September 2012

Adventures with John Buchan

September 27, 2012

Yesterday I decided not to finish a novel by one of my all time favorite authors, John Buchan. It was a hard choice to make. Most of you have probably never heard of Buchan, unless you’re given to reading popular fiction from the first half of the twentieth century. He wrote biographies, adventure novels, historical […]

Read the full article →

Sita Sings the Blues

September 25, 2012

The Ramayana is one of the classic Indian epics. Ascribed to the great Sanskrit poet-sage, Valmiki, it’s a love story, a moral lesson, and/or a foundation myth, depending on what kind of reader you are. Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl to demon king. Boy rescues girl with the help of monkey-god. Boy worries that […]

Read the full article →

Alhazen: The First True Scientist?

September 19, 2012

Islamic scholar Abu Ali al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham (ca. 965-1041), known in the West as Alhazen, began his career as just another Islamic polymath. He soon got himself in trouble with the ruler of Cairo by boasting that he could regulate the flow of the Nile with a series of dams and dikes. At first glance, […]

Read the full article →

Log Cabins: Two Ways

September 14, 2012

I always learn something new when My Own True Love and I head out on a Road Trip Through History.  Our recent expedition to Colonial Michilimacinac was no exception. I learned that eighteenth century cooks dried pumpkins as well as apples* and used pig bladders to seal crocks of prickled vegetables. I had long known […]

Read the full article →

C. W. Ceram and Me

September 11, 2012

One of my favorite books as a child was C. W. Ceram’s Gods, Graves, and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology.* I checked it out from the Springfield public library over and over. It was one of the first books I bought with my own money.** I still have it and dip into it on occasion […]

Read the full article →

Road Trip Through History: Colonial Michilimackinac

September 6, 2012

Last weekend My Own True Love and I hit the road after far too many months of being tied to desks, tasks, and deadlines.  It was our third anniversary and we wanted Romance, plus a little history, long walks, fabulous food, glorious scenery.  We chose the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. The hotel was […]

Read the full article →

Industrial Espionage

September 4, 2012

The Chinese produced luxury silk fabrics for several thousand years before they began trading with the west. Scraps of dyed silk gauze found in a neolithic site in Zhejiang Province date from 3600 BCE. Silk fabrics woven in complex patterns were produced in the same region by 2600 BCE. By the time of the Zhou […]

Read the full article →