History

Bargylia / Bogaziçi, Turkey

The ancient Greek city of Bargylia, which is located in what is now known as Bogaziçi, Turkey, is looking for a buyer. Priced at 35 million Turkish lira, or about $7.5 million, the 33 hectare city includes a Grade 1 archaeological site comprising a theatre, acropolis, fortification walls, and necropolis that are at risk of decaying and looting by treasure hunters — via Curbed

Design, History

Hearthstone / Ron Fleming

In 1939, the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, erected a huge brick incinerator to dispose of the city’s trash. It was only in operation for a year before they passed an ordinance prohibiting trash burning within the city limits. So the building was abandoned, unused for decades. Nature took over, until the building was barely visible. In 1979, artist Ron Fleming discovered it.

Fleming and his wife went to work making the incinerator a home and a glorious piece of art. The building, now on the historical register, has plenty of light, open spaces, and modern amenities, while still retaining its historical quirkiness. After his wife died, Fleming decided to sell his masterpiece. The Incinerator House can be yours for $275,000 — via Neatorama

History

How Black Flag, Bad Brains, and More Took Back Their Scene from White Supremacists

Every hardcore band you loved in the ’80s and beyond, from Black Flag to Minutemen to Fugazi, had one unfortunate thing in common: Nazi skinheads occasionally stormed their concerts, stomped their fans, gave Hitler salutes in lieu of applauding, and generally turned a communal experience into one full of hatred and conflict. Punk rockers had flirted with fascist imagery for shock value, with the Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious and Siouxsie Sioux wearing swastikas in public, but, as early San Francisco scenester Howie Klein, later president of Reprise Records, recalls: Suddenly, you had people who were part of the scene who didn’t understand fascist bad.

By 1980, a more violent strain of punk fans was infecting punk shows. Pogoing became slam-dancing, now known as moshing, and some of ’em didn’t seem like they were there to enjoy the music, as much as they were there to beat up on people — sometimes in a really chickenshit way, says Jello Biafra, whose band, Dead Kennedys, put out a classic song about it in 1981: Nazi Punks Fuck Off — via GQ

History

Found: the real Bullitt Mustang that Steve McQueen tried (and failed) to buy

Steve McQueen made one last effort to buy his favourite Mustang in 1977. He sent a letter, typed on a single piece of heavy off-white vellum, to the car’s owner in New Jersey. The logo for his movie company, Solar Productions, was embossed in the upper left corner and opposite that resided the date, 14 December 1977. The letter is just four sentences.

Again, it begins, I would like to appeal to you to get back my ’68 Mustang. McQueen offered no specifics as to why this particular Ford was important to him, except to say that he wanted to keep it unrestored and that it was simply personal with me.

McQueen’s star may have dimmed by 1977, but he remained an icon, a rare actor loved by both genders. McQueen was also one of us, an aficionado and a racer, someone who understood the instinctual joy of automobiles and motorcycles and indulged in both. And with that ’68 Mustang, McQueen gave us a gift, one of the greatest car chases ever filmed, a duel with a Dodge Charger up, down, and around San Francisco. The Bullitt chase is coveted for the usual crashes and jumps, but it had something more: Unlike most cinematic chases that feature cars performing impossible feats, the one from Bullitt was every bit as exciting, but the driving was obviously real. Those who know cars knew. It’s 10 minutes of film nirvana. McQueen wanted the Bullitt Mustang back.

The rich and famous are often allergic to the word no, and so was McQueen. His impatience over being rebuked in his quest emerged in the last sentence: I would be happy to try to find you another Mustang similar to the one you have, he wrote, if there is not too much monies involved in it. Otherwise, we had better forget it.

The owner was just fine with forgetting it, and then the Bullitt Mustang made an exit, stage left, from recorded history — via Hagerty

Design, History

Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona Becomes The World’s Most Expensive Wristwatch

Well, it happened. The hammer has fallen on Paul Newman’s very own Paul Newman Daytona, and it has become the most expensive watch ever sold at auction, fetching $17,752,500 (including buyer’s premium) at Phillips in New York City. While many people thought the iconic watch would surely break records, likely beating the most expensive Daytona ever sold and the most expensive Rolex ever sold, it is still a surprise to see the iconic chronograph break the record for most expensive wristwatch — via Hodinkee

History

Australian huskies on Mawson expedition immortalised in Antarctic place names

The man who wrote the Australian Antarctic manual for husky team training has welcomed the commemoration of the dogs’ critical roles on maps.

