The Mundaneum was an institution which aimed to gather together all the world's knowledge and classify it according to a system developed called the Universal Decimal Classification. It was developed at the turn of the 20th century by Belgian lawyers Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine. The Mundaneum has been identified as a milestone in the history of data collection and management, and (somewhat more tenuously) as a precursor to the Internet.
In the 21st century, the Mundaneum is a non-profit organisation based in Mons, Belgium that runs an exhibition space, website and archive which celebrate the legacy of the original Mundaneum.
Netherlandish Proverbs (Dutch: Nederlandse Spreekwoorden; also called Flemish Proverbs, The Blue Cloak or The Topsy Turvy World) is a 1559 oil-on-oak-panel painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder that depicts a scene in which humans and, to a lesser extent, animals and objects, offer literal illustrations of Dutch-language proverbs and idioms.
Running themes in Bruegel's paintings are the absurdity, wickedness and foolishness of humans, and this is no exception. The painting's original title, The Blue Cloak or The Folly of the World, indicates that Bruegel's intent was not just to illustrate proverbs, but rather to catalog human folly. Many of the people depicted show the characteristic blank features that Bruegel used to portray fools.
His son, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, specialised in making copies of his father's work and painted at least 16 copies of Netherlandish Proverbs. Not all versions of the painting, by father or son, show exactly the same proverbs and they also differ in other minor details.
- "Netherlandish Proverbs (1559)" | 2015-02-22 | 166 Upvotes 32 Comments
The Wire of Death (Dutch: Dodendraad, German: Todesdraht) was a lethal electric fence created by the German military to control the Dutch–Belgian frontier during the occupation of Belgium during the First World War.
- "Wire of Death" | 2016-04-09 | 158 Upvotes 75 Comments
The Brabant killers, also named the Nijvel Gang in Dutch-speaking media (Dutch: De Bende van Nijvel), and the mad killers of Brabant in French-speaking media (French: Les Tueurs fous du Brabant), are believed to be responsible for a series of violent attacks that mainly occurred in the Belgian province of Brabant between 1982 and 1985. A total of 28 people died and 22 were injured. The actions of the gang, believed to consist of a core of three men, made it Belgium's most notorious unsolved crime spree. The active participants were known as The Giant (a tall man who may have been the leader); the Killer (the main shooter) and the Old Man (a middle aged man who drove). The identities and whereabouts of the "Brabant killers" are unknown. Although significant resources are still dedicated to it, the most recent arrests in the case were of the now-retired original senior detectives. Failure to catch the gang resulted in a parliamentary inquiry. There have been many theories of ulterior motives behind the crimes.
- "Brabant Killers" | 2020-06-17 | 14 Upvotes 5 Comments
The Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) is a bibliographic and library classification representing the systematic arrangement of all branches of human knowledge organized as a coherent system in which knowledge fields are related and inter-linked. The UDC is an analytico-synthetic and faceted classification system featuring detailed vocabulary and syntax that enables powerful content indexing and information retrieval in large collections. Since 1991, the UDC has been owned and managed by the UDC Consortium, a non-profit international association of publishers with headquarters in The Hague (Netherlands).
Unlike other library classification schemes that have started their life as national systems, the UDC was conceived and maintained as an international scheme. Its translation in world languages started at the beginning of the 20th century and has since been published in various printed editions in over 40 languages. UDC Summary, an abridged Web version of the scheme, is available in over 50 languages. The classification has been modified and extended over the years to cope with increasing output in all areas of human knowledge, and is still under continuous review to take account of new developments.
Albeit originally designed as an indexing and retrieval system, due to its logical structure and scalability, UDC has become one of the most widely used knowledge organization systems in libraries, where it is used for either shelf arrangement, content indexing or both. UDC codes can describe any type of document or object to any desired level of detail. These can include textual documents and other media such as films, video and sound recordings, illustrations, maps as well as realia such as museum objects.
- "Universal Decimal Classification" | 2021-01-07 | 22 Upvotes 5 Comments
Ligne claire (French for "clear line", pronounced [liɲ klɛʁ]; Dutch: klare lijn) is a style of drawing created and pioneered by Hergé, the Belgian creator of The Adventures of Tintin. It uses clear strong lines sometimes of varied width and no hatching, while contrast is downplayed as well. Cast shadows are often illuminated, and the style often features strong colours and a combination of cartoonish characters against a realistic background. All these elements together can result in giving comics drawn this way a flat aspect. The name was coined by Joost Swarte in 1977.
- "Ligne Claire" | 2021-10-02 | 222 Upvotes 63 Comments
On 4 July 1989, a pilotless MiG-23 jet fighter of the Soviet Air Forces crashed into a house in Kortrijk, Belgium, killing one person. The pilot had ejected over an hour earlier near Kołobrzeg, Poland, after experiencing technical problems, but the aircraft continued flying for around 900 km (600 mi) before running out of fuel and descending into the ground.
William of Rubruck (Dutch: Willem van Rubroeck, Latin: Gulielmus de Rubruquis; fl. 1248–1255) was a Flemish Franciscan missionary and explorer.
He is best known for his travels to various parts of the Middle East and Central Asia in the 13th century, including the Mongol Empire. His account of his travels is one of the masterpieces of medieval travel literature, comparable to those of Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta.
- "William of Rubruck" | 2022-06-29 | 75 Upvotes 13 Comments
Agnès Varda (French: [aɲɛs vaʁda]; born Arlette Varda; 30 May 1928 – 29 March 2019) was a Belgian-born French film director, screenwriter, photographer, and artist. Her pioneering work was central to the development of the widely influential French New Wave film movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Her films focused on achieving documentary realism, addressing women's issues, and other social commentary, with a distinctive experimental style.
Varda's work employed location shooting in an era when the limitations of sound technology made it easier and more common to film indoors, with constructed sets and painted backdrops of landscapes, rather than outdoors, on location. Her use of non-professional actors was also unconventional for 1950s French cinema. Varda's feature film debut was La Pointe Courte (1955), followed by Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), one of her most notable narrative films, Vagabond (1985), and Kung Fu Master (1988). Varda was also known for her work as a documentarian with such works as Black Panthers (1968), The Gleaners and I (2000), The Beaches of Agnès (2008), Faces Places (2017), and her final film, Varda by Agnès (2019).
Director Martin Scorsese described Varda as "one of the Gods of Cinema". Among several other accolades, Varda received an Honorary Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first woman to win the award, a Golden Lion for Vagabond at the 1985 Venice Film Festival, an Academy Honorary Award, and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Faces Places, becoming the oldest person to be nominated for a competitive Oscar. In 2017, she became the first female director to win an honorary Oscar.
- "Agnès Varda" | 2023-05-17 | 19 Upvotes 5 Comments
Children's Games is an oil-on-panel by Flemish Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, painted in 1560. It is currently held and exhibited at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The entire composition is full of children playing a wide variety of games. Over 90 different games that were played by children at the time have been identified.
- "Children's Games (Bruegel)" | 2023-05-26 | 57 Upvotes 23 Comments