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DIY Air Purifiers for Teachers: Free Designs & Step-by-Step Instructions Online

If you’re a teacher returning to the classroom, you may want some extra COVID protection. Thankfully, some researchers and practitioners have created “a design for an in-room air purifier which can remove a significant amount of COVID-19 virus from the air.” “The design involves making a ‘box’ out of four 20″ MERV-13 filters (the ‘sides’ of the box),...

What It’s Like to Actually Fight in Medieval Armor

Ever wonder what it was like to really fight while wearing a full suit of armor? We’ve featured a few historical reconstructions here on Open Culture, including a demonstration of the various ways combatants would vanquish their foe—including a sword right between the eyes. We’ve also shown you how long it took to create a suit of armor and the clever...

The Strange Magic of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile”

Poor Polyphonic. He was just about to deliver another perfectly mixed treatise on a classic rock magnum opus when the YouTube algorithm and the Jimi Hendrix Estate stepped in to stop him before publishing. So while you can watch this real-time explication of Hendrix’s more-than-just-a-jam “Voodoo Chile” with just the the graphics and the narration,...

How Italian Physicist Laura Bassi Became the First Woman to Have an Academic Career in the 18th Century

The practice and privilege of academic science has been slow in trickling down from its origins as a pursuit of leisured gentleman. While many a leisured lady may have taken an interest in science, math, or philosophy, most women were denied participation in academic institutions and scholarly societies during the scientific revolution of the 1700s....

How Italian Physicist Laura Bassi Became the First Woman to Have an Academic Career in the 18th Century

The practice and privilege of academic science has been slow in trickling down from its origins as a pursuit of leisured gentleman. While many a leisured lady may have taken an interest in science, math, or philosophy, most women were denied participation in academic institutions and scholarly societies during the scientific revolution of the 1700s....

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: The Real Perceptual Disorder That May Have Shaped Lewis Carroll’s Creative World

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland isn’t just a beloved children’s story: it’s also a neuropsychological  syndrome. Or rather the words “Alice in Wonderland,” as Lewis Carroll’s book is commonly known, have also become attached to a condition that, though not harmful in itself, causes distortions in the sufferer’s perception of reality. Other names include...

How Victorian Homes Turned Deadly: Exploding Stoves, Poison Wallpaper, Ever-Tighter Corsets & More

The British have a number of sayings that strike listeners of other English-speaking nationalities as odd. “Safe as houses” has always had a curious ring to my American ear, but it turns out to be quite ironic as well: the expression grew popular in the Victorian era, a time when Londoners were as likely to be killed by their own houses as anything...

Elvis Presley Gets the Polio Vaccine on The Ed Sullivan Show, Persuading Millions to Get Vaccinated (1956)

No one living has experienced a viral event the size and scope of COVID-19. Maybe the unprecedented nature of the pandemic explains some of the vaccine resistance. Diseases of such virulence became rare in places with ready access to vaccines, and thus, ironically, over time, have come to seem less dangerous. But there are still many people in wealthy...

The Roman Colosseum Has a Twin in Tunisia: Discover the Amphitheater of El Jem, One of the Best-Preserved Roman Ruins in the World

Image via Wikimedia Commons When Rome conquered Carthage in the Third Punic War (149-146 BC), the Republic renamed the region Africa, for Afri, a word the Berbers used for local people in present-day Tunisia. (The Arabic word for the region was Ifriqiya.) Thereafter would the Roman Empire have a stronghold in North Africa: Carthage, the capital of...

King Arthur in Film: Our Most Enduring Popular Entertainment Franchise? Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #104

https://podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/secure/partiallyexaminedlife/PMP_104_8-9-21.mp3 With the recent theatrical release of The Green Knight, your Pretty Much Pop host Mark Linsenmayer, returning host Brian Hirt, plus Den of Geek’s David Crow and the very British Al Baker consider the range of cinematic Arthuriana, including Excalibur...

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