A brigandine is a lightweight, flexible piece of body armor consisting of a coat of mail or small metal plates sewn into quilted cloth or leather. The rivets that secure the plates to the fabric are visible on the exterior of the garment. The brigandine was invented in the Middle Ages and derives its name from foot soldiers, then known as brigands. Though brigandine-like armor was rendered obsolete in Europe in the 1600s, it was still considered useful to colonists in the New World. Why?
Back in the day
Developed by Edison's assistant, W.K.L. Dickson, the kinetoscope was a precursor to the modern motion-picture projector. It works through a phenomenon known as "persistence of vision," in which a sequence of images creates the illusion of motion. Initially, Edison hoped to synchronize the images with sound, but he was unable to achieve this. The kinetoscope was designed to be viewed by one person at a time. Why did Edison supposedly balk at the idea of projecting films before larger audiences?
Born on a day like today
The son of Marcus Aurelius, Commodus was a Roman emperor who ruled from 180 to 192 CE—a period some historians consider the beginning of the empire's decline. Though his reign was fairly peaceful, Commodus was a tyrant who spent lavishly on gladiatorial combats, persecuted the Senate, and tried to rename Rome after himself. He fancied himself a gladiator, frequently killing exotic animals. His mistress and advisors had him strangled. He considered himself the reincarnation of what mythical hero?