history

A Brief History Of Beer

Beer brewing and drinking are activities that have been part of the human experience seemingly since the dawn of civilisation. Around 10,000 years ago, mankind began to move away from living life as nomadic hunter gatherers, and began settling down in one spot to farm the land. Grain, a vital ingredient in beer making, was cultivated by these new agricultural societies.


Was This The World's First Emoticon?

The emoticon might be older than we thought. This passage of text, which includes a cheeky smiley, is taken from Robert Herrick’s 1648 poem To Fortune — and it might be the first ever use of an emoticon.


Medicinal Soft Drinks And Coca-Cola Fiends: The Toxic History Of Soda

Soda’s reputation has fallen a bit flat lately: The beverage most recently made headlines due to an FDA investigation of a potential carcinogen, commonly called “caramel colouring” used in many soft-drink recipes.


What Are These Giant Concrete Rings Built By The Nazis?

These huge concrete rings were built by the Germans during World War II on the coast of the Barents Sea. For decades, the Soviet military limited access to them after the war was over, fuelling speculation about their purpose. Conspiracy theorists and local folk claimed they were test grounds for Nazi wonderweapons and antigravity devices.


These Time-Warp Photos Show Six Cities In The Past And Present

Cities change: skyscrapers go up, row houses are torn down, neighbourhoods gentrify, earthquakes destroy. Vintage photographs of cities can be fascinating in and of themselves, but the familiar unfamiliarity of these time-warped photographs are especially intriguing.


All About The Military Dolphins Of The U.S. (And Now Russia)

In what is easily one of the stranger twists in the military takeover of Crimea, the Russians have seized control of Ukraine’s navy dolphin fleet. Yes, dolphins. The annals of dolphin military history is actually teeming with improbable tales, so let this be your guide to the cetacean Cold War.


A History Of Movie Trailers Shows How We Got To 'In A World...'

The release of a hotly anticipated movie trailer can be as exciting as the release of the movie itself. But it wasn’t always that way. This video from Filmmaker IQ tells the story of how the short, titillating summaries got their start in Hollywood.


Feast Your Eyes On These Early Soviet Spacecraft

Rob Ketcherside, a hardware and software program manager in Seattle, has a truly amazing photo series hiding on his Flickr page. The photographs I am talking about were taken by his grandfather, David C. Cook, in Pavilion No. 32 — called “Kosmos” — at the All-Russia Exhibition Center in Moscow. And I am very glad that I found them and got permission to share them, because those shiny Soviet spacecraft are simply lovely.


The Soaring And Nearly Forgotten Arches Of New York City

Beautiful arches, like the art deco skeletal system of a lost urban era, can be found throughout New York City, from Grand Central Terminal to bars and restaurants. Created with tiles by the Spanish father-and-son duo, Rafael Guastavino and his junior namesake, these structures were also marvels of artistic engineering, combining intricate brickwork with functional arrays of vaults and pillars, all leading to a kind of Mediterranean dreamworld of colonnades “hidden in plain sight,” as a new exhibition suggests, around the city.


Giz Explains: How The Art Of Tattoo Has Coloured World History

Tattoo is among humanity’s earliest and most ubiquitous art forms. Cultures from every habitable continent have embedded permanent dyes in their bodies for more than 5000 years — as mystical wards, status symbols, rites of passage, or simply as personal decoration. That tradition continues today, just with a much smaller chance of infection.