A thread of images from a Japanese illustrated history of America from 1861.

Here is George Washington (with bow and arrow) pictured alongside the Goddess of America. 1/

Here is Christopher Columbus (seated at center) reporting his discovery of America to Queen Isabella of Spain.

So far, kinda normal, but wait for it.... 2/
Now it's the American Revolution. Here is George Washington defending his wife "Carol" from a British official named "Asura" (same characters as the Buddhist deity). 3/
And here is Washington's "second-in-command" John Adams battling an enormous snake. 4/
Here is Washington and his wife "Carol" meeting an extremely youthful Benjamin Franklin, who has an impressive squat. 5/
Here's the incredibly jacked Benjamin Franklin firing a cannon that he holds in his bare hands, while John Adams directs him where to fire. 6/
And here is George Washington straight-up punching a tiger. 7/
Best buds John Adams and Ben Franklin must have had a falling out, because John Adams fires an arrow at Ben and then rides away like a cowardly little bitch. Of course Ben Franklin is a total badass, so he just stands there and lets the arrow fly by without even flinching. 8/
During a calmer moment, John Adams is just chillin' in the countryside, having a quiet picnic with his elderly mother... 9/
But then! While John Adams is too obsessed with the food and drink, a huge snake comes along and *eats* his mom!

Maybe the snake was a child of that other snake John Adams killed, or maybe it was sent by Ben Franklin as part of their feud? 10/
Here is Washington leading his army from behind in a carriage. The American flag has no stars, only stripes, and the author seems very impressed that the carriage has not one but TWO horses. 11/
Meanwhile, John Adams wants to get revenge on the snake that ate his Mom, so he goes to ask a magical mountain fairy for help! 12/
The mountain fairy does Adams a solid, and summons a gigantic eagle! 13/
Together, John Adams and the eagle kill the enormous snake that ate his Mom. The power of teamwork!!! 14/
This 1861 book was by author Kanagaki Robun (仮名垣魯文) and artist Utagawa Yoshitora (歌川芳虎).

The title is "Osanaetoki Bankokubanashi" (童絵解万国噺) and it was based on 2 other second-hand sources, "Kaikoku Zushi" (海国図志) and "Amerika Ittōshi" (亜墨利加一統志). 15/
These images, and the entire rest of the book, are available online courtesy of the Waseda University Library... 16/


More from Culture

One of the authors of the Policy Exchange report on academic free speech thinks it is "ridiculous" to expect him to accurately portray an incident at Cardiff University in his study, both in the reporting and in a question put to a student sample.

Here is the incident Kaufmann incorporated into his study, as told by a Cardiff professor who was there. As you can see, the incident involved the university intervening to *uphold* free speech principles:

Here is the first mention of the Greer at Cardiff incident in Kaufmann's report. It refers to the "concrete case" of the "no-platforming of Germaine Greer". Any reasonable reader would assume that refers to an incident of no-platforming instead of its opposite.

Here is the next mention of Greer in the report. The text asks whether the University "should have overruled protestors" and "stepped in...and guaranteed Greer the right to speak". Again the strong implication is that this did not happen and Greer was "no platformed".

The authors could easily have added a footnote at this point explaining what actually happened in Cardiff. They did not.

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A brief analysis and comparison of the CSS for Twitter's PWA vs Twitter's legacy desktop website. The difference is dramatic and I'll touch on some reasons why.

Legacy site *downloads* ~630 KB CSS per theme and writing direction.

6,769 rules
9,252 selectors
16.7k declarations
3,370 unique declarations
44 media queries
36 unique colors
50 unique background colors
46 unique font sizes
39 unique z-indices


PWA *incrementally generates* ~30 KB CSS that handles all themes and writing directions.

735 rules
740 selectors
757 declarations
730 unique declarations
0 media queries
11 unique colors
32 unique background colors
15 unique font sizes
7 unique z-indices


The legacy site's CSS is what happens when hundreds of people directly write CSS over many years. Specificity wars, redundancy, a house of cards that can't be fixed. The result is extremely inefficient and error-prone styling that punishes users and developers.

The PWA's CSS is generated on-demand by a JS framework that manages styles and outputs "atomic CSS". The framework can enforce strict constraints and perform optimisations, which is why the CSS is so much smaller and safer. Style conflicts and unbounded CSS growth are avoided.