Sean's Blog

Thoughts on history and culture.

If you were stranded: 5 examples of "desert islands" in the real world.

We've all heard the trope, and probably many of us have answered questions on social media that begin, "If you were stranded on a desert island...?" But aside from thinking about which five music...

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Only You: The somewhat depressing history of Smokey the Bear.

In the depths of World War II, on August 9, 1944, the U.S. Forest Service released a public service poster that featured for the first time a character who would become iconic in American history...

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Robert Stack knows all: "Unsolved Mysteries" and how we see the unknown.

As you may be aware, the old 1980s television series Unsolved Mysteries has recently been rebooted on Netflix for a new season, technically its 15th. It's been phenomenally successful and has...

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"Michelle Remembers," SRA and the Historical Roots of QAnon.

Right now, in the late summer of 2020, a significant number of people believe that cabals of Satanists are kidnapping children in America, trafficking them into sex cults and abusing them in...

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"Those who hate you don't win": thoughts on Nixon's resignation.

Today (August 9) is a historical anniversary that, while I'm sure won't go un-noticed, may well go unappreciated. Forty-six years ago today, on August 9, 1974, Richard M. Nixon resigned as...

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Hiroshima at the dinner table: what the atom bomb "debate" misses.

Seventy-five years ago today, on August 6, 1945, the United States dropped the first atom bomb used in combat on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, in one of the most consequential acts in recent...

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The war that began our descent: The 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Thirty years ago today, on August 2, 1990, military units of Iraq's elite Republican Guard crossed the border between that country and its southern neighbor, Kuwait, in an audacious invasion...

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Sweltering in the Old World: The European heat wave of 2003.

On August 10, 2003, a thermometer in Faversham, Kent, in England, registered 101.3° F (38.5° C), the highest temperature ever recorded in the UK until it was finally exceeded on July 25,...

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Disappeared: Mitchel Weiser and Bonita Bickwit, missing since 1973.

On July 27, 1973, forty-seven years ago today, Mitchel Weiser, age 16, and his girlfriend Bonita "Bonnie" Bickwit, age 15, both from Brooklyn, disappeared somewhere between Narrowsburg and Watkins...

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Guns and Provolone: Food, booze and wine in Scorsese's "GoodFellas." [Part III]

This is Part III of my essay on food, alcohol and wine depicted in Martin Scorsese's masterpiece, GoodFellas, which I argue are a crucial part of understanding this great film. Part...

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