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  • Daily History Picture: Giant Typewriter November 28, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Giant Typewriter

    Asinine typewriter at New York Trade Fair 1940: note text…

    Victorian Urban Legend: Pickpocket Death November 28, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Victorian Urban Legend: Pickpocket Death

    Beach has taken great joy over the years in celebrating the Victorian pickpocket. This figure, a positive urban legend magnet, offers a lot of fun to the casual reader. Here is a particularly nice story, the hero (or antagonist?) is Mr White a good and honest preacher. He has been told that a man is dying […]

    New History Books: Able Archer 83 November 27, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : New History Books
    New History Books: Able Archer 83

    Nate Jones, Able Archer 83, when NATO almost scared the politburo into World War III.

    The Battle of the Three Kings November 27, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    The Battle of the Three Kings

    The Battle of Alcácer Quibir (the Battle of the Three Kings), fought in Morocco in 1578, was a freaky melee. It involved Sebastian of Portugal (obit 1578) and his Arabic patsy Abu Abdallah Mohammed II Saadi (obit 1578), the old sultan of Morocco, who both fought against Abu Abdallah’s uncle, the new sultan of Morocco, […]

    New History Books: An Extraordinary Time November 26, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : New History Books
    New History Books: An Extraordinary Time

    Levinson, An Extraordinary Time: the end of the 30 glorious…

    The Ghost in a Tree November 26, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Ghost in a Tree

    This little account appeared in Wilkinson and Harland, Lancashire Folk-lore (1867), 164. But they were quoting a story that had appeared in a newspaper in 1856. Beachcombing has been unable to trace the original, but honestly he didn’t try that hard. Will it be credited that thousands of people have, during the past week, crowded […]

    History Roundup 741 including Werewolves, Headless and Leper Ghosts November 25, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 741 including Werewolves, Headless and Leper Ghosts

    1) Modernish Werewolf: Lincolnshire 2) Leper Ghost: UK 3) Headless Hitchhiker: Weald 4) Missing Artist Body: Spain 5) Man with Coyote Teeth: US and from the archives 6) Bear Almost Starts WW3 Other links: Weird British subcultures, Gnome Fun

    Daily History Picture: Unusual African Hairstyle November 25, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Unusual African Hairstyle

    Traditional Amasunzu hairstyle… Rwanda

    The Cuckold, the Painted Belly and the Lusty Merchant November 25, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Cuckold, the Painted Belly and the Lusty Merchant

    This is a weird sixteenth-century story/anecdote/joke about marital infidelity. It is also, frustratingly, only 95% complete. The punch line is missing. Beach has ‘translated’ the text into modern English. The original text though is in the screen capture below. Please email any serious mistakes. A cunning painter was living in London, and he had a […]

    History Roundup 740 including Cat-Sized Rats and Weird Surnames November 24, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 740 including Cat-Sized Rats and Weird Surnames

    1) Inoculation and Boston 1721: US 2) Bonny’s Sword: Scotland 3) Surname Searching: Library 4) Catching Cat-Sized Rats: Big Holes 5) Highway Robbery: and from the archives 6) Magic Cloak in Afghanistan Other links: Space Oddity

    Daily History Picture: Tank Battle November 24, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Tank Battle

    Crusader forward, Panzer on fire.

    Image: The Tsarina and the Prostitutes November 24, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Image: The Tsarina and the Prostitutes

    This photograph is one of the most iconic from the Great War in Russia. Tsarina Alexandra and her two elder daughters, Olga and Tatiana, were photographed in 1914 in nurses uniform as hostilities began. Nor was this an empty boast, a bit of easy propaganda for Russia’s rulers. Alexandra and especially Olga and Tatiana worked for […]

    History Roundup 739 including Raunchy Neanderthals November 23, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 739 including Raunchy Neanderthals

    1) World’s First Temple: Turkey 2) Aztecs on the Good Life (!): Mexico 3) Saddest Fossil: the marsh 4) Eagle Huntress: Mongolia?? 5) Raunchy Neanderthals: Prehistory and from the archives 6) Japan Fights On Other links: Why the bomb was dropped…

    Daily History Picture: Counterfactual Moonlanding November 23, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Counterfactual Moonlanding

    Sorry…

    Exploding Witch Bottles November 23, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Exploding Witch Bottles

    Witch bottles were ceramic or glass or (sometimes) iron bottles into which a cursed man or woman put parts of their own body and sharp objects. Parts of their own body might be hair, nails and, classically, urine. Sharp things might be nails, pins and thorns. The logic behind all this was that the curser […]

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