's papers and photos online at the Library of Congress

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The Howard Buffet Foundation owns 7,500 manuscripts and 2,500 photos of civil rights hero Rosa Parks. They've loaned them to the Library of Congress, who've digitized them and posted them online. Read the rest

19th century spam came by post, prefigured modern spam in so many ways

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In the 19th century, the nascent advertising industry took notice of the fact that postmasters could send each other letters for free, and bribed them to forward packets of mail to one another to pass on to townspeople ("To Superintendent Sunday School OR ANY ONE INTERESTED IN MUSIC"). Read the rest

Photo of Bernie Sanders being arrested in 1963 Chicago protest

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Some of Sanders' Democratic Party adversaries have claimed that the Senator's history of principled stands has been short on racial equality, a charge that has required those opponents to claim that photos of Sanders being arrested at civil rights demonstrations are actually photos of someone else. Read the rest

1 billion hours played of Civilization

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Legendary game series Civilization is 25 years old this year, and Dean Takahashi reports on its long journey from revolutionary god game to a cultural touchstone in its own right.

Few game franchises live to see a 25th anniversary, but Civ, as most gamers and industry folk call it, is thriving. It has 33 million copies in sales to date, including 8 million for its latest, 2010’s Civilization V and its expansions. Meier’s teams at MicroProse and Firaxis have created 66 versions of the game across all platforms, and based on extrapolations from sales on the Steam digital distribution and community platform, the Civ series has been played for more than a billion hours.

Many hours were lost to this game, but my most enduring memory of its early iterations was the fact that city names had a short character limit. I thereby found, as a young teenager, that it honed my creative instincts for devising succinctly offensive city names. This "economy of stupidity" has proven a most valuable skill. Read the rest

The History of America according to South Park's Trey Parker in a 1992 student film

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"And the Americans headed to the West, the final frontier, to boldy go where no man has gone before, and kill a lot more Indians."

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Matt Ruff's "Lovecraft Country," where the horror is racism (not racist)

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Matt Ruff is a spectacular and versatile science fiction writer who is perhaps most commonly considered an absurdist, thanks to his outstanding 1988 debut Fool on the Hill, but whose more recent works have highlighted his ability to walk the fine line between funny-ha-ha and funny-holy-shit. The Mirage was one such novel, but as brilliant as it was (and it was), it was only a warm-up for this book, Lovecraft Country, a book that takes a run at the most problematic writer in today's pop culture canon and blasts right through him. Read the rest

Celebrate V-Day like an early feminist with these Suffragist Valentines

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Dating from 1915 to the 1920s, these suffragist Valentines cards are collected by the League of Women Voters, who worked tirelessly to win the vote for women. Read the rest

The Malware Museum

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At The Malware Musuem you can enjoy the experience of DOS-era viruses, trojans and other digital beasties without any of the risk. Many of them manifested as wild graphical tricks and other spectacular coding feats, distracting you as they formatted hard drives or corrupted files.

The Malware Museum is a collection of malware programs, usually viruses, that were distributed in the 1980s and 1990s on home computers. Once they infected a system, they would sometimes show animation or messages that you had been infected. Through the use of emulations, and additionally removing any destructive routines within the viruses, this collection allows you to experience virus infection of decades ago with safety.

Pictured above is LSD.COM Read the rest

Entertaining animated history of Japan

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Bill Wurtz made this fun and informative 9-minute history of Japan. Read the rest

An inviting encyclopedia of historical happenings that shaped our world

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Yay! Another captivating DK book for children has just come out today. 100 Events that Made History is an encyclopedia of ideas, inventions, wars, scientific breakthroughs, disasters (both natural and human-made), and other historical happenings that had a major influence on how our world looks today. The book's colorful collage-art layout is attractive and inviting.

I enjoyed this book along with my 12-year-old daughter, and I actually learned a lot of little nuggets that I missed in school. The wide range of topics include the discovery of bronze, Confucius, Teotihuacan, Julius Caesar, the birth of Israel, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the first flight, global communications, and about 92 other influential milestones in history. Each are explained with fun facts in 1-2 pages, which isn’t enough to turn readers into scholars on any one subject, but will certainly whet their appetites to devour more on their own. And put together, 100 Events allows readers to connect the dots from the beginning of human ideas to where we are now scientifically, politically, spiritually and socially.

100 Events that Made History: Memorable Moments that Shaped the Modern World by DK DK Children 2016, 128 pages, 8.8 x 11.2 x 0.6 inches $17 Buy a copy on Amazon Read the rest

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace

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In 1996, in the midst of the Clinton administration's attack on the Internet and cryptography, Grateful Dead lyricist and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow sat down in Davos, Switzerland, where he'd been addressing world leaders on the subject of the Internet and human rights, and wrote one of net-culture's formative documents: The Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace.

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It Isn't Even Past: location scouting the secret history of Rudy Valentino with Tim Powers

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In Medusa's Web, fantasy grandmaster Tim Powers presents us with another of his amazing secret histories, this one of Rudolph Valentino. In this guest editorial, Powers -- author of many of Boing Boing's favorite novels, including the World Fantasy Award winning Last Call, Hide Me Among the Graves, and Dinner at Deviant's Palace -- explains the genesis of his latest book, and takes us with him for his field-research.

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