6 Ridiculous Myths About the Middle Ages Everyone Believes When you think of the Middle Ages, chances are you picture gallant knights sitting astride brilliant destriers galloping through a sea of plagues, ignorance, and filth. And you can hardly be blamed for that, when everything from the movies you watch to your high school history teacher (who was mainly the football coach) has told you that ... #6. Scientific Progress Was Dead Getty The Myth: They call it the Dark Ages for a reason. Getty"No, we can't cross the ocean there, don't you see that sea monster in the way?" The Reality: Aside from the fact that, as we've already explained, most people in the Middle Ages did not think the Earth was flat, the church wasn't responsible for killing science -- to the contrary, it was largely responsible for saving it. After the barbarians invaded Europe and Rome went the way of the dinosaurs, the Catholic church was the last remaining aspect of Roman culture in Western Europe. SjuPfft, like people are going to want to learn a whole other set of characters.
5 Things You Didn't Know: The Cold War The term “cold war” goes back to a 14th-century medieval writer named Don Juan Manuel, who referred to the uneasy peace between Muslims and Christians in Spain. But it was George Orwell, in a piece titled “You and the Atomic Bomb,” who applied the term as we know it best to the protracted economic, geopolitical and ideological battle between the United States, the Soviet Union and their shifting allies. The precise dates of the Cold War are the subject of debate, though most agree that it began at some point in the summer of 1945 and continued until the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991. Whatever the case, it dominated global politics and culture for the entire second half of the 20th century, and its effects are ongoing. To bring you up to speed, we present five things you didn’t know about the only war that categorically could have ended all wars through total and complete annihilation -- the Cold War. 2- It was predicted by Adolf Hitler Why is it Searched?
6 Ridiculous History Myths (You Probably Think Are True) Everybody knows that people in the past were insane. They wore funny hats, used words like "wherefore," and don't get us started on the pants. But some of the historic anecdotes we love repeating again and again simply aren't true. As convenient as it may be to think of our ancestors as murder-happy torture enthusiasts, they were crazy, but they weren't that crazy. Gun Fights in the Violent Wild West The Insanity: A gloriously mustached man sits at a card game in an old saloon, surrounded by cowboys and surprisingly fresh-faced prostitutes. The cowboys and prostitutes go back to their drinks, well-accustomed to this sort of random violence, as the man nonchalantly twirls his pistol and says: "Guess he couldn't read my poker face." A typical western saloon, moments before everyone in the room shot each other. A hundred years of Westerns have taught us that this is how you lived and died in the Wild West. But in Reality... How many murders do you suppose these old western towns saw a year?
The Unknown Cold War The modernizing of China and the dissolution of the Soviet Union over the last two decades have led to the release of hundreds of millions of pages of formerly top-secret archival documents. These documents—transnational cables, transcripts, diplomatic reports, and internal memoranda—are giving the West a new view of Sino-Soviet and inter-Soviet relations. They also hint at the dangers that might have been. Historians are collecting and translating provocative accounts of the Cuban Missile Crisis and other flash points in the Cold War. The Wilson Center and The George Washington University are partners in an ongoing NEH-supported collaboration to train high school teachers in recent advances in Cold War historiography and to build a website to store and display online resources. “Archives are a repository of a nation’s truths,” says Nancy Meyers, project associate at the Cold War International History Project. “Primary matter is hard for high school students to use.
5 Ridiculous Sex Myths From History (You Probably Believe) Since the sexual revolution of the '60s, we tend to think that sexuality from the Baby Boomers back to the beginning of time was a long history of repressed urges, prudish fundamentalist restrictions and brutal rape politics. But it turns out that a lot of what BBC dramas tell you about sex in history is just a fanciful cover for sex lives that didn't differ that much from our own. Myths that persist to this day include ... #5. When you think about the Victorian era, you probably remember a whole bunch of jokes about how women couldn't show their ankles without it being considered indecent exposure. Queen Victoria is rumored to have told her daughter to "just lie back and think of England" when the princess was concerned about having to fulfill her wifely duties on her wedding night. GettyWe can barely conceal our boners right now. The Reality: It's true that Victorians weren't exactly into halter tops and assless pants. GettyShe has a dozen live eels stuffed under that corset. #4. #3.
10 Ridiculous Cold War Government Projects Politics The Cold War was a period of time when all of the countries of the world waited with baited breath to see what the outcome of the decades-long hard staring contest between the United States and the Soviet Union would be. As the nuclear arms race ramped up, some of these countries (either voluntarily or otherwise) picked sides; some began developing nuclear programs of their own, and most just kept their heads down and quietly hoped for another day without complete annihilation. Most are aware of some of the truly shady things done by intelligence agencies and military organizations during this period, but the sheer scope of programs designed to figure out the capabilities of and/or screw with the other guy—and the ridiculous amounts of money and effort involved—is staggering. Before the development of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and the real threat of total nuclear destruction, people projected their Atomic fears onto all kinds of weird things. Col. Body.
