Tolkien Explained: The Complete History of the Shire

Nerd of the Rings is a popular YouTuber known for his in-depth analysis and commentary on the world of Middle-earth as depicted in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. In one of his recent videos, Nerd of the Rings gives a comprehensive history of the Shire, the idyllic homeland of the hobbits. Be […]

Only the Richest Ancient Athenians Paid Taxes – And They Bragged About It

In ancient Athens, only the richest people paid taxes on wealth, and they were happy to do it. Twospoonfuls via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA Thomas Martin, College of the Holy Cross In ancient Athens, only the very wealthiest people paid direct taxes, and these went to fund the city-state’s most important national expenses – the […]

The Christmas tree is a tradition older than Christmas

Public Christmas trees, like Rockefeller Center’s famous tree, didn’t start appearing in the U.S. until the 20th century. Nicholas Hunt/WireImage via Getty Images Troy Bickham, Texas A&M University Why, every Christmas, do so many people endure the mess of dried pine needles, the risk of a fire hazard and impossibly tangled strings of lights? Strapping […]

The Muppet Christmas Carol turns 30: how the film became a cult classic

Andrea Wright, Edge Hill University “Cult” is often indiscriminately applied to film and television. In Cult Movies (1981), film critic Danny Peary argued that it should be reserved for “special films which for one reason or another have been taken to heart by segments of the movie audience, cherished, protected, and most of all, enthusiastically […]

The Creepy Origins of Popular Nursery Rhymes [Video]

A look at the dark origins of popular nursery rhymes by Noah Lefevre of Polyphonic. [Polyphonic | Via Neatorama] Music essayist Noah Lefevre of Polyphonic looks at the dark origins of popular nursery rhymes and why the subject of so many are so very creepy. LeFevre notes that nursery rhymes, such as “Mary, Mary Quite […]

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) – Colorized and Upscaled to 4K by an AI

Wow! Just wow! Youtuber “Nineteenth century videos. Back to life.” used an AI to bring Fritz Lang’s classic sci-fi movie Metropolis (1927) into 2022, and the result is mind blowing! It’s hard to believe that the VFXs in this movie are almost a century old! Also, “Mars, the Bringer of War” by Holst is a […]

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ continues the series’ quest to recover and celebrate lost cultures

Talokan is inspired by Mesoamerica, a vast area that encompasses Central America and parts of Mexico. Source: Marvel Studios. Julian C. Chambliss, Michigan State University As someone who teaches and writes about Afrofuturism, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” I’m particularly excited about the introduction of Namor and the hidden […]