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Why are Christians so concerned about sex?

When English interpretations of the New Testament talk about ‘sexual immorality’ they are really translating the Greek word porneia (πορνεία), it’s used almost every time the topic of sex comes up and often when talking about the worst sins in general. If you can really grok what Paul was talking about as he uses the root for the word over and over again (it appears 32 times in the New Testament) then the rest falls into place. Now porneia has always been translated into Latin as fornication, while being understood by many conservatives to just be a 1:1 stand in for ‘any sexual expression not between husband and wife’. However, Porneia in post-classical Corinthian Greek did not mean generic sexual sin, or even sex outside of marriage, at all exactly and neither did fornication in actual Latin. The truth, like in many things, is a little bit more complicated and a lot more interesting
TRIGGER WARNINGS AHEAD FOR DEPICTIONS OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IN CLASSICAL GREECE, ALSO AN NSFW VASE. (SFW version)

posted by Blasdelb on Mar 11, 2014 - 3 comments

The Grove

A few years ago I inherited a Prohibition-era portrait of my ancestors. As I researched who was in it and where it was taken, unknown relatives began to emerge with historical detail and an alternate version of that very portrait. Questions remain. So I'm hoping that more descendants come out of the electronic woodwork.
posted by dziga on Feb 16, 2014 - 0 comments

A One-PDF History of European Socialism and Communism

Some friends and I compiled a 500-page PDF that does the following (from the Introduction): "We present here a history of twentieth-century communism through primary sources, divided into fourteen chapters arranged in chronological order. Each chapter deals with a historical moment or theoretical debate, and contains an amount of reading appropriate for one week’s time. We hope that this reader will provide the foundation for seminars and reading groups." [more inside]
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles on Jan 14, 2014 - 2 comments

Circle of Useful Knowledge

My wife came into an odd book by this title, self-published in 1888 and filled with weird recipes for cocktails mixed in 10-gallon quantities, household hints, rules of thumb, home remedies, etc. It uses units of measure and ingredients that are obscure or obsolete today, has some laughably bad medicine, and is a view into a different world in general. I'm blogging a couple of entries from it every day.
posted by adamrice on Jan 5, 2014 - 2 comments

A History of the Future in 100 Objects

What are the 100 objects that future historians will pick to define our 21st century? A javelin thrown by an enhanced Paralympian, far further than any normal human? Virtual reality interrogation equipment used by police forces? The world's most expensive glass of water, mined from the moons of Mars? Or desire modification drugs that fuel a brand new religion? [more inside]
posted by adrianhon on Dec 9, 2013 - 1 comment

How To Make An Aviation

In honor of Prohibition Repeal Day, The Toast ran a comic by me about how a typo nearly ruined a cocktail for over half a century.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 5, 2013 - 7 comments

The Ghosts of Fire Island

A radio documentary on the AIDS crisis and its impact on the “gay paradise” of Fire Island throughout the 1980s. The 25-minute piece airs this week on KCRW’s “UnFictional” program, in commemoration of World AIDS Day 2013. My Web site has a companion page introducing the guests and featuring additional content not heard in the broadcast version. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Nov 29, 2013 - 5 comments

Do you like sites about gladiators?

I've been working on this for some time, due to a general dissatisfaction with the readers available on Roman spectacle and their costs. So I created a reader on Roman spectacles (with a shorter one on Greek spectacles to follow) with short introductory information, and a website to host it. The website is still being added to but I'm at the stage where I would love to have the opinions of people outside academia as to their impressions and what they'd like to see changed. [more inside]
posted by lesbiassparrow on Sep 19, 2013 - 3 comments

How to Lose Your Religion in 5 Easy Steps

Retain your cultural identity while losing your religion with this proven method developed by real Jews who came to America from Czarist Russia at the turn of the century.
posted by dziga on Aug 20, 2013 - 0 comments

