This week’s features include art, neo-Nazis (and old Nazis), space shuttles, Neandertals, the British and more! Read on!
Alexander Calder’s 113th birthday today
Calder! It is Alexander Calder’s birthday! Google noticed, as you can see from the above Google doodle courtesy of the Calder Foundation which has a website devoted to his life and artwork. The modern artist, famous for his mobiles, would be 113 today. He is well-represented in Washington DC, with pieces in both sculpture gardens on the National Mall (the Hirschorn’s and the National Gallery of Art’s), in the foyer of the National Galler of Art’s modern East Wing and in one of the Senate office buildings (Hart). Visit the Calder website and peruse the life and work of one of my favorite modern artists!
How Twitter Was Nearly Called Twitch: Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey on Coming Up with a Name
This is a fun little interview transcript about the naming of Twitter. With .coms we have come even further from the days of the “Dutch-India Company” when it comes to naming businesses, but in many respects the concerns remain the same.
NASA’s Space Shuttle by the Numbers: 30 Years of a Spaceflight Icon
As we remembered the Apollo moon landing on July 20th earlier this week, we also saw the end of an era with the final landing of the space shuttle. This article from Scientific America details the 30 year career of the Space Shuttle by the numbers. So long old friend!
Town Removes Grave of Hitler Deputy Hess
The German news outlet Spiegel published this article and photo gallery on its English news site yesterday (I found it via an NPR News tweet). Hess was one of the few Nazi officers convicted to actually serve out his life sentence, committing suicide and being buried in a Bavarian town. Weary of the town being a neo-Nazi pilgrimage site on account of the grave, the church took steps to remove it. Fascinating read with a rather chilling photo album–expecially the photographs taken in our own day.
BREAKING 1776 NEWS: First British Report of America’s Declaration of Independence
From one of my favorite blogs to follow in the Twitterverse, Rag Linen, comes this gem out of 1776 London. Read the brief post about this missive in a London newspaper. American history buffs, get your geek on!
Amazing Historical Photos Of Washington D.C. Recreated Today
Ahead of Their Time: Neandertals and the First Grandparents
This Scientific America article (and the one linked in it) suggest that the survival of grandparents may have aided evolution and the increased sophistication of Neandertals:
Having grandparents around in large numbers would have significantly increased population size, thus fostering innovation and self-expression, and it would have facilitated the transfer of valuable knowledge and cultural traditions to the next generation.
This is a pretty fascinating pre-history piece reinforcing the importance of our grandparents and the heritage of our past being passed onto the next generation.