Tag Archives: history

What Evidence Proves: Ben Carson and His Unprofessional Take on the Pyramids

Alien Guy from History Channel saying "Grain Storage"

BuzzFeed recently uncovered an old video of now-presidential hopeful Ben Carson expressing the belief that ancient Egyptian pyramids were granaries rather than the archeologically accepted explanation of them being tombs. When asked, Carson acknowledged that he still holds this belief. “My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” said Carson, referring the Old Testament story where the prophet Joseph warned the pharaoh of famine and recommended great quantities of grain be stored. “I happen to

Everything There Isn’t to Know about Tut

Tut on Spike TV

I would have loved to have been in the programming meeting at Spike TV the day the miniseries Tut was conceived. I envision some very brave visionary suggesting that what the network really needed to round out its schedule of Cops, Jail, and World’s Wildest Police Videos was a historical drama. Then, someone else, probably very drunk, put forth a club-footed, incestuous, Egyptian boy king depicted as an everyman hero as being the proper topic of such a drama. The

“Wolf Hall” Gives New Spin to Tudor Drama

Thomas Cromwell, Wolf Hall, (c)BBC

PBS is currently airing the six-part drama Wolf Hall, originally created for BBC2.  It’s set during the reign of the Tudor king Henry VIII, a popular topic of British historical dramas, but with a unique focus.  Rather than focusing on Henry himself, the focus is on Thomas Cromwell, a middle-class lawyer who quickly rose through the ranks only to fall from favor and eventually be gruesomely executed for treason. Focus on a New Character Dramas of this period generally focus

The Dumbing Down of History; or, Historians be Damned

Stan March - History Expert

Let’s take history back from the historians. This is the message of History for All by Hashtag History.  Now, I’ve got nothing against popular culture history, so long as it bears some resemblance to actual history (which is why I can enjoy The Tudors but not Sleepy Hollow, for example).  What I do have a problem with is this mentality that intellectual approaches to history are somehow a bad thing, and Hashtag History is certainly not the first to express

Return of the Brontosaurus?

Brontosaurus / Apatosaurus skeleton

If you’re into dinosaurs. you probably know that the Brontosaurus does not officially exist.  At some point in time, it was decided that skeletons labeled brontosaurs were really skeletons of apatosaurs. You likely weren’t told this debacle happened all the way back in 1903 in the wake of the Great Bone Wars (which is totally an accepted historical term). Now, brontosaurus is back in the news as a scientific paper suggests that brontosaurus really is a separate species.  Studies of

Richard III Funeral: Burial of an English King

Richard III Burial

More than two years after his remains were identified and 530 years after his death, King Richard III of England will be laid to rest (again) on March 26. Historical Significance of Richard III’s Burial This is quite likely the last burial of an English king, as modern monarchs are kings (and queens) of the United Kingdom.  There are a handful of other missing English monarchs, but the chances of finding and identifying their bodies is highly unlikely, other than

Well, that’s Awkward: When the Cat Gets Hold of Someone’s Genitals

Nun bribing cat for a penis

This is my favorite WTF image in a long time. Dating from 1555, it’s a Renaissance image. I don’t officially know the story behind it, but there’s a good discussion of it on Reddit. Says sl99: ‘Flaisch macht Flaisch’ is from the old German proverb ‘Fleisch macht Fleisch, fisch macht nisch’. It would roughly translate to ‘meat gives meat, fish gives nothing’, meaning that meat is more nourishing than fish. Fleisch is in German also connected to ‘Fleischeslust’, which means

“The Musketeers” Quandary; or, a Question of Timing

The Musketeers (c) BBC

While many people have not read Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers, most people have probably seen at least one movie based off of it. They probably immediately associate swordfighting with it although, as musketeers, there really should be some guns included. They probably also think of Cardinal Richelieu as a greedy, self-serving villain and Louis XIII as an inept and easily manipulated king. As an Aside: While Alexandre Dumas was born and raised in France, he was a quarter black,

The Business of Being Pope

Pope Francis has continued to encourage my pope-crush today as he chided Vatican bureaucracy of a catalog of illnesses, including Feeling immortal or essential; lacking self-criticism Susceptibility to worldly profit Rivalry and vainglory Mental and spiritual petrification Disease of over-planning Spiritual Alzheimer’s Existential schizophrenia Gossip and chatter Deifying the leaders; focusing on superiors in the hopes of promotion Indifference to others Hoarding Closed circles Once more the pope’s actions have gone viral as people from a variety of walks of

For My Students, a Fading Memory of 9/11

Child at 9/11 rememberance

This semester, I am teaching Religions in America at UW-Oshkosh. Rather than simply being a survey course of religions, the course specifically addresses how these religions manifest in and interact with American culture. I debated long and hard whether or not I would cover Islam on Sept 11. I don’t want to be inflammatory, and certainly my syllabus doesn’t nicely flow with Islam on Sept 11. However, if the session is about how Islam interacts with American culture, you can’t

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