Miller's Crossing, 20 Years Later

The Coen Brothers' "handsome movie about men in hats" was filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1989. Twenty years later I visited as many of the exterior filming location as I could find and photographed them in their current state. [more inside]
posted by komara on Jul 12, 2013 - 4 comments

The Summer of '63

From the governor of Alabama facing down his own state's National Guard to the March on Washington and the "I Have A Dream" speech, the summer of 1963 was the moment that the black civil rights movement in America galvanized the nation. The Code Switch team at NPR — with the help of our awesome social media team and NPR's librarians — is tweeting events from throughout that summer, just as they unfolded then.
posted by mthomps00 on Jun 12, 2013 - 0 comments

You Can't Eat The Sunshine, Esotouric's podcast celebrating Los Angeles lore

Esotouric turns the notion of guided bus tours on its ear with excursions like Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles and Pasadena Confidential. Now you don't have to get on the bus to get the skinny. Each week on the You Can't Eat The Sunshine podcast, join Kim Cooper and Richard Schave on their Southern California adventures, as they visit with fascinating characters for wide-ranging interviews that reveal the myths, contradictions, inspirations and passions of the place. There’s never been a city quite like Los Angeles. Tune in if you’d like to find out why. [more inside]
posted by Scram on May 12, 2013 - 0 comments

untold stories of glove and loss

onegloveclapping is a place for revisionist histories of lost gloves. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on May 8, 2013 - 1 comment

Old Maps of Jerusalem on a Timeline

300 real and fictional maps of Jerusalem, from 13th to 20th century, displayed on a timeline
posted by nir on May 6, 2013 - 4 comments

The 100 Most Influential Singles of the 1960s

I liked Pitchfork's list of the 100 best songs of the 1960s for creating a canon of great 1960s songs instead of keeping the focus solely on albums, but I wanted to create my own revisionist take on such a list with the constraint that I limit myself to songs that were actually released on 45rpm singles. In addition, to make the list more interesting, I decided to focus on records that I thought were the most influential rather than songs that I considered the coolest or the best or the most pleasurable.
posted by jonp72 on Mar 9, 2013 - 5 comments

Bird Presidents

I am drawing all of the US presidents as birds, or maybe vice versa? Bird Presidents, in any case. I'm doing about one a day and drawing them in order.
posted by cortex on Feb 5, 2013 - 10 comments

Our Curious Obsession With the Ridiculous

For its ten-year anniversary, online magazine The Millions has kicked off its new series of shorter-form ebook originals with: Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever. [more inside]
posted by cmaxmagee on Feb 4, 2013 - 0 comments

'56: A Story of the Hungarian Revolution

My book is based on the stories told by my family and their friends, refugees who escaped from Communist Hungary during the revolution, as well as fragments that I found in books and interviews of others. Many incidents actually happened, many did not, but my goal in writing it is not historical accuracy: I want to share the stories of the Hungarian freedom fighters of '56 in a way that reflects their courage and humanity into our century, because they deserve to be remembered.
posted by condesita on Jan 2, 2013 - 0 comments

The History League

Faux sports team t-shirts for important people, events, and movements in history. What can I say, I like to combine a visual style that's usually associated with being "macho" and interests that are stereotypically considered "geeky". If you have any additional suggestions they'd be most welcome! [more inside]
posted by Jezztek on Nov 24, 2012 - 15 comments

Just Solve the Problem Month: Solve File Formats

In July of this year, I proposed the idea of Just Solve the Problem Month, a month (I chose November) where an untold mass of people descend on a problem that's probably a peach if only enough people descended on it. To try out this idea, I proposed solving a Problem that has dogged anyone who tried to rescue old electronic or online material: the File Format Problem. (That first link describes the File Format Problem in detail, but it comes down to there being a massive mess of formats out there from decades of computer use and operation, but scant collection of information about many of them.) The idea gained some traction, so here it is the end of October and we've ramped up the very first Just Solve the Problem Month with a Wiki, justsolve.archiveteam.org, where we'll be enumerating information, examples and links to most every file format we can discern. The hope is to have hundreds of people take on this issue and result in a version 1.0 of a directory of file formats, effectively "solving" the problem by providing deep and rich linkage on how to recover any old media in any old format. I've written an entry with a high-level overview of Just Solve The Problem: The File Format Problem, and an entry that's an extremely detailed version of same. I'd love for the lovely folks of MetaFilter who are interested in such a project to register for an account, or spread along the news of this project to the special overthinking classificarian in your life. The official start date is November 1st, but we've started working on the whole shebang now.
posted by jscott on Oct 26, 2012 - 1 comment