The Antarctic Place Names Committee is naming 26 islands, rocks and reefs after the beloved dogs, that were depended on during Australia’s heroic era of ice exploration a century ago, and had a role into the 1990s.

The dogs were all on Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) of 1911-14, but the naming is a tribute to all the huskies that underpinned Australian exploration in the icy continent — via ABC News

History, Technology

Scrap dealer finds Apollo-era NASA computers in dead engineer’s basement

A pair of Apollo-era NASA computers and hundreds of mysterious tape reels have been discovered in a deceased engineer’s basement in Pittsburgh, according to a NASA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Most of the tapes are unmarked, but the majority of the rest appear to be instrumentation reels for Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, NASA’s fly-by missions to Jupiter and Saturn.

The two computers are so heavy that a crane was likely used to move the machines, the report concluded.

At some point in the early 1970s, an IBM engineer working for NASA at the height of the Space Race took home the computers — and the mysterious tape reels. A scrap dealer, invited to clean out the deceased’s electronics-filled basement, discovered the computers. The devices were clearly labelled NASA PROPERTY, so the dealer called NASA to report the find.

Please tell NASA these items were not stolen, the engineer’s heir told the scrap dealer, according to the report. They belonged to IBM Allegheny Center Pittsburgh, PA 15212. During the 1968-1972 timeframe, IBM was getting rid of the items so [redacted engineer] asked if he could have them and was told he could have them.

You can read the entire report; the engineer’s identity has been redacted — Ars Technica UK

History, Science

Scientists uncover Ancient Roman recipe for world’s most durable concrete

Ancient Roman concrete marine structures built thousands of years ago are stronger now than when they were first built.

So how has Roman concrete outlasted the empire, while modern concrete mixtures erode within decades of being exposed to seawater?

Scientists have uncovered the chemistry behind how Roman sea walls and harbour piers resisted the elements, and what modern engineers could learn from it.

Romans built their sea walls from a mixture of lime (calcium oxide), volcanic rocks and volcanic ash, a study, published in the journal American Mineralogist, found.

Elements within the volcanic material reacted with sea water to strengthen the concrete structure and prevent cracks from growing over time.

It’s the most durable building material in human history, and I say that as an engineer not prone to hyperbole, Roman monument expert Phillip Brune told the Washington Post — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Art, History, Science

History’s deadliest colours / JV Maranto

When radium was first discovered, its luminous green colour inspired people to add it into beauty products and jewelry. It wasn’t until much later that we realized that radium’s harmful effects outweighed its visual benefits. Unfortunately, radium isn’t the only pigment that historically seemed harmless or useful but turned out to be deadly. JV Maranto details history’s deadliest colours — via Youtube

Mediaeval Yorkshirefolk mutilated, burned t’dead to prevent reanimation

Archaeologists investigating human bones excavated from the deserted mediaeval village of Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire have suggested that the villagers burned and mutilated corpses to prevent the dead from rising from their graves to terrorise the living.

Although starvation cannibalism often accounts for the mutilation of corpses during the Middle Ages, when famines were common, researchers from Historic England and the University of Southampton have found that the ways in which the Wharram Perry remains had been dismembered suggested actions more significant of folk beliefs about preventing the dead from going walkabout.

Their paper, titled A multidisciplinary study of a burnt and mutilated assemblage of human remains from a deserted mediaeval village in England, is published today in the Journal of Archaeological Science — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Entertainment, History

Blue Monday / Orkestra Obsolete

New Order’s Blue Monday was released on 7 March 1983, and its cutting-edge electronic groove changed pop music forever. But what would it have sounded like if it had been made 50 years earlier? In a special film, using only instruments available in the 1930s — from the theremin and musical saw to the harmonium and prepared piano — the mysterious Orkestra Obsolete present this classic track as you’ve never heard it before — via Youtube

History

Discovery of Rare Bronze Age Weapon Hoard

GUARD Archaeologists have recently recovered a very rare and internationally significant hoard of metalwork that is a major addition to Scottish Late Bronze Age archaeology.

