Tag: History

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a Glasgow-based artist dressed in a 17th-century Plague Doctor costume, sits on a bench in George Square in 2011 in Glasgow, Scotland, to promote his exhibition, "The Human Condition"

The Terrifying Costumes Worn by 17th-Century Plague Doctors

Amid the current pandemic, the debate continues about the efficacy of personal protective equipment, especially face masks. According to some, if they are not of the N95 grade quality, they may not be effective at protecting the wearer’s immune system from absorbing foreign airborne pathogens. Pandemics are not a new phenomenon, and how they are handled now is a sharp contrast to the yesteryear methods. However, one similarity involves the protective gear worn by today’s health care workers—our new plague doctors.

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Ota Benga at the Bronx Zoo

Ota Benga: The Congolese Pygmy Who Became a Zoo Exhibit

Around the beginning of the last century—in 1906, to be exact—the 4’11” Ota Benga was featured in an infamous human exhibit at the Bronx Zoo’s Monkey House. Ota Benga, a Mbuti (Congolese pygmy) man from what was then known as the Congo Free State, stayed at the zoo for just a few months until the public outcry over his treatment at the zoo resulted in another home for him. However, Benga’s short life was marked with tragedy.

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Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy products in their original composition

600-Year Old Pharmacy Sells Catherine de’ Medici’s Perfume

Just a stone’s throw away from Florence’s busy Santa Maria Novella train station stands a 600-year-old pharmacy that started as an infirmary. This establishment is renowned for creating sweet-smelling elixirs and skincare products that draw customers from around the world. Beyond selling modern-day perfumes and cosmetics, Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is a preserve of ancient monastic history and tradition. Read along to find out more about this unique, centuries-old pharmacy that may be the oldest in the world today.

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billy barr growing his garden inside his Gothic cabin

billy barr: The Snow Guardian of the Colorado Rocky Mountains

By 1973 billy barr was the only permanent resident of Gothic. A year into his stay in Gothic, barr started to document the weather, mainly as a way to pass the time. For more than 40 winters, he has kept meticulous notes on the behavior of the snow in the area. Twice a day, barr collects information on snowfalls, temperatures, and the animals which come in and out of his area of the Rockies.

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bathtub in abandoned house at Kolmanskop ghost town

Kolmanskop: Inside the Eerie Ghost Town of Namib Desert

By now, you have seen reports on the news of once-thriving cityscapes and bustling urban areas reduced to stagnant wastelands as COVID-19 coronavirus infections spread. New York’s Time Square and Piccadilly Circus in London, two neighborhoods typically choked with throngs of people all day and every day, currently stand vacant. These images are not too dissimilar to the desolate views of Kolmanskop, a ghost town in southern Africa’s Namib Desert.