How Opera, Fairy Tales, Trees, and Lullabies Led to Nazism

Midnight in Paris--a film that takes us back to Jazz Age Paris and the Lost Generation. And then the city in the Belle Epoque. It could just as well have been turn-of-the-century Vienna, 1950s New York, Victorian London, Hollywood in the silver screen era, or Silicon Valley in the 70s.  Today, I want to share …

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Monday at the Museum: 14 X-planes at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

The "X" classification in research and development simply marks an invention's current use as "experimental." Some such inventions make it beyond that stage; the majority of those that follow did not. Whatever their contributions to aeronautics in the United States, these X-planes can be appreciated for their interesting designs. 1. The Avrocar Actually Canadian in …

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On the Radar: Soviet X-Ray Records

During the Cold War years, listening to "Western" music--especially those genres of "ill-repute" such as jazz and rock 'n roll--could get a person sent to the Gulag. So people got creative and made bootleg records of this music on old x-rays, called "bones" or "ribs." Because the quality was so poor, people called the experience …

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God’s Giants in China

Many people today know and support the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF), but few may know its past--a past dedicated specifically to China. Previously the China Inland Mission (CIM), it led thousands to Christ under near-constant persecution resulting in internment, torture, and death for many of the missionaries as they faced the Boxer Rebellion, the Xinhai …

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Rattan, the Mai Tai, and Blue Hawaii: A History in “Exotic” Escapism

Polynesian pop and Tiki culture have always been about escapism.... The trend got its beginnings in the 20s, though social and artistic obsessions with tropical climes have existed for as long as Europeans and Americans have been around to "discover" them. Escapism, however, is not a uniquely "Western" obsession; most everyone finds joy in a …

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Remembering Henry “Black Death” Johnson and the Harlem Hellfighters 100 Years Past Their Due

There is not, perhaps, a more amazing story of American valor and patriotism in World War I than that of the 369th Infantry Regiment. But it is also perhaps the most disappointing because of the regiment's reception by the American government and its white citizens. One might think that stopping a 24-man German advance with …

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On the Radar: The Massive Soviet Lun-Class “Ekranoplan”

This "Ekranoplan" looks like part-plane, part-ship. In reality, it's what one would call a "ground effect vehicle," which uses the ground effect concept to "fly" seriously low over ground or, more commonly, water. Though Russia retired this particular vehicle, the country has plans to develop similar military crafts very soon, armed with cruise missiles. Watch …

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What Did the 1919 Paris Peace Conference Have to Do with the Vietnam War?

All roads lead to Paris, or so it seemed to what remained of the young male generation following the Great War. And certainly for colonists desiring nations of their own, the only place worth a shot was Paris in 1919, especially when U.S. President Woodrow Wilson introduced the idea of "self-determination" in his famous "Fourteen …

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On the Radar: The “Acoustic Mirrors” of Denge–a Pre-Radar Warning System

Located along British coastlines, parabolic concrete structures such as these once served as interwar, pre-radar warning systems. They focused and concentrated sounds from the Channel, with the goal of detecting the approach of enemy planes. Image: Wikipedia. Read more here: Acoustic Mirror - Wikipedia, and the succeeding radar system: Chain Home - Wikipedia