Anvil Weddings and Gretna Green

Scotland and England were ruled by a single monarch until James VI of Scotland became James I of England, upon Elizabeth I’s death in 1603. However, it was only when the Act of Union was passed, in 1707, that they were united under a single parliament. One of the...

A Nafplio Visit

One of the best things about living in Greece is the history. Literally, with every stone you lift, you’re bound to find a wee bit of history underneath. This weekend, we went to Nafplio and visited the castle of Palamidi. Nafplio was the second capital of...

North American Vikings

I was just writing the other day about the 1339 monk who wrote about the discovery of America. Now, analysis of wood from timber-framed buildings in the L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland shows a Norse-built settlement over 1,000 years ago – 471 years before...

Terra Incognita: the 1339 Discovery of America

As The Economist reports, a paper for the academic journal Terrae Incognitae by Paolo Chiesa, a professor of Medieval Latin Literature at Milan University, reveals that an Italian monk referred to America in a book he wrote as early as the starts of the 14th century....

Real-Life Aliens

What might life on another planet look like? What the British Antarctic Survey came across earlier this year (2021) may shed some light. As Wired reports, the Society wanted to study the history of the floating shelf. Instead, they came across strange creatures that...

Past Visions of the Future

How did our grandfathers imaging our present? Robert Langkjær-Bain of Fivemedia has an excellent article with some (often hilarious) illustrations answering that very question. Flying Cars With AirCar completing its first flight on June 28th, 2021, maybe we’re...

Are There Any Celtic Words in English?

Long-time followers of my blog may remember my post on the origins of English. The language tree in that post shows that English is largely derived from Germanic, specifically Anglo-Frisian. So, where are the Celts? Are there no Celtic words in English? As several of...

Space Farts and Crappy Jobs

The wee one’s fascination with bodily functions (as witnessed by her poetry) must be rubbing off on me, as I couldn’t stop browsing Quora to learn more about toilet habits, old and new. Sher Afgan and Silvia Serra have shared a brief illustrated history of...