At home with Harrison Ford, 1978
The only valid reason to time travel is to go back to the 1970’s and bang Harrison Ford. There is no other decent reason. Fuck historical events! No, fuck Harrison Ford.
We think we understand the rules when we become adults, but what we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination.
July 21, 1925: Scopes Found Guilty in “Monkey Trial”
On this day in 1925, a Tennessee high school science teacher, John Thomas Scopes, was found guilty for allegedly teaching evolution, which violated Tennessee state law. The Scopes Trial, known as the “Monkey Trial,” lasted only a week, but ignited conversation and debate over whether to teach Creation or Evolution in the classroom.
The court acquitted Scopes on a technicality but upheld the constitutionality of the state law which was eventually overturned in 1967.
Image: John Thomas Scopes, Library of Congress.
Anglo-Saxon Brooch, early 6th Century
Chessell Down, Isle of Wight.
One of the most enjoyable things about working with the British Museum’s Anglo-Saxon collection is having the opportunity to study the intricate designs of the many brooches, buckles, and other pieces of decorative metalwork. This is because in Anglo-Saxon art there is always more than meets the eye.
The objects invite careful contemplation, and you can find yourself spending hours puzzling over their designs, finding new beasts and images. The dense animal patterns that cover many Anglo-Saxon objects are not just pretty decoration; they have multilayered symbolic meanings and tell stories. Anglo-Saxons, who had a love of riddles and puzzles of all kinds, would have been able to “read” the stories embedded in the decoration. But for us it is trickier as we are not fluent in the language of Anglo-Saxon art.
Anglo-Saxon art went through many changes between the 5th and 11th centuries, but puzzles and storytelling remained central. The early art style of the Anglo-Saxon period is known as Style I and was popular in the late 5th and 6th centuries. It is characterised by what seems to be a dizzying jumble of animal limbs and face masks, which has led some scholars to describe the style as an “animal salad.” Close scrutiny shows that Style I is not as abstract as first appears, and through carefully following the decoration in stages we can unpick the details and begin to get a sense for what the design might mean.
One of the most exquisite examples of Style I animal art is a silver-gilt square-headed brooch from a female grave on the Isle of Wight. Its surface is covered with at least 24 different beasts: a mix of birds’ heads, human masks, animals, and hybrids. Some of them are quite clear, like the faces in the circular lobes projecting from the bottom of the brooch. Others are harder to spot, such as the faces in profile that only emerge when the brooch is turned upside down. Some of the images can be read in multiple ways, and this ambiguity is central to Style I art. [x]
Carved in 196 BCE, the Rosetta Stone was rediscovered by French troops 215 years ago today (1799) in the Egyptian desert. This miracle rock bares inscriptions in Demotic, Ancient Greek and Egyptian hieroglyphs - a code that had never been cracked prior to the stone’s discovery. This is perhaps one one the most important archaeological artifacts ever found, and is located since 1802 in the British Museum. Unpopular as this opinion may be, that’s where it should stay.
Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor in the famous Schiaparelli “Lobster Dress” shot by Cecil Beaton, 1937
"Now, she had a fumbling knowledge that, had she ever understood
Ashley, she would never have loved him; had she ever understood
Rhett, she would never have lost him."
"Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom noticed."
Your soul has fallen to bits and pieces. Good. Rearrange them to suit yourself.
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