Anonymous said: do you know who runs boggletheowl?

I do.

picturesinhismind said: i talk about the carolingian renaissance so much that my friends actively think i'm weird and are now afraid to use terms like 'dark ages' or 'renaissance' around me at all, so i feel you.

The thing is, I don’t even know which of my interests prompted this message, but it doesn’t matter because I’m like this about all of them.

emeraldfaeries said: What are your thoughts on the "Beethoven was black" post going around?

I haven’t seen it. I’m familiar with the hypothesis, though. It was first put forward in the 1940s by a Jamaican-born American journalist named Joel Augustus Waters, who proposed, in his three-volume work Sex and Race, that Beethoven was of visibly mixed African descent, along with a whole lot of other people (many of whom we know for near-certainty were not). His evidence was usually that some contemporary described the subject in question as having ‘negroid’ features. Sometimes these were, for ex., political opponents of Americans running for office in the 1800s, and so can probably be dismissed as being part of a smear campaign. The Beethoven claim has stuck around, though, and has recently seen a real upswing in support.

Proponents of the theory use the same arguments as Waters, citing contemporary descriptions of Beethoven as being dark-skinned or ‘swarthy,’ having a broad, flat nose, and acquaintances referring to him as a ‘blackamoor’ (a black Moor) or ‘the Black Spaniard.’ Skeptics refer to his geneology, which is well-documented, and indicates that his parents and grandparents were predominantly Flemish; and portraits of him drawn or painted during his lifetime, which show a man ranging from ‘obviously caucasian’ to ‘hard to say, really.’ Proponents counter that even if his ancestors had lived in the Netherlands, you know, so did black people, and that portraits at the time were often ‘idealized’ (i.e., whitewashed), which is certainly true.

Unfortunately, there is not likely to be a definitive answer even if DNA tests are performed. However, samples of Beethoven’s DNA do exist, and have been tested in the past for things like lead poisoning, and it’s possible that further testing could reveal certain genetic tags linked with ethnicity that might be illuminating one way or the other.

Personally, I’d like it if he was, but the objective answer is that we just don’t know.

purpsart said: Bless you for debunking that one "awaking while falling asleep post", I knew something was wrong with that one. You're teaching people out there the right things and I really appreciate that ( I also secretly feel a lot more at ease knowing I don't have any spooky heart problems)

Oh yeah, I forgot about that one. Hey guys, that ‘jolting awake right as you’re falling asleep’ thing is called a hypnic jerk, and it’s totally normal and safe. If you get them a lot and they annoy you, cut your caffeine intake several hours before going to bed, and try some relaxation techniques when you lie down. Hypnic jerks are mainly the result of caffeine or stress. Your heart is not stopping, I promise.

puelhathnofury:

interlands:

pyrrhiccomedy:

easilyannoyedcamwhore:

pyrrhiccomedy:

happyless:

ultrafacts:

aussietory:

third-way-is-best-way:

tuxedoandex:

kvotheunkvothe:

ultrafacts:

Source For more facts follow Ultrafacts

EVERY TIME SOMEONE BRINGS UP THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA I GET SO ANGRY.

but why

Because it got burned. All of that knowledge, lost forever.



The library was destroyed over 1000’s of years ago. The library consisted of thousands of scrolls and books about mathematics, engineering, physiology, geography, blueprints, medicine, plays, & important scriptures. Thinkers from all over the Mediterranean used to come to Alexandria to study.Most of the major work of civilization up until that point was lost. If the library still survived till this day, society may have been more advanced and we would sure know more about the ancient world.

***INSANELY PAINFUL SHRIEKING***

Why has this factbit devolved into the typical wanking about Alexandria (which, while undeniably tragic, was not the greatest loss of human knowledge in history by a long shot; I’m not even sure it’s in the top 5) without a single mention of the hilarious fact that they were straight-up stealing any book they found. Want the best library in the ancient world? Steal every book.
Also, we would not already be exploring the galaxy if Alexandria hadn’t burned. Literacy rates in the West and Middle East would have remained unchanged until the invention of the printing press, by which time all of this knowledge had been rediscovered anyway. A tiny handful of the rare educated elite who had access to stupifyingly rare and expensive books would not have sped us up any appreciable amount if they had also had access to the library at Alexandria. Science would have remained at a bottleneck until widespread literacy led to a massive infusion of inquiring minds. Once that did happen, science blossomed overnight. No ancient scrolls or lost lore necessary.
Anyway, China already knew all this stuff even at the time, and they didn’t lose a thing.

