Some extremely intricate pin heads from Iran.

All are Luristan, made of bronze and date to about 1000-650 BC. The sharp needle section of the pins has not survived in most cases. The craftsmanship of these works is astonishing, especially given their tiny size.

Courtesy of the lacma. Via their online collections: M.76.97.207M.76.97.183M.76.97.158M.71.73.20 & M.76.97.186.

Olive Oatman
  • Olive Oatman
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class

Today’s episode is an oft-requested one (with the most recent request coming in after it was already recorded). Olive Oatman was a frontier girl in 1851, when she was captured by Native Americans who attacked her family. Once negotiators secured her return, her facial tattoos and harrowing story made her an overnight sensation.

Here’s a link to our notes and research.

Public domain images via Wikimedia Commons

Simon, a cat serving on a Royal Navy Ship in 1949, survived injuries from cannon shells and was awarded a medal for raising morale and killing off a rat infestation. When, at the age of 1, he died of related injuries, hundreds of people attended his funeral.

  • what she says:i'm fine.
  • what she means:How much was the mud really a factor in Napoleon delaying his attack at Waterloo until 11:30 am? His initial orders on the night of June 17th were to begin concentrating for an attack as early as 6:00 am, but he pushed it back to 9.00 and then 11.00. It's true there was torrential rain the night before. Moving heavy artillery through the mud it created certainly wouldn't have been easy. But the morning of the 18th was overcast, and much of the battlefield was hidden beneath shoulder-high crops. It must have been obvious there was no hope of the sun drying the mud before evening. And that was without any further rain that day. And weren't the Army of the North's cantonments on the 17th far too vast to have facilitated a combined arms assault early on the 18th? There are at least two eyewitness accounts stating French troops were still moving into position by 11:30 am. Elements of the Imperial Guard itself hadn't yet arrived. Napoleon stated multiple times he believed Wellington's army would crumble rapidly under pressure. He was in no hurry. Wasn't starting the battle late more to do with his hubris and the difficulty of assembling 70,000 men on one battlefield, and less to do with the mud?

Everyone’s favorite time for ice cream and big-budget action movies: summer! Here’s a few facts about this particular season:

  • “Summer” is from the Proto-Indo-European root *sam-, meaning summer. The root *sam is a variant from the Proto-Indo-European root *sem-, which means “together/one.”
  • The “dog days of summer” refer to the weeks between July 3 and August 11 and are named after the Dog Star (Sirius) in the Canis Major constellation
  • In southern England, over 37,000 people gather at Stonehenge to see the summer solstice.
  • The month of June was named after either Juniores, the lower branch of the Roman Senate, or Juno, the wife of Jupiter
  • Historically, epidemics tended to be in the summer. Even today infectious diseases are more readily caught in the heat, including the Bubonic Plague and leprosy


This week on It’s Okay To Be Smart I tell the crazy story of how Thomas Jefferson used science (and a giant moose) to save America.

Science meets history! #MOOSEforMURICA!!!

My great grandfather passed this WWI German stick grenade down to me(Model 24 stielhandgranate). After doing a bit of research, it seems that it may actually still be active (unless the detonator was never installed). Does anyone have more information abou