Posts By: Jeremy Porath

World’s oldest gymnast

You’re never too old…!

All-female patrol protects rhinos against poachers

Unarmed Black Mambas recruited from local communities are guarding nature reserve inside the Greater Kruger national park

I wish them success.

Women On 20s chooses Harriet Tubman to go on the $20 bill

After months of culling votes, Women On 20s announced the woman they’d like to see replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill: Harriet Tubman.

Nice choice. Not only did Tubman work for the Underground Railroad, she was also a spy master for the Union. Once she led several gunboats on nighttime raid into the heart of Confederate territory, dodging explosives to burn down several plantations and rescue around 700 slaves in a single night. The neighborhood she did this to was, prestige-wise, the equivalent of a Confederate Beverly Hills.

Harriet Tubman: narcoleptic, illiterate, hard as hell.

Female WWII pilot gets back in the air

Joy Lofthouse, one of the few surviving women to have flown a Spitfire during World War II, took the skies in the famous plane 70 years on and said the whole thing was “lovely”.

“When the war broke out all our boyfriends would talk about was flying. So when we saw the advert we both decided to apply. Once we were there, there was no sex discrimination.” -Joy Lofthouse, one of the last surviving female pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary (or “Attagirls”).

(via The Mary Sue)

The brief, wondrous life of Zina Lahr

When 23-year-old Lahr went missing on a trail outside Ouray, Colorado, the world lost an unimaginable young talent

After watching the video, I’m tremendously sad this person isn’t alive anymore; but how wonderful that we live in a world where people like her can exist.

The greatest weapon against women’s suffrage: LOLCats

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Back in the day, these images of kittens were used by those opposed to women’s suffrage to mock its supporters. I cannot imagine it worked, because these kittens are adorable.

As the suffrage movement continued, though, the imagery of cats took on a very different tone. Particularly so after the British government implemented the Cat and Mouse Act, which allowed officials to release imprisoned suffragettes (many of whom were hunger striking) for medical care, only to lock them up again later – somewhat like a cat toying with a mouse, hence the name. Once it was out in the open, you started seeing images like this:


Not quite as cuddly.

More info (including one disturbing image of a banged-up cat) in this Jezebel article. Mostly I just wanted to post some pictures of cats, because, hey, it’s the internet.

Monopoly’s forgotten inventor

Elizabeth Magie, a crusader against big business, devised the classic capitalist game decades before the man credited with its creation.

The forgotten inventor of Monopoly was Elizabeth Magie: comedienne, poet, and staunchly independent woman. She made national headlines when she, mocking the social pressure for her to get married, put herself up for auction to the highest bidder.

(thanks to Mark Theriault for sending this in!)

Marie Wilcox

This short documentary profiles the last fluent speaker of Wukchumni, a Native American language, and her creation of a comprehensive dictionary.

Marie Wilcox is the last fluent speaker of Wukchumni. For years she has been working to create a dictionary of her language and teach it to others.

(Warning: the link has a video that autoplays.)

Nog Prize #7

Annie Cúglas wrote:

Hi there! Not to be a bother but a few things caught my eye on Fredegund’s image. I am a medieval history professor and Viking combat re-enactor so while my wheelhouse is a few centuries after the Merovingians I still tend to notice things.

The first is that the suits of armor in the hall are very anachronistic: European plate armor did not really exist until the 13th century and not in the complete suits that we imagine until the 15th century. In the 6th century, while there may have been metal helmets for the very wealthy, the only body armor available was chainmail and possibly scale mail. I write only because you wrote of redoing that section to better capture the light on the armor, and I figure if you’re going to redraw it you may as well correct it.

And also if you are messing about with the image I’d also like to point out that gem-cutting technology is very late medieval if not early modern so the faceted jewel sticking out of the treasure box is also anachronistic.  At this time, while some gems could be carved with relief images, most would simply be cabochons or smoothly polished  stones.

Fredegund’s outfit also seems off to me, but I’m not a textile expert and as mentioned 6th century is a bit early for me.  Nonetheless I’ve never seen Merovingian women’s clothing without long sleeves and a cape or kaftan-like overgarment. Early medieval clothing always seems heavy and hot to me until I’m wearing it in a place without central heating, then I need pile it on, so I can’t imagine even a queen being comfortable in short sleeves. If you’d like I can do more research for you since I will probably know what sources and resources would be best.

I really hope I’m not being pedantic. I’m not looking for a Nog or anything; I just have a fairly narrow skill set so when I can use it, I do!

Dude, totally got me on this. Fredegund‘s entry was one of the original 12 I put up on the site, before I started being as thorough with the research. Not only that, but the environment she is in is somewhat baffling, somewhere between treasure room and throne room. If I had to do any single image over from scratch, it’d be hers.

(if I had to do two, I’d toss in Hatshepsut)