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Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday links

From 1930, Information Tests To Try On Your Children.

Gallery - the living root bridges of India.

The Science Behind Senior Moments. It's because your brain gets full.

Gift for the person who has everything - this UFO Detector (check the reviews).

The Mathematical Genius of Auto-Tune.


ICYMI, Wednesday's links are here, and include maps showing how the continents would look if you could see gravity, how each of the state capitals got their names,  Stalin's body double, and a collection of vintage ads you would never see today.

From 1930, Information Tests To Try On Your Children

In case you didn't realize how much the government schools have been dumbed down: this test ran in Parents (then The Parents’ Magazine) in November, 1930.

Click here to embiggen.

More at Slate.

Related posts:

From 1921, here's the Intelligence Test That Thomas Edison Gave to Job Seekers.

Check out this test for eighth graders in Kentucky dated 1912.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Clapping Mohawks - If you're happy and you know it, clap your hair

One of those WTF things:




Wednesday links

How All 50 State Capitals Got Their Names.


ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include how birds avoid crashing into each other in mid-air, old pictures of the death-defying sport known as ‘Auto Polo’, Columbia grad's experience with the gender misconduct system after he called himself handsome, and the Buddhist Kung Fu nuns who are biking the Himalayas.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A collection of vintage ads you would never see today

I've always been fascinated by vintage ads. You can find them in near-infinite numbers on Al Gore's interwebs, and, as is all too frequently the case, I had a hard time stopping once I started. I've tried to limit this set somewhat by leaving out the blatantly sexist ones (I've posted a collection of those already), the blatantly racist (just because) and (mostly) those on the health benefits of cigarettes (of which there are a LOT).

So, here you go - ads that would never see the light of day these days:




















Previous related posts:


Monday, October 3, 2016

Columbia grad: I was reported for gender misconduct for calling myself handsome in class

I've excerpted the beginning and a couple of high points of Columbia grad Ben Sweetwood's story here, but you should read the whole thing. It's interesting that he put off talking about this until after he graduated (two years after the "incident".

Columbia put me through ‘re-education’ for telling a joke:
Now I’ve graduated from Columbia University, I am finally ready to reveal a dark and shameful secret I have kept buried for almost two years: I am the living manifestation of the evil white male cis patriarchy. I, Ben Sweetwood, committed “gender misconduct” while a student at the above mentioned institution of higher learning.
I was in Chinese class in the Fall of 2014. I was a bit of a jokester in class, though also a good student, so it’s not like I didn’t make contributions to the class. Often we had to use new vocabulary or sentence structures to make up our own sentences.
One somber autumn morning, I took the opportunity to call myself handsome in Chinese. Wǒ hěn shuài, I uttered in my unchecked malevolence and without care for cultural norms or general moral principles. I know you must be too aghast to read on at this point, but please, bear with me, so that this kind of horrific statement never sees the light of day again.
“The University’s Gender-Based Misconduct Office contacted us because they received a complaint about your behavior towards your Elementary Chinese II professor. It is important we meet to discuss this as soon as possible.”
He then goes on to tell about how his Chinese teacher, his dean, and even the case manager from the Gender-Based Misconduct office said something along the lines of, “Even if I agree with you, I obviously couldn’t say anything…”

Real Chinese re-education
Read the rest of the story at The Tab - here's his conclusion:
This experience taught me one thing more than any other: the human toll of “triggered” culture is a serious matter. I cannot help but feel for those who are deeply embedded in it, or rely on it for food and shelter. Furthermore, by reporting my innocuous statement, serious matters like sexual harassment and assault are trivialized and victims end up neglected. That is unacceptable.

I was reported for gender misconduct for calling myself handsome in class

Monday links

Interesting bit of history: the readers who entertained cigar factory workers in the early 20th century.

Buddhist Kung Fu nuns (and yes, that would be an excellent name for a rock band) are biking the Himalayas to oppose human trafficking.

Napoleon Harris III - entrepreneur, state senator and former NFL linebacker - delivers pizza, fights off bad guys, helps solve a murder. Related story.

Columbia grad: I was reported for gender misconduct for calling myself handsome in class.


Beyond Thunderdome: Vintage images of the death-defying sport known as ‘Auto Polo’.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include the benefits of going bald, why coffee makes you poop (and maybe deaf), the planes full of babies flown from Vietnam to the U.S., a set of roadside curiosities, and all about hypnotic breast enlargement.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The readers who entertained cigar factory workers in the early 20th century

Vintage Everyday: In the early days of the lector (wiki), many cigar factory employees, both male and female, were illiterate. There was a great thirst for knowledge. Lectors read novels determined by consensus. They also read poetry, nonfiction works, and newspapers. The people enjoyed hearing about the parallel universe of Les Miserable. They also favored books by Zola, Dickens, and Tolstoy. Anarchist materials gained popularity as well.

Lectors were gifted orators; some readings might be best characterized as dramatic performances. The men and women sat shoulder to shoulder in large open rooms, rolling cigars by hand. The lectors’ voices needed to project to all corners of these spaces, so they read from atop a specially constructed tribuna or platforms as seen the photographs below.

Per Mental Floss:
There was no radio that could be turned on to occupy their minds. Instead, laborers would volunteer to stand up and place themselves in the middle of a factory floor—where they could be easily heard by all—and read for a half-hour per shift before another worker would take their place. To make up for the wages lost reading, their fellow employees would donate part of their salary.
From the Tampa Bay Times (lots of additional detail here):
Tampa's cigar factories were a cacophony of noise. Wagons, and later trucks, were constantly delivering tobacco and picking up cigars. The sorting rooms buzzed with talk of current events, and la galeria , the main cigar-making floor, was awash with the sounds of the cigar makers and the tools of their trade — the chaveta (a rounded knife) — tapping steadily on their cutting boards. Heard over these rhythmic sounds was the voice of el lector , the reader. The lector was paid by the factory's workers to read to them from local Spanish-language newspapers, such as La Traducción, or translate on the fly English-language papers.
Lector reading at Cuesta-Rey Cigar Company, Tampa, Florida, 1929
El Lector reading to cigar factory workers in Ybor City, Florida.
Inside of an Ybor City cigar factory, circa 1920.


More at Mental Floss, NPR and Vintage Everyday.

These maps show how the continents would look if you could see gravity


Precisely measuring Earth's gravity is surprisingly difficult - we know how strong it is in general, but the force of our planet's pull varies significantly from one part of the planet to another, and detailed maps of that pull offer significant clues to what lies under Earth's surface, not to mention critical information for architects and engineers.

Some of the best maps of Earth's gravity come from the Western Australian Geodesy Group at Curtin University. Geodesy is the mathematical study of Earth's shape and properties. The group combined data from satellites and Earth-bound observation to produce the highest-resolution maps of the planet's gravity ever made. The result: maps of six of Earth's continents by local gravity.

Here's what they look like in North America. Blue regions have lower gravity, while red regions have higher gravity:


See the rest of the continents here: These maps reveal how Earth would look if you could see gravity