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Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday links

The Battle of Hastings occurred 950 years ago on October 14, 1066: history, videos, maps, and links.



Heh - I guess it made sense at the time: Why Alcohol Is Not Always Your Best Friend.


The 1970s Monster Cereal That Caused a Pink Poop Panic.

ICYMI, Wednesday's links are here, and include an explanation of the significance of the Economic Nobel Prize winners’ work, the science of why you love cheese, how water towers work, and how you could end up in an insane asylum circa 1890.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

October 14, 1066 was the Battle of Hastings: history, quotes, videos, maps, and links


 If the Normans are disciplined under a just and firm rule, they are men of great valor, who... fight resolutely to overcome all enemies. But without such rule they tear each other to pieces and destroy themselves, for they hanker after rebellion, cherish sedition, and are ready for any treachery.

William the Conqueror (wiki(deathbed speech, reported in Orderic Vitalis, Ecclesiastical History) 

A French bastard landing with an armed banditti and establishing himself King of England against the consent of the natives, is, in plain terms, a very paltry rascally original. 

~ Thomas Paine (1737-1809) (on the Norman Conquest, Common Sense

William next invented a system according to which everybody had to belong to somebody else, and everybody else to the king. This was called the Feutile System, and in order to prove that it was true, he wrote a book called the Doomsday Book, which contained an inventory of all the Possessions of all his subjects; after reading the book through carefully William agreed with it and signed it, indicating to everybody that the Possessions mentioned in it were now his.

~ W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman (1066 and All That, Ch. XI*)

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings (wiki) in 1066, in which William the Conqueror (wiki) initiated the Norman conquest of England by defeating the forces of the Anglo-Saxon King Harold, who was killed in the conflict (although there's been recent speculation that Harold survived). William, Duke of Normandy, had been promised the English throne by his cousin, Edward the Confessor (reigned 1042-1066), and Harold, earl of Wessex, had sworn agreement to that succession. However, with the death of Edward, Harold crowned himself king, leading William to mount a sea-borne invasion to assert his own right. 

Larger version here.
Landing his army on the south coast of England, he confronted Harold at Hastings, routed the Anglo-Saxon army, declared himself King William I, and ultimately established Norman hegemony over all of England.**

By establishing a network of castles and strong points, including the Tower of London, William brought order to the country and reigned until 1087, when he was succeeded by his son William II. The Norman invasion and the events leading up to it are exquisitely portrayed on the Bayeux Tapestry (actually an embroidery 75 yards long), which was made within a few years of the Conquest, likely in southern England. 
 
On the ceremonial gateway to the World War II British military cemetery for the dead of Normandy at Bayeux, one finds the apposite Latin inscription,

NOS A GULIELMO VICTI VICTORIS PATRIUM LIBERAVIMUS

(We, once conquered by William, have now set free the Conqueror's native land.) 

* N.B. Subtitled, "A Memorable History of England, comprising all the parts you can remember, including 103 Good Things, 5 Bad Kings and 2 Genuine Dates." Still amusing after 80 years. 

** It is not often remembered that just prior to Hastings, Harold and his hard-pressed army had been forced to repel a Norse invasion in the north of England, and it required a forced march to the south for them to meet the Normans. 

For the Last 1,000 Years, the Same Families Have Owned Most of England:
Shortly after the Normans conquered England in 1066, their monarch, William, seized all of the lands, then divvied up control among those soldiers and nobles who helped him defeat the Anglo-Saxons (and keeping a fair bit for himself). However, as dramatic as that was, it is even more shocking that today, most of Britain remains in the hands of the descendants of those early Norman conquerors.
My favorite William bit, though, has to be his body exploding (well, bursting) at his funeral. Here's another account of the events.

Horrible Histories has a "breaking news" program from 1066, in which the news is arriving via (the Bayeaux) tapestry:


This Young Person's Guide to the Battle of Hastings is really quite informative:


This brief BBC Documentary gives all the basics..



This video, also from the BBC, covers a re-enactment which took place on October 15, 2006:


And an animated version of the Bayeaux Tapestry:


This "Eyewitness to History" site has an account of the battle with the events depicted by the individual tapestry scenes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wednesday links




Circa 1890, it was pretty easy to end up in an insane asylum.

Will A Chicken That's Fed Lemons Taste Like Lemons?


ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include senior moment science, UFO detectors, why people with bigger brains yawn longer, and, from 1930, a set of Information Tests To Try On Your Children.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

List of reasons for admission to an insane asylum from the late 1800s

It certainly was waaay too easy to get yourself locked up back then. 

This list is from West Virginia’s Hospital for the Insane (Weston) aka Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum back in the late-1800s.  I've had a lot of these "issues" over the course of my life, and still have quite a few. 


