One of the reasons I like to read accounts from history is that you can get a real sense of what people were doing as opposed to a sanitized version you might get in a stale history book. This is from Ron Pattinson's excellent blog Shut up about Barclay Perkins
Mr. H. J. Freeman, for defendant, said it was a case in which he could offer no real defence, and he had no wish to attempt to put one up. The offences could not be regarded as any way similar to those sometimes read of at London clubs or road-houses, where a breach of the licensing regulations was committed. Deal Hall was situated at a remote spot on the marshes some 4.5 miles from the village of Southminster. Defendant had acted ill-advisedly in not forming a properly constituted club, but he had not sold the beer to make gain therefrom — only to satisfy the needs of his workmen.
Of course, at this point, people might wonder about me. Why read this kind of stuff? Do you plan on including details like this? The answer is not simple. I don't necessarily mean to include this particular episode, but having read it and others I get a better feel for what people during this period were dealing with in their daily lives. So parts of it may appear, but what will surely happen is that this will color what I write, in some small way at least.
"It’s just after dawn at the Dogfish Head brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where the ambition for the morning is to resurrect an Egyptian ale whose recipe dates back thousands of years.
But will the za’atar—a potent Middle Eastern spice mixture redolent of oregano—clobber the soft, floral flavor of the chamomile? And what about the dried doum-palm fruit, which has been giving off a worrisome fungusy scent ever since it was dropped in a brandy snifter of hot water and sampled as a tea?"
What fun, much rather be him than Indiana Jones!
The Beer Archeologist
I end up reading quite a bit of interesting things as I do research. When I read this I knew it was a keeper. From the article,
By the 1800s, scientific lecturers were building what they called "Volta's Pistol" -- a pistol (or cannon, or bulb) - shaped device that had a cork on one end, was filled with a mix of hydrogen and oxygen in the middle, and an early spark plug progenitor on the other. The proud owner would connect the plug's wires to some form of current -- a voltaic pile, Leyden jar, or other early battery -- and the plug would spark, exploding the gaseous mixture and launching the cork from the bottle with a huge BANG, which would then wake up all the students or society people nodding off in the auditorium.
The Spark Plug Started Out As A Really Dangerous Toy
From Issus's Histories Of Weyland The Year 960
Much has been speculated on where the mercenaries who call themselves Thracians hail from originally. One point that can be agreed upon by all that have done research is that they definitely come from some place other than Weyland.
So, from whence come the Thracians? Their own oral history, or at least the part that they share with others, is muddled. But their oral history and the various written records from the times that they first appeared are clear at least on when and where they first appeared. Three ships of Thracian warriors and their families limped into the harbor at Freeport late afternoon on the second day of the Eighth month in the 920th year in the era of the High Kings. Most of the accounts also state that they initially were grim, but reserved. They caused no undue trouble in the city while they bartered for foodstuffs and medicines. The three ships were later followed by more ships of refugees. Accounts of exactly how many more ships range from five to twelve vessels.
Eventually the warriors began to offer their services to various lords and city governments and the beginnings of the Thracian mercenary companies were formed. It is generally believed, though never confirmed by the Thracians, that these early companies were based on familial ties. From these small beginnings the companies expanded beyond native Thracians by recruitment, and after the death of High King Caran, by the use of press gangs.
These regiments, ten in total, are each formed of ten companies. The companies consist of ten cohorts, each cohort ideally containing sixty men. It can easily be seen that the Thracians are now a formidable army in it's own right. Strangely they never have bonded together to fight as one army. They have historically preferred to fight as sell swords under a patron in units as small as a cohort. Thracian companies have often opposed each other in skirmishes and battles, apparently not seeing that as unusual behavior.
The question still remains as to where they first came from and why they came to Weyland. Initial fears that they came as the advance force of an unknown foe have receded. Instead all evidence points to the Thracians fleeing from some other, more superior force after a long and protracted war. From my own research I believe this force was a religious theocracy that had conquered all of the Thracians homeland. This unnamed theocracy was, and still is, so feared by the Thracians I can find no mention of their name.
Normally I won't be posting twice in one day, but I wanted to share this fascinating story separately from the excerpt I posted earlier.
"Historians in the 1800s referred to the Dark Ages as a time of illiteracy and barbarianism, generally pinpointing the time period as between the fall of the Roman Empire and somewhere in the Middle Ages. To some, the Dark Ages didn't end until the 1400s, at the advent of the Renaissance. But modern historians see the Middle Ages quite differently. That's because continued scholarship has found that the medieval period wasn't so ignorant after all."
From "Grotesque mummy head reveals science from 'Dark Ages'"
R. Michael Walters
"Freely ye have received,