Steve Vistaunet’s Pinterest is a treasure-trove of photos of exuberant cassette spine designs from the gilded age of the mix-tape, ranging from the hand-drawn to early desktop publishing experiments.
Steve Vistaunet’s Pinterest is a treasure-trove of photos of exuberant cassette spine designs from the gilded age of the mix-tape, ranging from the hand-drawn to early desktop publishing experiments.
When you think of medieval warfare, we think of swords. In the age before gunpowder, the best way to kill your enemy was usually just to stab him with a big hunk of steel.
But if you think that everyone was using swords, you might be a little off-base. Even if you tried to equip an entire army with swords, you would have quickly run into the biggest problem associated with warfare no matter the era: money.
Swords were incredibly expensive. Depending on where you lived, a good sword could cost about £1,200 to £24,000 in today’s money. Of course, it’s hard to directly translate the cost between the medieval period and today, simply because the economy worked so differently. But the bottom line is if you wanted a good sword, it wasn’t cheap.
But what if you wanted a really good sword? A sword that was so much better than everything else of its era that it was almost mythical? Then you needed an Ulfberht. And you had better bring some serious cash.
The Ulfberht swords, largely associated with Vikings, were basically like the Ferraris of their time. They were a symbol of wealth, status, and they would perform better than what most other people were using.
We don’t know much about who made the Ulfberht swords, but we do know that they were probably made in the Kingdom of Francia (around modern-day France and Germany). This was traditionally where the best swords were made, and the Ulfberht “brand” might have made the best swords in Francia.
These swords were said to have been sharper, stronger, and more flexible than anyone else’s. That gave the user a huge advantage in battle. You could block an enemy’s sword and trust that your blade wouldn’t shatter, which was a constant concern. And in an era where the best warriors wore mail coats, an Ulfberht sword would slice through that protection better than other swords.
It was the closest thing to a lightsaber in medieval Europe. And that’s actually a better comparison than you might think. That’s because the process used to make Ulfberht swords was centuries ahead of the competition. In fact, it wouldn’t be possible to replicate it on a large scale until the industrial revolution.
The secret to Ulfberht swords was the distribution of carbon in the blade. Steel swords were made by mixing iron and carbon to produce steel. Add too much carbon and the sword becomes brittle and breaks. Add too little, and it will just bend. The Ulfberht swords used the perfect amount to produce blades that were sharper and more durable than anyone else’s.
But we’re still not entirely sure how the makers did that, though it may have involved borrowing some the techniques used by Arab smiths to produce the famous “Damascus Steel.”
The process involved using trace amounts of other minerals and heating them together with iron and carbon in a crucible to produce first-rate steel. And getting these materials from as far as India involved a global trade network you don’t usually associate with the period.
Were the makers of the Ulfberht swords using the same techniques? Possibly. If not, then they somehow produced something very similar to Damascus Steel on their own, with almost no impurities in the metal. And they quickly became famous, and probably rich, for it.
Most likely, steel was shipped up from the Arab empires or India through the rivers of Eastern Europe by traders. There, they were turned into swords in what is now Germany. Then they were sold to Norse and Frankish nobles who wanted a quality blade to use against their enemies. It’s hard to say exactly what an Ulfberht cost, but it was probably something only the richest noblemen could afford.
There are about 170 true Ulfberht swords that have survived to the present day. They’re all in the traditional “Viking” style with a long, double-edged blade and a straight crossbar over the grip and all of them have the name “Ulfberht” stamped into the blade. Whoever was making the swords clearly understood the importance of branding.
But like any modern brand, the Ulfberht brand was quickly beset with imitators. Because Ulfberht swords were so famous, other people soon realized they could sell their swords for more by stamping the Ulfberht name on the blade, even if they didn’t use the same techniques. And since the people who bought these swords were relying on them for battle, this had deadly consequences.
Ulfberht is itself a Frankish personal name. That might imply that the original inventor was a man named Ulfberht. But since the swords were made for about 200 years, he certainly wasn’t the only one producing them.
