Tuesday, March 16, 2021



A look at some items from various sites . . .

From The Smithsonian Magazine:

This 17th-Century Cookbook Contained a Vicious Attack on Oliver Cromwell’s Wife

The death of Oliver Cromwell, the embattled Lord Protector of 1650s England, didn’t stop his enemies from doing everything they could to tarnish his reputation. And these efforts included one very odd line of attack: namely, publishing a cookbook that claimed to offer recipes collected by the Parliamentarian’s wife, Elizabeth.

Titled “The Court & Kitchen of Elizabeth, commonly called Joan Cromwell, The Wife of the Late Usurper”, the text clearly isn’t a cheery celebrity cookbook. Aside from the obvious attack represented by the word “usurper,” the name “Joan” is a reference to sex workers, not a nickname actually used by Elizabeth, writes scholar Stuart Orme for the Moment magazine.

The cookbook, newly republished by the Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon, contains 102 recipes, including barley broth, venison pasty and a rare Dutch pudding. Some ingredients listed, like eels from Cromwell’s native region of Fenland, may have been intended to paint the family as unsophisticated.

“There was a lot of snobbery going on,” Orme, the museum’s curator, tells ITV Anglia’s Matthew Hudson. “A lot of the recipes were very ordinary by the standards of the time, … [the] sort of dishes that would have been eaten by middle class people across England in the 17th century. Part of the argument that the Royalists were making was the Cromwells weren’t suited to rule because, quite frankly, they were a bit common.”

In the book, Elizabeth’s recipes are described as “the most usual Meat and Diet observed at her Table, most of them ordinary and vulgar, except some few Rarities.” An introductory essay filled with insults aimed at the Cromwells adopts a similar tone.

“It would be a bit like today, if you were to go out and buy a cookery book [supposedly] written by Michelle Obama and the first third of it was an essay by Donald Trump saying how awful Barack Obama was,” Orme tells Atlas Obscura’s Anne Ewbank.



From Bored Panda:

50 Times Designers Got Praised For Their 'Opposite Of Bad Design' Ideas

Some examples from the above article . . .

Let’s All Think Back To Middle School (Or Any Other Time) And Think About How Great It Would’ve Been To Have This Instead Of Needing To Muster The Courage To Ask Someone:


This Toilet Paper Roll Contains A Mini Paper Roll To Carry With You, Instead Of An Hollow Carbord Roll!


This Rite-Aid Has A Magnifier So You Can Read The Labels On The Medicine:


Yearbook Picture With A Gap To Avoid Lost In Binding:


This Metal Slide Is Water Cooled So It Doesn't Burn Kids In The Summer"


This Toilet's Cistern Fills Using A Tap And Sink So You Can Wash Your Hands With No Waste



From The Sifter:

Helga Stentzel is a Russian-born visual artist based in London, UK. She works across a wide range of media including illustration, photography, video and stop motion animation. On Instagram, she has built a large following for her playful art that often uses everyday objects and household items in creative and unexpected ways.

Here is some of her work:

(Kate is in love with this one 👆).


Plus some more:


From The Smithsonian Magazine:

120,000-Year-Old Cattle Bone Carvings May Be World’s Oldest Surviving Symbols

Israeli and French archaeologists have found what may be one of humans’ earliest known uses of symbols: six lines inscribed on a bovine bone some 120,000 years ago. Because the markings were carved on the same side of a relatively undamaged bone, the researchers speculate that the engravings may have held some symbolic or spiritual meaning.

“It is fair to say that we have discovered one of the oldest symbolic engravings ever found on Earth, and certainly the oldest in the Levant,” says study co-author Yossi Zaidner of the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology in a statement. “

“Making it took a lot of investment,” Zaidner tells Haaretz. “Etching [a bone] is a lot of work.”

Archaeologists found the bone facing upward, which could also imply that it held some special significance. Since the carver made the lines at the same time with the same tool, they probably didn’t use the bone to count events or mark the passage of time. Instead, Zaidner says, the markings are probably a form of art or symbolism.



From Amusing Planet:

Giuseppe Ferlini: The Pyramid Destroyer
If there is something that characterizes archaeology, it is the care, the almost exquisite touch that is given to the sites and that makes a tool as simple and limited as a brush the protagonist of the excavations, making the archaeologist have to spend hours and hours in the sun, setting aside just a few inches of sand or dirt to make sure that no small piece is missed. But it was not always like this; In its beginnings, archeology sought to exhume remains of other civilizations at all costs and things were done without so many trifles. A good example of this was Giuseppe Ferlini.

Born in Bologna, in 1815 he travelled across Greece, and later he reached Egypt where he joined the Egyptian Army during the conquest of Sudan. In 1830 he became surgeon-major. Under the army, he stayed at Sennar and then at Khartoum where he met the Albanian merchant Antonio Stefani. Later he decided to desert and devote himself to treasure-hunting, determined to either “return home penniless, or carrying unprecedented treasures”. Along with Stefani, Ferlini organized an expedition that left for Meroë on August 10, 1834.

Having asked and obtained from the Governor-General of the Sudan, Ali Kurshid Pasha, the permission to perform excavations at Meroë, and spurred by legends from local workers who talked about 40 ardeb of gold, he started to raid and demolish – even using explosives – several pyramids, which were found “in good conditions” by Frédéric Cailliaud just a few years earlier. At Wad ban Naqa, he leveled the pyramid N6 of the kandake Amanishakheto starting from the top, finding treasure composed of dozens of gold and silver jewelry pieces. Overall, he was responsible for the destruction of over 40 pyramids.

The Great pyramid of Queen Amanishakheto before its destruction by Giuseppe Ferlini. From the book “Voyage à Méroé, au fleuve Blanc” by Cailliaud, Frédéric in 1826

The Great pyramid of Queen Amanishakheto after its destruction by Giuseppe Ferlini in the 1830s.

Using explosives, Ferlini raided the Meroe pyramids in 1834.

Bracelet from the tomb of Amanishakheto in Nubia, now in Museum Berlin

Ferlini’s treasure was distributed throughout Europe between sales, donations and auctions to try to recover the investment. Most of it was divided between the Egyptian museums in Berlin and Munich, since it was validated by the German Egyptologist Karl Richard Lepsius, in front of the experts of the British Museum, who considered it a fake, and consequently, did not want any piece.



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