When High-Class Ladies Wore Masks That Made It Impossible to Speak | Atlas Obscura

A 1581 depiction of a man and his wife, who is sporting a visard. HABITS DE FRANCE/PUBLIC DOMAIN

For refined, upper-class ladies in 16th-century Europe, getting a tan, especially on your face, was not a good look.

The implication of such coloring was that one must work outside, and thus, quite possibly be poor (cue gasps and swooning faints). So to make sure they didn’t get burned, some 16th-century ladies wore face masks called visards (or vizards) that covered their delicate visages. Unfortunately, the masks also…

Source: When High-Class Ladies Wore Masks That Made It Impossible to Speak | Atlas Obscura

Beau Brummell: The Dandy as Social Revolutionary | A R T L▼R K

On the 7th of June 1778, the most famous dandy in Regency England Beau Brummell was born in Downing Street, London. Despite his middle-class background, he studied at Eton and Oxford, where he quick…

Source: Beau Brummell: The Dandy as Social Revolutionary | A R T L▼R K

The Fascinating Whistled Languages of the Canary Islands, Turkey & Mexico (and What They Say About the Human Brain) | Open Culture

For some years now linguist Daniel Everett has challenged the orthodoxy of Noam Chomsky and other linguists who believe in an innate “universal grammar” that governs human language acquisition. A 2007 New Yorker profile described his work with a reclusive Amazonian tribe called the Piraha, among whom Everett found a language “unrelated to any other extant tongue… so confounding to non-natives that” until he arrived in the 70s, “no outsider had succeeded in mastering it.” And yet, for all its extraordinary differences, at least one particular feature of Piraha is shared by humans across the globe—“its speakers can dispense with their vowels and consonants altogether and sing, hum, or whistle conversations.

”In places as far-flung as the Brazilian rainforest, mountainous Oaxaca, Mexico, the Canary Islands, and the Black Sea coast of Turkey, we find languages that sound more like the…

Source: The Fascinating Whistled Languages of the Canary Islands, Turkey & Mexico (and What They Say About the Human Brain) | Open Culture

Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners

texthistory

This was a two parter on the BBC focusing on the recent discovery in Britain’s National Archive of the complete listings of slave owners who were compensated when slavery was abolished in 1832. The list names an astounding 46,000 both here and abroad, ranging from a single slave to hundreds of them, a total of 300,000.

The program covered the origins of the slave trade and highlighted some of the families who became fabulously wealthy from the luxury goods like sugar, cotton, indigo and tobacco they produced. There were a few surprises in the list, such as the abolitionist MP Richard Godson who claimed to scorn slavery yet who accepted £5,018 in compensation for his own.John Stewart who had a slave mother received £25,000. The smallest payout to an English resident was to Rev Dixon for a single slave, valued at £1/18/10. A surprising number were single women, whose sole…

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Hate rules the world

Russell Chapman

As a lifelong student of world history, religion, politics, economics and current affairs, I think it has to be said we have reached a point in human history from which there is no return. Wherever we look in the world we see division, selfishness, greed and hate. If one word could demonstrate the nature of the world we live in today then it would have to be the word sociopathic. The political, economic and religious systems that make up this world are all expressing the same sociopathy. By its very nature it is ultimately self destructive.

Consider the current situation in Israel. Hamas launching rockets from Gaza at Israel, so far not doing any real damage, Israel bombarding and killing about 120 people, many of them women and children. There is so much hate on either side, it will never be possible for there to be peace. Attitudes on both…

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