A bronze spearhead decorated with gold was found alongside a bronze sword, pin and scabbard fittings in a pit close to a Bronze Age settlement excavated by a team of GUARD Archaeologists led by Alan Hunter Blair, on behalf of Angus Council in advance of their development of two football pitches at Carnoustie.

Each individual object in the hoard is significant but the presence of gold ornament on the spearhead makes this an exceptional group. Within Britain and Ireland, only a handful of such spearheads are known — among them a weapon hoard found in 1963 at Pyotdykes Farm to the west of Dundee. These two weapon hoards from Angus — found only a few kilometres apart — hint at the wealth of the local warrior society during the centuries around 1000-800 BC — via redwolf.newsvine.com

History, Politics

Against Normalisation: The Lesson of the “Munich Post”

The Trump-Hitler comparison. Is there any comparison? Between the way the campaigns of Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler should have been treated by the media and the culture? The way the media should act now? The problem of normalisation?

Because I’d written a book called Explaining Hitler several editors had asked me, during the campaign, to see what could be said on the subject.

Until the morning after the election I had declined them. While Trump’s crusade had at times been malign, as had his vociferous supporters, he and they did not seem bent on genocide. He did not seem bent on anything but hideous, hurtful simple-mindedness — a childishly vindictive buffoon trailing racist followers whose existence he had main-streamed. When I say followers I’m thinking about the perpetrators of violence against women outlined by New York Magazine who punched women in the face and shouted racist slurs at them. Those supporters. These are the people Trump has dragged into the mainstream, and as my friend Michael Hirschorn pointed out, their hatefulness will no longer find the Obama Justice Department standing in their way.

Bad enough, but genocide is almost by definition beyond comparison with normal politics and everyday thuggish behaviour, and to compare Trump’s feckless racism and compulsive lying was inevitably to trivialize Hitler’s crime and the victims of genocide — via redwolf.newsvine.com

History

Unravelling the Chimney Map / Trina Mckendrick

The continuing story of a huge 17th century map found stuffed up a chimney is told by a conservator, a map curator, a historian and an explorer. As the map is painstakingly conserved at the National Library of Scotland, it unfolds stories of exploration, battles, slavery, kingship and knowledge — via Youtube

History

Updating a classic / Charles Stross

In 1944, the Office of Strategic Services — the predecessor of the post-war CIA — was concerned with sabotage directed against enemies of the US military. Among their ephemera, declassified and published today by the CIA, is a fascinating document called the Simple Sabotage Field Manual (PDF). It’s not just about blowing things up; a lot of its tips are concerned with how sympathizers with the allied cause can impair enemy material production and morale:

  1. Managers and Supervisors: To lower morale and production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about their work.
  2. Employees: Work slowly. Think of ways to increase the number of movements needed to do your job: use a light hammer instead of a heavy one; try to make a small wrench do instead of a big one.
  3. Organizations and Conferences: When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large and bureaucratic as possible. Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
  4. Telephone: At office, hotel and local telephone switchboards, delay putting calls through, give out wrong numbers, cut people off “accidentally,” or forget to disconnect them so that the line cannot be used again.
  5. Transportation: Make train travel as inconvenient as possible for enemy personnel. Issue two tickets for the same seat on a train in order to set up an “interesting” argument.

— via Charlie’s Diary

Design, History

Frank Lloyd Wright on Arrogance / Blank on Blank

Any man who really has faith in himself will be dubbed arrogant by his fellows — Frank Lloyd Wright in 1957, as told to Mike Wallace.

Hear more outtakes and watch the full interview @ Blank on Blank.

If you’ve ever been to Illinois, you’ll know all about the defining features of its landscape – namely, that it’s pretty much flat. But architect Frank Lloyd Wright did something new when he made buildings that somehow became one with the prairie. Long, low lines, and interiors that brought the light and space of the outside in. With the same approach, he built homes in the woods around waterfalls, on high bluffs that take in the stretch and space of the land below. If you’ve ever visited one of his houses, you’ll know how they manage to make you understand more about exactly where you live — via Youtube

History

Obituary: Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown

Captain Eric Winkle Brown, the pilot who flew more types of planes than anyone in history, has died in Britain at the age of 97.

