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Not Down the Rabbit Hole

rabbits are harmless

History Thing 006 - Pass the Bread Sticks
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THIS POST IS NOT REMOTELY WORKSAFE, unless you work in an adult shop.

Because it's about ancient 'marital aids'. And warfare.Collapse )

'Slightly AU'
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Fanfic header image

I think someone is confused about the meaning of 'slightly'. I hope it's not me.

Admittedly I was looking for porn to cure a horrendous day, but if you are also in need of a laugh, you can find the actual fic attached to this here. NSFW, also, it would be better not to eat or drink while reading. Should take you about 30 seconds to get through it and 30 minutes to stop giggling.

(Also I have a brilliant History Thing lined up, if I do say so myself, but have exactly no spare time until tomorrow afternoon. I don't technically have spare time now but sleep is for the weak. Or the weekend. One of those.)

Call me Robin
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Archery bruise

So I have learned that when you fire a bow, the bowstring hits you in the forearm. Do it 60+ times in the course of an hour, and guess what happens? A BRUISE. The nice people at the archery club gave me an arm guard, but sadly it wasn't long enough for my forearm. Project for the week: quilted bracer.

May I recommend that everyone go try archery, should the opportunity arise? There is something incredibly soothing about fitting an arrow into a bow, drawing it, aiming, and releasing, and something very satisfying about the thunk of the arrow being embedded in the straw target. Seriously. TRY IT. It's really not as hard as it looks, either. Once you've been shown how to shoot correctly, it's just a matter of being consistent and letting the bow do the work.

I can't wait to go back next week, seriously.

History Thing 005 - Is There a Doctor in the House?
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plague doctor illustration

This is one doctor you really don't want in your house. The illustration above comes from 1661, is by Thomas Bartholin, and depicts a plague doctor. I don't know how everyone else feels, but in general I think they are the wearers of the most sinister uniforms in history, and they do tickle my sense of the macabre nicely.

Bring out your dead!Collapse )

(no subject)
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I was just listening to the behind the scenes bit of a Doctor Who radio play, which was fun, and two of the actors were going on about how good it is to be in it because their children (6 and 10) love the new Doctor Who so much.

What I find funny about this is that now both of these actors need to go and explain to their children what a concubine is, and why the Doctor (et al.) is calling his companions that.

I can see it now:

"Daddy, what's a concubine?"

"... where did you hear that word?"

"You said it on the radio in Doctor Who!"

History Thing 004 - Differences and Similarities
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With apologies for the brief absence, thing #4 will deal with the mysterious world of computers.

If you have an interest in computer sciences, linguistics, Victorian history or Lord Byron (... now there's a sentence that won't come up much), you're probably aware of the Difference Engine (an early computer produced by Ada Lovelace [Lord Byron's only legitimate daughter, hence the connection] and Charles Babbage). Without blinding anyone with science, the Difference Engine is essentially an enormous calculator - no more complex than the kind of $2 pocket one you can pick up in a newsagent's.

Shocking revelations about history within.Collapse )

History Thing 003 - Common Reluctance
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If you follow the politics of a Commonwealth country (and I can understand why you wouldn't, even living in one), you might be aware of a strange tradition that involves dragging the Speaker of the House of Commons (otherwise known as the House of Representatives in the land of Oz) to their chair when they're elected (which happens at the beginning of each parliamentary term). Video here, for those who may not believe me that this is a thing.

But why the hell are we dragging a grown person to a chair that is a pretty good place to sit, figuratively speaking? Because it wasn't always a good job to get.

Historically, the Speaker was the person charged with communicating the thoughts of Parliament to the monarch. Which doesn't sound so bad, until we get to the bit where Speakers were often bumped off the mortal coil if they had unpleasant things to report.

In fact, seven Speakers of the House were executed by beheading between 1394 and 1535.

Not, one assumes, that the tradition of executing Speakers continues, but the tradition of appearing to be reluctant about the job is alive and kicking.

History Thing 002 - Sinking for Your Supper
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It's just possible, if you haven't been living under a rock on Mars for the last couple of months, that you've heard that today is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

As this is a vaguely exciting moment of history, I do feel obliged to cover it. However, since I fell asleep during the movie when it first came out, I have little knowledge of it specifically (I know my mum likes to say that when the ship was built, the rivets were put in to say NO POPE HERE, and that's why it sunk, but I suspect this of being the urban legend of a paranoid Catholic population).

So instead, let's talk about food.

You should probably not read this while you're eating, or while you're hungry, depending on your personal tastes.Collapse )

100 Things + Thing 001
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{Take the 100 Things challenge!}

I figure that since everyone else is doing it, I should also ~Take the 100 Things Challenge~. My topic will be...

... wait for it.

100 Things About History

Which will mostly be examinations of the things no one thinks about that aren't covered in your history classes. Or at least, not the way I would have covered them.

TO WIT, the building of Hadrian's Wall:

Herein lie Roman legions and naked ScotsmenCollapse )

Heads up
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Just in case you're all confused by the strange new person commenting on your journals or whatever: I have changed my username. For a variety of reasons, but mostly a general feeling of being more gender-neutral than I've previously presented as. (Before anyone gets confused or whatever: female pronouns are fine. Practising your ungendered pronouns is always encouraged, though, because that's just generally good practise for your verbal skills and 'one/they' is only awkward if you don't know to use them.)

New username is a play on a piece of advice from E.B White (he of Charlotte's Web fame): "Be obscure clearly."

So I have queerlyobscure. Which I think are more or less the best two words to describe me anyway.

This has been ladylovelace, changing costumes.


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