The Rest Is History

Exercising at home, gibberish, and an old eruption.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, May 22, 2020

President Woodrow Wilson’s cabinet exercising, 1917. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

• Covid-19 in context: the sweating sickness, banning bars, Mumbai, absent memorials, California newspapers, an unmasked mayor, normalcy, and a history of working out at home.

• “A renowned scholar claimed that he discovered a first-century gospel fragment. Now he’s facing allegations of antiquities theft, cover-up, and fraud.” (The Atlantic)

• “The post–Opium War tea trade has some important things to tell us about the history of capitalism.” (Aeon)

• On the mysterious black goo of ancient Egypt. (British Museum Blog)

• On the lives of women, how they write, and how to write about them. (Harper’s Magazine)

• “U.S. federal prosecutors are seeking the return to Iraq of a roughly 3,500-year-old clay tablet purchased by the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store chain for display in the Washington, DC–based Museum of the Bible. The cuneiform tablet is described as ‘stolen Iraqi property’ in a civil complaint filed Monday.” (NPR)

• Revisiting the Mount St. Helens eruption. (New York Times)

• On the Locked Room. (ARTnews)

• The history of gibberish. (Aeon)

• “The Complex History of Skin Lighteners.” (Africa Is a Country)

• This week in obituaries: Michel Piccoli, Astrid Kirchherr, Ken Osmond, Susan Rothenberg, Fred Willard, Jorge Santana, Alan Jacobi, Michael McClure, Phyllis George, and Annie Glenn.