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Anecdotes from the Archive

Winning in a Snap: A History of Photo Finishes and Horse Racing


This past weekend millions of people tuned in to watch the “most exciting two minutes in sports,” the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. The Derby is the longest consecutively run horse race event in America. Although this year’s winner, Orb, won by two and a half lengths ahead of his competitors, the winner has [...]

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Anecdotes from the Archive

A Horse Is a Horse, of Course, of (Main) Course


Let’s talk about horses. With news of Europe’s horse meat scandal grabbing headlines last month, it’s hard not to have equine on the mind. In 1875 Scientific American published an article, “Shall We Eat the Horse?” hypothesizing the economic benefits of consuming horse meat in the U.S. At the time hippophagy was practiced in Europe, [...]

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Anecdotes from the Archive

Hold Your Horses with Electricity

electric horse bit

Since its discovery, electricity has helped humans make labor and tools more efficient. From lighting to toothbrushes, electricity has aided us in making our lives simpler and more convenient. However, while searching through the archives, I’ve come across some inventions that have led me to question whether we’ve taken advantage of technology in order to [...]

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Google Doodle’s Galloping Steed Commemorates Pioneering Photographer Edward Muybridge

Today’s Google doodle pays homage to the photography of Eadweard J. Muybridge, pioneering photographer and inventor of the zoopraxiscope. If he had somehow survived to witness the multimedia era, Muybridge would be marking his 182nd birthday. The running horse video, which replaces the Google logo today, comes from Muybridge’s most famous photographic experiment. Renowned for [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Spots, Stripes and Spreading Hooves in the Horses of the Ice Age

Life appearance of Pleistocene horses of at least some populations of western Europe: reconstructed based predominanlty on Ekain horses from Spain. Image by Darren Naish.

During the upper Palaeolithic (that is, between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago), prehistoric people in Europe and Asia (and elsewhere) depicted the animals they saw in thousands of piece of cave art. They drew, sculpted and painted rhinos, mammoths, giant deer and lions, but they also produced illustrations of less exotic beasts, like owls, mustelids [...]

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