And because there are so many imitation swords out there, figuring out who originally created the mythic Ulfberht swords or where they did it has baffled archeologists for decades, and will likely long remain a mystery.
The Ford Motor Company (commonly referred to simply as Ford) is an American multinational automaker headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under the Lincoln brand.
The Ford F-Series is a series of light-duty trucks and medium-duty trucks (Class 2-7) that have been marketed and manufactured by Ford Motor Company since 1948. While most variants of the F-Series trucks are full-size pickup trucks, the F-Series also includes chassis cab trucks and commercial vehicles. The Ford F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States since 1981 and the best-selling pickup since 1977. It is also the best selling vehicle in Canada.
We have many ways to identify generations of Ford trucks, and here is an interesting guide based on their hoods.
|Ford Truck Identification Guide|
HOLY BOOKS HAVE A REACH that goes far beyond what virtually all works of literature can ever accomplish. Unlike, say, The Great Gatsby, the Bible is a text upon which millions and millions of people have based their entire lives.
That fact can be good or bad, and it’s often been both over the many centuries throughout which Christians have been reading the Bible and Jews have been reading the Torah. But given its immense reach and cultural influence, it’s a bit surprising how little we really know about the Bible’s origins. In other words, who wrote the Bible? Of all the mysteries surrounding the Bible, that one may be the most fascinating.
We’re not completely ignorant, of course. Some books of the Bible were written in the clear light of history, and their authorship isn’t terribly controversial. Other books can be reliably dated to a given period by either internal clues — sort of the way no books written in the 1700s mention airplanes, for instance — and by their literary style, which develops over time.
Religious doctrine, of course, holds that God himself is the author of or at least the inspiration for the entirety of the Bible, which was transcribed by a series of humble vessels. About the best that can be said for that notion is that if God really did “write” the Bible through a millennium-long sequence of various authors, he was certainly doing it the hard way.
As for the actual historical evidence regarding who wrote the Bible, that’s a longer story.
According to both Jewish and Christian Dogma, the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy (the first five books of the Bible and the entirety of the Torah) were all written by Moses in about 1,300 B.C. There are a few issues with this, however, such as the lack of evidence that Moses ever existed and the fact that the end of Deuteronomy describes the “author” dying and being buried.
Scholars have developed their own take on who wrote the Bible’s first five books, mainly by using internal clues and writing style. Just as English speakers can roughly date a book that uses a lot of “thee’s” and “thou’s,” Bible scholars can contrast the styles of these early books to create profiles of the different authors.
In each case, these writers are talked about as if they were a single person, but each author could just as easily be an entire school of people writing in a single style. These biblical “authors” include:
For example, “Eve” first appears in J’s text when she is made from the rib of Adam. “Rib” is “ti” in Babylonian, and it’s associated with the goddess Tiamat, the mother deity. A lot of Babylonian mythology and astrology (including the stuff about Lucifer, the Morning Star) snuck into the Bible in this way via the captivity.
P seems to have written just a few verses of Genesis and Exodus, but virtually all of Leviticus and Numbers. P authors are distinguished from the other writers by their use of quite a lot of Aramaic words, mostly borrowed into Hebrew. In addition, some of the rules attributed to P are known to have been common among the Chaldeans of modern-day Iraq, whom the Hebrews must have known during their exile in Babylon, suggesting that the P texts were written after that period.
Deuteronomy was actually written much later. The text first came to light in the tenth year of the reign of King Josiah of Judah, which was roughly 640 B.C. Josiah had inherited the throne from his father at age eight and ruled through the Prophet Jeremiah until he was of age.
Around 18, the King decided to seize full control of Judah, so he dispatched Jeremiah to the Assyrians with a mission to fetch home the remaining diaspora Hebrews. Then, he ordered a renovation of the Temple of Solomon, where Deuteronomy was supposedly found under the floor — or so Josiah’s story goes.
Purporting to be a book by Moses himself, this text was a near-perfect match for the cultural revolution that Josiah was leading at the time, suggesting that Josiah orchestrated this “discovery” to serve his own political and cultural ends.
