The Week: Most Recent from Therese Oneill recent posts.en-usWed, 13 Aug 2014 11:04:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent from Therese Oneill from THE WEEKWed, 13 Aug 2014 11:04:00 -04005 delightful science experiments from 100 years ago<img src="" /></P><p>In 1892, the dubiously named Mr. Tom Tit published a book of at-home activities for children called <em>Magical Experiments: or, Science in Play</em>. He made sure each scientific exploration could double as a parlor trick; something exciting and strange to impress as well as instruct.</p><p>Some of his experiments are all but impossible to do today (even if you <em>can</em> find spermaceti candles, you really shouldn't use them), and some of his once common ingredients haven't been available at drug stores for decades. But that doesn't mean you can't do them. If the product still exists, you can find it online. This...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:04:00 -04008 surprisingly fun games Uncle Sam told soldiers to play in 1943<img src="" /></P><p>In 1943, the U.S. War Department issued a manual packed with "informal" games that men might play if they were lucky enough to have downtime. The games were intended to occupy mind and body, manage stress, and subtly provide tactical training. Which might explain why so many games involved tackling and beating your fellow soldiers. But other, less physical games translate great from the barracks to the backyard. Here are eight of our favorites:</p><p> </p><p><strong>1. One Out</strong></p><p><br /></p><p > </p><p><strong>Equipment</strong>: Any easily obtained objects, such as sticks, shirts, or rocks</p><p><strong>How to play:</strong> This is basically a game of musical chairs meant...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:13:00 -040011 brilliant life hacks from my cleaning woman<img src="" /></P><p>We have a closet in my house that defies designation. It holds an impressive collection of obsolete electronics, board games, sheets, a few loose appliances, and pantry goods. The closet door doesn't shut, so great is my bounty of mismatched trash. I asked my house cleaner, Misty, for help rearranging it. Early in the process, she found an ancient bag of dried lentils.</p><p>"What's this?"</p><p>I sighed. "Those are part of my husband's apocalypse-survival rations. Just in case."</p><p>"Why are they in with the sheets and towels?"</p><p>I shrugged. "Small house. Where else you gonna keep your apocalypse survival rations...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Tue, 08 Jul 2014 08:57:00 -0400These 1980s Montgomery Ward's models hate you<img src="" /></P><p>In the eerie mirror universe contained inside a 30-year-old copy of a Montgomery Ward's catalog, there is much that disturbs and baffles. Pages of baby accessories that are absolute death traps by today's standards, the absence of even the bulkiest of computers, and most conspicuously, the fashions. They are dowdy and outrageous.</p><p><br /></p><p>But the really odd thing about the fashion section isn't the clothes; it's the models who wear them.</p><p>Specifically, the fact that most of the adult models seem to hate the viewer. Really <em>hate</em> us. Women in high necked blouses and pearls regard the viewer with a withering...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Fri, 27 Jun 2014 06:10:00 -040011 lessons every good parent should teach their kid<img src="" /></P><p>We all want to think we're raising up good kids. That we're teaching them the behavior and the thought processes they need to flourish. But sometimes people that work with our kids in professional or leadership roles have a clearer perception of what our kids are actually learning, and more important, what they're not. We asked people who work with kids, "If you could have parents instill one value in their child before they come to you, what would it be?" These are the answers.</p><p><strong>1. Respect is the root of all good things</strong></p><p >If there is basic human respect, so many other good character traits follow...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Wed, 18 Jun 2014 06:07:00 -04009 delightful recipes from the 1950s you should make with your kids today<img src="" /></P><p>Have you ever been accused of gulping down a meal so fast you were consuming your food "like it was going out of style"? Well, keep gulping, because food <em>does</em> go out of style.</p><p>But let's not overlook the dishes of decades past, because they offer some delightful lessons. In 1957, for instance, <em>Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls </em>used easy instructions and bright, beautiful images to teach children how to cook. These recipes are just as fun to make today as they were then &mdash; even if they are out of style.</p><p>(<strong>For a larger view of each recipe, click directly on the image.</strong>)</p><p> </p><p><strong>1. Branded...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Thu, 05 Jun 2014 06:06:00 -04008 weird and fantastic food blogs<img src="" /></P><p><strong>1. Edible flowers at <em>TasteSpotting</em></strong></p><p><br /></p><p>It turns out, there are a <em>lot </em>of edible flowers. They don't always have much of a taste, or even taste good, but you <em>can</em> eat them. More importantly, you can use them to make even simple food staggeringly beautiful. <em>TasteSpotting </em>has several pages of flower food which, even if they don't please your taste pallet, will definitely thrill your color palette.</p><p><br /><br /></p><p><strong>2. Edible bugs at <em>Girl Meets Bug</em></strong></p><p><br /></p><p>Insects, worms, and all manner of creepy crawlies are a legitimate source of food in other parts of the world. And not just the parts suffering from famines. The blog...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Tue, 27 May 2014 13:30:00 -0400Sexist postcards (from 100 years ago)<img src="" /></P><p>As the 20th century dawned, society stepped out of the restrictive corset of Victorian prudery and embraced the cheeky humor of rampant misogyny. This was especially apparent in joke postcards of the era. Below, you can find a sampling generously shared by ephemera collector Sharon Anne Weinman of Forest Hills, New York. (We've noted the date and provenance of postcards when we know them &mdash; for those with murkier origins, we've left it blank.)</p><p>There are reoccurring themes in these cards. Women's bottoms &mdash; the bigger the better &mdash; is a favorite. Ogling women without their knowledge...