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Jul 22, 2016

The Surprisingly Fascinating History of the High Five

created at: 07/29/2014

So, where did the high five come from?           

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Jul 21, 2016

How a Dirty Old Waffle Iron Became Nike's Holy Grail

Every great breakthrough has its "Eureka!" moment, whether we're talking the discovery of gravity or the founding of the world's largest shoe empire. In the latter's case, that happened while searching for a way to create cleats meant for a urethane track (meaning no more metal spikes on the bottom of running shoes), and it involved a household wafflemaker. The infamous wafflemaker was then lost for decades... and now found.   

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Jul 01, 2016

How to: Build a Medieval Castle Without Using Any Modern Technology

In 1997 a team of roughly 70 historians, archaeologists, and craftsmen set out to build a 13th century style castle in a forest two hours outside of Paris using only period appropriate tools. Every stone, tile, and brick is handmade, every tree is hand-felled, and even the trebuchet-looking construction set-up was hand-crafted.   

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Jun 06, 2016

The Fascinating (and Delicious) History of Pho

If you ask me, the world of Vietnamese soups and broths is a world well worth spending time in. And none is better known, or more essential, to Vietnamese culture than pho, a seductive blend of aromatic broth, bright herbs, and bold chile slices to make things interesting. And though the broth is served hot, it's flavor profile makes it the kind of thing you can still enjoy in warm months, making it the ultimate year-round lunch.    

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Apr 13, 2016

"The 501 Jeans: Stories of an Original" Documentary

created at: 04/04/2016 The brand name Levi Strauss is so well known it's practically interchangeable with "jeans." And I'm a huge a fan of jeans in general. They're perhaps the most iconic form of American apparel. They can be classy and dressed up, or rugged and practical. And here's a one of a kind documentary from Levi tracing the brand's history, examining manufacturing techniques, and discussing the relevance of the cut on society. With gorgeous retro cinematography, it's inspirational to watch, and it's narrated by Ramblin' Jack Elliot to boot.    

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Mar 25, 2016

Why Aren't All Cocktails Served in the Same Glass?

created at: 03/20/2016As any quality chef will tell you, presentation is of vital importance. And it's no less true when it comes to the pairing of cocktails and glassware. Each glass has its own connotations of class and style, completely aside from its own functionality, and so here's a little history behind it all.   

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Mar 23, 2016

Watch A Damascus Short Sword Forged in Stunning 8K

We're in the wild west of digital technology as engineers keep innovating, which is why this test shoot for the upcoming RED Weapon 8K camera decided to focus its lens on some stunning old techniques. created at: 03/20/2016Watch as accomplished bladesmith Tony Swatton forges his modern take on a Roman gladius using a 93 layer damascus technique, one of his last creations in his old workshop.

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Mar 16, 2016

The History of The Space Pen

Back when I wanted to be an astronaut (just kidding NASA take me now I'll do anything), my mom gave me a space pen that somebody had given her and it was SO cool. Besides being able to write upside down, I loved the design of the sleek little guy and the connection I felt with my gravity-defying heroes. The history of their design is quite the little story, recently featured by Cool Material.   

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Mar 15, 2016

An Edible History of the Hamburger

created at: 03/26/2015

The world loves American hamburgers. Because, of course they do. They're the world's most perfect food. (Sorry, bananas). But few really know where and how they began...   

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Mar 14, 2016

Happy Pi Day 2016! Here's Why You Should Love (and Celebrate) π

Happy Pi Day 2016

Say hi to π. It's world’s most well known, most controversial number, and it has been baffling and delighting mathematicians for literally thousands of years. As you probably learned in junior high, pi (or π)  is the mathematical constant used to show the relationship between the radius of a circle and the circle’s circumference, usually abbreviated to 3.14159. But, pi is both an irrational number (meaning it cannot be represented exactly as a fraction) and a transcendental number (meaning it is not the root of any non-zero polynomial having rational coefficients). The fraction 22/7 is used most often for representing pi as it is accurate to

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Feb 29, 2016

The Library that Kept Shackleton Sane while Stranded in Antarctica

If you've ever entertained the question of which books you'd take to keep you sane on a deserted island, you'll want to check this out.   