This is roughly the equivalent of President Trump fishing around in the Liberty Bell and claiming to find an amendment to the Constitution written by Thomas Jefferson that requires presidents to build border walls — even though the supposed amendment uses modern words such as “email” and “cellphone.”
The next answers to the question of who wrote the Bible come from the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, generally believed to have been written during the Babylonian captivity in the middle of the sixth century B.C. Traditionally believed to have been written by Joshua and Samuel themselves, they’re now often lumped in with Deuteronomy due to their similar style and language.
Nevertheless, there is a substantial gap between the “discovery” of Deuteronomy under Josiah in about 640 B.C. and the middle of the Babylonian captivity somewhere around 550 B.C. However, it’s possible that some of the youngest priests who were alive in the time of Josiah were still alive when Babylon hauled off the whole country as captives.
Whether it was these priests of the Deuteronomy era or their successors that wrote Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, these texts represent a highly mythologized history of their newly dispossessed people thanks to the Babylonian captivity.
This history opens with the Hebrews getting a commission from God to leave their Egyptian captivity (which probably resonated with the contemporary readers who had the Babylonian captivity on their minds) and utterly dominate the Holy Land.
The next section covers the age of the great prophets, who were believed to be in daily contact with God, and who routinely humiliated the Canaanites’ deities with feats of strength and miracles.
Finally, the two books of Kings cover the “Golden Age” of Israel, under the kings Saul, David, and Solomon, centered around the tenth century B.C.
The intent of the authors here isn’t hard to parse: Throughout the books of Kings, the reader is assailed with endless warnings not to worship strange gods, or to take up the strangers’ ways — especially relevant for a people in the middle of the Babylonian captivity, freshly plunged into a foreign country and without a clear national identity of their own.
The next texts to examine when investigating who wrote the Bible are those of the biblical prophets, an eclectic group who mostly traveled around the various Jewish communities to admonish people and lay curses and sometimes preach sermons about everybody’s shortcomings.
Some prophets lived way back before the “Golden Age” while others did their work during and after the Babylonian captivity. Later, many of books of the Bible attributed to these prophets were largely written by others and were fictionalized to the level of Aesop’s Fables by people living centuries after the events in the books were supposed to have happened, for example:
When Israel actually did fall with the Babylonian conquest and captivity, the works attributed to Isaiah were dusted off and expanded into what’s now known as chapters 40-55 by the same people who wrote Deuteronomy and the historical texts. This part of the book is frankly the ravings of an outraged patriot about how all the lousy, savage foreigners will someday be made to pay for what they’ve done to Israel. This section is where the terms “voice in the wilderness” and “swords into ploughshares” come from.
Finally, the third part of the book of Isaiah was clearly written after the Babylonian captivity ended in 539 B.C. when the invading Persians permitted the Jews to return home. It’s not surprising then that his section of Isaiah is a burbling tribute to the Persian Cyrus the Great, who is identified as the Messiah himself for letting the Jews return to their home.
The next section of the Bible — and the next investigation into who wrote the Bible — deals with what’s known as the wisdom literature. These books are the finished product of nearly a thousand years of development and heavy editing.
Unlike the histories, which are theoretically non-fiction accounts of stuff that happened, wisdom literature has been redacted over the centuries with an extremely casual attitude that has made it hard to pin down any single book to any single author. Some patterns, however, have emerged:
Section one of Job contains a very modern narrative of setup and exposition, which was typical of the Western tradition and indicates that this part was written after Alexander the Great swept over Judah in 332 B.C. The happy ending of Job is also very much in this tradition.
Between these two sections, the list of misfortunes that Job endures, and his tumultuous confrontation with God, are written in a style that would have been around eight or nine centuries old when the beginning and ending were written.
The writings from this time are of a high technical quality, partly thanks to the hated Greek influence, but they also tend to be melancholy, likewise due to the hated Greek influence. Books from this period include Ruth, Esther, Lamentations, Ezra, Nehemiah, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes.