The Compleat Aberree: The Non-Serious Voice of Scientology, 1954-1965

The Aberree was a 'zine, or newletter, published from 1954 through 1965 by a former Dianetics practitioner. The Aberree started out as "the non-serious voice of Scientology" and ultimately encompassed all kinds of spiritual and self-help interests, from psychic phenomena and UFOs to improving eyesight. It shows that convention and uniformity weren't the whole story of the 50s, by a long shot. The Compleat Aberree offers text and images from all 110 issues. [more inside]
posted by kristi on Sep 25, 2012 - 0 comments

Aztec novel launching soon

I created this blog to allow fans of historical fiction to track the imminent publication of my novel 'New Fire'. You can read the first four chapters of the novel and sign up for a chance to win one of ten free, signed copies. Warfare, religion, politics and adventure. [more inside]
posted by PhilD66 on Sep 25, 2012 - 4 comments

At The Tone: A Little History of NIST Radio Stations WWV & WWVH (1955-2005)

"At The Tone" is the first comprehensive audio survey of NIST Radio Stations WWV and WWVH: two legendary shortwave radio broadcasters whose primary purpose is the dissemination of scientifically precise time and frequency. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Sep 20, 2012 - 6 comments

My Name is Zalman Malkin

The story of my life, from The Pale of Settlement to Chicago.
posted by dziga on Jun 29, 2012 - 0 comments

Public Books

A curated monthly review devoted to spirited debate about books and the arts, created by and for a transnational community of writers, artists, and activists. Inaugural contributors include Tobias Kelly, Bruce Robbins, Lawrence Weschler (interviewing Errol Morris), Laura Norén, David Henkin, Adam Morris, and Sharon Marcus. Brought to you by the editors of Public Culture and NYU's Institute for Public Knowledge. [more inside]
posted by interrupt on Jun 28, 2012 - 0 comments

New York Was New York

We take historical photographs of New York City and add contemporary captions. We think they're funny.
posted by davidjmcgee on May 16, 2012 - 3 comments

WeRelate Genealogy Contest

If you are interested in genealogy OR history I have developed a contest to try to add some fun and competition to the mix. First subject: Billy the Kid [WeRelate account required (free)]
posted by cda on Jan 24, 2012 - 0 comments

The Ultramod Guide to Hollywood

A look at the strange history of the Los Angeles neighborhood known as Hollywood, written from inside a building on Cherokee where the Go-Go's formed. [more inside]
posted by Bunny Ultramod on Jan 10, 2012 - 4 comments

TIME 2 TRAVEL: An Untourists guide to time

Time 2 Travel is a group blog for the fashionably broke time traveler. Get advice from people who've been then - Learn about Safe houses! The best cults on Delos! and maybe contribute some advice or reviews of your own. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Dec 5, 2011 - 21 comments

Dakota Death Trip

Done in the style of Michael Lesy's classic project "Wisconsin Death Trip", this website takes tragic, amazing, creepy, or unusual stories from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota newspapers of the early 20th Century and presents one daily, with a vintage picture weekly.
posted by AzraelBrown on Nov 28, 2011 - 1 comment

[Read on Wiki]pedia

Read on Wiki creates a timeline of your wikipedia browsing history. It includes a chrome extension and a place to host the timeline. Right now, it just shows one user's data (myself), but if enough people think it's cool, I'll release the extension and open the service to the public.
posted by philosophistry on Nov 21, 2011 - 2 comments

