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  • In Praise of North Korean Pop Music November 23, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    In Praise of North Korean Pop Music

    We need to be grateful for North Korea. In a world where communism has crumbled like a biscuit in milk, where even Cuba is getting excited about the market, where there are scores of Chinese billionaires, then good old North Korea is there to remind us of just how god awful state run life can […]

    Source of Life: Mrs B Gives Birth November 17, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Source of Life: Mrs B Gives Birth

    3.5 kilos, homebirth, lots of stitches, baby and mother doing well.

    New Folklore Survey: Have You a Fairy Story to Tell? November 14, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    New Folklore Survey: Have You a Fairy Story to Tell?

    Great news from London tonight. Launched in this month’s Fortean Times and run in association with the Fairy Investigation Society, which has been reconstituting for the last months and that will send out its first communication this weekend, the Fairy Census 2015-2016 is  ‘a go’ (the organizers don’t apparently follow the Gregorian calendar). Now what […]

    The Joys of Historical Ignorance November 9, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    The Joys of Historical Ignorance

    For a student from the west the basic sign of historical literacy is whether or not you can put the following periods in their correct order: antiquity, ‘dark ages’, middle ages, renaissance and modernity. Beach has the privilege of teaching perhaps two hundred American students a year and probably ten percent would be capable of […]

    The German Non-Saluter Myth October 26, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    The German Non-Saluter Myth

    This picture has appeared periodically over the last few years. Its popularity is easy to understand. A crowd is slavishly announcing the thousand year reich but one man, can you spot him, refuses to lift his hand. The picture has become associated with August Landmesser, a member of the Nazi party who made the error […]

    Review: Fire in the Brain October 18, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    Review: Fire in the Brain

    Fire in the Brain: Clinical Tales of Hallucination dates back to 1992, yet it is by far the best introduction to visions and perception and misperceptions known to this blogger. The author Ronald K. Siegel offers seventeen case studies, where he had investigated people who saw things that were apparently not there. We have, for […]

    Faking History on the Internet: Romans Invade Ireland October 3, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Ancient
    Faking History on the Internet: Romans Invade Ireland

    ***Thanks to Louis for help with this story*** The following is a parable about how history is written on the internet. Let’s imagine you have a web page and you want people to visit it. How could you get the history scoop of 2014? Well you could go and bribe some doctorate students, ask for […]

    Last of the British? September 21, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Last of the British?

    There are sixty million Britons, yet if you go house to house through England, Wales, Scotland and the six counties you will find that relatively few people actually define themselves in this way. If a family from Glasgow, Cardiff or Sheffield turn up in a French hotel they will probably write (under nationality) respectively: ‘Scottish’, […]

    Osama Bin Laden in the White House?! September 18, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    Osama Bin Laden in the White House?!

    This is a very improbable story that has just come out of the Italian gossip industry. It is unbelievable, incredible… but as its cast includes the world’s most famous building, an American president, Osama Bin Laden and an Italian singer with bizarre dress sense, Beach couldn’t resist flagging it up here. First, enter, from left […]

    More On Cauls and Sacs September 9, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
    More On Cauls and Sacs

    Anthropologists have their work cut out for them. Despite the fact that we are all – from the Kalihari Bushman to the Californian surfer – one and the same species, there are so many differences between human societies, as to be almost embarrassing. However, there are a series of important and trivial facts that bind […]

    Fake Ghost Battle from Cornwall? September 7, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Modern
    Fake Ghost Battle from Cornwall?

    Beach is in search of a ghost battle, only the ghost battle does not seem to have ever taken place. This is not said in the heavy materialist sense that such things cannot happen: though they probably can’t. It is said with the frustration of six or seven hours spent looking for this mysterious battle […]

    Thoughts on the Internet Revolution August 26, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Thoughts on the Internet Revolution

    ***Dedicated to Ricardo*** Fascinating article on the inbetween generation (and apparently now a book), the generation that grew up with computers but that can remember a world without the internet. Spent some time today trying to get statistics on when the internet actually went mainstream. Beach first heard of some proto version of the internet […]

    Dealing with Chronic Conditions August 16, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite

    It’s high summer and while everyone is away at the sea I thought that I would sneak out this essay: a non-history post on what is typically a history blog. Background: I suffer from a sometimes debilitating chronic condition that has been, to one degree or another, in my life for about twenty years. What […]

    The Cherokees’ Mediterranean Origins!? August 8, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    The Cherokees' Mediterranean Origins!?

    Bizarrists must always be thankful for the Atlantic Ocean, because it has offered us some of the craziest history theories of the last two hundred years. Welsh Indians in Florida, Indians in Ireland, Gaels in Newfoundland, Vikings everywhere, the Chinese in New England building lighthouses, Babylonians in California,  Atlantis in Bolivia… Most of this is […]

    Apocalypse Demographics in Fiction and Film July 12, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Apocalypse Demographics in Fiction and Film

    There are a series of apocalyptic scenarios in literature and film that involve a portion of the world’s population disappearing or dying and the minority left behind having to fight for survival. For example, the graphic novel The Y: The Last Man describes the destruction of all men and a world where women rule: there […]

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