There exist a type of playground called "adventure playgrounds" where supplies are provided for children to build whatever they wish. They were inspired by the first adventure playground in Emdrup, Copenhagen. It was started in 1943 when the town was under German occupation. Parents were concerned that their children's innocent play would be interpreted as acts of sabotage by German soldiers. So the idea of a designated play space was born. Emdrup's playground had three components: a vacant lot, donated scraps, and a single adult supervisor. The adult supervisor -- not builder, not administrator -- has been credited with the playground's success. They could assist children when asked, but otherwise let children pursue their own projects without adult interference.

During the Second World War, the Soviet Union used more women in combat than any other country. The most famous today were their snipers. Of the women who joined the Red Army, 2,484 were trained as snipers. Of those, only around 500 survived the war. This photograph was taken during combat, of sniper Liza Mirovna. Her number of kills varies, from 34 to "more than a hundred." She died in September 1943.

Fishermen in Argentina's Greater Buenos Aires region keep making an unusual catch: prehistoric shells of armadillo ancestors. In October of 2019, a group of fishermen found a mostly intact shell which has been dated to over 10,000 years old. On Christmas Day of 2015, Jose Antonio Nievas found a shell in mud by a stream in his farm.

Both turned out to be glyptodonts' shells. Glyptodonts were not a single species, but an animal genus containing seven known species, among them the ancestors of modern armadillos. Glyptodonts had large, heavy shells and armored tails which they could use as clubs. They emerged in South America no earlier than 35 million years ago, and went extinct around the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. Whether or not their extinction was related to humans’ arrival on the continent around the same time... well, that’s still up for debate.

The Tabnit sarcophagus is the sarcophagus of the Phoenician king Tabnit (Tennes) of Sidon (circa 490 BCE). It has an inscription in hieroglyphics on the main body and in Phoenician below that. The hieroglypics tell us the sarcophagus was originally intended for the Egyptian general Pen-Ptah. This sarcophagus, as well as the sarcophagus used by Tabnit's son Eshmunazar II, were possibly acquired by the Sidonians following their participation in the Battle of Pelusium in 525 BCE, when the Persian Empire conquered Egypt.

This 18th-century Qing Dynasty vase is in the form of a bronze gu (an ancient Chinese ritual bronze vessel from the Shang and Zhou Dynasties used to drink). Circa 1736 - 1795 CE.

Victorians Also Loved Sensationalized Murders

During the Victorian Era, not-unusual collectibles were figurines of serial killers. Examples include the Red Barn Murder, the Murders at Stanfield Hall, the Bermondsey Horror, and William Palmer, who was nicknamed “The Prince of Poisoners.”

Japanese Tobacco Box, circa 18th Century

What makes this box particularly ironic is that at the time, no one knew tobacco’s connection with cancer and ill-health. It was just an interesting box that happened to be for holding tobacco!

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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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