Posts by: David

Colossal Natural Phenomena, a.k.a. The Gods Must Be Crazy

It seems only natural that early hominids, hunkered in their caves, should come up with the agency of gods and demons to explain such colossal natural phenomena as thunder, lightning, plague, earthquakes and volcanoes. Or such current or formerly unfathomable mysteries as epilepsy, spontaneous human combustion, or the oceanic red tides that can sweep beaches […]

Historical Fiction Survey

If you are a lover of historical fiction, I think you’ll enjoy this post from the blog, A Writer of History. It includes an interactive historical fiction survey that has a good participation rate in only its third year: Yes, I know some of you will think I’m crazy! However, the topic of reading is always on my mind […]

A Brief History of Earth Day

In recognition of the fact that yesterday was Earth Day, and today continues Earth Week, I thought I’d take a brief look at the celebration’s history. Not surprisingly, it started off with a connection to the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere. The spring equinox is traditionally considered to be a time of re-birth, renewal, and […]

Obliviate! Damnatio memoriae in history

The Czech author Milan Kundera touchingly describes in one of his books a photograph of Joseph Stalin on a balcony waving to a crowd while all around him stand his most trusted deputies. The photo, used heavily by those responsible for disseminating propaganda, was taken during the early days of the Soviet Union when I […]

European Animal Trials

Not Jurisprudence’s Finest Nine Centuries Here’s a bit of strange fluff from the history bin: From as early as the year 824 through the mid-1700’s animals and even insects in Europe could be accused of crimes and tried in criminal and ecclesiastical courts. They might appear in the dock, accused of murder, theft, fraud, criminal […]

Ancient Shipwreck Holds Clues to the Past

Here are some excerpts from a fun post by my friend, fellow Arizonan and author of historical fiction, Judith Starkston. Sometimes disaster brings the best rewards. So it is with the Uluburun Bronze Age shipwreck off the coast of southern Turkey. While I’m sure the sailors who went down with the ship sometime around 1300 B.C.E. viewed the […]

Kallikantzaros: Goblins of Southeastern Europe

In the folklore of Southeastern Europe and Anatolia (Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Turkey), goblins are known as the kallikantzaros. They live underground and only come to the surface during nights of the Twelve Days of Christmas—December 25th through January 5th. Those days, which used to be known in Serbia as “the unbaptized days,” are a time […]

Lighting in Fiction: My Kingdom for a Pack of Matches

When writing historical fiction, something as simple as light can be a challenge. Your character needs it to see, your readers need it to receive visual setting, and a lit candle or torch may not be handy. Moonlight and starlight can do a lot, but sooner or later your character will likely need to create […]

Old Notes: My Daughter Talks Non Stop from the Back Seat

I recently came across these old notes I made almost 6 years ago while driving my youngest from one activity to another. She was five at the time and could talk a non-stop stream of consciousness from the back seat. I swear I took this down verbatim using one hand and without taking my eyes from […]

Gross Foods to Eat from Around the World

I researched curious types of fruit and was focused on things like durian, stinking toe and Buddha fruit (the extract of which is 300 times sweeter than sugar). Then I came across a website listing 101 strange (read gross) foods. Since I am a sucker for gross foods to eat, I thought I’d share. Here […]