Thank you, this had been bothering the shit out of me all day but I couldn’t be arsed going and doing the research to make it stop.

Hang on, I’ve made a few notations on that timeline that might prove illuminating:

Also is no one going to mention how completely eurocentric this thing is I mean damn the middle east had tons of science going on during that “Christian dark ages” period and Alexandria was IN THE MIDDLE EAST (again to say nothing of China) so what is this even supposed to illustrate
augh

Personally I’d like to know about the y axis on this grid,What are the units?Did we lose 100 Science in the fall of Rome? Or 1000?I’m just glad we now have like, 3000 science thanks to the red block.


#uuuuuuuugh#also let’s be real the collective rending of garments over the library of Alexandria has a lot to do with the fact that#~Ancient Greek Knowledge~ was lost#and our unabashed (and stupidly overinflated) cultural boner for the classical world#you never hear anyone trying to advertise their cultural literacy by beating their breast over the Great Library of Baghdad#jfc tumblr (wizzard890)

Word to all the commentary in the latter half of this post.

And if I may interject, that graph is completely fucking wrong in its stance that no scientific advances were happening in Europe during the “Christian dark ages.” Tons of important scientific advances happened in Europe before the advent of the Renaissance! Here’s a few I can think of:

the heavy plough (good for heavier soil in northern Europe)
three-field system (let farmers plant more crops, kept soil healthy, increased food production)
horseshoes (let horses travel over rougher terrain)
cranes (easier to lift heavy things!)
mills (watermills and windmills I’m pretty sure)
the hourglass (portable timekeeping!)
blast furnaces (which China already knew about but hey, also very useful for iron production)
compasses and the stern-mounted rudder (hugely important for sailing)
soap
universities
paper
longbows
cannons
quarantine procedures
a whole lot more contact and trade with the Islamic world, which counts as a scientific innovation to me because of all the stuff Europeans learned and brought back
look there was basically a renaissance in Europe in the 12th century where a whole bunch of cool stuff happened in science, in political organization, in the arts, in architecture, except nobody talks much about it and I find that sad
So yeah if you’re going to be Eurocentric at least be accurately Eurocentric, dang.

puelhathnofury:

interlands:

pyrrhiccomedy:

easilyannoyedcamwhore:

pyrrhiccomedy:

happyless:

ultrafacts:

aussietory:

third-way-is-best-way:

tuxedoandex:

kvotheunkvothe:

ultrafacts:

Source For more facts follow Ultrafacts

EVERY TIME SOMEONE BRINGS UP THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA I GET SO ANGRY.

but why

Because it got burned. All of that knowledge, lost forever.

The library was destroyed over 1000’s of years ago. The library consisted of thousands of scrolls and books about mathematics, engineering, physiology, geography, blueprints, medicine, plays, & important scriptures. Thinkers from all over the Mediterranean used to come to Alexandria to study.Most of the major work of civilization up until that point was lost. If the library still survived till this day, society may have been more advanced and we would sure know more about the ancient world.

***INSANELY PAINFUL SHRIEKING***

Why has this factbit devolved into the typical wanking about Alexandria (which, while undeniably tragic, was not the greatest loss of human knowledge in history by a long shot; I’m not even sure it’s in the top 5) without a single mention of the hilarious fact that they were straight-up stealing any book they found. Want the best library in the ancient world? Steal every book.

Also, we would not already be exploring the galaxy if Alexandria hadn’t burned. Literacy rates in the West and Middle East would have remained unchanged until the invention of the printing press, by which time all of this knowledge had been rediscovered anyway. A tiny handful of the rare educated elite who had access to stupifyingly rare and expensive books would not have sped us up any appreciable amount if they had also had access to the library at Alexandria. Science would have remained at a bottleneck until widespread literacy led to a massive infusion of inquiring minds. Once that did happen, science blossomed overnight. No ancient scrolls or lost lore necessary.

Anyway, China already knew all this stuff even at the time, and they didn’t lose a thing.

