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Mystery on Everest: Did Mallory and Irvine Reach the Summit in 1924?

For almost 70 years, it has been accepted that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Now there is speculation about whether another expedition in 1924 was the first. If so, it would not negate Hillary and Norgay's achievement; it would just lengthen their title to the first expedition to reach the summit and return alive.    

Around 1pm on 8 June 1924, George Mallory, one of the era’s leading climbers, and his young companion Andrew Irvine, were spotted as tiny black specks clinging to Everest’s towering Northeast Ridge, just a few hundred metres from the summit. And then the clouds closed in. Irvine has never been seen since, while Mallory’s frozen corpse was finally found in 1999.

Their unfinished story is mountaineering’s greatest mystery. That they died on the mountain over 90 years ago isn’t in doubt, but what exactly happened up there, on the roof of the world, has been argued about endlessly by alpinists and armchair observers for decades.

Did they reach the top of Everest – 29 years earlier than Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay’s accepted first ascent of the planet’s highest peak – before tragedy struck?

When Mallory’s perfectly preserved body was discovered, the photo of his wife that he had sworn to leave on the summit was the only thing missing. That and a Kodak camera carried by the climbers, which remains lost – presumably buried in the ice with the as yet undiscovered remains of Irvine. That camera is the Holy Grail of the adventure world.

Read about Mallory and Irvine and that 1924 expedition, from the reports of the survivors and what we've learned since then, at HistoryExtra. (via Damn Interesting)

(Image credit: Nationaal Archief)


Retelling The Empire Strikes Back from Memory

Liam introduced his girlfriend Jessie to Star Wars and shared her recap with us. Then they went on to the next movie, The Empire Strikes Back. Months later, she retells what she recalls of the story. While the details are funny, her memory of the plot and storytelling sequence is amazing. I couldn't retell scenes with that much detail of a movie I'd seen yesterday, much less months later. There must have been quite a bit of discussion during the screening; otherwise, how would she ever retain the name Bossk? They've also now seen Return of the Jedi together, so expect an animated recap of that one in a few months. -via Digg


History's Most Dangerous Toddler

In the year 1475, the city of Trent in what is now northern Italy was ruled by prince-bishop Johannes Hinderbach. He was approached by the father of a two-year-old boy named Simon who had gone missing on the evening of Good Friday.

Searches ensued and by Easter Saturday suspicion had lighted on the small Jewish community in the city. The chief magistrate, Giovanni de Salis, had the households of the three main Jewish families searched, but Simon was not to be found. Then on Easter Sunday Seligman, a cook in the household of Samuel (a moneylender), discovered Simon’s body in a water cellar on Samuel’s extensive property. As all historians agree, the body had clearly been planted there. Samuel could have fled but had, up until this point, enjoyed an amicable relationship with the city’s authorities. So, instead, he “trusted the system” and reported the discovery. He also insisted that all members of the community stay put, including visitors who just happened to be in town for the Jewish Passover. That Samuel came forward and complied with the authorities was never mentioned in the ensuing trials.

That didn't matter, and eventually all of Trent's Jewish men were burned at the stake, all the women were imprisoned for years, and locals went on a campaign to make Simon a saint. Even the pope got involved, too late for the Jewish community of Trent, and too late to stop a deceased toddler from becoming a symbol of antisemitism for centuries. Read the story of Simon of Trent at The Daily Beast.


The Sewing Squad

Actress and comedian Kristina Wong formed a team of volunteers to make masks during the pandemic. Wong launched a Facebook group called the “Auntie Sewing Squad.” The squad has more than 800 members, and they have distributed more than 55,000 masks to communities in need. CNN has more details: 

Wong is proud of the group. But she is also frustrated.
"I do refer to our group as a 'sweatshop' because I don't want to romanticize it. While we are enjoying each other's company in this very strange time in history, we shouldn't have to be doing this work. This is absolutely the government's job. We should not have had to turn our homes upside down into sweatshops and pull the sheets off our beds to make masks."

image via CNN


How To Save A Bear

A group of people riding on their boat spotted a bear struggling to get a plastic container off its head. Watch how these people were able to help the bear remove the container with precision and care! They did it on the spot too! 

image screenshot via Reddit


This Is A Hand-Drawn Guide For The Original Zelda Game

Back when playthroughs and guides for games weren’t available on the Internet, people would seek guidance from a friend, sibling, or a manual of the game. If you didn’t have a knowledgeable person to consult or a manual, you can get stuck in a dungeon or level for days. The Legend of Zelda for the NES is a game that is full of cryptic puzzles and riddles that can take you a while to figure out. Philip Summers is an artist who is known for sketching his own walkthroughs for classic games like the first Legend of Zelda game: 

True to its name, every single sketch of Link, every item, enemy, and map is hand-drawn and every string of words is handwritten. Philip's drawings and words give new life to the game and the land that encompasses it. To be able to see it through this new lens is a pretty magical experience.
The first few pages cover the characters, enemies, items, and a brief rundown on how to play the game. The rest of the guide then covers the overworld and its dungeons. Each dungeon spread features a map of the dungeon and shows off a few of the monsters you’ll find, along with an extremely detailed sketch of the dungeon boss. Seeing these originally 8-bit bosses in this sorta detail is really something to behold. Each dungeon section is also bridged together with story segments and tips on where you or Link should travel next. At times it feels like you’re reading a storybook, the way that Philip has managed to connect together the sections of the game. The book also comes with a useful fold-out map of Hyrule, complete with a key on the side detailing locations, heart containers, and other secrets.

image via nintendolife

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