Classified Humanity

random bits from the past via Seattle newspapers (1900-1984), mainly helmed by crasspastor and myself. Not all the content relates to Seattle, but it is all content that a Seattle resident would have been exposed to. A mashing together of eras and topics (with the occasional commentary), generally leaning more towards the forgotten/"trivial" and less towards the obvious moments of history. [more inside]
posted by gluechunk on Nov 1, 2011 - 0 comments

The Adventures of Painless Parker

HISTORICAL FICTION DENTISTRY COMICS! [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Oct 18, 2011 - 3 comments

Old Orient Museum makeover & re-launch.

Thanks in large part to a mention in this forum for my museum website last year, (wherein I was complimentarily referred to as the “real life version of Howard Moon of the Mighty Boosch”), and based in large part on some of the critical comments from members, quoted here: (“I still prefer a simple scroll site”; “Great content. An absolute shit-storm of a user-hostile, frustrating, vanity interface. Maybe the worst I have ever seen. But great content buried under there”; “Pics too small”, etc.). The site is now non-flash and reborn. [more inside]
posted by Vincent Lexington Harper on Oct 12, 2011 - 3 comments

Whoa, Canada!

Astonish your friends with these Canadian facts, many of which are up to 100% true! [more inside]
posted by randomination on Sep 28, 2011 - 4 comments

Blogging a century of history in L.A.'s Skid Row

The 1947project time travel blog is thrilled to announce the launch of a very special new series, The Union Rescue Mission at In SRO Land. Past 1947project blogs have always been based in historic newspaper research. That changes today, with the debut of the first 1947project blog series based entirely on original research in an historic, significant--and previously unknown--Downtown L.A. archive, that of the Union Rescue Mission. [more inside]
posted by Scram on Sep 8, 2011 - 1 comment

Projectionists Draw Projectors

I've been asking all the film projectionists I know (and kind of know, or even ones who I just met) to draw pictures of projectors. It's partly an art project, but it's also intended to be something like a high-speed oral history project around a skill that used to be ubiquitous but isn't so much anymore. [more inside]
posted by bubukaba on Aug 20, 2011 - 1 comment

Mission: International Space Station

Rather than dwell on the eventual sinking of the International Space Station, let's instead celebrate ISS with my 800x2500 jpeg construction timeline.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jul 28, 2011 - 2 comments

F & P Daguerreotype, The Cincinnati Panorama of 1848

Experience a 19th century American city through Charles Fontayne and William S. Porter's world famous panorama. This site combines the superior clarity of daguerreotypes, made from the first practical method of photography, with 21st century technology, making it possible to enlarge the Cincinnati Panorama of 1848 and see details that even the photographers could not have seen from their camera location across the Ohio River in Kentucky. Navigate and zoom in for a glimpse of life along the riverfront. Enter the Panorama through Points of Interest, vividly illustrated with portraits, newspapers, advertisements, early documents, and maps. [more inside]
posted by Mick on Jul 16, 2011 - 2 comments

7 Days in L.A.

Welcome to 7 Days in L.A., home to the city's most interesting guided tours. We're not a tour operator, but a consortium of the region's best independent tour operators. Whether you're interested in architecture or true crime, film locations or graveyards, gay history or iconic L.A. literature, you'll find the perfect excursion on our community calendar, and all the information you need to book a tour. Why 7 Days in L.A? Because this city is too big and too complicated to understand without a native guide, and because you're smart enough to know that a one-size-fits-all experience is the wrong size for you. Consult our calendar, sign up for the newsletter, and let our passionate local historians show you the city that they love. Give us few hours, or your whole week, and we'll change the way you think about Los Angeles forever. [more inside]
posted by Scram on Jun 1, 2011 - 7 comments

#ilibcause = Why are you a librarian?

