“Salt is sacramental, a sign of the love between humans and the divine. The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all gave their gods gifts of salt, and in Shintoism, small piles of salt are placed in dishes by the entrances of buildings. Called “salt flowers,” these offerings are believed to placate the spirits. The Jainists pair raw rice with salt as an offering of devotion to their deities. For the Jews, salt dipped in bread and passed around the table at seder is a sign of preserving the covenant between God and his people. Catholic priests bless salt to use in rituals such as baptism, reconsecrating a defiled altar, and consecrating holy water. Blessed salt can also be used in exorcisms or sprinkled inside the faithful’s homes for protection. In this way, salt becomes a gift of God’s love for mankind.” At The RumpusKate Angus argues that salt, far from being simply a pillar of the spice trade, is in fact “the physical manifestation of the basic triad of our lives: love, work, and grief.” (via millionsmillions)

(via whatwouldkristindo)



odditiesoflife:

10 of the Oldest Alcoholic Drinks on Earth

For most of us, the joyous discovery of old alcohol would mean finding a forgotten Bud in the back of the fridge. However a lucky few get to taste truly ancient elixirs, like a sailing team who discovered 30 bottles of almost 200 year-old champagne from a shipwreck off the Aland islands between Sweden and Finland (pic 3). They brought one bottle back to verify the shipwreck’s age, then verified the champagne. With each bottle expected to fetch $68,000 at auction, the happy crew most likely celebrated with a bottle of beer. Enjoy…well read about 10 of the oldest surviving alcohols in existence:

  1. Army and Navy Stores Whiskey with cellar tags: “Mid 19th century Army and Navy old Liqueur Wisky”.
  2. Absinthe Edouard Pernod from Lunel. The earliest intact sealed absinthe bottle yet unearthed from the 1870s.
  3. The world’s oldest drinkable champagne, from the early 19th century, salvaged from a shipwreck off the Aland islands. At least three of the recovered bottles were Veuve Cliquot.
  4. A large format bottle of Armagnac from 1865.
  5. The Hannisville Cache with two carboys of rye, two carboys of whiskey and one carboy of gin. The whiskey was distilled in 1863, held in oak barrels for 50 years and put into the carboys. Purchased by John Welsh, US ambassador of Great Britain in the late 1870s.
  6. A Hungarian Tokaji wine from the Royal Saxon cellars, bottled in the 1680s.
  7. The oldest dated rum bottle, a Vieux Rhum Anglais from 1830.
  8. 1775 Massandra Sherry de la Frontera, sold for $43,500 in 2001.
  9. Rüdesheimer Apostelwein from 1652 (non-drinkable) and 1727 (drinkable) from Bremen, Germany. The bottle and the label are from the 1950s.
  10. A bottle of wine from a mid 4th century Roman stone sarcophagus, unearthed from a vineyard near Speyer in Germany in 1867.

source 1, 2

Omg now I’m gonna have dreams about me drinking that Armagnac from 1865 like Conner McCloud in Highlander.

(via odditiesoflife)


smithsonianlibraries:

Ye Olde Fireworks!

From the section charmingly called “Feux de Joye,” this is a somewhat modified scan of 17th century fireworks from Practique de la guerre.

Happy Fourth of July!

best gif


pbsthisdayinhistory:

June 4, 1989: China’s Army Storms Tiananmen Square

On this day in 1989, hundreds of pro-democracy protesters were killed by army troops in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. 

During the spring of 1989, China’s communist regime was threatened by the largest pro-democracy demonstration in the country’s history. After several weeks of failed negotiations to end the protest, the Chinese government authorized nearly 300,000 soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to seize control of Tiananmen Square. As a result, hundreds of protesters were killed and thousands arrested. Explore FRONTLINE’s timeline of the protests and massacre at Tiananmen Square.

The most famous photograph from the standoff at Tiananmen Square is seen above. The protester known as “Tank Man” became an inspiration for protesters around the world. FRONTLINE’s “Tank Man” reflects on what he means for China today.

Source: BEIJING - JUNE 5, 1989: A lone demonstrator stands down a column of tanks June 5, 1989 at the entrance to Tiananmen Square in Beijing. (Photo by CNN via Getty Images) 

(via blackkvlt)







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