Archive for the 'Mysterious History' Category

The Tesseract / The 4th Dimension

A beautiful representation of the theory of four-dimensional space….

 

(When we think of the “tesseract” we are reminded of our favorite books of childhood, A Wrinkle In Time.)

 

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“A series of images from Charles Howard Hinton’s The Fourth Dimension (1904), a book all about the “tesseract” – a four-dimensional analog of the cube, the tesseract being to the cube as the cube is to the square. Hinton, a British mathematician and science fiction writer, actually coined the term “tesseract” which appears for the first time in his book A New Era of Thought (1888). We are not going to pretend to have given the time to his book to understand fully the concept behind these diagrams, but they are a fascinating series of images all the same (particular the coloured frontispiece featured above), and offer a glimpse into the theory of four-dimensional space which would prove so important to the development of modern physics. Although Hinton’s work was an important stepping stone in understanding four-dimensional space, the real breakthrough came in a 1908 paper by Hermann Minkowski, in which four-dimensional space was thought of in non-Euclidean terms, leading to the revolutionary concept of “spacetime”…”

 

More here. And many extremely strange and wonderful diagrams!

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The Witch and The Would-Be King

This is the stuff of legends…

 

The King Stone at Rollright Stones in Warwickshire, England (Poliphilo/Wikimedia Commons)

The King Stone at Rollright Stones in Warwickshire, England (Poliphilo/Wikimedia Commons)

 

Skeleton of a High Status Spiritual Woman Unearthed Near Rollright Stones in England

(Mark Miller, Ancient Origins)

 

“Legend has it that centuries ago a witch turned a would-be king of England and his men and knights to stone, which still stand and are among the Rollright Stones circle at Warwickshire. Now a new legend has cropped up: A 7th century AD skeleton recently unearthed at the site is being called the witch who turned the ambitious men to stone.

 

The woman stood between 4 feet 11 inches and 5 feet tall (about 152 cm) and was buried with a Roman patera or bronze vessel possibly used to cook offerings to the gods, a large amber bead and an amethyst set in silver. The patera is only the fifth found in England. She also had with her a large spindle whorl, which, with the patera, ITV.com says, indicates that “Rita,” the Saxon pagan Rollright Witch, as she is being called, was a spiritual woman of high status…”

 

Read more here.
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Ways You Could Die in Tudor England

Buckle up, it’s a little morbid…

 

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Here Are Some of the Weird Ways You Could Die in Tudor England

Pole vaulting and bacon are among the odd causes of death discovered by historians

By Helen Thompson (smithsonian.com)

 

“In Tudor England, death came in many forms. Wars took lives on and off the battlefield. Illnesses claimed the weak and old. Dangerous pregnancies threatened the survival of women and children. And even aside from all that, accidents could happen everyday.

 

Now, a team of historians at the University of Oxford in the U.K. is figuring out what sort of mishaps could lead to one’s demise in 16th-century England. Analyzing coroner reports and cases of accidental death they hope to get a better picture of what life was like back then and compare those risks to the ones humans face today.

 

Thus far, their work has yielded some interesting insights. A death of a young girl, possibly a cousin of William Shakespeare, who may have inspired Ophelia’s death by drowning in Hamlet. Drowning, in fact, caused half of all accidental deaths in this period. Occupational hazards, on the other hand, varied regionally. But, amid these broader insights, the research has also turned up some rather odd ways to go. Here are some highlights from their latest discoveries…”

 

Read more here at Smithsonian magazine.

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