What it says on the tin: two videos (Europe and East Asia) showing what land was controlled by whom over the course of World War II.
Soldiers in World War I.
A short list
- The beginning of the Crusades can be found in the defeat of the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, which cost them most of Asia Minor. The Byzantines lost the battle because the Turkish Sultan, on the edge of defeat, bought Byzantine’s mercenaries, leading to a crushing Turkish victory
- the Mamluks were brought to Egypt by the ruling Abbasid caliphate as slave-soldiers. By the 1300s they were ruling Egypt in their own right. The Mamluks held Egypt until Napoleon in 1798.
- Roman Empire. “Barbarian” mercenaries. Enough said.
- Janissaries in the Ottoman Empire were originally lethal slave troops from the Balkans that eventually became purely decorative. Their coup in 1807 prevented reforms that would have forced them to, well, fight better.
- the Mamertines, a group of mercenaries, basically started the First Punic War. They got bored, took a city, became pirates and when Rome tried to stop them, the Mamertines appealed to Carthage to bail them out. It’s better explained here.
Nutella, everyone’s favorite chocolatey spread, was invented during World War II. An Italian pastry maker mixed hazelnuts into chocolate to extend his chocolate ration, and it quickly took off.
Historians think chickens were first domesticated for fighting, not eating.
It’s been a while since I did a facts list, so I will jump right in:
- The war of 1812 began on June 18, 1812, and ended December 24, 1814, with the Treaty of Ghent. However, the final battle of the war was fought on January 8, 1815, thanks to the slow trans-Atlantic crossing
- During the War of 1812, more soldiers died of disease than were killed in battle
- Around 3,000 American slaves escaped to the British side when the British offered them their freedom to fight for them. Some settled in Nova Scotia. Other slaves escaped during the chaos of the war. After the war, the British agreed to pay $1,204,960 to Washington to compensate slave owners.
- Canada views the war as setting the country on the “slow path toward nationhood.”
- some New England federalists considered seceding from the United States during a well-publicized meeting called the Hartford Convention. It didn’t end well for the federalists, and the party was entirely disgraced and died soon afterwards.
This clever comic does a series on the history of everyday objects: check them out here or by clicking the comic.
Paris, at the fin de siècle, taken close to 1907. It was printed in color by a technique involving a composite of black and white emulsion passed through a series of colored filters (red, blue and green).
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
—Hanlon’s Razor. First appeared in 1990s, as a Murphyism similar to Occam’s Razor, a medieval principle of logic.
Croissants were invented in Austria, in 1839.