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Finishing Horace and Whittier in WW2 November 3, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Finishing Horace and Whittier in WW2

Today’s post represents a definite minority interest: poems being started by someone and finished by someone else in the Second World War. (Sorry).  Take the extraordinary exchange between the German general Heinrich Kreipe (obit 1976) and a young British major Patrick Leigh Fermor (obit 2011) [pictured centre and right] late one night in Crete in […]

Secret Weapons September 22, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Secret Weapons

Ideas for books very often begin with nagging questions that compulsively irritate authors and that they then work through – think of it as therapy – by writing tens or even hundreds of thousands of words. Beach suspects that the nagging question that saw Brian Ford pen Secret Weapons: Technology, Science and the Race to […]

Bartering Chinese Women: Mao and Kissinger September 12, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Bartering Chinese Women: Mao and Kissinger

The honour! Strange History is, as we speak, being hacked by a bunch of Chinese ruffians. If the fairies and mermaids disappear under a swelter of fake Tiffany bags you’ll know why. To celebrate this epoch-making event Beachcombing thought that he would bring China centre stage and also throw Kissinger into the mix. It is […]

Lost in Shangri-La July 20, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary

In May 1945 an American flight over central New Guinea crashed and killed all but three of the twenty four servicemen on board. The three survivors – two men and a woman – found themselves in the midst of a dense jungle miles from home. They managed to parley with the local tribespeople – who […]

Strange Speeches July 11, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Strange Speeches

Beachcombing got an email last night from inspired speeches, a new website [now defunct!] dedicated to gathering, well, inspired speeches. His correspondent asked for suggestions for notable discourses from the past. And Beachcombing made the terrible mistake of opening said email at midnight. The result? Beach did not sleep until dawn, tossing and turning, as […]

Bringing Back Flogging? July 3, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Modern
Bringing Back Flogging?

Beachcombing thought that he would give a little publicity to a ‘rogue researcher’ today: a tag that refers to those who, with often commendable eccentricity, step outside the bounds laid down by their profession – Beachcombing is always on the look out for these rare souls, drbeachcombing DOT yahoo AT com. The RR in question […]

Beachcombing Beachcombs from Florida to Japan July 2, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Beachcombing Beachcombs from Florida to Japan

**Beach dedicates this post to Ricardo R and Tokyobling who supplied all the material** One area of bizarre history that Beachcombing has so far steered clear of in this blog is, well, beachcombing. He was put off the subject in the mid 1990s when he stumbled on a story in The Sun (Irish edition) of […]

Oaks: Sacrificial and Otherwise June 20, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Oaks: Sacrificial and Otherwise

***This post is dedicated to Justin, who introduced Beach to the Tree that Owns Itself*** ‘From little acorns might oaks…’ blah blah blah. But, seriously, oaks have long caught the human imagination from sacrificial oaks – Beach has a ‘book’ memory of a German tribe that use to hammer one part of their victim’s guts […]

Animal Effigies and Indian Mounds June 4, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
Animal Effigies and Indian Mounds

  Beachcombing has long been attracted to the so called ‘animal effigy mounds’ of Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Louisiana. Across these states local Indian populations built a series of giant mounds in the shape of animals. Dating is almost impossibly difficult in such cases, but many archaeologists have placed the creation of these mounds […]

Last Words of the Executed May 27, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary, Modern