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  • Intuition and Espionage September 4, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Intuition and Espionage

    A nice story about intuition and intelligence work. Aldrich Ames was a CIA operative and a schmuck. Starting in 1985 through 1993, when he was finally arrested, Ames gave Russian intelligence information in exchange for bags of cash. In short, a number of assets were executed and imprisoned in the Soviet Union so Ames could […]

    Zombie Contagion: Origins September 3, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Zombie Contagion: Origins

    Beach read and watched a lot of zombie fiction this last summer. There was the Living Dead, the nightmarish Crossed and Alan Moore’s incredible adaptation, not to mention 28 Days Later. Beach is not an out and out zombie fan. In fact, he finds zombies, per se, the least interesting of all our supernatural fauna. (If Beach was […]

    History Roundup 683 including Pharmacy Signs and Spook Lights September 2, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 683 including Pharmacy Signs and Spook Lights

    Today’s links follow 1) Queen Victoria Letter in Charity Shop: UK (of course) 2) Pharmacy Signs and History: Portugal 3) Spiritual Telegraph and Spook Light: New York 4) Strange History of Marathon: International 5) Roman Invasion Was Bloody: Scotland and from the archives 6) Roman Coins in Iceland Other links: Academic vs popular writing; The Way […]

    Daily History Picture: US Enters Great War September 2, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: US Enters Great War

    From a Canadian paper

    Bosom Lizards in Ireland September 2, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Bosom Lizards in Ireland

    Beach has recently run across an incredible folklore and forteana resource: the transcripts of the 1930s Irish Schools survey where local traditions were written down by budding students and their teachers: thanks to Stephen D for sending it in. There is a lot to get excited about but first off here are three bosom serpent […]

    Beachcombed 75 September 1, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Beachcombed
    Beachcombed 75

    Dear Reader, and so term is beginning. First class this morning. Butterflies and relief, for the first time in a decade, that the summer is over. Still 48,000 academic words written and some fun had. There follow the c. 10000 most interesting words sent in to StrangeHistory. Thanks to all contributors… Have a great September! […]

    Index Biography #33: Prize a book August 31, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Index Biography #33: Prize a book

    ***Leif got it, spool down for the answer…*** 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 the individual’s life. We […]

    Lying Periodicals? August 30, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Lying Periodicals?

    Academics and serious historians get very worked up about publication dates. It is important to know, for example, whether, a publication on the Arab world was published before or after 11 Sept 2001; it is important to know whether bold new research (a) came before or after bold new research (b). Most of us can […]

    Remembering the Strips August 29, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Remembering the Strips

    Today is an important day in the calendar of the Beach family, Beach and kids get to open the massive piggy bank (Money Pig) in the downstairs bathroom. Beach has then to double any money found there – it has been a year… – then kids, minus Beach, go out to spend Money Pig’s money […]

    Strange Labrador Monster August 28, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Strange Labrador Monster

    Here’s a creepy little report of an unidentified creature from the Canadian North East. Labrador is the mainland territory just past Newfoundland. This was the territory that c. 1000 Vikings visited to get wood for the Greenland settlement. The man writing is a medical doctor, Wilfrid Thomason Grenfell. His autobiography has several entertaining or intriguing […]

    Review: The Graveyard of the Batavia August 27, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Review: The Graveyard of the Batavia

    Mike Dash, The Graveyard of the Batavia Beach took about two years to pluck up the courage to read this book. The problem was not the quality of the writing, which is excellent, but the painful subject matter. The story in brief. Over three hundred Dutch men, women and children sailing on the Batavia got […]

    A Royal Ghost: Harald the Something August 26, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    A Royal Ghost: Harald the Something

    Harald the Fair-Headed (aka Harald Fairhead: obit c. 932) is apparently in that very select group of monarchs who became ghosts after his death. About Harald we know practically nothing, btw, other than that he fathered Eric Bloodaxe and that he won enough battles to make him the first king of Norway. Pity the poor […]

    Victorian Urban Legends: In Search of the Sewer Crocodile in Hamburg August 25, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Victorian Urban Legends: In Search of the Sewer Crocodile in Hamburg

    This story is quite exciting because it is a possible source for the famous crocodiles in the sewer tale. There are reports from the early 1870s about crocs associated with drainage in the US. However, they rarely involve danger or fun. We are in Hamburg, Germany: The police authorities of this city have issued a […]

    Snowball Atrocities #4: Napoleon at Brienne August 24, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Snowball Atrocities #4: Napoleon at Brienne

    Perhaps the single most famous snowball fight in history took place in the winter of 1783-1784 at Brienne in Aube in central France. Brienne at this date was a military school and among the students was a fourteen-year-old Corsican named Napoleon Bonaparte. (Permission given to sigh deeply) Frustrated by the cold and the tedium of snowmen, […]

    Paleo Family Planning Today? August 23, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Prehistoric
    Paleo Family Planning Today?

    There is a whole literature out there on paleo food, the idea that we are digital men and women living in stone age bodies and that we need to eat in a stone age fashion. But what about the idea that we should also live other aspects of our lives as stone agers among the skyscrapers […]

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