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Science & history: Muslim inventors, pro-choice establishment Christians, pre-tourism Japan, and more November 27, 2012

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“So there my friend stood, in 1990, in Jericho, believing that the universe was 5,994* years old and staring at a man-made wall that was 8,000 years old.

20 Muslim inventions that shaped our world. You probably know about algebra, but what about quilting, windmills, and fountain pens?

If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average.

Images from 1910: “Photographer Kozaburo was the first to produce tourist shots for Japan with an album of 51 collotype black and white photographic prints, which were painstakingly inked in by a team of 100 colourists, and gave Europe one of its first glimpses of life inside the previously secretive state.” Includes some beautifully-chosen then-and-now comparison shots.

Views on abortion from various Christian establishment groups in 1978. Episcopals, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and others articulating positions that are thoughtful, reasonable, and pro-choice.

…the women who were turned away from an abortion were more likely to rely on government assistance, more likely to be living beneath the poverty line, and less likely to have a full-time job than the women in the study who had obtained abortions. They also registered more anxiety a week after they were denied an abortion and reported more stress a year out. They were no more or less likely to be depressed. And women who gave birth suffered from more serious health complications [...] than the women who aborted, even later in their pregnancies.”

“The first photographic images in the late 1820s had to be exposed for hours in order to capture them on film. Improvements in the technology led to this exposure time being drastically cut down to minutes, then seconds, throughout the 19th century. [...] Seems children were just as squirmy then as they are today, because another amusing convention developed: photographs containing hidden mothers trying to keep their little ones still enough for a non-blurry picture.”

6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America: the title is kind of a misnomer, as the topic is more “ridiculous misinformation you believe about the state of America before the Europeans got here.”

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