Quirky History

Quirky History

Lesser-known morsels of olden day stuff


The Most Beautiful Maps on Earth

Map Porn Part 2: The Most Beautiful Geological Maps on Earth

Where Art Meets Science Scientific visualisations often can look just like objects of visual art. The previous installation of this series, there were topographical surveys visualised on both our moon and Jupiter’s moon. This time, we are focusing on our own Pale Blue Dot. These maps are not only utilitarian and functional, they are works…

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Try out these scintillating, interactive Gustav Klimt paintings

This is one from the dusty vaults of Content Catnip and overdue for a revival. I created an interactive slider using a free tool involving Klimt’s classic paintings and a modern-day interpretation/re-enactment by photographer Inge Prader. I hope you like it! Push the slider from left to right to see the Klimt paintings come alive……

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Alfabeto Pittorico: A curious alphabet of splendid architecture

Alfabeto Pittorico: A curious alphabet of splendid architecture

Antonio Basoli was an celebrated Italian artist who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries, working mostly in Bologna. He is known for these beautiful architectural alphabet engravings called Alfabeto Pittorico. I love the ornate architecture and romanticism of these pieces and the sense of depth in these pieces. What do you think? Via Design…

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A placid and beautiful Highland Cow, found roaming on the Isle of Skye. Copyright Content Catnip 2010.

A History of the Beautiful Highland Cow

Highland Cows or as they are commonly known in Scotland Highland Coos are an ancient breed known to have grazed the rugged Scottish landscape since the sixth century. Their genetic origins are still up for debate. They may be native to Scotland or introduced by the Vikings to Great Britain. One scientific train of thought…

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The terrace houses of Sevilla, Spain

Travel: The Beautiful Terrace Windows of Triana, Sevilla

Back in 2010 during a particularly sweltering summer, I visited Andalucia and soaked in the beautiful architecture in Sevilla. The best way to see all of the charming neighbourhoods and historic monuments was going the tourist routes with an open-top bus. This also afforded me excellent views onto all of the terrace houses with their…

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Otherworldly Abandoned Soviet Monuments: Tjentište

Otherworldly and Abandoned Soviet Monuments

These sculptures and old buildings before the end of the Cold War era look futuristic and strange. Some structures demonstrate the military might of Russia. While others are scintillating, harshly modern, and located in beautiful forested landscapes. These monuments are artistic and architectural wonders. Could these lost and forgotten objects ever be revived and resurrected, albeit…

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Beautiful maps & beautiful Welsh tales: The Mabinogion

Beautiful maps & beautiful Welsh tales: The Mabinogion

The Mabinogion is a magical and mythical Celtic classic from the  thirteenth century or earlier. It’s thoroughly Welsh and is considered a masterpiece of medieval literature. Although written down during the middle ages, experts think these stories may date from the dawn of Celtic civilisation in Britain. The Mabinogion has given rise to all of…

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Ryoan-Ji zen garden in Arashiyama, Kyoto. Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com

Japan’s 72 gossamer-light and poetic microseasons

The traditional seasons in Japan are marked out by impercetibly small changes in nature across 72 miniature seasons in a year, each lasting 5 days and reflecting the fleeting, impermanent and diaphanous beauty of nature and all of its wonders. There are 24 divisions or sekki in the calendar that are split into 72 kō…

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A Compendium of New Zealand Woo, Cults and New Age Claptrap

A Compendium of New Zealand Woo, Cults and New Age Claptrap

New Zealand is no stranger to woo, religious cults and strange pseudoscientific ‘cures’ for various ailments. Have a look closely at this vintage 1932 poster from the New Zealand Railways, advertising Rotorua as a ‘health spa destination’ and peddling all sorts of odd ‘miraculous’ treatments! Then learn more about the unusual cults that are tucked…

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How real women dressed over the ages

How real women dressed over the ages

A lot of fuss and attention is given to how wealthy women dressed in ancient times. Yet for every affluent woman there would be 10 other women of more humble origins, toiling and working in low paid and thankless jobs. Here are some really incredible videos that showcase how these women dressed over time. Women…

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