August 2011

Word With a Past: Juggernaut

August 29, 2011

The Hindu god Krishna is worshiped in the form of Jagannatha (Lord of the World) in a famous 12th c temple in Puri, in the Indian state of Orissa. The most important of the annual festivals associated with the Jagannatha temple is the Chariot Festival.  The god’s image is placed in a highly decorated wagon […]

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History on Display: That’s Ruff

August 25, 2011

Sometimes you stumble across something small at a museum that overshadows the museum’s larger purpose in your mind. For instance, the only thing I remember about the historical museum in Galena, Illinois, is a half-smoked cigar that a child picked up after General Grant discarded it.  The boy evidently treasured it for years, handing it […]

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Charlemagne: The Education Emperor

August 23, 2011

My Own True Love and I were standing outside the cathedral at Aachen when the memory stirred in both our brains.  Aachen=Charlemagne.* It was the end of the day.  Thanks to my usual case of vacation/holiday bronchitis, I had no voice.  One of our Turkish/Belgian hosts was observing Ramadan and was tired from his fast.  […]

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Road Trip Through History: Driving the Ypres Salient

August 18, 2011

Normally I’d hesitate to describe something as a road trip that begins with a transatlantic flight.  The driving tour of the Ypres Salient* is an exception. The Belgian town of Ieper (Ypres in French, “Wipers” in British Tommy) was the center of a series of bloody battles in World War I.  The kind of battles […]

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History on Display: Tipu’s Tiger

August 9, 2011

“Tipu’s Tiger” is one of the most popular exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  For generations, British school children and American tourists have lined up to watch the large mechanical tiger maul a fallen British gentleman.   Today the toy is too fragile to operate, but once upon a time the tiger roared and its […]

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Easter Island: Not So Mysterious After All

August 4, 2011

Once upon a time, like many nerdy little girls, I wanted to be an archeologist.  Today I get my hands grubby with old books and the occasional leaking ink pen instead of the sands of time, but my copy of C. W. Ceram’s classic Gods, Graves and Scholars remains a prized possession and I still […]

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