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Thu, 15 May 2014 11:35:00 -04008 how-to books from 100 years ago that are still (sort of) useful<img src="" /></P><p><strong>1. How to Name a Baby without Handicapping It for Life</strong>, by Alexander McQueen</p><p>We're living in an age in which any noun, president's last name, or word ending in &ndash;"dyn" can be hung round a child's neck for the rest of his or her life. However, this is not the first time in history there has been a naming free-for-all. This book, written in 1922, lays out "The Seven Rules of Naming." Some of them fly in the face of modern convention (such as insisting that a name should be pronounceable and indicate gender clearly), but maybe that's a good thing. Names warned against include Chateau Thierry...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Thu, 01 May 2014 06:06:00 -0400How to ensure it's a boy (according to 100-year-old pregnancy guides)<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>If you were serious about producing a male heir around the turn of the 20th century, there was plenty of questionable advice to follow.</p><p><strong>1. SCIENCE IS FOR THE UNIMAGINATIVE</strong></p><p>First, it's important that we understand how human bodies select gender in reproduction. This is best accomplished through peer-reviewed scientific studies in a clinical environment. Or not. Sometimes you just know in your gut how reproductive microbiology works. Laura Davis, who wrote <em>The Law of Sex Determination and Its Practical Application</em> in 1916, didn't need egghead science. She learned about ovaries and spermatozoa...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Fri, 21 Feb 2014 10:34:00 -0500Elks, Shriners, and Masons: How 'old man' frats got their names and symbols<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Traditional "old man" fraternal organizations are supposed to be cloaked in mystery, holding secrets that only fellow brothers may know. As a result, most of us outsiders only know a tiny bit about these orders. What's the real story behind these often inscrutable names and curious emblems? Here, some insight into how these lodges formed, and why they chose their baffling symbols.</p><p class="p1"><strong>1. The</strong> <strong>Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks</strong></p><p><br /></p><p class="p1">The Elks (BPOE) are a relatively young fraternity in that they don't trace their beginnings to any ancient or noble guilds. The fraternity was started by actors and entertainers...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Fri, 21 Feb 2014 06:12:00 -0500How to be a servant worthy of Downton Abbey<img src="" /></P><p>In the BBC's hit show <em>Downton Abbey</em>, the Crawley family struggles to maintain 19th-century standards and traditions even as the 20th century rips them away. One of the traditions they value is having an enormous stable of servants to care for them, their home, and their estate.</p><p>In the 19th century, to be "in service" was a completely respectable, even fortunate position for a woman. The work was grueling, time off was limited in some cases to a single half-day every month, and you were literally a second-class citizen. But you had food in your belly, a roof over your head, and chances to advance...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Wed, 29 Jan 2014 06:55:00 -0500Masturbation was once considered more offensive than child abuse<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">I've written many articles based on Victorian/Edwardian advice books. There was advice for everything, from how <span class="s1">to improve your breast size</span> to <span class="s1">keeping your man faithful</span>, all written with earnest authority by "experts" of the day. In these old books, I noticed that one subject appeared over and over, usually shrouded with dire euphemisms: The Solitary Vice. Self Abuse. The Vicious Habit.</p><p class="p1">In other words: Masturbation.</p><p class="p1">Past generations were absolutely terrified by masturbation, and regarded it among the vilest of sexual practices. Some considered it more of an offense, as we will see, than child...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Mon, 06 Jan 2014 06:40:00 -05007 obscure status symbols<img src="" /></P><p>The expensive SUV, the family vacation that requires a passport, and the causal assertion that you <em>never</em> (have to) shop at Walmart &mdash; these are all familiar American status symbols, showing the difference between the people who thrive and those who merely survive. But every culture and sub-culture has a hierarchy, and ways to show your place in it. Here we look at the different ways people let their status show.</p><p><strong>1. No logo<br /></strong>If your purse or sunglasses have the designer's logo on them &mdash; even an expensive one &mdash; you're clearly not part of the in-crowd. A new study published in <em>The...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Fri, 03 Jan 2014 06:08:00 -0500When the internet was a weird, magical thing<img src="" /></P><p><strong><em> The New York Times</em>: November 3, 1993</strong></p><p >The problem, computer and telecommunications experts say, is that the computer network called the Internet, once a cozy community of a few thousand computer scientists, engineers and programmers who quietly and freely shared their on-line data, has suddenly been besieged by millions of newcomers. Anyone with a personal computer and a modem can easily and cheaply gain access to the Internet, a global web of thousands of computer networks. [<em>New York Times</em>]</p><p><strong><em>The New York Times</em>: November 9, 1993</strong></p><p >In a typical electronic-mail transaction, you might write a letter...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Thu, 02 Jan 2014 06:09:00 -0500How to give birth (100 years ago)<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Up until the mid-19th century, childbirth was something men avoided. Women had babies in a room full of other women, aided by female midwives and nurses. Then the profession of "doctor" began to mean more than "guy who waves burning sage over your head while draining your blood." Science entered the practice of medicine, and it became a respectable profession that was almost exclusively the domain of men.</p><p class="p1">Male doctors wanted everyone to know that their knowledge and abilities were far superior to that of a common grubby midwife. So they began writing books. They took childbirth out of the intuitive...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Wed, 18 Dec 2013 09:20:00 -0500