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  • Cellini’s Canon April 20, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Cellini's Canon

    Beachcombing has been thinking in the last hour about objects that are far travelled – for example the Indian buddhas that made it to Viking Scandinavia or, say, the Viking coin that (allegedly) ended up in pre-Columbian Maine. And it was while musing on these far-flung things that Cellini’s canon came to mind. Now admittedly […]

    The Commissar Vanishes April 19, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    The Commissar Vanishes

    After yesterday’s post on cinema gimmicks, Beachcombing found himself wondering about why cinema alone of the great arts seems to prosper under totalitarianism. From there he got all excited about Soviet kitsch and spent an hour in his armchair where he got reacquainted with one of his favourite books of the last couple of years: […]

    The Fright Break! April 18, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    The Fright Break!

    Beachcombing recently complained about the lack of the bizarre in classical music. Luckily cinema has no such limitations. Indeed, it is difficult to think of a major director prior to the second world war who was not a complete loon. Then there are – may the heavens be praised – the gimmicks: those loveably outrageous […]

    Vedic History and the Myth of the Golden Age April 17, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Ancient, Prehistoric
    Vedic History and the Myth of the Golden Age

    Every so often when Beachcombing writes a post, pastes a text in, finds an inane photograph and presses ‘publish’ there comes the click. It is a noise that means he has just stepped on a pressure bomb and that his next step is going to lead to dissolution: or, in blogging terms, thirty furious emails […]

    Weeping Beachcombing Leaves WordPress April 16, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Beachcombed
    Weeping Beachcombing Leaves Wordpress

    To date, I’ve put up 322 posts and built up traffic of c. 1400 hits a day with about five hundred daily visitors to my home page: ‘the regulars’ as Mrs B calls them.  I have also made many pleasant acquaintances by email – drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com – and I have enjoyed myself […]

    The Meson del Fierro April 15, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern, Prehistoric
    The Meson del Fierro

    The Meson del Fierro was a huge piece of iron in the depths of the Chaco in the badlands of South America (modern Argentina). Eighteenth-century estimates claimed that it weighed about fifteen tons. And, in 1783, Michael Rubin de Celis, A Spanish naval official who had approached the lump of ore with some two hundred […]

    Woolly Mammoths among the Pharoahs? April 14, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
    Woolly Mammoths among the Pharoahs?

      **This post is dedicated to Andy the Mad Monk who put Beachcombing onto it** Beachcombing has long wondered if the publishing world would not have room for a volume on long-travelled exotic animals in Antiquity and the Middle Ages: giraffes turning up in Renaissance Italy; polar bears being brought down to the medieval Arabs; […]

    Cat Fishing and Brahms April 13, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Cat Fishing and Brahms

    Again apologies for cessation in email communications and posting, Beachcombing is on the mend and normal service should resume tomorrow. *** Not so long ago Beachcombing said something unwise about musicians, namely that  the classically inclined folk prior to the shamans of modern rock did not have particularly bizarre lives and that music was a […]

    The Underwear of Dictators’ Lovers April 12, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    The Underwear of Dictators' Lovers

    Beachcombing is still reeling from his recent medical misfortunes and, to make matters worse, he has to catch a bus in about twenty five minutes. So yet again today he will be brief. But he had to share this brilliant catch sent in by Invisible, an important ally in the fight for the historically bizarre. […]

    Kamikaze Exploration Irish Style April 11, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Kamikaze Exploration Irish Style

      An entry from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles for 891 claims that in that year three Irish men set out from Ireland in a boat. An everyday event you might think – certainly Beachcombing was unimpressed. But what made their voyage special was that the three travelled without oars. In effect, they decided to give up […]

    Immortal Meals 2#: Eating in a Victorian Dinosaur April 10, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Immortal Meals 2#: Eating in a Victorian Dinosaur

      Sadly Beachcombing will just write as a short post today as the sfiga hex has settled over him. Paul Johnson’s book has extended its evil to Beach’s comic shelves that collapsed in the night and the attack on his body is now burning fierily, so much so that Beachcombing is enforcing what the medieval used to […]

    Sfiga! April 9, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    Sfiga!

    The last couple of days have been tense for Beachcombing. After seven fabulous, tripping-the-light-fantastic months of having no new symptoms from the illness that was tearing him apart, he was hit – bang – by a ‘change’. Though in itself minor this symptom may be a sign of worse things to come and Beachcombing is, […]

    The Day Wager April 8, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Day Wager

    A recent post that has haunted Beachcombing was that concerning an early submarine exploring a world of Merfolk near the Isle of Man in the seventeenth century. What most interested Beachcombing was not curiously the mermaids, welcome as they were, but the fact that an innovative technology had slipped unnoticed into an eighteenth-century Manx folk […]

    Barbecuing Friars in Late Medieval Florence April 7, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Barbecuing Friars in Late Medieval Florence

      Beachcombing promised just the other day that he would leave blood alone for at least a month. He wants then to be very clear that this post will not involve bloodshed. It will describe though one of the last ordeals by fire of the Middle Ages, an attempt to use flames to judge a human […]

    First Unicorns? April 6, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    First Unicorns?

    Beachcombing is returning with some relief to familiar territory after the Shakespeare wars of the last couple of days. The subject: unicorns and the earliest human accounts of these mysterious creatures. In the Indus Valley about 3000 BC a series of seals were created that portray an animal with one horn: they predate the mention […]

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