English Church Architecture - Please, tell me more about your chancels. Forgotten Palaces - Thomas Jorion's photographs of abandoned palaces in Europe and Italy. Maddie on Things - I'm generally a fan of dogs perched on random objects. Theatres by Franck Bohbot - Beautiful photographs of empty theatres (and other places). Beat Boutique - "To delve into the history and holdings of music libraries is to greatly complicate one's understanding of the term selling out" What did you say? I can't hear you... - Kathryn Hepburn reads a letter she wrote to Spencer Tracy eighteen years after his death. The video is absolutely heartbreaking, and makes me want to go looking for a good biography (the little I know is from the Scandals of Classic Hollywood Series, which is excellent and really, really fun when it's not busy being a bit tragic). 1491 by Charles C. Mann - A fascinating article about the 'pristine myth' of North America, and the human history of the Amazon rain forest.
Who ever thought that I'd be writing you a letter. You died on the 10th of June in 1967. My golly, Spence, that's twenty-four years ago. That's a long time. Are you happy finally?
To Elizabeth Fenn, the smallpox historian, the squabble over numbers obscures a central fact. Whether one million or 10 million or 100 million died, she believes, the pall of sorrow that engulfed the hemisphere was immeasurable. Languages, prayers, hopes, habits, and dreams—entire ways of life hissed away like steam. The Spanish and the Portuguese lacked the germ theory of disease and could not explain what was happening (let alone stop it). Nor can we explain it; the ruin was too long ago and too all-encompassing. In the long run, Fenn says, the consequential finding is not that many people died but that many people once lived. The Americas were filled with a stunningly diverse assortment of peoples who had knocked about the continents for millennia. "You have to wonder," Fenn says. "What were all those people up to in all that time?"