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The St. Louis Accent

st. louis
Before there was a Hot in Herre, there was Highway Farty and carn on the cob. No, I’m not having a stroke, I’m referring to the dialect that I heard as a child growing up in St. Louis. Citylab recently had a post explaining the St. Louis accent.

The most stereotypical St. Louis pronunciation is “farty” for “forty.” St. Louisans swap an “ar” for an “or” sound, so they eat “carn on the cob” and wish each other “good marning.” This is unique to St. Louis, but the city has other features in common with the Midlands. Older St. Louisans say “worsh” for “wash,” “wants off” for “wants to get off,” and “I waited on him” instead of “I waited for him.”

The whole article is pretty fascinating. Go and give it a read.

Finding Cahokia

Cahokia Mounds

Growing up in St. Louis, I learned about Cahokia Mounds in school. It’s fascinating how little we know about the settlement that was once North America’s largest city. If you grew up outside Missouri or Illinois, you probably never heard about it at all.

A thousand years ago, huge pyramids and earthen mounds stood where East St. Louis sprawls today in Southern Illinois. This majestic urban architecture towered over the swampy Mississippi River floodplains, blotting out the region’s tiny villages. Beginning in the late 900s, word about the city spread throughout the southeast. Thousands of people visited for feasts and rituals, lured by the promise of a new kind of civilization. Many decided to stay.

They didn’t stay long though. By 1400, the city was abandoned and no one knows why. A group of archaeologists are attempting to unlock the mysteries of the Mississippian people. Check out the coverage on Ars Technica.

The Rise and Fall of Hollywood

hollywood sign

YouTube channel Now You See It published a great video about the rise and fall of Hollywood. It’s a short video, so it is quick, top-level analysis that doesn’t get too deep, but it does do a great job covering the more momentous parts of Hollywood as a whole, from moving from the east coast to the creation of big budget blockbusters.

Old Hollywood has always fascinated me (especially the old studio system and mob connections), so this was right up my alley.

Prehistoric Wings Discovered in Amber

Scientists have recently discovered a pair of wings that belonged to dinosaur-era bird ancestors encased in amber. From The Verge:

In a new study published in the Nature Communications journal this week, researchers say that the wings have very similar structures, coloring, and feather layouts as the wings of modern birds, despite the fact they likely belonged to 100-million-year-old avialans called enantiornithes.

X-ray scans indicate that the fossilized wings — found in northern Myanmar — likely belonged to juvenile creatures, and contain skin, muscle, and claws, as well as various layers of feathers, arranged in a markedly similar fashion to those of birds. That’s not the only similarity: the feathers appear uniformly black inside the amber, actually show up in shades of brown, silver, and white under the microscope.

I love that discoveries like this are still being made. It gives us more insight into our planet’s past.

The Best Rapper Alive, Every Year Since 1979

tupac

Complex magazine has come up with a list of the best rapper for each year since 1979. It’s crazy when you look through the ’90s and see how much talent existed in the hip hop community. That fact becomes especially obvious when you start comparing the list to the 2000s – 2010s (Drake on the list multiple times, really?).

My personal favorite is, of course, Tupac.

1996 is a case study for every aspect of why 2Pac is so celebrated. He was a viable, competent artist in multiple arenas, and he had the discipline to incorporate his varied and conflicted missions into a single mantra. That savvy paid off in this year more than any other. It’s a shame that 2Pac’s ride had to end early, and on someone else’s terms, but the dedication to his craft that was on such full display in 1996 is why he’ll live forever.