biweekly links 1-10-2017

Happy new year! New year, new (well, not so new) links:

King-Slapping, Devil-Dressing, and Avoiding Blondes: The Crazy Ways Humans Have Rung in the New Year Throughout History: and to think I just stayed home with champagne.

From the Pentagon’s UFO program to death by cyanide at the UN court: 17 unbelievable stories that got lost in the relentless news cycle of 2017: some of these really would have been striking in any other year: a cholera outbreak, multiple natural disasters, ongoing wars, and smuggled artifacts.

Explore The Largest Early Map Of The World: This 1587 map is beautiful, all the more so for the incredible effort it represents. The article is a good introduction to the history of Monte’s map but go to for truly impressive images.

Why ‘Frankenstein’ Is More Relevant Than Ever: originally published on January 1, 1818, this “first science fiction novel”*’s warnings about the hazards of abandoning of our high-tech creations still ring true.

Nineteenth century illustration of three kittens in a basket. Text: A Happy New Year.
In honor of my cat Spice, who made it one day into 2018 – RIP. Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “A happy New Year.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

*Debatable. Does Margaret Cavendish’s “Blazing World” (1668) count as sci-fi?