Ever since man has been in the business of seeking vengeance, torture has been a reality for war criminals, prisoners, and other less than fortunate individuals. In fact, the most unsettling thing about torture isn’t its existence, but the way people have injected a perverted sense of creativity into the creation of devices designed to create pain. To prove our point here are the 25 most brutal torture techniques ever devised.
It’s been 110 years since Georges Méliès sent a spaceship slamming into the eye of the man on the moon. So how far have visual effects come since then? Working closely with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Don Levy takes us on a visual journey through special effects, from the fakery of early technology to the seamless marvels of modern filmmaking.
When the great minds of science gathered at the U.S. National Museum on April 26, 1920, the universe was at stake. Or at least the size of it, anyway. In scientific circles, it was known as the Great Debate, and although they didn’t know it at the time, the astronomy giants Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis—the two men who came to Washington, D.C., to present their theories—were about to have their life’s work eclipsed by Edwin Hubble, a young man who would soon become known as the greatest astronomer since Galileo Galilei.
In the 1930s journalists from publications like the New York Times and Time magazine would regularly visit Nikola Tesla at his home on the 20th floor of the Hotel Governor Clinton in Manhattan. There the elderly Tesla would regale them with stories of his early days as an inventor and often opined about what was in store for the future.
Benjamin Franklin was many things. Politician, scientist, inventor, printer author, he was a visionary whose ideas helped shape America. But he also had some notions that, while founded on sound logic and pragmatism, seem quite bizarre in retrospect. For instance, there’s his suggestion that the turkey was a more appropriate national symbol than the eagle, which he saw as “a bird of bad moral character.” Franklin’s vision for American didn’t stop with independence and iconography. He also proposed a redesigned alphabet – a new language for a new nation.
For centuries, the city of Heracleion believed to be a legend, one of the most important trade centers in the Mediterranean area before it disappeared 1,200 years ago, in area of the Bay of Aboukir, near Alexandria. Now has been brought back to the surface with the help of 3D.
The harsh winter of 1609 in Virginia’s Jamestown Colony forced residents to do the unthinkable. A recent excavation at the historic site discovered the carcasses of dogs, cats and horses consumed during the season commonly called the “Starving Time.” But a few other newly discovered bones in particular, though, tell a far more gruesome story: the dismemberment and cannibalization of a 14-year-old English girl.
Like us, birds stand on two legs. But unlike us they ‘crouch’. To explain this odd posture, scientists at the Royal Veterinary College in the UK looked at the ancestors of birds: dinosaurs. They made 3D models of various dinosaur taxa including Tyrannosaurus and the bird-like Velociraptor and Archaeopteryx. In this video, see how the models were made and what they show us about the evolution of bird locomotion and flight.
Is it taboo? Often misunderstood, voodoo was born in the West African nation of Benin. And here it is an official religion.
“The ubiquity and power of the computer blur the distinction between public and private information. Our revolution will not be in gathering data — don’t look for TV cameras in your bedroom — but in analyzing information that is already willingly shared.”
John Green teaches you about America’s “peculiar institution,” slavery. I wouldn’t really call it peculiar. I’d lean more toward horrifying and depressing institution, but nobody asked me. John will talk about what life was like for a slave in the 19th century United States, and how slaves resisted oppression, to the degree that was possible. We’ll hear about cotton plantations, violent punishment of slaves, day to day slave life, and slave rebellions. Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, and Whipped Peter all make an appearance. Slavery as an institution is arguably the darkest part of America’s history, and we’re still dealing with its aftermath 150 years after it ended.