Finally, the question of who wrote the Bible turns to the texts dealing with Jesus and beyond.
In the second century B.C. with the Greeks still in power, Jerusalem was run by fully Hellenized kings who considered it their mission to erase Jewish identity with full assimilation.
To that end, King Antiochus Epiphanes had a Greek gymnasium built across the street from the Second Temple and made it a legal requirement for Jerusalem’s men to visit it at least once. The thought of stripping nude in a public place blew the minds of Jerusalem’s faithful Jews, and they rose in bloody revolt to stop it.
In time, Hellenistic rule fell apart in the area and was replaced by the Romans. It was during this time, early in the first century A.D., that one of the Jews from Nazareth inspired a new religion, one that saw itself as a continuation of Jewish tradition, but with scriptures of its own:
While the writings attributed to John actually do show some congruity between who wrote the Bible according to tradition and who wrote the Bible according to historical evidence, the question of Biblical authorship remains thorny, complex, and contested.
Four engines give this superyacht an impressive horsepower rating of 23,172, and allow Black Swan to reach speeds up to 28 knots. At over 200 feet long, this eye-catching vessel is sure to make a statement on the open ocean.
Polar bears and Emperor penguins aren’t the only species under threat due to climate change.
Scientists believe the gene that causes red hair is an evolutionary response to cloudy skies and allows inhabitants to get as much Vitamin D as possible.
But if predictions of rising temperatures and blazing sunshine across the British Isles turn out to be correct, flaming red heads could cease to exist within centuries.
While only 1% to 2% of the world’s population are ginger, in the north of the UK, where the weather tends to be more gloomy, this number is much higher.
In Scotland 650,000 (about 13% of the population) have red hair and, according to a study carried out last year, 40% of those living in Edinburgh are thought to carry the red hair/blue eye gene.
In the North and West of the UK, 29% of the population are believed to have the gene.
Red hair is caused by a mutation in the MC1R gene. It’s also a recessive trait, so it takes both parents passing on a mutated version of the MC1R gene to produce a redheaded child. Because it’s a recessive trait, red hair can easily skip a generation. It can then reappear after skipping one or more generations if both parents, no matter their hair color, carry the red hair gene.
“I think the reason for light skin and red hair is that we do not get enough sun and we have to get all the Vitamin D we can.
“If the climate is changing and it is to become more cloudy or less cloudy then this will affect the gene.
“If it was to get less cloudy and there was more sun, then yes, there would be fewer people carrying the gene.”
Another leading scientist, who asked not to be named because of the theoretical nature of the work, said: “I think the regressive gene is slowly dying out. Red hair and blue eyes are not adapted to a warm climate.
“It is just a theory but the recessive gene may likely be lost. The recessive gene could be in danger.”
Most booze lovers would be quite open to trying different craft beers – and there are many to choose from these days.
But even the most adventurous of beer drinkers might have a hard time getting their head around this one, made from bacteria harvested from vaginas.
Although this sounds like a joke, rest assured it is not…in fact, this company is not the first company to try and market a food product that had the essence of vagina! However, we believe this is the first time we have ever come across anything that we were asked to eat or drink that includes the woman’s “juice” as an active ingredient in the product!
The name of the beer is The Order of Yoni. Wojtek Mann, the founder of the company explains that the word “yoni” means “vagina” in the Sanskrit language and the logo/artwork associated with the beer is also the symbol of a Hindu Goddess.
As you can imagine things only get weirder when you learn more about a vagina flavored beer.
The creators behind ‘Bottled Instinct’ decided that they wanted to capture the essence of a woman (‘her charm, her sensuality, her passion… her taste, feel her smell… her voice’) and turn it into a drink.
The Order of Yoni’s website reads: “The secret of the beer lies in her vagina.
“Using hi-tech of microbiology, we isolate, examine and prepare lactic acid bacteria from vagina of a unique woman.
“The bacteria, lactobacillus, transfer woman’s features, allure, grace, glamour, and her instincts into beers and other products, turning them into dance with lovely goddess.”