While American shopping holiday Black Friday has spread across the world (just look at the Lifehacker front page right now!) Thanksgiving is one event that is, and always has been, quintessential USA. You might be surprised to find out, then, that one of the few places you can celebrate Thanksgiving outside of North America is on a tiny island that's part of Australia.
Tagged With history
2018 kind of sucks, by any scale of reckoning. It might be the worst year some people have lived through, though older folks might point back to the years of WWII as one of humanity's darkest point. However to find the truly worst year in recorded human history, you have to go back even further than that. Here's when scientists and historians have pinned it as.
Usually these days we see cheery or campy old franchises getting a gritty, modernised reboot - but have you ever heard of the opposite happening? The version of the Game of Life we know today is a cute little board game where you collect children, accomplishments and wealth indiscriminately in order to become the winner. Of Life. The original, however, was far more depressing and probably more accurate to real life - as well as finding success, you could also end up in ruin, poverty or even suicide.
King, Queen, Bishop, Knight, Castle/Rook, these pieces all make sense in an ancient game of strategy, right? And then there's the whole row of pieces that are just... pawns. Yawn. As it turns out, they haven't always been so homogeneous - in one version of the game they all had their own titles and backstory.
You should listen to more than one history podcast. But if you have pick just one, pick In Our Time, the venerable BBC radio show and podcast that covers a different topic each episode. It’s your best opportunity to learn a little bit about a lot of things. And it’s the best way to figure out what parts of history really interest you, for further learning.
Do you fancy yourself a knight in shining armour? Are you a hopeless horse person? Is A Knight's Tale your favourite film? Have I got the job for you... Jousting is back, and it's reclaiming the spotlight, with international tournaments being broadcast on ESPN and Fox Sports. A combination of athleticism, horsemanship and pure nerve, we spoke to professional jousters about what it takes to make it big.
Roald Dahl is best known for writing a series of beloved and critically acclaimed children's books. But before Willy Wonka, Mr Fox, the B.F.G and all the rest, Dahl had a career of a very different sort - as a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force.
During World War 2, he took part in the brutal Battle of Athens, sustained life-threatening injuries in a crash and rose to the rank of squadron leader. Oh yeah, and he also fell in love with a nurse.
The image of a witch riding her broomstick off into the night is one that we all take for granted, but do you know where the association between witches and brooms comes from? Turns out it's less to do with the occult than with ye olde experiments with homebrew hallucinogens. You'll never look at Harry Potter's Firebolt the same way again.
The Aqua GUI in Apple’s operating systems has undergone a remarkable evolution since March of 2000, when it found its way into OS X 10.0, and you might be surprised at just how different everything looks now. Thanks to the newly-launched Aqua Screenshot Library, you can revisit every version of OS X (and macOS) through the years and view the gradual evolution of Apple’s operating system — all from your browser.
In the 16th Century, over the course of five years, almost 80% of the Aztec population were wiped out due to an unknown disease that burnt through their villages, causing high fevers, bleeding from the mouth, nose and eyes and eventually lead to death. Without understanding the epidemic, the Aztecs named the phenomenon 'cocoliztli', their native word for 'pestilence'.
Scientists have pondered the potential cause of the cocoliztli epidemic for years, but only recently has new research uncovered what may have caused it.
Many Aboriginal Australians would say with conviction that they have always been here. Their ancestors and traditional learnings tell them of this history, and their precise place within it. Our review of the scientific evidence, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that for all practical purposes, this is indeed the case.
Video: Mozart wrote a party song called “Kiss My Arse”. The filthy lyrics (“kiss my arse, quickly, quickly”) weren’t discovered until 1991. This is the stuff you’d learn if The A.V. Club was doing interviews in the 1700s. And it’s another great way to appreciate classical music. Just like pop music, the music is more fun if you learn the story behind it. In this video we tell you how.
Oh the Popemobile. The holiest, safest and most odd-looking of transports. Since Pope John Paul II toured the world in a glass box mounted on the back of a truck, the Popemobile has become a bit of a meme. But over in Ireland, you can hire out a vintage Popemobile for your stag do, if that's what floats your boat.