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AC: Origins – Discovery Tour

AC: Origins – Discovery Tour

This new mode in Assassin’s Creed: Origins turns the game into an educational experience. Discovery Tour mode allows players to explore the world around them on a leisurely historical tour. The mode includes 75 guided tours of monuments, buildings, and characters.

The History of Shrinking People

The History of Shrinking People

The movie Downsizing might have come up a little short in both its reviews and box office take, but it did succeed in the VFX department. Here, the film’s effects supervisor Jamie Price walks us through the history of shrinking people down on the big screen.

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Indigo Blue

Indigo Blue

While you might think your jeans are dyed indigo, they’re not. The real deal is hard to come by, and much richer than what we’re used to. The fascinating thing isn’t the color, but the natural properties it offers that drove Samurai to wear indigo fabric beneath their armor.

Why American Land Looks Like This

Why American Land Looks Like This

When you fly over much of rural America, you’ll notice that there are lots of squared-off little blocks of land forming cool geometric patterns when observed from the sky. But why is this the case, and not so much in other parts of the world? Half as Interesting explains.

Earthrise

Earthrise

Captured by astronaut Bill Anders during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968, Earthrise is not only one of the most iconic photos of all time, but it was the first time humanity was able to see our planet from a distance, providing a humbling sense of our place in the universe.

Extraordinary Origins of Ordinary Things

Extraordinary Origins of Ordinary Things

This compilation of clips from Great Big Story explores the origin stories of instant ramen, car air freshener trees, the Kool-Aid Man, and more. We wonder if you could actually make a cast from Silly String. Also, “Liquid Ass” isn’t exactly an ordinary thing.

Music of Memes (1700-2017)

Music of Memes (1700-2017)

You’ll recognize most of these meme-worthy tunes, each of which epitomizes a moment in time as well as just about anything else about the era. Though we think JordiTK should have gone with Yello’s Oh Yeah instead of Trio’s Da Da Da to represent ’80s German minimalism.

Evolution of Game Graphics

Evolution of Game Graphics

Data Radar look back at the incredible progress made in video game graphics in the last five decades – from the rudimentary black and white pixels of the ’70s, to the near-photorealistic imagery of today. Next time you gripeabout a game’s graphics, watch this.

London’s Killer Smog

London’s Killer Smog

Back in 1952, London, England was engulfed in a think blanket of smog that was so nasty that it caused the city to come to a halt, and actually ended up killing an estimated 12,000 people. SciShow looks back at this tragic result of industrial development without controls.

BIC: The Company Behind the Pen

BIC: The Company Behind the Pen

Business Casual chronicles the rise of pen giant BIC. Although he didn’t invent the ballpoint pen, BIC’s co-founder Baron Marcel Bich understood economies of scale and brought affordable pens, lighters, and razors to the world. But the company has had its share of busts too.

The Banana Republics

The Banana Republics

(PG-13: Language) Long before the clothing store, wealthy plantation owners in Central America built massive empires on the backs of its people, all thanks to a little potassium-rich fruit we like to put in our cereal. Sam O’Nella Academy offers up a brief history lesson.

The Human Era

The Human Era

Kurzgesagt looks way back at the history of humanity, and suggests a new calendar that reminds us of mankind’s achievements dating much further back than we typically acknowledge. You can order the 12,017 Human Era Calendar here.

The Rise (and Fall) of Hollywood

The Rise (and Fall) of Hollywood

Now You See It made an abridged history of the movie-making capital. Hollywood started as a rebellious albeit greedy movement, then devolved into a monopoly of studios. The rise of the internet and affordable equipment could finally put an end to the blockbuster factory.

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The Willow Run Bomber Plant

The Willow Run Bomber Plant

The Yankee Air Museum aims to open an amazing new national aviation attraction in the old Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti Township, MI. To kick off the latest phase of their efforts, they moved three classic planes back inside the plant. Support their efforts here.

Bricks Before LEGO

Bricks Before LEGO

LEGO built a toy empire with its snap-on bricks, but it’s far from the first company that thought of making such a toy. In fact, as YouTuber JANGBRiCKS explains, the first LEGO bricks were straight up copycats, down to the machine that was used to make the toy.

From Under the Rust

From Under the Rust

A fascinating reverence comes through for steam locomotives in Julien Lasseur and Rustic’s short film which showcases the zeal for this mode of transport from Cleveland’s Charlie Sedgley and the Midwest Railway Preservation Society.

A History of Recorded Music

A History of Recorded Music

Lovers of Rube Goldberg, music and history, have we got the thing for you – a clever 90 second chronicle of recorded music, told through spoken word and a chain reaction show made from assorted musical equipment. (Thanks Steve!)

Modern Makeovers

Modern Makeovers

The UK history channel Yesterday commissioned this project which asked graphic designers and history experts to imagine how historical figures like Shakespeare and Henry VIII might have looked today. Marie Antoinette is still unlikeable.

Cannon vs. Car in Slo-Mo

Cannon vs. Car in Slo-Mo

Inspired by Assassin’s Creed III, Richard Ryan shows us what would happen if the enemy shot a cannonball at our car in the Revolutionary War, in glorious slow motion. Wait, what? (Thanks Chris!)

100 Years in 10 Minutes

100 Years in 10 Minutes

This compilation reminds just us how much has happened in the last 100 years – and how much mankind still has to learn about war, humanity, and behaving like we’re all living on the same planet.

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US State Stereotypes

US State Stereotypes

After watching this brief vid from YouTube user PandaSmashTV, we now know that state mottos are so yesterday, and that these slightly offensive state stereotypes are clearly currying favor.

Historical Figure Prints

Historical Figure Prints

History buffs will enjoy Zeb Love’s limited edition series of six woodcut prints which showcase some highly influential folks. The signed and numbered 16″ x 20″ pieces are hand painted and screened.

Kid History

Kid History

When kids do the storytelling, some tales get better with time. This retelling of a family story by the younger members of the family (and acted out by the older ones) is a great example. (Thanks Kara!)

The Conspirator (Trailer)

The Conspirator (Trailer)

Mary Surratt is the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in Abraham Lincoln’s assassination trial; she must rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the real truth in The Conspirator.

Historical Wooden Dice

Historical Wooden Dice

History buffs might appreciate playing craps with St. Liberty’s handmade oak dice set, designed to look like something the Continental Army might have used during the American Revolution.

Thank You, Major Winters

Thank You, Major Winters

Major Dick Winters, a compelling American hero and featured on HBO’s Band of Brothers, passed away this month following a battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Rest in peace. (Thanks George!)

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