How did historical cultures view celestial events?

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I wrote last week on what it would be like to view a supernova, as well as describing accounts of supernovae that have occurred through history.

What must historical cultures have thought of events like supernovae, comets, or eclipses, before the scientific understanding of what these things actually were came to light?

I believe a lot of religious and mythological stories had their origins with these types of events.

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Photos from the Space Station

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Sometimes it’s easy to forget that right at this very moment, there are people flying around the Earth up in space. But there has been a continuous human presence in space since the first International Space Station expedition in 2000.

I follow the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet on Flickr, who has just returned from a six-month stint on the station, and while there was constantly taking gorgeous photos of the Earth.

Here are some of my favourite photos that he took while he was up there.

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Living through Historical Turning Points

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Last week I wrote about how the future will see the era we live in today, and I explained how I believe the future will see our time as a big turning point.

I wanted to expand a little bit on the idea of a “turning point”. Turning points are terms used after the event in question has occurred – a term used to create an easy dividing point between one era and another.

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How will the future see events happening today?

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Sometimes I like to think of how history books in the future will look back on the era we live in today.

Looking back through history it is clear the era we live in now is a period of intense change.

Historical societies can remain relatively unchanged over certain periods for centuries. Romans in the 1st century would recognise and feel comfortable with Romans in the 5th century.

Yet how comfortable would we be if we were transported back to the 1600s?

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Video: history of the entire world, i guess

It’s not often I’m so excited to see a video pop up in my subscription feed on YouTube.

After seeing The History of Japan by bill wurtz a few months ago, and being astonished at how quickly 9 minutes seemed to pass by, I was excited to see if there were any other other similar videos. At the time, I was disappointed to not find any.

This has now changed! “history of the entire world, i guess” is nearly 20 minutes long but it felt like I only spent 3 or 4 minutes watching it. It is so enjoyable.

I implore you to watch this video when you have the time. It is so good. I cannot recommend it enough.

It is not surprising in the least that it has smashed the record for the most upvoted post of all time on reddit.com/r/videos.