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Not Made Up: the Big Fella’s Briefcase (1932)


What a wild year.


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Dreadlocks, Tattoos, Celts and Vikings


Look, I like folk metal as much as the next person, but it’s not actually an accurate depiction of ancient life. Realistically, there were probably no deliberate dreadlocks native to the British Isles. The good news is, there’s evidence of tattooing being used in Europe several thousand years ago, just not using woad like we’ve all been assuming, plus a bunch of other wicked fashion trends that will be easy to work into your day-to-day wardrobe.  Let’s look at this in more detail. Read More…

The Ogham Stones of Ardmore

Ed Mooney Photography

Ardmore Ogham Stones (1) (640x426)Within the ruins of the old monastic settlement of Ardmore in Waterford, founded by St. Declan in the 5th century, there are a number of interesting structures. My personal favourites where the two ogham stones I found sitting inside the ruins of the cathedral. We were heading back from a family break in nearby Youghal, and I was disappointed that I did not get to shoot as much as I had wanted too whilst I was there. So despite the pouring rain, when we passed through Ardmore, I was adamant that I would not go any further without stopping off to explore this fine monastic settlement. With the rain pouring down, the rest of the family stayed put in the car, whilst I braved the elements armed only with the smallest little red umbrella you could imaging. It was so small, that it barely covered my camera. But I…

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The Story of Julie D’Aubigny, as told by Ben Thompson

image via Wikipedia

Ben Thompson’s blog “Badass Of The Week” is a veritable library of short, palatable descriptions of historical figures who closely resemble characters made by seasoned Dungeons and Dragons veterans during a drunken fortnight-long LARPing retreat.

I’d like to draw your attention to his recounting of the tale of Julie D’Aubigny, the 17th-century bisexual French opera singer and fencing master.

If you thought you were out of inspiration for your next Steampunk fantasy story, high-Dex Bard (or high-Charisma Rogue), you were wrong.

Can drinking tea turn you into a whore?


The History of Love


In eighteenth-century England, there were many reasons why families might have been torn apart, or why dutiful wives and hardworking husbands could suffer a fall from grace. Heart-rending tales of orphaned children, abandoned lovers and destitution fill the pages of contemporary newspaper columns and court records. For some, one of the prime suspects behind the nation’s idleness and debauchery was quietly, steadily taking root in almost every street in the country.

This terrible foreign invader encouraged young men to stay “a lurking in the bed” rather than earning an honest wage. It turned women to harlotry and insolence, caused atrocious child neglect, and was armed to carry everyone off to their grave a decade early. This enemy of virtue? Why, tea, of course.

The philanthropist Jonas Hanway lamented that “Men seem to have lost their stature, and comliness; and women their beauty. Your very chambermaids have lost their bloom…

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My Favourite Artefacts of Horses (NSFW)

Maija Karala, 2011: Horses of Arctic Eden

image credit: Maija Karala, Humming Dinosaurs blog

Most human civilisations have domesticated animals to some extent; horses are pretty popular because they’re fast, and they eat grass, which we probably weren’t going to eat anyway. Personally I’m intimidated by horses because they’re much larger than me and have huge teeth and if they kick you, you can die. For many people however, horses are awesome. Here’s some historical awesome horses, in no particular order.

NSFW: weird ancient Norse bestiality stuff (not images, not graphic, but still pretty weird)

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