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 …

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

On the Radar: Gerhard Richter’s Emotional Photo-Painting of His Aunt

For those familiar with Gerhard Richter, he is often associated with his abstract, colorful "squeegee" works. A large portion of his artistic production, however, consists of photo paintings that include his trademark "blur." In this particular painting--one of his early works--Richter copied a photo of his Aunt Marianne holding Richter as an infant. His Aunt …

Continue reading On the Radar: Gerhard Richter’s Emotional Photo-Painting of His Aunt

The Gilded Age Woman Who Put the Original “Joy” in American Cooking

In the days where many average home cooks rely heavily on cook book recipes and Youtube tutorials, one shudders to think there existed a time without them. Before the amazing preponderance of TV chefs, Buzzfeed's Tasty, and the like, people in America cooked without standardized measurements and without recipes until the last few decades of …

Continue reading The Gilded Age Woman Who Put the Original “Joy” in American Cooking

On the Radar: NASA’s Infamous “Gimbal Rig”

This image shows NASA's Gimbal Rig in motion. NASA used this device to test Mercury astronauts' ability to recover from disorientation that resulted from up to 30 RPM in simultaneous roll, pitch, and yaw. The astronauts had to reset their mock instruments after--and sometimes during--the exercise to prove they could control the craft in tumble …

Continue reading On the Radar: NASA’s Infamous “Gimbal Rig”

Nintendo: Rise of a Gaming Generation

Before video games--before board games, for that matter--there were playing cards.  Though a fixture of China's entertainment scene since the 10th century, playing cards did not reach isolationist Japan until the Portuguese introduced them in the 16th century. The shogunate at the time banned the cards but as times and dynasties changed, the powers that …

Continue reading Nintendo: Rise of a Gaming Generation

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 …

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

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 …

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