Sacredness is a form of entropy. It accrues to the rational like pollen falling earthward on a spring day or leaves during an autumn chill. The Jacobins and others established their “Cult of Reason,” or their “Cult of the Supreme Being,” re-dedicating churches as temples of reason, and enacting a festival in that ideal’s name upon the altar of Notre Dame. But ultimately temples are places of faith, no matter how loud the denials. A cult is still a cult, after all.

Why the French Revolution’s “Rational” Calendar Wasn’t | JSTOR Daily

copperbadge:

daisenseiben:

ethereal-insight:

tilthat:

TIL the Han Dynasty was founded by a sheriff who was transporting convicts when several escaped. Knowing the punishment for this was death, he freed the rest and organized many into a rebel band, eventually going on to help overthrow the ruling Qin Dynasty and install himself as Emperor.

via reddit.com

Talk about rolling with it

You ever fuck up so bad you overthrow a Chinese emperor?

I know what the Han Dynasty is, I swear, but I’m so used to seeing Star Wars content on my dash that until I hit “Qin Dynasty” I literally thought this was a Star Wars novel about the one time Han Solo took a job for the Empire and I was thinking 1) this is definitely something Han Solo would do and 2) I need to find the title of that novel so I can read it. 

historical-nonfiction:

You rarely see a “wend” without a “way.” You can wend your way through a crowd or down a hill, but no one wends to bed or to school. However, there was a time when English speakers would wend to all kinds of places. “Wend” was just another word for “go” in Old English. The past tense of “wend” was “went” and the past tense of “go” was “gaed.” People used both until the 1400s, when “go” became the preferred verb, except in the past tense where “went” hung on, leaving us with an outrageously irregular verb.

 

4ft 8.5″

theironjackflint:

nobelshieldmaiden:

djrichiecee:

totalharmonycycle:

Why 4 FEET 8.5 Inches is Very Important

Fascinating Stuff …

Railroad Tracks
The U.S. Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches.

That’s an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used?

Because that’s the way they built them in England, and English expatriates designed the U.S. Railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.

Why did ‘they’ use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular Odd wheel spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So, who built those old rutted roads?

Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads?
Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear
of destroying their wagon wheels.

Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

Therefore, the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

In other words, bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification, procedure, or process, and wonder, ‘What horse’s ass came up with this?’,
you may be exactly right.

Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses.

Now, the twist to the story:

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, you will notice that there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs.

The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah.

The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit larger,
but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.

The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains
and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel.

The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know,
is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature
of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass.

And you thought being a horse’s ass wasn’t important!

Now you know, Horses’ Asses control almost everything.

Explains a whole lot of stuff, doesn’t it?

This is the single most mind blowing fact I’ve read on tumblr, every day is a school day-thank you.

Nice history lesson!

My daughter and I were just discussing this very subject.

janebrickley:

Reliquary Bust of Saint Balbina, ca. 1520–30
South Netherlandish (possibly made in Brussels, Belgium)

“All reliquaries derive their power from the relic they contain as well as from the beauty and intrinsic qualities of the vessel. Reliquaries in the form of busts became widespread during the High Middle Ages. This head (made of painted and gilded oak) contains the skull of Saint Balbina, an early virgin martyr of Rome. The label on the little door on top identifies the relic inside. She is richly dressed in a fashionable gown and with jewelry and an elaborate coiffure.” (metmuseum.org)

janebrickley:

Reliquary Bust of Saint Balbina, ca. 1520–30
South Netherlandish (possibly made in Brussels, Belgium)

“All reliquaries derive their power from the relic they contain as well as from the beauty and intrinsic qualities of the vessel. Reliquaries in the form of busts became widespread during the High Middle Ages. This head (made of painted and gilded oak) contains the skull of Saint Balbina, an early virgin martyr of Rome. The label on the little door on top identifies the relic inside. She is richly dressed in a fashionable gown and with jewelry and an elaborate coiffure.” (metmuseum.org)

janebrickley:

Reliquary Bust of Saint Balbina, ca. 1520–30
South Netherlandish (possibly made in Brussels, Belgium)

“All reliquaries derive their power from the relic they contain as well as from the beauty and intrinsic qualities of the vessel. Reliquaries in the form of busts became widespread during the High Middle Ages. This head (made of painted and gilded oak) contains the skull of Saint Balbina, an early virgin martyr of Rome. The label on the little door on top identifies the relic inside. She is richly dressed in a fashionable gown and with jewelry and an elaborate coiffure.” (metmuseum.org)