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Jan 27, 2016

Daily Inspiration: WWII Ship Hatch Turned Coffee Table

Ship HatchWhen I stumbled onto this excellent coffee table project, it completely inspired me to think about all the items I pass up. An only WWII Ship Hatch needed a second life and with a bit of creative making, it was transformed into a seriously awesome coffee table.  

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Jan 12, 2016

The Plan to Rebuild the Colossus of Rhodes

Some of the most awe-inspiring moments in fantasy movies, not to mention real life, are those featuring characters who happen upon a new city that greets its travelers with the most gigantic statues you can imagine. Whether its the Titan of Bravos, the Gates of Argonath, or Lady Liberty herself, they can all be traced back to the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. And now there's a plan to rebuild it... five times larger.  

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Dec 14, 2015

Free Download: The First Ever English Language Book on Woodworking - Joseph Moxon's 'Mechanick Exercises'

One of my favorite truths about woodworking is: it really hasn't changed much in the last few centuries. Sure, there are table saws that won't cut hotdogs now, but if you look at the hand tool design, they're nearly identical. (In fact, most modern high end tool makers are doing their best to emulate historic tools from the 19th century, albeit with newer materials). All of this is to say - this is a good thing, people who make stuff! It's good for your wallet, cause you can easily find these old tools and bring them back to life. And it's also good for your wallet (see what I did there?), because it means you can find loads of old books, magazines, and other instructional materials, all of which will be valid.   

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Dec 08, 2015

The Art of the Menu

Back in the day, the importance of a menu’s design was on par with the restaurant’s actual decor. Artists were hired to craft hand-drawn pictures, ornate fonts, and anything that would help sell the cuisine. While the art of the ornate menu has declined in recent years, the New York Public Library has archived over 7,000 unique restaurant menus from the city’s history.   

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Oct 08, 2015

Where Does the Phrase "Made from Scratch" Actually Come From?

created at: 10/08/2015

I was reading Justin's piece from earlier today on building an electric guitar from scratch, and the title got my wheels spinning. What does "made from scratch" actually mean? Is it slang for some cheap material like sticks or straw? Is it related to using "scratch" as colloquialism for money? 

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Sep 15, 2015

31 Style Terms (and History) Every Man Should Know

This is the most informative collection of men's fashion terms and history that I've found on the internet so far. Each fashion icon comes with some quick facts (Corduroy gets its name from the French "cord du roi" or the cord of the king, and has been around since ancient Egypt), but then each item breaks out into an extensive history if you click on it. And all this comes from GQ, so you know they know what they're talking about.   

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Aug 05, 2015

Military-Inspired Men's Style Classics...That You Actually Wear Everyday

created at: 08/04/2015

Everything has history, and some of our daily accessories have stories you wouldn't believe. From the evolution of the world’s first t-shirt to the desert boots you probably own, this little ditty from Jack Threads breaks down the stories behind some of our most commonplace clothing items.   

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Jul 27, 2015

Mapping the Flow of Human Body Hair...In 1902

Any guy can attest. Whether it's your head, your beard, your chest, or, um, anywhere else, your hair has a grain to it... a natural flow that never shifts, no matter how much you have or how long or short it is. 

And, because of course he did, in 1902, Dr. Walter Kidd published "A Chart of the Human Hair Streams, Showing Their Lineage and History."   

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Jul 22, 2015

Take a Taxi Through Vintage New York City

created at: 07/21/2015If you're interested in the actual design, style, and swagger of a forgotten era, step into this time-capsule and see life as it really was in 1970's New York City. As someone who was once able to claim the moniker of a New Yorker, I found this footage engaging but I think any stranger to the land will as well. I feel like as modern men, most of our experience of the styles of the past are filtered through cinematic recreations, which is why I found this silent footage so striking. Just seeing the streets, the lights, and the people (especially void of sound) casts the whole nostalgic experience a different light. 

Watch this widescreen POV

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