Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Archive for February 22, 2014

Belle the hippo during the siege of Leningrad, 1943.

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“Belle survived the war thanks to her caretaker, Yevdokia Dashina. In 1941 water was turned off throughout the city and Belle’s pool was empty, so her skin began to dry out and crack. Every day, Dashina would drag a 40-liter barrel of water from the Neva river and rub the suffering hippo with camphor oil. Eventually, Belle’s skin healed and she was able to hide underwater through the air raids.” (Source)

*In this case, none of the zoo animals were eaten, but some, like Betty the elephant, died during the air strikes (sad picture warning!) Most of the cats and rats were indeed eaten, unfortunately.

*An adult hippo night should receive from 36 to 40 kg of feed. But during the blockade she ate 4-6 kg of a mixture of herbs, vegetables and press cake, adding there 30 kg filings, just to fill her stomach. (The zoo workers also shared their rations with the animals.) If you see this picture of Belle from 1935 you can tell that she lost a lot of weight. So she probably didn’t have “enough to eat”, but enough not to starve to death.

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Mosaic image of the sail of the USS Thresher (SSN-593) on the seabed at 2,600m. The USS Thresher was the first nuclear submarine lost at sea. Photo taken between 1963 and 1966.

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The USS Thresher was undertaking dive trials when it encountered trouble. It’s not clear what exactly happened, but it is thought that either a pipe joint failed, flooding the engine room, or an electrical bus failed. Either way, it is thought that the reactor shut down and that ice blocked the air pipes while trying to blow the ballast tanks. The Thresher sank until water pressure caused it to implode, ripping it to pieces.

The picture is a mosaic made from smaller pictures which shows the sail, or “conning tower”. Not the dive plane is completely reversed.


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Jewish prisoners at the moment of liberation from an internment camp “death train”; 1945.

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The only color photo’s of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake

Sutter St. Looking East from Top of Majestic Hall, Oct. 1906, Frederick Eugene Ives, courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History

Market St. Flood Bldg., 1906, by Frederick Eugene Ives, courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
Fr. Van Ness Ave. City Hall R., 1906, by Frederick Eugene Ives, courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
Fr. near City Hall looking NE, by Frederick Eugene Ives, courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History

This is a series of four recently discovered color photographs of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. These photographs are thought to be the only color photographs of the event.

(Source


Hiroshima atom bomb cloud, believed to have been taken about 30 seconds after detonation about 10km (6 miles) east of the hypocenter

Hiroshima_10km“Picture found in Honkawa Elementary School in 2013 of the Hiroshima atom bomb cloud, believed to have been taken about 30 min after detonation of about 10km (6 miles) east of the hypocentre.”

I’d never seen this one before. Amazing to see it from a different angle.

Here’s an article about the discovery of the photograph