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History Roundup 5: Voynich Decoded? February 6, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized
History Roundup 5: Voynich Decoded?

Note that for the next month, as an experiment, we’ll be releasing history links roundup most days at 12.00 GMT. If you want the proper post, on American fairies then please click. 1) Voynich Manuscript Decoded? note slight ms dating discrepancy 2) The Phaistos Disk: what is its message? 3) Indian Ocean Shipwreck: 2000 years beneath Ceylon’s […]

Where Are the American Fairies? February 6, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Where Are the American Fairies?

First of all a nod to an interesting article that has appeared in an interesting blog: ‘Turn your cloak for the Fairy Folk’ (New England Folklore). The author (Peter Muise) asks a fascinating question: why is it that fairylore never caught on in the New World? He quotes Owen Davies (a wanw British scholar) to […]

History Roundup 4: Sticking Coitus February 5, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized
History Roundup 4: Sticking Coitus

Note that for the next month, as an experiment, we’ll be releasing history links roundup most days at 12.00 GMT. If you want the proper post, on oral transmission then please click. 1) Getting Stuck Together in Sex: Urban myth or rare fact? 2) Anne Frank’s Marbles: toys of the lost 3) Pagan Britain: Review of Ronald Hutton […]

From the Grenadier to the Beer Shop (via Mickey Mouse and Pussy Cat) February 5, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
From the Grenadier to the Beer Shop (via Mickey Mouse and Pussy Cat)

***Thanks to Mike L for drawing my attention to this classic series*** In Henry Carey’s Namby Pamby published in 1726 there is the following verse Now he acts the Grenadier, Calling for a Pot of Beer: Where’s his Money? He’s forgot: Get him gone, a Drunken Sot. Now consider, instead, this rhyme collected two hundred […]

History Roundup 3: When Noah’s Ark Was Round February 4, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized
History Roundup 3: When Noah's Ark Was Round

Note that for the next month, as an experiment, we’ll be releasing history links roundup most days at 12.00 GMT. If you want the proper post, on Italian madness then please click. 1) The Circular Ark Deciphered: origins of flood legend in Fertile Crescent? 2) Nazi Invasion Plans for the UK: even where stormtrooper children were to […]

Review: Good Italy Bad Italy February 4, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Review: Good Italy Bad Italy

Italy is a total maverick: a country of extremes that breaks all the rules of how a modern western democracy should work and yet that does work and, in many respects, works quite well. Observers from other countries, particularly from the English-speaking world have long  been fascinated by this anomaly. On the one hand, they […]

History Roundup 2: WW2 Japanese Invade US! February 3, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized
History Roundup 2: WW2 Japanese Invade US!

1) Japanese Invade America: Alaska of course… 2) Old Tin: too old in fact…. 3) The Hope Diamond: and the Sun King’s games 4) Apocalypse 773: it came from outer space… 5) Fashions for 1811: from the Nerdies 6) Blackbeard’s End: And so goodbye Blackbeard… 7) 7 Things About Maps: for collectors 8) Were Pharaohs Black?: The Case […]

A French Crusader and A Chinese Sword? February 3, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
A French Crusader and A Chinese Sword?

Little is known of Jean d’Alluye’s life. He belonged to the nobility of central France and he travelled to the Holy Land as a crusader in 1241 coming home three years later, 1244. Given that it will have taken him many months to get to Outremer and many months to return this was a relatively […]

History Roundup 1: Charlemagne Back from the Dead February 2, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized
History Roundup 1: Charlemagne Back from the Dead

1) Charlemagne’s Bones Confirmed: Probably…. 2) Exciting Medical Discovery: Lister and antisceptic, important archive work 3) The Origins of Justinian Plague: those damn fleas 4) Magic Japanese Mirrors: when gods walked the earth 5) Roman Infanticide: Girls AND boys 6) Smoking and Neanderthals: Apparently it is their fault. 7) New Roman Temple: Maybe the oldest… […]

Did You Hear the One About Nessie, the Sceptic and the Water Horse? February 2, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Did You Hear the One About Nessie, the Sceptic and the Water Horse?

Two of the most interesting Christmas books this year were Roland Watson’s The Water Horses of Loch Ness and Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero’s Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids. As is evident from the titles these books take opposite sides of the crypto argument: in fact, the authors […]

Beachcombed 44 February 1, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Beachcombed
Beachcombed 44

Dear Reader, welcome to February: God knows January had it coming… Here  in the Beachcombing household everything footles along. We are still fighting the good fight against dishonest architects (one down, two to go), keeping a leash on father in law (who hired the dishonest architects and even went on holiday with them) and planning […]

The Index Biography #3: Prize = A Good Book January 31, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Index Biography #3: Prize = A Good Book

***This prize was won by an old and dear friend of this blog Ray G at 8.08 GMT. Well done Ray! The answer is below the post so scroll down with care*** The Index Biography is a new form of biography pioneered by this blog and introduced in a previous post. The creator must find a […]

How To Be Cool at an Academic Conference January 30, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
How To Be Cool at an Academic Conference

It should be a recipe for joy and for the diffusion of knowledge. Twenty, two hundred or perhaps even two thousand intelligent men and women, with a shared interest, who find themselves closed into a ‘venue’ for two, three or five days with nothing to do except talk shop. Yet how many academic conferences really […]

The Royal Navy and Dogs of War January 29, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Royal Navy and Dogs of War

Military services are closed societies with their own rules, sensible, silly and bizarre by turn. Few of these military cliques have, however, the traditions to rival the UK’s senior service, the Royal Navy. The Royal Navy, indeed, had everything from the banal (piping officers aboard), to the curious (the different toasts on different nights of […]

In Search of the Lamia in Ethiopia? January 28, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
In Search of the Lamia in Ethiopia?

This passage appears in an 1863 book about a Briton’s residence in Abyssinia. The author seems to be in two minds about the monster he is describing. Is it real or is it a figment of the locals’ imagination? In the text he seems to account for it as legend, but note that he had […]

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