The town of Zeugma, now in Turkey, was to be lost permanently to an artificial lake after a dam was finished in 2000. Zeugma is said to have been founded as Seleucia by Seleucus I Nicator. He is a rather big name: a general in Alexander the Great’s army, he went on to found the Seleucid Empire after Alexander's death. When the planned flooding came to the attention of the international archaeology community, a major effort was made to save some of the town's treasures. Many mosaics were removed and placed in their own museum. Including the one above!

According To Science, Friendships Are About Sharing Thoughts, Not Agreeing On Them

In 1997, Berkeley psychology student Arthur Aron and his colleagues refined a list of 36 questions for “creating closeness.” “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure,” Aron wrote. “The core of the method we developed was to structure such self-disclosure between strangers.” On top of this, there were four experimental conditions. Half of the pairs were matched so that they had a clear disagreement on one or more ratings of important issues, half were matched to have no disagreements. Separately, some pairs were told they were carefully matched and expected to like each other. Others were told they were  randomly matched and there was "no special reason" to think the pair would like each other. All pairs of subjects then took turns asking each other questions from this list, in order:

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
  2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
  3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
  4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
  5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
  6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
  7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
  8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
  9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
  11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
  12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
  13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
  14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
  15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
  16. What do you value most in a friendship?
  17. What is your most treasured memory?
  18. What is your most terrible memory?
  19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
  20. What does friendship mean to you?
  21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
  22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
  23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
  24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
  25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … ”
  26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … ”
  27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
  28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
  29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
  30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
  31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
  32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
  33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
  34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
  35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
  36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

At the end of the series of questions, pairs tended to like each other quite a lot. Whether they had disagreements, or had been told there was no reason to expect to like each other, did not impact how each person rated their feeling of closeness to the other half of their pair. “[I]mmediately after about 45 min of interaction, this relationship is rated as closer than the closest relationship in the lives of 30% of similar students” according to Aron. Think about your own relationships in your life. Do the people closest to you tend to agree  with you on the big topics? This research suggests that you might be missing out on great friendships by failing to follow up with potential friends who disagree with you.

Of course, what types of things the pairs disagreed on matters. In Aron et al. (1997) the pairs disagreed on such subjects as "students should dress in conventional ways" and "I smoke." They were not asked whether whites are superior to other races, or whether climate change is fake.

The Father of Black History

Pioneering Black historian Carter Godwin Woodson made it his life's work to find and record African-Americans' history. He published multiple books on African-American history, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, and began the scholarly Journal of Negro History which has never missed an issue since 1916. Woodson wanted African-Americans to have a history to be proud of, and correct the injustice of African-American contributions being "overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them" which Woodson believed contributed to racism by making it appear that "the Negro has never contributed anything to the progress of mankind."

But what Woodson is probably most famous for is creating "Negro History Week" in 1926. He placed it in February to honor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, who were both born in that month. His creation eventually became Black History Month as it is observed in the United States today.

[gallery columns="1" size="large" ids="18380"] Stalin's favorite movie was the 1936 dramatic comedy musical "Circus." The plot followed a white American woman who works as a circus artist. She gives birth to a black baby and is immediately shunned and forced to leave the circus. Luckily she finds a refuge, love, and happiness in the Soviet Union. The movie ends with her baby being sung a lullaby by various Soviet ethnicities.

A Mughal Hunting Coat

Because in order to chase down and bloodily kill animals, one must have embroidery! It is an embroidered satin with silk in fine chain stitch in five colors to create images of flowers, trees, peacocks, lions and deer. Circa 1620 - 1630.

Archaeologists have found evidence that Tui na, a form of Chinese massage, was being practiced as early as 2700 BCE. One of the most famous ancient Chinese treatises on medicine was the Huang Di Nei Jing from the 200s to 100s BCE. It also includes how to use massage techniques and what diseases can be treated with massage. So massage has been around since the earliest days of Chinese medicine.

A five-inch-tall glass vase decorated with the words “Vivas feliciter,” Latin for “live happily,” has been discovered in a late Roman–period grave in an Autun cemetery in central France. It is one of only ten intact examples of reticulated glass (where one set of white or colored lines seems to meet and interlace with another set) and the first one to be found in Gaul/France. The last one was found in North Macedonia in the 1970s.

Alexander Hamilton Enslaved People

The American founding father, member of New York's Manumission Society, held enslaved people and represented slaveowners in sales of enslaved peoples. The new evidence comes from re-examining original documents, particularly his cashbook. In Hamilton's handwriting is a payment for the "term" of a "negro boy." This means Hamilton owned an enslaved boy, and was paid for loaning him out to others.

And most damning is the final entry in the cashbook. In an anonymous handwriting, someone settling Hamilton’s estate following his death wrote down the value of various Hamilton possessions, including the value of "servants." At the time in New York "servant" and "slave" were often used interchangeably. But paid servants were not owned, and therefore would not have counted as Hamilton's possession, to be valued as part of his estate. Only an enslaved person would have been given a monetary value.

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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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