Ice Skating on the Frozen Reflecting Pool

You can see the Lincoln Memorial behind the skaters. Washington, DC in the January of 1922.

Riverside Cliff Tombs Found In Southwest China

More than 200 cliff cave burial sites have been identified in Zhengxing Township in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan Province.  The 200 burial sites number is deceptive; they are not just holes in the ground, but a cluster of hewn rooms, carved out of the cliffs overlooking the Jinjiang River. Some of the tombs have up to seven chambers with tunnels as long as 20 meters (65 feet).

Unfortunately, the tombs appear to have been previously looted. Bummer. But in what should be considered a small miracle, a large number of artifacts were recovered despite the looting; initial estimates are that around 1,000 gold, silver and bronze artifacts are still there. The tombs date between 206 BCE and 420 CE -- the Han Dynasty through the Wei-Jin period.

Bukit Nanas

Its name means "Pineapple Hill" in Malay, and it is among the smallest patches of rainforest in the world. Located at the heart of Kuala Lampur, the virgin tropical forest Bukit Nanas has been a nature preserve since 1906. Unfortunately it has not escaped the encroaching city. Although 17.5 hectares were originally put in the preserve, only 9.3 hectares remain forest.

The Moche Knew How To Make A Stirrup Bottle

Owl stirrup spout bottle by a Moche artist. Based on the heart-shaped facial disk and the absence of ear tufts, it is likely a Tyto Alba, a species of owl which lived in the desert of Peru's northern coast. Circa 100s to 200s CE.

An American Crime Journaliste

Edna Buchanan, who was born in 1939, moved from New Jersey where she was born and raised to Miami in the 1960s. She wanted to pursue a career as a journalist, and she was offered a job by a small community newspaper near the big city. Florida worked out well for Edna. Her wit and writing skills caught the notice of editors at the larger Miami Herald, and they hired her in 1973 as a crime reporter.

She loved her new job. As their police reporter, she covered thousands of violent crimes, while Miami lived through its peak as the center of the international drug trade. She is famous for grabbing the reader’s attention with the opening lines of her crime stories. When reporting on Gary Robinson, an ex-con who was shot and killed by a security guard at a Church’s Chicken restaurant, after getting violent when they ran out of fried chicken, she wrote “Gary Robinson died hungry.” With writing like that, Edna got many accolades, including the highest. In 1986, she won a Pulitzer Prize for general reporting.

She loved crime so much that even when she retired, she kept writing about it, publishing multiple mystery novels. Edna said of her job: "Nobody loves a police reporter. The job can be lonely and arduous. I have been threatened with arrest, threatened physically, had rocks thrown at me. I've gotten threatening letters, subpoenas, and obscene phone calls, some of them from my editors. It is tiring, haunting, and truly wonderful."

Hanging at the Gemäldegalerie Art Museum in Berlin, Germany, is an unusual painting. Measuring 64 inches by 46 inches, this oil-on-oak-panel painting from the 1500s has an unusual subject. The crowd of people are all doing frankly weird things: two men are defecating out of a window, a man is biting into a wooden pillar, another man is banging his head against a wall, a man is burying a calf, a man is attempting to scoop up spilled porridge, and a woman is tying into a bundle what appears to be the devil. This odd artwork was made by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, who was one of the most significant Dutch artist of the Renaissance. Titled "Netherlandish Proverbs," the painting is actually a literal illustration of more than one hundred Dutch language proverbs and idioms.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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