Did Native Americans Bend These Trees to Mark Trails? | Atlas Obscura

As a kid, Dennis Downes was the type who played in the woods. The forests where he frolicked were near Lake Michigan, around where Wisconsin and Illinois meet. The spot is striking—in these woods, there are large, old trees that have contorted into incredible shapes.

No more than four or five feet off the ground, these trees bend sharply into right angles, parallel the earth for a measure, and turn sharply up again, towards the sky. These trees are now abandoned infrastructure. Like like other structural relics, they were designed to be long-lasting–so much so that some of these trees are still indicating the way. But the people they served have been forced to leave, and the marker trees themselves are in danger of disappearing.

Many people who come across trees like these in the forest share the same instinctive response: this can’t be natural. And as a kid, Downes was taught that they were not. The trees looked like that, he was told, because native tribes had…

Source: Did Native Americans Bend These Trees to Mark Trails? | Atlas Obscura

Unique Finds: Unknown Photographs by Explorer Roald Amundsen Discovered

Unique: Unknown historical photographs owned by Roald Amundsen has recently been discovered inside this chest. (Photo: Follo Museum)

Thousands of photographs – some new motifs and some of better quality than publicized images, documents and lectures. 80 years after the Norwegian state took over polar explorer Roald Amundsen’s home Uranienborg outside Oslo a very special chest has been discovered.

On November 22 earlier this year, director at Follo Museum, Henrik Smith found his way into a storage room inside the old house.

– As previous conservator-restorer, I am triggered to open all sealed boxes to see if they may contain objects of importance that require different storage conditions, says Henrik Smith to newspaper Aftenposten.

– At the back of the room, covered by documents and vinyl records, stands a chest. I clear my way to reach it, and to my amazement, the inscription…

Source: Unique Finds: Unknown Photographs by Explorer Roald Amundsen Discovered

The Great Storm of 1703 (Snippets 33) | Windows into History

Originally posted on Windows into History.


The Great Storm by JS Muller

One of the most severe disasters to ever occur in England was the Great Storm of 1703, which caused enormous structural damage, the loss of the entire Channel Squadron of ships, and thousands of lives lost.  It was the subject of newspaper articles and books for many years, and towards the end of the 18th Century it was still being discussed, with particular reference to the religious implications.  The church had announced shortly after the storm that it was a divine punishment.

The Seventh Day Baptist minister and writer of 39 hymns, Samuel Stennett, gave a sermon on the topic in 1788, which was published the same year, titled A Sermon in Commemoration of the Great Storm of Wind.  He provided a useful summary of the…

Source: The Great Storm of 1703 (Snippets 33) | Windows into History

Evil Tea


I had read of how people like the Wesleys condemned tea drinking and I thought it was to do with it being imported, or maybe the high cost for the poor, but John Wesley actually claimed it was more dangerous than heroin, which is quite an extraordinary claim, but there were sound reasons for this.

Agricultural workers were traditionally paid in part in food produced on the farm, which included plentiful supplies of cider in the south, which Cecil Torr who I have often quoted,claimed was full of natural goodness, safe as they knew how to make it, and full of calories. Whereas tea had no calories, but prevented people from absorbing food. Part of this is the tannin – used to tan leather – it does the same to your insides, denaturing the proteins and preventing the action of digestive enzymes, fine if you’re battling food poisoning or trying…

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The Incas and their Hand-built Roads


An exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian concludes that the ancient Incas were great environmentalists. PHOTO: BBC An exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian concludes that the ancient Incas were great environmentalists. PHOTO: BBC

The Inca Road is one of the most extraordinary feats of engineering in the world. By the 16th Century it had helped transform a tiny kingdom into the largest empire in the Western hemisphere. And to the envy of modern engineers, substantial parts of the 24,000-mile (39,000-km) network survive today, linking hundreds of communities throughout Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Incredibly, it was constructed entirely by hand, without iron or wheeled transportation. A new exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC shows why the Incan kingdom built a lasting infrastructure.

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A Symbol of Non-Violence Ideology

The Genealogy of Style

Man putting flower in National Guard gun

Flower power was a slogan used during the late 1960s and early 1970s as a symbol of passive resistance and non-violence ideology. It is rooted in the opposition movement to the Vietnam War. The expression was coined by the American beat poet Allen Ginsberg in 1965 as a means to transform war protests into peaceful affirmative spectacles. Hippies embraced the symbolism by dressing in clothing with embroidered flowers and vibrant colors, wearing flowers in their hair, and distributing flowers to the public, becoming known as flower children. The term later became generalized as a modern reference to the hippie movement and the so-called counterculture of drugs, psychedelic music, psychedelic art and social permissiveness.

Flower Power originated in Berkeley, California as a symbolic action of protest against the Vietnam War. In his November 1965 essay titled How to Make a March/Spectacle, Ginsberg advocated…

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