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  • Russian Fireball Weirdness, 1663 March 8, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Russian Fireball Weirdness, 1663

    Really, UFOs are so often so boring. How many times does the mother ship of the Krill turn out to be a dead mosquito smudged on the kitchen window? But every so often a sighting comes along where you think: what on earth (or rather in the sky)… There follows one of the very best […]

    History Roundup 31: including Viking Massacre and River Weapons March 7, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 31: including Viking Massacre and River Weapons

    Today’s post on medieval robots. 1) Viking Massacre in Dorset: fascinating that they seemed to have been second-class 2) Arabs Ate Lizards? Don’t tell the Emir 3) Hating Andrew Jackson: early polemics 4) Humans Shaping Forests 11000 Years Ago? Pre the Neolithic Revolution… 5) The Dark Side of Vesuvius: Away from Pompeii 6) The Vibratorium: […]

    Brazen Heads and Medieval Robots? March 7, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval, Modern
    Brazen Heads and Medieval Robots?

    In the Middle Ages there emerged two kinds of artificial humans into the Christian imagination: the real thing needs, unfortunately, to be dismissed with Aztec jet planes and Pharonic nuclear bombs. First there were moving statues, brass and gold figures that were somtimes found guarding treasure hordes or, what might loosely be called, fairyland. These […]

    History Roundup 30: including Stonehenge as Glockenspiel March 6, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 30: including Stonehenge as Glockenspiel

    Today’s post on fairies and arson… 1) Stoneghenge is a Glockenspiel: stone xylophone? 2) English Sense of Humour Viking? NO! 3) Ancient Greek Theatre and Climate: did it rain on the spectators? 4) Stone Age Irish Finds: Excarnation? 5) Egg in Pot: Ritual in Archaeology 6) Man vs Neanderthal: on the Danube? 7) More on […]

    Fairies, Arson and Banknotes in Co. Donegal March 6, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Fairies, Arson and Banknotes in Co. Donegal

    One of the great things about fairies in traditional communities is that they make for the perfect alibi. If someone pushes down the landlord’s fence then, of course, it was the fairies that did it. If a man is a beaten out walking along a midnight lane then the fairies did it. If a boy […]

    History Roundup 29: including God Food March 5, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 29: including God Food

    Today’s Beachcombing post is on WW2 magic 1) God Food: ambrose et alia 2) How Not to Commit A Perfect Murder: c. 1880 3) Nazi Jet Plane: thank god not around in 1940 4) What Really Happened to the Library of Alexandria: blame Caesar! 5) 1879 UFO?: over New York 6) Did Neanderthals Talk: or […]

    Jasper Maskelyne and Magic Machine Guns in WW2 March 5, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Jasper Maskelyne and Magic Machine Guns in WW2

    ***Dedicated to Moon Man who put me onto Jasper Maskelyne*** Jasper Maskelyne is a fascinating character from the ranks of fighting WW2 Britons. A stage magician, he found himself in the Royal Engineers at the start of the War and gave himself over to camouflage work. His book, Magic Top Secret (1949), which I’m itching […]

    History Roundup 28: Nazis in LA March 4, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 28: Nazis in LA

    And look out for today’s post on ‘confused paternity‘ 1) Abandoned Nazi Site in Hills of LA: ‘all rainbowy’ 2) Roman House in Arezzo: Tuscany, Italy 3) Live Like Lenin, Be Buried Like Hitler: Mausoleum 4) Sacrificial Altar: Neolithic Chinese city 5) Buried Treasure at Point Dume: Spanish gold? 6) Teaching Colonialism: 1940s Boardgame 7) […]

    Whose Child? March 4, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Modern
    Whose Child?

    The machinery of human reproduction means that (save in exceptional circumstances) there may be doubt about the father, but there can be no question as to a baby’s mother. But the whole doubt about the father thing is a serious issue, particularly if you live in a society where blood lines are taken seriously. This […]

    History Roundup 27: Alcatraz’s Hidden History March 3, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 27: Alcatraz's Hidden History

      And look out for today’s post on Indian mapmaking 1) Hidden History at Alcatraz: beneath the prison… 2) Second Oldest Church in Germany: early medieval… 3) In Search of Broadmoor: Victorian Mental Hospital 4) Apocalypse Now: from Taoism to Nuclear War 5) Women can be taught!: wonderful stuff… 6) When the Chinese Didn’t Discover […]

    American Indian Map Making: A Rare Talent? March 3, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    American Indian Map Making: A Rare Talent?

    Mapmaking is often seen as a modern, even a western preoccupation. But, of course, map-making, albeit with rather different rules, has existed in other cultures from the earliest times. This is true even in hunter-gatherer societies where permanent records are slighter and more difficult to achieve. After all, the hunter-gatherer depends more on knowledge of […]

    McConnel’s Passing: An At Death Encounter? March 2, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    McConnel's Passing: An At Death Encounter?

    11 December 1918 was a sad day in the McConnel family. Eighteen-year-old David McConnel (aka M’Connel in some publications) had perished four days before in a plane crash: just three months after the end of the worst war in history, at a time when his family might reasonably have hoped that he would be safe. Flying from […]

    Beachcombed 45 March 1, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Beachcombed
    Beachcombed 45

    A fairly pleasant month has been overshadowed by  internet service has exploding in my corner of the Italian countryside. So as most of this has been tapped out on a phone must be brief. Thanks particularly to all those who sent links in for the roundups. None of those for a couple of days while internet […]

    History Roundup 27: The Oldest Cheese and the Tarim Mummy February 28, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 27: The Oldest Cheese and the Tarim Mummy

    Note that in Feburary, as an experiment, we’ll be releasing history links roundup most days at 12.00 GMT. If you want the proper post on the index biography (still no winner). On a much more serious note our internet provider is down and will likely be a for a few days. Expect service to be intermittent […]

    The Index Biography #4: Prize = A Good Book February 28, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    The Index Biography #4: Prize = A Good Book

    ***It took 15 hours but KR got it: for answer scroll down*** The Index Biography is a new form of biography pioneered by this blog and introduced in a previous post. The creator must find a biography of a famous individual from history, they must turn to the index and write down eight peripheral facts about […]

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