Weston Hospital in Lewis County, WV, officially named the West Virginia Hospital for the Insane upon completion of the facility shown here in 1880, was typical of the many that were established throughout the country. Its design reflected the Kirkbride plan in action.
Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride’s theory centered on what he referred to as the “moral treatment” of the insane, a constructive idea unique to the United States, for mental asylums from the mid to late 19th century.
He advocated moving patients from overcrowded city jails and almshouses, where patients were often chained to walls in cold dark cells, to a rural environment with grounds that were “tastefully ornamented” and buildings arranged “en echelon” resembling a shallow V if viewed from above.
This design called for long, rambling wings, that provided therapeutic sunlight and air to comfortable living quarters so that the building itself promoted a curative effect, or as Kirkbride put it, “a special apparatus for lunacy.” 
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is still open, but only for tours. 

Marjorie E. Carr published a pamphlet in 1993, now in the Weston Hospital Collection at the West Virginia Archives and History, that tells the history of Weston. Her pamphlet includes the following from the first log book used at Weston (spelling & punctuation left as in the original):

REASONS FOR ADMISSION
WEST VIRGINIA HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE (WESTON)
OCTOBER 22, 1864 to DECEMBER 12, 1889

Amenorrhea
Asthma
Bad company
Bad habits & political excitement
Bad whiskey
Bite of a rattle snake
Bloody flux
Click to embiggen
Brain fever
Business nerves
Carbonic acid gas
Carbuncle
Cerebral softening
Cold
Congetion of brain
Constitutional
Crime
Death of sons in the war
Decoyed into the army
Deranged masturbation
Desertion by husband
Diptheria
Disappointed affection
Disappointed love
Disappointment
Dissipation of nerves

Dissolute habits
Dog bite
Domestic affliction
Domestic trouble
Douby about mother’s ancestors
Dropsy
Effusion on the brain
Egotism
Epileptic fits
Excessive sexual abuse
Excitement as officer
Explosion of shell nearby
Exposure & hereditary
Exposure & quackery
Exposure in army
Fall from horse
False confinement
Feebleness of intellect
Fell from horse
Female disease
Fever
Fever & loss of law suit
Fever & nerved
Fighting fire
Fits & desertion of husband

Bedlam
Gastritis
Gathering in the head
Greediness
Grief
Gunshot wound
Hard study
Hereditary predisposition
Ill treatment by husband
Imaginary female trouble
Immoral life
Imprisonment
Indigestion
Intemperance
Interferance
Jealousy
Jealousy & religion
Kick of horse
Kicked in the head by a horse
Laziness
Liver and social disease
Loss of arm
Marriage of son
Masturbation & syphillis
Masturbation for 30 years
Medicine to prevent conception

Menstrual deranged
Mental excitement
Milk fever
Moral sanity
Novel reading
Nymphomania
Opium habit
Over action on the mind
Over heat
Over study of religion
Over taxing mental powers.
Parents were cousins
Pecuniary losses: worms
Periodical fits
Political excitement
Politics
Puerperal
Religious enthusiasm
Religious excitement
Remorse
Rumor of husband’s murder or desertion
Salvation army
Scarlatina
Seduction
Seduction & dissappointment

Self abuse
Severe labor
Sexual abuse and stimulants
Sexual derangement
Shooting of daughter
Smallpox
Snuff
Snuff eating for two years
Softening of the brain
Spinal irritation
Sun stroke
Sunstroke
Superstition
Supressed masturbation
Supression of menses
Tabacco & masturbation: hysteria
The war
Time of life
Trouble
Uterine derangement
Venerial excesses
Vicious vices in early life
Women
Women trouble
Young lady & fear

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is still open, but only for tours.

Related, here's an Illustrated Guide to Recognizing Insane People from 1883

h/t Dangerous Minds.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday links

In honor of Columbus day, here’s a list of the top 10 accidental discoveries, and the story of that time Columbus tricked Jamaicans using knowledge of upcoming lunar eclipse. Related; Columbus has been cleared of importing syphilis from the Americas to Europe.

The history of Oktoberfest is much bigger than beer.

October 10th, 732 - the clash of civilizations at the Battle of Tours (and how it shaped history).

Here's an excellent site for DIY intelligent women's costumes.



ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include a gallery of bridges made from living roots, senior moment science,  UFO detectors, and, from 1930, Information Tests To Try On Your Children.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Heh - I guess it made sense at the time: Why Alcohol Is Not Always Your Best Friend

This is a hoot - actually from last year, but I hadn't seen it before.



Posts that are sort of ( in an alcohol plus stupid sense) related:

Men Pee On Beehive, Bees React, Targeting The First Human Body Parts They See.