European History

The Mysterious Hope Diamond, Pt. 2

The Hope Diamond is well traveled, but is it cursed? Does it have mystical powers? Why does it glow red after exposure to UV light? Analysis of the curse stories and chemical composition of the gem yield interesting results.

The Hope Diamond has traveled across continents, been stolen in revolutions, and was even the signature accessory of a wealthy heiress for nearly four decades. The first part of the discussion covers the stone's history up to the modern era.

The Flannan Isles Disappearance

The Flannan Islands have been rumored for centuries to be haunted or have some supernatural darkness. In 1900, three men vanished from the lighthouse on Eilean Mor, leaving behind an unfinished meal and a mystery that's never been conclusively solved.

We All Scream for Ice Cream

There is actually some disagreement about the actual origin point of ice cream, but almost everyone agrees it's delicious. The real origin story is a culmination of many cultures and ingredients coming together to fill the need for a frosty treat.

Boudica: Warrior Queen

Boudica was a queen of the Iceni who staged either a successful rebellion against the Romans or a massacre, depending on who's talking.

The Luddites

The Luddite uprising was a series of protests in northern England, in which workers smashed machines in mills and factories. This wasn't the first organized violence against mechanization, but Luddites are the most infamous of all the machine-breakers.

The Irish Potato Famine: An Unnatural Disaster, Pt. 2

In the mid-1800s, the poorest people in Ireland ate almost nothing but potatoes. Other crops were for selling. So when a blight cut a swath through the potato crop, the impact was severe, and politics played a significant role in the tragedy.

The Irish Potato Famine: An Unnatural Disaster, Pt. 1

The history lesson kids often get on the Irish Potato Famine could be summed up as "a blight destroyed the potato crops, and a lot of people starved or moved away." Most kids ask, "Why didn't they eat something else?" Good question.

Paul Poiret

French designer Paul Poiret's work, which was often avante-garde, changed the fashion world in significant ways. He got rid of corsets, introduced the concept of lifestyle branding, and used draping rather that tailoring to create his dramatic designs.

Who was the real Robin Hood?

Robin Hood-style characters have been showing up in literature since the 14th century. Historians disagree about whether there was any truth to the legend, and we're wondering: Was Robin Hood real, and if so, who was he?