Naming Nations

A surprisingly large number of countries have changed their names! A few more than once. (Note, this map does not include name changes due to independence or mergers -- so, South Sudan does not appear.)

What's In A Word

The term "golem" appears in the Hebrew Bible with the meaning "formlessness." The Talmud, Jewish commentaries on the Bible and Jewish law, uses "golem" to mean an "uneducated person." From this combination comes the modern sense of the word: a clumsy, ugly, human-made monster who has no life until it is given to him by his creators.

Eskimo Girl Wearing Clothes of All Fur

Taken in 1915, this photograph and its title comes from an American cultural anthropologist's collection of photographs and negatives. Eskimos today are known by their own word for themselves, Inuit, which means 'people.' The Inuit are the main indigenous people of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia.

The Quick History Of A South Korean Staple

  Tteok-bokki is a common South Korean food, easily bought at a street vendor. The first record on tteok-bokki appears in Siuijeonseo, a late-1800s Korean cookbook, where the dish was listed using the archaic spelling steokbokgi. In this early version, tteok-bokki was made with a savory sauce based on soy sauce. Today, that version is often called "royal court" tteok-bokki. Today the more popular version is spicy, made with gochujang (chili paste). This version first appeared as a street food in Seoul in the 1950s.

In 1866, The First Working TransAtlantic Cable Was Laid

This was actually the fourth attempt -- the previous three had failed. When the 1866 attempt worked, it was hailed as the "eighth wonder of the world." Suddenly news could travel from England to Canada in hours, not weeks. The world shrunk in a single instant.

An Italian Bank Is Older Than Italy

Founded in Italy in 1472 and originally a pawnshop, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is the world's oldest surviving bank. It existed when Leonardo da Vinci was still alive!

MisPlaced Poet Found

English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's body has been rediscovered. Didn't know he was missing? Neither did I! Apparently Coleridge died in 1834, and he was buried in the chapel at the nearby Highgate School. But in 1961, his and his family's coffins were moved from Highgate School chapel’s crumbling vault to St. Michael Church. They were stored in an area that had been the wine cellar of a mansion that previously stood on the site. But at some point, the door to the cellar was bricked up. Over time, the location of the cellar was forgotten, and no one remembered where Coleridge and his family were.

A recent investigation of the cellar, however, found the entrance to the wine vault, and the coffins were spotted through a ventilation gap in the bricks.

"Mona Lisa" of Fossils Discovered in Canada

An armored dinosaur has been found in Alberta, so well-preserved that it looks like a statue. The specimen was preserved in 3D, perfectly hardening into sandstone, from its snout its hips. Paleontologists were able to determine, just by looking at it, that this discovery is also a new species.

So what did this new dinosaur look like? Well, according to the researchers, it is the “dinosaur equivalent of a tank.” It was 5.5 meters long (about 18 feet) and weighing more than 1,300 kilograms (or 2,800 pounds). There is ornamentation around its eyes, six-sides plates on the sides of its skull, and distinct alternating lines of spikes and scales along its back. The prickly skin even contains molecular clues suggesting it was reddish on its backside, and lighter on its underside! That’s a lot of detail about a species, all from one specimen.

The new dinosaur been named Borealopelta, or “northern shield.”

An original piece by historical-nonfiction

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    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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