How to Know You’re Middle-Aged

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H/T Boydell & Brewer For those who don’t get #5.  [Read more...]

Pentacycles

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From our Failed Inventions files: pentacycles, designed for mailmen in 1882. I can’t understand why they didn’t catch on. [Read more...]

David McCullough’s 5 (And More) Lessons For History Students

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Great stuff from a fine writer and historian. I just finished McCullough’s 1776, and it’s everything popular history should be: vivid, gripping, detailed, and with a sharply defined sense of people, place, and incident. “Don’t do boring.” Good advice! [Read more...]

St. Francis on Kickstarter

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A group of monks is using Kickstarter to raise money for the restoration of a cell where St. Francis stayed four times from 1209 and 1223, when he traveled to Rome to get recognition for his new order from Pope Innocent III. The location is the church of San Francesco a Ripa in the Trastevere [Read More...]

Qvadriga: Racing in Ancient Rome

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In 1984, Avalon Hill released a DOS version of their classic chariot racing board game, Circus Maximus. That was the last chariot racing strategy game released for the PC. It looked like this: Thirty years later, developer Turnopia reminds us what’s been missing from the gaming landscape: strong, turn-based, tactical chariot racing. That may sound [Read More...]

Truman’s Amazing 1950 Christmas Message

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Yes, I realize it’s not Christmas, but I didn’t know about it then, and will forget about by December, so here it is. I was listening to an old-time radio show and this was at the beginning: Can you even imagine it today? Plain ole Harry the haberdasher, speaking from the heart about faith in [Read More...]

A Dishonest “Cosmos”

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When my friend Tony Rossi posted about the cartoon about the life of Giordano Bruno that was inexplicably shoehorned into the reboot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series,  he received a number of negative comments. Tony had asked a few of us with a background in Church history what we thought before he wrote his post, [Read More...]

Our Ancestors Weren’t Idiots

Cardinal Hugh of Saint-Cher at study. wearing the first eyeglasses ever depicted in art. (Tommaso da Modena, 1352)

I spend much of my of time reading the words and trying understand the thought processes of the medieval mind. Christendom between about the year 1000 and the Reformation was a time and place with a view of the world profoundly different from ours. (The idea of the Renaissance as some great opening of the [Read More...]


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