6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America | Cracked.com

Great article from CRACKED that is definitely worth reading, and ties into my post from yesterday about America’s First Gay President. (Thanks for pointing that out, Don!)

There’s a pretty important detail our movies and textbooks left out of the handoff from Native Americans to white European settlers: It begins in the immediate aftermath of a full-blown apocalypse. In the decades between Columbus’ discovery of America and the Mayflower landing at Plymouth Rock, the most devastating plague in human history raced up the East Coast of America. Just two years before the pilgrims started the tape recorder on New England’s written history, the plague wiped out about 96 percent of the Indians in Massachusetts.

via 6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America | Cracked.com.

American Fencing in the 18th Century

When we think of fencing during the Renaissance we tend to think of France or Italy, which were indeed the centres of the sword arts.

But did you know there was another major center of fencing?

Between 1754 and 1787, New York City was a veritable hub for American fencers, with at least fourteen fencing schools total, eleven of which operated in a concentrated area of lower Manhattan that could be spanned during a twenty-minute walk. By way of comparison, Paris, traditionally thought of as the Mecca for European fencing, contained about eighteen fencing schools during the same period. (30) The oldest New York fencing school of which we have record opened sometime prior to July 12, 1731[.] (Miller, 2009)

In fact, according to Miller, guns were still fairly uncommon in America in the 17th and 18th centuries, and most militia didn’t have enough guns for more than a third of their number. Even when they did fight, he says, they tended to fire the guns once, throw them down, and then leap into close combat with the enemy. (Which makes sense when you consider how long the things took to load.) So being skilled with weapons was a major part of defending your home and loved ones in the colonial period.

Fencing in America: 1620 – 1800 from the Association for Historical Fencing’s Library


Astounding HD Timelapse Landscape Video

Landscapes: Volume Two from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

The creator of this stunning piece is Dustin Farrell. “Every frame of this video is a raw still from a Canon 5D2 DSLR and processed with Adobe software,” he says “I felt that showing them again with motion controlled HDR and/or night timelapse would be a new way to see old landmarks.”

via Is This the Most Amazing Time Lapse Video Yet? (Spoiler: It Is).