What is Obama stepping into in Hiroshima?; History in movies, Game of Thrones, museums, music, . . . and toilets.



Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial, containing the names of all the people killed in the bombing

Is Obama making a diplomatic mistake by going to Hiroshima? All indications are that he does not intend to apologize for the bombings, but his visit is stepping right into a contentious and long standing sore spot in the region. Will it damage our improving relations with China and with our long standing allies in South Korea?

HBO’s Game of Thrones has always featured storylines and events that are loosely based on actual history, but how well have recent episodes reflected how knighthood actually worked? Do they get it right? Well, yes, and no. 

So it seems that one of the newest trends in archeology is the study of ancient toilets. What the heck can they learn from those? Well, apparently a lot. (Did you know that in Roman latrines “You might walk in and actually see a flame burst out of one of those holes because of the methanic gases that built up in the sewer underneath the toilet?” Whoah).

As we know, the Smithsonian’s new African American museum is set to open this fall, but where did the money come from for such an impressive facility? The Washington Post today shares details about the impressive fundraising campaign that tapped into a wide diversity of institutions, corporations, civic groups, individuals, and even the NBA and NFL.

Here’s some pretty exciting movie news: director Christopher Nolan’s next film is going to be an epic about Dunkirk. Awesome.

And speaking of history movies: as we know, Hollywood has been exploring Antebellum and Civil War America a lot lately, and in some exciting ways that are helping to destroy the Lost Cause. Over on Muster (the pop culture blog of the Journal of the Civil War Era) they’ve posted a good run down of these recent movies and shows (curiously, however, WGNs Underground is missing), focusing on the upcoming movies Free State of Jones and The Birth of a Nation.

And lastly, the “alt-reggae” band Say-Real has a new single they created by using quotes from Frederick Douglass. Check it out:


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