Thank you, this had been bothering the shit out of me all day but I couldn’t be arsed going and doing the research to make it stop.

Hang on, I’ve made a few notations on that timeline that might prove illuminating:

Also is no one going to mention how completely eurocentric this thing is I mean damn the middle east had tons of science going on during that “Christian dark ages” period and Alexandria was IN THE MIDDLE EAST (again to say nothing of China) so what is this even supposed to illustrate

augh

Personally I’d like to know about the y axis on this grid,

What are the units?

Did we lose 100 Science in the fall of Rome? Or 1000?
I’m just glad we now have like, 3000 science thanks to the red block.

mygobe:

When the circus comes to town. Nicaragua. 
Gobe Tumblr | Gobe Website

mygobe:

When the circus comes to town. Nicaragua. 

Gobe Tumblr | Gobe Website

maghrabiyya:

let’s just appreciate traditional tuareg hairstyles for a second

my grandma occassionally rocked braids in the style of the top first picture

ugh, I didn’t even brush my hair before putting it in a ponytail this morning

I really need to step up my game

rrrick:

astrodidact:

Three years ago, researchers fired whisky to the International Space Station as part of an experiment to see how the conditions in space change flavours. Next month, the whisky will return to Earth.
 http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20143108-26097-2.html 

Scotland’s contribution to space research. Good job.

rrrick:

astrodidact:

Three years ago, researchers fired whisky to the International Space Station as part of an experiment to see how the conditions in space change flavours. Next month, the whisky will return to Earth.

Scotland’s contribution to space research. Good job.

leander-ligo:

lordthundercox:

Yes, it does.

Guys get morning wood because our bladders fill up during the night and begin to press against our prostate, causing arousal. Our dicks don’t just feel the sun coming up and think “My time has come”

leander-ligo:

lordthundercox:

Yes, it does.

Guys get morning wood because our bladders fill up during the night and begin to press against our prostate, causing arousal. Our dicks don’t just feel the sun coming up and think “My time has come”

(Source: iraffiruse)

sci-universe:

These are the depictions of the most intense meteor storm in recorded history – the Leonid meteor storm of 1833. The Leonid meteor shower is annually active in the month of November, and it occurs when the Earth passes through the debris left by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. While the typical rates are about 10 to 15 meteors per hour, the storm of 1833 is speculated to have been over 100,000 meteors per hour, frightening people half to death.
Here’s how Agnes Clerke, an astronomer witnessing the event, described it:  “On the night of November 12-13, 1833, a tempest of falling stars broke over the Earth… The sky was scored in every direction with shining tracks and illuminated with majestic fireballs. At Boston, the frequency of meteors was estimated to be about half that of flakes of snow in an average snowstorm.” (x)

solarbird:

nubbsgalore:

russia’s lake baikal, the world’s oldest, largest and deepest freshwater lake, freezes over for half the year, creating the clear, turquoise ice seen in these photos by (click pic) alexey kharitonovalexey trofimov, santorifotovalery chernodedov and dmitriy sharov. (see also: more russia and lake baikal posts)

Here, have some utterly fantastic beauty. Clearly we need it about now.

rockleaf:

i’ve mistaken cullen for alistair so many times, i was so prepared to destroy him on sight

there needs to be a medal or an award for successfully breaking up with someone who would have driven your life into the ground.

me:

Anonymous said: I need to write a paper for school on something, pretty much anything, to do with maths (could be stats) but i have no idea where to start. Is there anything cool / interesting you know of? Examples of past ones are 'modelling tumour growth', 'symmetry of spider webs' - that kinda thing

How about the Ulam spiral? And by extension, prime number theory in general?

If you haven’t heard of the Ulam spiral, check it out: if you write down sequential integers, starting from ANY NUMBER, in the shape of a spiral traveling outwards, and then circle all the primes, this (when you zoom out far enough) is what you get:

image

As you can see, there’s an obvious pattern of parallel lines. Nobody really understands why there’s this apparent ‘superstructure’ of primes (which you can see via other methods as well; the Ulam spiral is only the most famous). There are lots of proofs and theories that try to get to the bottom of it, though. And writing about primes means writing about cryptography, which is baller.

cj-sewers:

pretty much every time im grumpy

I think this is what it’s like to be my friend.

(Source: tinyfacts)