The Surprisingly Intolerant History of Milk


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But even with these deep cultural connections, milk held a peculiar status among early civilizations. The Greeks castigated barbarians for their gluttonous desire for dairy, and in Rome, milk was widely regarded as low-status food because it was something only farmers drank. Northern Europeans would earn similar ridicule for their love of reindeer milk, and Japanese Buddhists later rebuked Europeans as “butter stinkers.”

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Daniel Fernandez — Smithsonian

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Is technology bringing history to life or distorting it?


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Earlier History would be subject to interpretation of historians basis scant evidence. But, now History can be recreated to tell the story you want to say.

Taking more than 116,000 snippets of speech from samples of the 35th president’s other recordings, a Scottish “voice cloning” firm has produced a Kennedy-esque rendition of his final scripted words:

“America’s leadership must be guided by the lights of learning and reason,” a virtual version of that unmistakable Boston Brahmin accent intones, “or else those who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible will gain the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every world problem.”

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Steve Hendrix — The Washington Post

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What Not to Wear: The Deadliest Hats, Scarves, and Skirts in History


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Sometimes we do go overboard, don’t we?

While women often choose high heels for themselves for reasons of status, the sense of power that comes with added height, the amped-up sex appeal, and the element of danger implied by a sharp heel, there’s no question that the higher the heel you wear, the harder it is to run. It’s a cliché of horror, sci-fi, and adventure films to depict a beautiful woman stumbling in the face of danger or throwing off her shoes to run from a monster. But in real life, stilettos can deny a woman a quick escape from a monstrous man—and make an everyday activity a hazard.

In Killer Fashion, Wright explains how Winston Churchill’s mother, Jennie Jerome, fell to her death in 1921 trying to navigate a flight of stairs. “Jerome is my poster girl for high heels killing someone,” she says, “but I think it would be incorrect to assume that other women have not toppled off of high heels—especially if they were outrageously high, as they were for quite a bit of history.”

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Lisa Hix — Collectors Weekly

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How Hunter-Gatherers May Hold the Key to our Economic Future


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Do we have more leisure compared to our ancestors? Are we happier at our workplaces compared to hunter-gatherers?

The most compelling thing about this research was that it suggested that “economic problem” was not, as Keyne’s believed “the primary problem of the human race from the beginnings of time”. For where the economic problem holds that we have unlimited wants and limited means, Ju/’hoansi hunter-gatherers had few wants that were easily satisfied. It was for this reason that Marshall Sahlins, arguably the most influential American social anthropologist of the 20th century, redubbed hunter-gatherers “the original affluent society”.

Unsurprisingly, this simple idea briefly captured the popular imagination: “Imagine a society in which the work week seldom exceeds 19 hours, material wealth is considered a burden, and no one is much richer than anyone else”, gushed Time Magazine in an editorial about the Bushmen in November 1969, “The people are comfortable, peaceable, happy and secure…This Elysian community actually exists.”

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James Suzman — Evonomics

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Raised by Wolves


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Dogs have been our friends since more than 20000 years. Wolves is a different story.

The contemporary relationship between people and their dogs results from the long coevolution traced by Pierotti and Fogg, as well as genetic changes similar to those seen in Belyaev’s foxes. In some instances, the dog–human relationship can be deep—some would argue as deep as that between two humans. But do humans and dogs think in similar ways? Until recently the question seemed unanswerable. The American philosopher Thomas Nagel summed the situation up in his famous paper “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?,” in which he argued that the perceptions and experiences of bats and humans are so different that humans can never know the bat’s perspective, and vice versa. It’s an argument that’s been used to dismiss the idea that humans can know what it is like to be any animal species.

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Tim Flannery — The New York Review of Books

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Love and Ruin


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The story of Louis & Nancy Dupree.

More than any other foreigner, Dupree knew Afghans, all kinds of Afghans; he was as charmed by goatherds as he was by the royal family. They all had something to teach him, he felt. He assumed that Afghans found him charming, too, and indeed many did. What Dupree failed to see—what other Americans who knew and loved the country less did see—was that while Afghans liked him, that didn’t mean they trusted him. “Afghans were very cautious with Americans,” Ted Eliot, the former ambassador, said. “Their long history with foreigners taught them that you never knew who would be in charge next.”

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James Verini — The Atavist Magazine

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A HISTORY OF MANILA IN 9 DISHES


A food article for your Sunday!

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ADOBO AT PURPLE YAM (RESTAURANT IN MALATE OR KIOSK IN ESTANCIA MALL, CAPITOL COMMONS)

Amy Besa, owner of Purple Yam in Brooklyn and Manila, also a self-described Manileña, makes her adobo with apple cider vinegar because that’s what was available in her city supermarkets growing up. A recipe from her book Memories of Philippine Kitchens uses baby back ribs and replaces the peppercorns with tellicherry peppers. She shared her recipe with the New York Times, where it maintains a perfect five-star rating from hundreds of homesick Filipinos.

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Roads & Kingdoms

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