May 24, 2017 • American History, Geek Girl, History, Reference: Non-Fiction, Women's Interest
As space pioneer Sally Ride’s birthday approaches (May 26) and discussion of the incredible women in Hidden Figures demands attention and captivates imaginations, we consider the role of women in science and how, for years, their stories have been superseded by their male counterparts. Today we honor Sally Ride and the countless women who broke boundaries and denied stereotypes by highlighting exceptional accounts of their stories.
May 2, 2017 • Fiction, History, Reference: Non-Fiction
A mention of the word ‘scurvy’ often brings to mind pirates, but you might not be aware that scurvy is a very real and still relevant issue. Scurvy is a condition caused by a lack of vitamin C, which causes tiredness, muscle weakness, rashes, and bleeding gums. Pirates often suffered from scurvy due to the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables while sailing the seven seas. May 2nd is Scurvy Awareness Day, so to do our part, we’re highlighting 5 swashbuckling stories about pirates! The Limestrong website also recommends making your cat a fruit helmet and sharing via social media, which we also fully endorse. Yes, there are pictures for inspiration!
April 7, 2017 • History
Recueil des croniques d'Engleterre, vol. 1, Netherlands (Bruges), 1471-1483, Royal MS 15 E. iv, f. 180r
We love hedgehogs! Hedgehogs are a commonly occurring animal in manuscripts and bestiaries throughout the Middle Ages (and who can blame the artists for including them?). If you’ve read our other posts about medieval manuscripts, be warned: this might be the cutest one yet.
March 31, 2017 • Comics, History
Illustration by Christina "Steenz" Stewart
When people consider the early history of comics, a few names spring immediately to mind – Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Bob Kane, Steve Ditko, and newspaper cartoonists like Charles Addams and Charles Schultz. Rarely do you hear about the women who paved the way for modern comics, especially not the women of color who created pioneering comic strips. One such voice is Jackie Ormes, the first black female syndicated newspaper cartoonist, who created dynamic characters that rejected the negative stereotypes that permeated depictions of black women at the time.
March 28, 2017 • History
[Movie still from Wonder Woman, Warner Bros]
We can hardly wait until the release of Wonder Woman, the first film in almost twenty years to be headlined by a female superhero. Yet in 2016, there was another movie about female superheroes—Hidden Figures, which highlights three amazing NASA computers. These women managed to overcome the intersection of racism and sexism to become essential personnel in the space program, with Katherine Johnson even personally calculating the figures for John Glenn’s historic spacewalk. Every bit as heroic as the Hulk smashing.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we have some other suggestions for historic women superheroes, women who went above and beyond to make a difference to the lives of those around them.
March 27, 2017 • History
Of all the tens of thousands of manuscripts that were produced and copied during the Middle Ages, only a fraction have survived to our day. Some of these manuscripts are plain, written in black ink, and have no more than a few illustrations. Others are magnificent with colorful writings and illuminations plated in real gold. And then there are the manuscripts that are outright weird.
We would like to introduce you to four of the weirdest medieval manuscripts still in existence.