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Showing posts from April, 2012

Trivia Monday- All Eras Edition

I do a weekly post on my other blog, Letters from the Enlightenment, that is a trivia question relating to the 18th century history. I enjoy it, and other people seem to enjoy responding and trying to guess the answer, so I thought I'd do the same thing here. The advantage here is that it can related to history from any other time period, so we have a lot to choose from.

We'll start with a really easy one:- What were the two styles of women's hoods prevalent at the court of Henry VIII?

Good luck, and have a great week!

History in the News- The Wealth of Medieval England

In these times of economic struggle (the complaint of which I'm sure would be striking to those who lived during the Great Depression), it is fascinating to reflect on how people in poorer times and places have managed to live. Research out of the University of Warwick, in England, suggests that though we associate Medieval England with abject poverty, it wasn't necessarily so. Read more here.

Honeymoon Recap Part 2- Venice

We kicked off our honeymoon tour with three days in Venice, which turned out to be the best part of an overall lovely trip. We'd attempted to learn some Italian before going, as I always feel badly about asking people to speak my language in their country, but between work and the whirlwind that was wedding planning we just didn't get that far and ended up having to rely on others to understand us much of the time.

Arriving on a Wednesday afternoon at Marco Polo airport we caught a bus from the mainland across the bridge to the Piazzale Roma, which is the main depot for people arriving or departing Venice by bus, boat, or train. I'd heard from a few people who had traveled to Venice previously that there could at times be a strange smell from the canals, but the only thing I noticed was the smell of water, which I love. The red-tiled roofs of the Piazzale Roma were very pretty, and despite it being very crowded we had no trouble purchasing a Vaporetto (water bus) card and…

Fear the Footwear!

Did you know that the word "sabotage" may be related to shoes? Supposedly during the 19th century, as the Industrial Revolution gained force and factories full of machinery sprang up across France and elsewhere, the people who worked in the factories feared that the machines might replace them (not without a certain amount of truth). In response to these fears they would throw their wooden shoes, called "sabots" into the devices to break them. Probably the only people this helped were the repairmen.

April 16th

Once again this year I'd like to take a moment to remember those lost, hurt, and otherwise affected by the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007. Today I found myself thinking particularly of the children of those I knew, who are now old enough to ask what happened to their fathers. I hope that a measure of healing has been achieved, and I look forward to a day when this kind of tragedy is less prevalent in the world.

In Their Words- Oscar Wilde

"I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies." -Oscar Wilde

Favorite- Early 19th Century Spanish Mantle

Truly stunning costume piece from the Met!

Our Stars, Ourselves

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves." So says Julius Caesar according to the play named for him by Shakespeare; but did you know that the stars themselves are inside you? The first great element of the world was hydrogen, which was created at the time of the Big Bang, or so science tells us, but all of the other elements; iron, carbon, etc were brought into existence when the first stars exploded. Without this (literally) atronomical event there would be no us, because not only did it create the earth, but those same elements, first created in the stars are in our blood and our bones.

So remember, next time that you feel small and ordinary, you are made from stars.