History

The volcano that caused famines in ancient Rome? It was in Alaska

Enlarge / The 10km-wide caldera on Alaska’s Unmak Island formed during the 43 BCE Okmok II eruption. Kerry Key (Columbia University, New York, NY) Roman writers described unusual weather and famines in the years following Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 BCE, adding to the turbulence of the civil war that marked the transition from Republic …

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You can finally play Maxis’ long-lost ‘SimRefinery’ oil simulator

Sponsored Links Maxis / Chevron Once thought lost forever, Maxis’ SimRefinery has resurfaced. What’s more, you can play it right now thanks to the work of ArsTechnica and one of its readers. The story of how SimRefinery became playable again starts with journalist and game historian Phil Salvador. In May, Salvador self-published an exhaustive, four years in …

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American Panic Led to the Creation and Expansion of the Corrupt Federal Reserve System

The Federal Reserve System was created after the “Panic of 1907” and ever since its inception in 1913, the Fed is one of the most powerful modern central banks in the world. Moreover, the Fed has always been either celebrated or criticized for stepping in whenever the U.S. is stricken with some kind of fear. …

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US court grants permission to recover Marconi telegraph from Titanic wreckage

Enlarge / View of the bow of the RMS Titanic photographed in June 2004 by the ROV Hercules during an expedition returning to the shipwreck. NOAA/Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island (NOAA/IFE/URI) When RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912, crew members sent out numerous distress signals to any other ships in the vicinity …

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Virtual PC game box collection helps relive the heyday of floppies and CDs

Sponsored Links Jon Fingas/Engadget If you’re a gamer of a certain age (cough), you probably have fond memories of the elaborate boxes PC games once had — sometimes more memorable than the gameplay itself. You don’t have to hunt down a copy on an auction site to indulge in some nostalgia, thankfully. Benjamin Wimmer has …

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Take a virtual tour of the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy

Entrance to the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy. Jennifer Ouellette “And yet it moves”: Galileo’s index and middle fingers, lovingly preserved. Sean Carroll A closer look at Galileo’s middle finger. Sean Carroll Collection of early telescopes. Sean Carroll A large armillary sphere (1588-1593) built for Ferdinand I de’ Medici. Jennifer Ouellette A close-up of the …

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We now have more evidence that Galileo likely never said “And yet it moves”

Enlarge / Portrait of Galileo Galilei by Justus Sustermans, circa 1640. Galileo Galilei famously stood trial for suspicion of heresy for his insistence—based on astronomical observations through his telescopes—that the Copernican model of the Solar System was correct. The Earth revolved around the Sun, not the other way around, contrary to the Catholic Church’s teachings …

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Medieval arrows caused injuries similar to gunshot wounds, study finds

Enlarge / Reconstruction of the angle of entry into a cranium collected during the excavation of the burial ground of a medieval Dominican friary in Exeter, England. Oliver Creighton/University of Exeter The English longbow was a powerful medieval weapon said to be able to pierce an opponent’s armor and may have been a decisive factor …

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British Museum makes over half of its collection viewable online

You can’t visit museums in person during pandemic lockdowns, but you might not have to for one of the most prestigious institutions. The British Museum has made (via Motherboard) images of more than half its collection (4.5 million objects) available online, with 1.9 million images available through a Creative Commons 4.0 license. You can not …

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