It occurred to me that some of the best conversations I’ve had lately revolve around the question - why are you a librarian? I thought it would be fun to collect these stories in a central place so that we’d have a snapshot of all the different reasons people join the information science profession but more importantly, why we’ve stayed in libraries. I’m collecting anecdotes from Twitter (tweet with hash tag #ilibcause), via email (ilibcause@gmail.com) and via a submission form on the website ilibcause.com/submit. More information available at ilibcause.com/about. [more inside]
posted by ginagina on Apr 21, 2011 - 1 comment

the Big Map Blog

Five-hundred enormous historical maps; all downloadable in their highest resolution. With a new map every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. [more inside]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj on Apr 4, 2011 - 12 comments

Anglofilmia

After realizing I retain historical dates, facts and context a lot more easily if it's presented to me visually, I compiled a list of films related to British history (covering pre-history to The Future) and sorted them chronologically. Now, we're working our way through the list, and blogging about it.
posted by lhall on Mar 28, 2011 - 0 comments

Cthrnvl's Genealogy Contest

Was William T Phillips Butch Cassidy? Inspired by a MeFi post I have launched a monthly contest where genealogists and armchair historians compete to gather facts about interesting people from the past. First up: Did Butch Cassidy really die in South America? [more inside]
posted by cda on Mar 27, 2011 - 0 comments

The World: Now and then

An online exhibition showing how quickly and dramatically the cityscapes and landscapes of the world are changing. Features 'now and then' photographs of San Francisco, New York, Shanghai, Dubai, Newcastle... and Upsala glacier.
posted by HELLOWORLD on Feb 15, 2011 - 2 comments

South Asian American Digital Archive

The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) was founded in 2008 in order to document, digitally preserve and make accessible the material history of the South Asian American community. [more inside]
posted by BugsPotter on Jan 2, 2011 - 0 comments

Across Africa for Love and Glory

My book Crossing the Heart of Africa just came out today. It's about retracing the 1898-1900 route of the British explorer Ewart Grogan from South Africa to Sudan. He did it to prove to his girlfriend's stepfather that he was worthy of marriage; I did it in part to dispel my own pre-wedding jitters. So it's an adventure-travel-history-romance-memoir. There's a photo gallery, animated map and excerpt. (For anyone who noticed a strange theme to my AskMe questions over the years - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 - this is why. And thanks!)
posted by gottabefunky on Dec 7, 2010 - 3 comments

Print Collection

I have a love for photography, history, architecture and design. There is so much wonderful public domain work available, I choose to curate a bit. [more inside]
posted by doug3505 on Nov 14, 2010 - 7 comments

George Mann's photos of L.A.'s lost Bunker Hill

Retired vaudeville novelty dancer George Mann took up 3-D photography later in life, and shot incredible color images of the soon-to-be-demolished Bunker Hill neighborhood in downtown L.A. They were displayed in 3-D viewers of his own design, then boxed away. Fifty years later, his family unpacked George's archives and decided to share these unseen images with the community of obsessives who cluster around my time travel blog OnBunkerHill. Today, we're thrilled to announce the launch of an online shop making these beautiful vintage photographs available as archival prints, the first in a series of George Mann's mid-century California photographic portfolios. Learn more about George's unusual life here.
posted by Scram on Aug 26, 2010 - 2 comments

The First Great Radio Hoax: London, January 16, 1926

Twelve years BEFORE Orson Welles’ infamous War of the Worlds hoax, BBC radio put out a fake news programme of its own. Ronald Knox’s Broadcasting the Barricades convinced thousands of British listeners that London had been attacked by Communist rioters, Big Ben flattened by mortars, the Savoy Hotel bombed to rubble and a Government minister lynched in the street. The BBC was flooded with anxious calls, provincial mayors dusted off their own cities’ emergency plans and the Royal Navy was told to dispatch a battleship up the Thames. The New York Times had a jolly good laugh at the Brits’ foolish gullability, smugly heading its own report: “We are safe from such jesting”. Oh, really?
posted by Paul Slade on May 13, 2010 - 1 comment

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