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Majorana’s Mysterious Disappearance October 11, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Majorana's Mysterious Disappearance

***Dedicated to Cristiano and Mau*** Ettore Majorana (obit ?), a Sicilian who mysteriously disappeared in 1938, was an almost-genius in the field of theoretical physics: many of his ideas proved so insightful that they are still being explored today. The reminiscences of those who  worked with Majorana show that he was not only a remarkable […]

The Bearded Princess December 17, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The Bearded Princess

A day of freedom: 77 exams graded, course readers prepared, translations refined, goodbyes given… It is all over, at least, until, in January, the whole merry dance begins again. In the meantime, Beachcombing thought that he would go back to an old love of his, some of the more unusual saints in the Christian pantheon. […]

The Saint Who Became A Cat May 7, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval, Modern
The Saint Who Became A Cat

Beachcombing has previously looked at St Christopher a dog-headed saint. But what about St Agatha who can turn into a cat? First a little background. Agatha was a martyr saint from Catania, Sicily whose five-day festival each year in early February remains one of the highlights of civic life in the city and whose climax […]

Painted Snowballs February 8, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Painted Snowballs

For various reasons beginning with health and ending with this blog, passing through children, changing interests and daily walks in the woods Beachcombing has not sat down to write an academic article for two years. And when he thinks of the two or three pieces on his hard drive that just need some work and […]

Celts in Ancient Sicily June 11, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Celts in Ancient Sicily

Beachcombing has luxuriated for too long in the modern world. Indeed the last time he visited antiquity was in the company of some Indian merchants a long week ago. So he rushes back today to the clean, glistening marble of the ancients. The following passage comes from G.T. Griffith’s The Mercenaries of the Hellenistic World (London […]