Showing all posts tagged: history

Photos of the construction of Sydney Opera House

27 June 2022

A collection of incredible photos of the Sydney Opera House, taken during its construction. Today the Opera House is one of the most recognisable buildings in the world, but it seems Sydneysiders were not enamoured by the iconic structure while it was being built.

Today the building is loved, yet while it was under construction attitudes were very different. The local press continually attacked its cost, its delays, and its architect; headline writers gave the now familiar white shell roof nicknames such as ‘the concrete camel’, ‘copulating terrapins’ and ‘the hunchback of Bennelong Point’.

What’s also compelling about these photos is both how much has changed, and how much has remained the same, when looking at the areas surrounding the land the Opera House stands on.

Via Things Magazine.

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QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection

9 June 2022
QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection, bookcover

QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection, published by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), is not only a catalogue for the exhibition of the same name running until Sunday 21 August 2022 in Melbourne, but also a collection of LGBTQ+ stories and histories, edited by Ted Gott, Angela Hesson, Myles Russell-Cook, Meg Slater, and Pip Wallis.

More than 60 essays from authors with comprehensive knowledge of the historical and contemporary subjects encompassed by the NGV’s QUEER project are presented along side stunning reproductions of more than 200 works from the NGV collection, either by queer artists or engaging with queer issues. The essays in QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection explore the history of LGBTQ+ activism; the creation of queer spaces and communities; queerness as an artistic strategy; the expression of love, desire and sensuality; queer aesthetics; and the concepts of camp and the fantastic.

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What did Earth look like in the distant past?

1 June 2022

A fantastic visualisation of ancient Earth, as it is thought to have appeared in the distant past, going back 750 million years, created by Ian Webster, based on plate tectonic and paleogeographic maps made by C. R. Scotese.

Even better, type in your location’s name and see it where it was in the past, relative to the landmasses of the time. 750 million years ago, during the Cryogenian Period, the major city nearest me, Sydney, sat in the ocean. Might’ve been the best place to be, given glaciers covered the then landmasses, and the world was in the grips of the biggest known ice-age.

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How did dinosaurs spend their last day on Earth?

2 May 2022

Riley Black, writing for the Smithsonian Magazine, depicts the last day in the life in of an Edmontosaurus, a dinosaur focussed on finding food and avoiding predators, while trying to divest itself of lice like creatures feeding on his flesh.

There was no impending sense of doom. There was no shift to the wind, or darkening of the clouds. No lightning, no thunder. In this little patch of Hell Creek, Montana, all is as it ever was as far as the dinosaurs are concerned. But more than two thousand miles away, a chunk of extraterrestrial stone more than seven miles across just slammed into the Earth.

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Saving the roof of Jane Austen’s Hampshire cottage

3 November 2021

Good news for Jane Austen fans who like, or are one day hoping, to visit the house in the English village of Chawton, Hampshire, where she spent the final eight years of her life, and wrote several of her novels… funds have been raised to repair the roof of her old cottage, which was built in the seventeenth century.

The roof was last refurbished in 1948 before the House opened to the public. Over 70 years on and over a million visitors later, major repairs are required to ensure the watertightness of the building and preserve the museum collection.

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A short history of the letter J the alphabets last member

14 April 2011

While sitting in the tenth place in the English alphabet, the letter J, which split off from the letter I, was actually the last addition to the writing system.

“J” is a bit of a late bloomer; after all, it was the last letter added to the alphabet. It is no coincidence that i and j stand side by side — they actually started out as the same character. The letter j began as a swash, a typographical embellishment for the already existing i. With the introduction of lowercase letters to the Roman numeric system, j was commonly used to denote the conclusion of a series of one’s – as in “xiij” for the number 13.

Originally published Thursday 14 April 2011.

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The ghost stations of East Berlin by video train

6 December 2010

After the German cities of West Berlin and East Berlin were completely partitioned following the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, accessing one side of the city from the other — was at first — pretty much out of the question for all but a small number of people.

One group unaffected — to a degree — by the separation of the city were West Berlin train commuters who used a small number of underground services whose lines crossed into parts of East Berlin, as they travelled from one area of West Berlin to another.

While trains still ran through East Berlin, they did not stop at stations on the eastern side of the border. Many of these stations closed during the period the city was divided by the wall were dubbed “ghost stations”, and were usually heavily guarded by East German troops.

The YouTube video, above, contains footage filmed from the driver’s compartments of West Berlin trains as they passed through a couple of East Berlin’s ghost stations.

Update: unfortunately the original YouTube video has been taken down as a result of a copyright claim.

Originally published Monday 6 December 2010.

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