6 Great US Presidents and Their Crimes Against Humanity History books tend to be kind to American presidents, often overlooking some pretty dick-ish behavior. It's a pretty tough job, so they probably deserve a break once in a while. But some historical anecdotes seem like they were omitted to avoid classrooms full of weeping, terrified children. In fact, it turns out that even the greatest presidents have some scary-ass skeletons in the closet. John Adams, Founder of (and Enemy of) Democracy Why He's Awesome: This charming founding father was the second president. Oh, did we mention that he started violating the Constitution before the ink even dried on his signature? Wait, What the Fuck? When Adams found himself in the middle of an undeclared war with France in 1798, he did what any president would have done: built up the army, oversaw the construction of warships, and raised taxes. Adams, with his brand new Constitution Toilet Paper. Abraham Lincoln Screws Habeas Corpus, Never Calls Back "Arrest that man, he is incredibly dangerous!"
6 Historic Acts of Revenge That Put 'Kill Bill' to Shame There's nothing like the vaguely sadistic pleasure of a good revenge movie, from Uma Thurman hacking the limbs off the entire Japanese mafia to any of the 36 vengeance-crazed madmen Mel Gibson has played. But it's all fantasy, right? Real people don't go on a Payback-style path of destruction when they're wronged. Well, maybe you should consider... The Trung Sisters' Kung Fu Rebellion Trung Trac and Trung Nhi were simple-living sisters in a small village sometime in first century Vietnam, who by the way had been trained from childhood in martial arts. The area at the time was ruled with an iron fist by the Chinese, who had a kind of zero tolerance policy when it came to their subsidiaries acting like they were all unique and independent. They executed the outspoken rebel, and then went ahead and raped his widow Trac because why not. OK, see this? The Payback: Due to their traditional Confucian teachings, the Han Chinese considered women to be pretty useless. Conwhocius? Among other things.
5 Shockingly Progressive Ideas from 'Primitive' Cultures If you view history in time-lapse, it's like a Benny Hill sketch with the ethnic majority zanily scrambling around to the tune of "Yakety Sax," beating the minorities with their shoes ... then brutally raping and murdering them. We're a terrible species, and it's only recently that we've started to accept that we should maybe possibly (kind of) consider accepting each other's differences (a little bit), rather than trying to oppress folks into normality. But that's a faulty assumption: We're not only less progressive today than you might think, but there have been some truly shocking moments of tolerance in history that make the modern world look downright bigoted. #5. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images When you think "Vikings," you think "casual rapists" somewhere after "horned helmets," but before "longboats." Paramount PicturesTo boldly go where several cliched female scenes have gone before. Vikings weren't an entire culture of casual rape. #4. #3. austinweeklynews.com No?
The 6 Creepiest Places on Earth It doesn't matter whether or not you believe in ghosts, there are some places in which none of us would want to spend a night. These places have well earned their reputations as being so creepy, tragic or mysterious (or all three) that they definitely qualify as "haunted." Places like... Aokigahara is a woodland at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan that makes The Blair Witch Project forest look like Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood. It probably has something to do with all the dead bodies scattered around. What Niagara Falls is to weddings, Aokigahara is to suicide. More than 500 fucking people have taken their own lives in Aokigahara since the 1950s. The trend has supposedly started after Seicho Matsumoto published his novel Kuroi Kaiju (Black Sea of Trees) where two of his characters commit suicide there. Also skulls. Besides bodies and homemade nooses, the area is littered with signs displaying such uplifting messages like "Life is a precious thing! Winchester Mystery House Oh, bitch...!
6 Popular Fashion Trends (That Killed People) If we know our readers, then we're guessing fashion dominates your every thought. But how far would you go to be wearing the absolute latest and hottest looks? Would you wear something knowing it could, at some point, kill your ass? Through history men and women have been asked that exact question, and time and time again they shrugged and said, "Eh, I'll risk it." The crinoline is a hoop skirt that women in the 19th century wore under their actual skirts. Also, since you were basically wearing a cage around your legs, you could probably use the crinoline to trap small animals and kick them to death. How It Could Kill You: The steel crinoline was actually so deadly it's amazing this thing was ever worn at all. The skirts would get entangled in the spokes of carriages, presumably dragging the women screaming down the street. Wait, it gets worse. What the Fuck Were They Thinking? The result was not so much an hourglass figure, but a body that became an actual hourglass.