How Hard is it to Say Yes?

I recently came across a great thread in Quora about the usage of the word “yes” in various languages. The thread is concerned with explaining why romance languages use almost the same word for “yes” (si [Spanish, Italian] and sim [Portuguese])...

Shaming Bad Musicians In The Middle Ages

Marillion, a singer in Game of Thrones, had his tongue cut out on the orders of King Joffrey for writing and performing a crude limerick about Joffrey’s parents. Thankfully, the real punishment meted out to musicians in the Middle Ages who had offended their...

Greetings From Panagia Skripou

I apologize for disappearing for a few days. I took a few days off and went to stay with friends in a small village at the foot of Mount Parnassus. As part of their wonderful hospitality, they took us to visit a Byzantine church; Panagia Skripou. Readers often comment...

The Typewriter That Lets You Type Sheet Music

I think it was Franz Liszt who, as a young composer, walked into a music publisher’s and asked to show his music. He then produced a sheet of music with a plaintive Lied (song). After studying it for a few moments, the publisher said, “young man, you have...

The Horrific History of St. Albans Bible

You may remember Erik Kwakkel or Leiden University from earlier posts like A Fantasy Tip From History: Medieval Spam. Erik recently shared the incredible history of St. Albans Bible. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! A Horror Story In 1964, the New York rare book...

Celebrating Armistice Day

As you may know, today we celebrate Armistice Day. Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compi├Ęgne, France for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World...

The Fire That Sunk The Titanic

What’s that you say, it was an iceberg which sank the Titanic? Sure, but why did the iceberg cut through the ship’s steel like it was hot butter? Senan Molony, Titanic expert and author of Titanic: why she collided, why she sank, why she should never have...

How Many Bits In A Word?

The world has known many languages; some 7,000 are currently spoken. And we use language to inform others. So, are some languages better than others when it comes to how fast we convey information? A group of intrepid linguists set out to find out. How many bits per...

Medieval Books Reenacted

According to DesignYouTrust, a group of Czech students has recreated weird scenes from Medieval books, thus proving that those Medieval scribes did more than just sell all those beers they were producing. You can see the result in the original post but here’s a...