Described as the Scotsman whose real-life adventures made James Bond’s fictional life seem dull, Captain Brown held the world record for flying the greatest number of different types of aircraft — 487.

He landed on aircraft carrier decks more times than any pilot in history, with 2,407 landings over the course of 65 years, and also led an elite British unit charged with testing captured Nazi experimental planes at the end of World War II.

Aviation experts say the records set by the Navy test pilot and war hero are unlikely to ever be broken — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Design, History

ROC Listening Post / Cultybraggan

This UKWMO (United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation) base offers an intriguing piece of Cold War History, with a wood-burning stove and retains well-preserved relics relating to its history. Accommodation The underground accommodation comprises of a main room, measuring approximately 2.32 metres by 4.61 metres and a small subsidiary chamber, currently utilised for storage, which would be suited to development into a washroom facility — via Rettie & Co

History, Science

200,000 fish bones suggest ancient Scandinavian people were more complex than thought

200,000 fish bones discovered in and around a pit in Sweden suggest that the people living in the area more than 9000 years ago were more settled and cultured than we previously thought. Research published in the Journal of Archaeological Science suggests people were storing large amounts of fermented food much earlier than experts thought.

The new paper reveals the earliest evidence of fermentation in Scandinavia, from the Early Mesolithic time period, about 9,200 years ago. The author of the study, from Lund University in Sweden, say the findings suggest that people who survived by foraging for food were actually more advanced than assumed — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Design, History

Simms House / Bernoudy-Mutrux

A Frank Lloyd Wright influence at work in this 1950s Bernoudy-Mutrux-designed Simms house in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Not that we are taking away anything from the architecture practice behind this house, which is the noted Bernoudy-Mutrux, a firm behind many modernist gems back in the day. But there is a connection. According to Curbed, the co-founder of Bernoudy-Mutrux, William Bernoudy, studied under Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1930s. They also add that this huge 3,371 sq. ft. property was designed on a parallelogram grid like Wright’s Kraus House (also in St. Louis), with the look and feel of the interior almost certainly tipping its hat to the work of FLW too. $1,139,000 is the asking price if it appeals — via WowHaus

Design, History

Providence Arcade Conversion / Northeast Collaborative Architects

Built in 1828, the first enclosed shopping mall in America now has affordable housing beyond its grand Ionic columns in place of cramped, struggling retail stores, with most of the historic architectural details preserved. Rhode Island’s Providence Arcade is a project of Northeast Collaborative Architects, this project could signal a new phase in adaptive reuse with respect to interior malls both old and new — via Urbanist

History, Rights, World

Britain Prunes Silly Laws on Salmon Handling and Armour Wearing

It is not a great idea to carry a plank of wood down a busy sidewalk. Nor should you ride a horse while drunk, or handle a salmon under suspicious circumstances.

But should such antics be illegal? Still?

Thanks to centuries of legislating by Parliament, which bans the wearing of suits of armor in its chambers, Britain has accumulated many laws that nowadays seem irrelevant, and often absurd.

So voluminous and eccentric is Britain’s collective body of 44,000 pieces of primary legislation that it has a small team of officials whose sole task is to prune it.

Their work is not just a constitutional curiosity, but a bulwark against hundreds of years of lawmaking running out of control.

Over the centuries, rules have piled up to penalize those who fire a cannon within 300 yards of a dwelling and those who beat a carpet in the street — unless the item can be classified as a doormat and it is beaten before 8.00am.

To have a legal situation where there is so much information that you cannot sit down and comprehend it, does seem to me a serious problem, said Andrew Lewis, professor emeritus of comparative legal history at University College London. I think it matters dreadfully that no one can get a handle on the whole of it.

Yet, as Professor Lewis also noted, many old laws have survived because crime and bad behaviour have, too.

One reason is that human nature doesn’t change much, Professor Lewis said, though of course the institutions which we develop to protect, organize, and govern ourselves do change, and then it becomes necessary to adjust the existing law to practice — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Design, History

115 Years of US Residential Architecture / iMove

Moving specialists iMove have created 115 Years of American Homes, a Scrolling Parallax Infographic in which viewers can drive through a neighbourhood of single-family homes that reflect the style of their respective decades. For each home, graphics detail tell-tale architectural features, design trends, average home price, and the historical and cultural context of each decade from the 1900s through the present — via ArchDaily