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  • A List of Supercentenarians November 21, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern

      The following list of long-living folks crops up in a book from the very early twentieth-century. Different versions of this same list had already appeared in various publications through the nineteenth century and names seem to have been added and dropped as easily as editors clumped decades onto the supposed Methuselahs: John Effingham, for […]

    Big Bones in Churches November 19, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    Big Bones in Churches

    At the end of the nineteenth century the Reverend Wilkins Rees put together a short collection of examples of enormous bones that had found their way into English and Welsh churches. He mentioned five impressive instances, four of which he seems to have seen himself. 1) Foljambe Chapel, Chesterfield Church: ‘This bone, supposed to be […]

    Magic Translation and Flowers November 17, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Magic Translation and Flowers

    Beachcombing previously in this place examined magical displays from medieval India and particularly levitation, which Beach still hasn’t got his head around. As a follow up of sorts he thought that today he would quote this description of parlour magic plus from the sub continent in the late nineteenth century. Some of the tricks sound […]

    Self Decapitation in South East Asia November 13, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Self Decapitation in South East Asia

    A short post today as the Beachcombing family celebrates its reunion. The following text comes from the mid fourteenth century and relates to the experiences of a visitor to the court of the Sultan of Mul Jawah (Java or more likely East Sumatra). In this Sultan’s assembly I saw a man with a knife like […]

    Eating People Isn’t Wrong (in Tibet) November 7, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Eating People Isn't Wrong (in Tibet)

    A crisis of sorts tonight in the Beachcombing household. Mrs B is leaving the family home to go and organise an academic conference in the heart of darkness (aka Brussels). This means that Beach – a better husband than a father – and the Beachcombing’s au pair are being left on their own to look […]

    A-Z of Thuggery November 6, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern