Category Archives: History

“I think of myself not as an astronaut who paints, but as an artist who was once an astronaut.”

The New York Times: Alan Bean, 4th Person to Walk on the Moon, Dies at 86.

“Alan Bean, who became the fourth man to walk on the moon and turned to painting years later to tell the story of NASA’s Apollo missions as they began receding into history, died on Saturday at Houston Methodist Hospital. He was 86.

His death was announced by his family in a statement released by NASA.

Mr. Bean stepped onto the lunar surface preceded by Pete Conrad, the mission commander of their Apollo 12 flight, in November 1969, four months after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first lunar explorers.

The flight of Apollo 12, while thrilling in its own right, was not nearly as dramatic as the pioneering mission of Apollo 11, but it resulted in a more extensive exploration of the moon.

Mr. Bean returned to space in July 1973, when he commanded a three-man flight to the orbiting space research station Skylab, the forerunner of the International Space Station. The astronauts on that mission spent 59 days in space, a record at the time.”

ars technica: Alan Bean, the fourth human to walk on the Moon, has died. “Bean loved being an astronaut. He may have loved being an artist more.”

I’m just now watching an interview with Alan Bean in two parts from 2011. (YouTube, ca. 40min altogether)

See also MeFi obit thread.

“Weet U waarom de Duitse Weermachtsmeisjes in Nederland zijn?”

Deutsche Welle: Unbekannte Passagen in Anne Franks Tagebuch entdeckt. “Vor Jahrzehnten hat das jüdische Mädchen zwei Seiten ihres Tagebuchs dicht verklebt: Darauf hatte Anne Frank anzügliche Witze und ihre Gedanken über Sexualität notiert. Jetzt konnten Experten die Zeilen entziffern.”

“Am 28. September 1942 schrieb Anne Frank in ihr rotkariertes Tagebuch: “Auf Seite 78 habe ich geschmiert.” Daher nutze sie den Platz jetzt für “derbe Witze”. Ein Beispiel: “Wissen Sie, wozu die deutschen Wehrmachtsmädchen in den Niederlanden sind? Als Matratzen für die Soldaten.”

Waren diese Passagen dem jungen Mädchen peinlich? Immerhin hat sie Seite 78 und 79 des Tagesbuchs mit braunem Packpapier verklebt, um sie vor neugierigen Augen zu verbergen. Mit digitaler Fototechnik hat das Niederländische Institut für Kriegsdokumentation (NIOD) sie jetzt 70 Jahre nach Veröffentlichung des Tagebuchs lesbar gemacht. “Wer die entdeckten Passagen liest, kann ein Lächeln nicht unterdrücken”, sagte NIOD-Direktor Frank van Vree. “Die ‘schmutzigen’ Witze sind Klassiker unter den heranwachsenden Kindern.””

Business Insider: Researchers uncovered 2 pages of ‘dirty jokes’ in Anne Frank’s diary.

“Anne Frank wrote a number of dirty jokes about prostitution and told of her thoughts on sex in hidden pages of her diary, researchers have revealed.

The young Jewish teenager’s diary, written when she was in hiding from the Nazis, became world-famous when it was published after her death and at the end of the war.

Two hidden pages, reportedly covered with gummed brown paper to hide her risqué writing from her family, have now been read by researchers.

The entries, uncovered using new imaging techniques, were written on 28 September 1942, not long after the 13-year-old Anne went into hiding in Amsterdam.”

RTL Nieuws: De moppen van Anne Frank: complete tekst ‘nieuwe’ pagina’s dagboek.

“Twee afgeplakte bladzijden uit het dagboek van Anne Frank zijn ontcijferd door de Anne Frank Stichting. De pagina’s waren al langer bekend, maar tot nu toe was het niet mogelijk om de tekst op de afgeplakte bladzijden 78 en 79 te lezen.

Dankzij nieuwe digitale technieken is daar verandering in gekomen. De pagina’s bevatten drie schuine moppen – zulke anekdotes komen ook elders in het dagboek wel voor – én Annes kijk op seksuele voorlichting. Dit is de letterlijke tekst:”

Last two links via MetaFilter.

“As a queer black woman, I’m among the last people anyone expects to see on a through-hike. But nature is a place I’ve always belonged.”

Outside: Going it alone. By Rahawa Haile, April 11, 2017.

“What happens when an African American woman decides to solo-hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine during a summer of bitter political upheaval? Everything you can imagine, from scary moments of racism to new friendships to soaring epiphanies about the timeless value of America’s most storied trekking route.”

Buzzfeed: How Black Books Lit My Way Along The Appalachian Trail. By Rahawa Haile, February 2, 2017.

“I can confirm that one does not walk 2,000 miles across the face of this country as a black woman without building up an incredible sense of self.”

Links via MetaFilter.

Ice Age megafauna left tracks on Alkali Flat

The Conversation: How to hunt a giant sloth – according to ancient human footprints.

“Rearing on its hind legs, the giant ground sloth would have been a formidable prey for anyone, let alone humans without modern weapons. Tightly muscled, angry and swinging its fore legs tipped with wolverine-like claws, it would have been able to defend itself effectively. Our ancestors used misdirection to gain the upper hand in close-quarter combat with this deadly creature.

What is perhaps even more remarkable is that we can read this story from the 10,000-year-old footprints that these combatants left behind, as revealed by our new research published in Science Advances. Numerous large animals such as the giant ground sloth – so-called megafauna – became extinct at the end of the Ice Age. We don’t know if hunting was the cause but the new footprint evidence tells us how human hunters tackled such fearsome animals and clearly shows that they did. “

Link via MetaFilter.