burntcopper: (Default)
 watching one of those Stonehenge specials, hoping for a nugget of new info. (you watch enough of these, the programs are 3-5% interesting new angle/discovery, 40% dramatic reconstruction/bad graphics, 55-57% yawn) I did get it, but only right near the beginning, about the outer circle of bluestones that pre-date the sarsens that’re basically gravestones which very few of these ever touch on, and later insights into the analysing techniques they’re using. (always fascinating)

Apart from the giant ‘fuck you and your complete ignorance of a lot of army make-up throughout history’ when they said that ‘the presence of both sexes rules out the skeletons being warriors/army or a priesthood’, I spent a large amount of time rolling my eyes when it got onto the actual use of Stonehenge.

A few years back they started talking about the fact that the area around 
Stonehenge for most of the year was tiny population and then became ground zero for the solstice festivals in these programs.

The analysis of pig teeth and human teeth showed how far people had come from and where. How many people. The short period of time the site was used for each year. The fact that so much food was being consumed and roasted up that loads was being thrown away. The rubbish. The sheer amount of preparation that went into this. Stonehenge being a destination for partying/observance. and that all this was AMAZING and UNIQUE.

To which I sit here and go ‘None of you fuckers excavating and analysing come from a festival town, do you?’

I come from Reading, in Berkshire. For the past several decades we’ve hosted a music festival on the last weekend of August and been doing it longer than most. Thousands of people descend from all over Britain and the world, party their heads off for a few days, then go home, a lot poorer, covered in paint, mud, clutching some utterly random souvenir and unbelievably hungover. The town has been doing this for so long that we have a system for doing this. The locals actually work on auto-pilot - the construction of the site starts in late spring/early summer, the supermarkets get stock in and re-arrange, the barriers and signs go up, etc. Locals not working the festival stay out of town for the weekend, the festival goers leave, the site gets cleaned up. This happens every year. Around the world and across the millennia of human civilisation, there have been festival towns where a big fuck-off festival happened once a year or every couple of years where people descend to party. San Diego for Comic-Con. Olympus. Mecca. Leeds. Glastonbury.

Seriously. I was ticking off every item they talked about and going 'Well, duh?'

'They travelled for a month with all these goods!'
'They do that.'
'The sheer amount of food consumed!'
'Partied solid for three days!'
'It was a tiny village that somehow accommodated a population explosion!'
'You have the cash, we have the experience.'
'Clearly organised!'
'You want it disorganised?'
'What part of festival town DO YOU NOT GET?'

burntcopper: (Default)
so very crap at google-fu.

trying to find out average heights (or at least ranges) of people in Roman Britain, post-empire, saxons and vikings. Also likely heights of Romans (the italian ones, not the gauls/hispanics/everyone else in the empire) (random bunnies will hopefully SHUT UP if I provide them with random data). Anyone got any links to papers/studies? Or can pull the facts off the top of their heads?


Jan. 24th, 2010 01:56 pm
burntcopper: (chaucer good)
Mother has taken up baking. and now she's making marmalade. We shall see how far this experiment goes.

Yesterday, in a drive to get mum's preferred honey, we buggered off to Ewelme, a village in deepest Oxfordshire. OMG COLD. V. picturesque, though. Honey's nice and is sold from the village shop, which is staffed by volunteers. And has tasty baked goods. Pootled around church, which is fucking *massive* and had me and dad going 'benefactor?' 'Yeah, someone was worried about their immortal soul' and playing the guessing game of age due to architectural features and art (they didn't stint on the inside, either). We'd figured up to 16th century until we came upon the altar and the little bit of paper that gave the actual low down. 15th century, it turns out, seat of the Duke of Suffolk. Which is also known as 'seriously rich.' Has the tomb of Thomas Chaucer and his wife, who was the father of the Duke of Suffolk's wife. Tom was the son of Geoff, and the family tree... huh. Didn't know Geoff's wife Phillippa's sister married John of Gaunt. From there both sides of the family is like a litany of 'which buggers got involved in the rather nasty game of politics' - Percys, Poles, Greys, you name it.

had made resolution to start jogging this weekend but that got scuppered by the emergency application of hot water bottle. A bit annoyed with self since I really need to get on with finishing some of the fic in my notebooks (I think I posted all of 2 pieces last year) and all I seem to want to write is AU crappy original 'verse.

Switched on Radio 2 to get the Legally Blonde cast appearance, and got dad to run screaming from room. He has allergies. rather amused by the fact that on this show (Elaine Paige - musicals and film music) you don't just have to state the cast, you have to state the year.

Finally succumbed to watching Glee. Watched ep 2, waiting for 3 and 4 to dl. A bit irritated by the way they're portraying the teacher's wife as rather 2D, but glad she's getting a bit more depth once she finds out she's not preggers. May have bust a gut laughing at the kid in the wheelchair getting to do the pimp act during 'Push It'. Please tell me the minority kids are going to get more lines and some more personality...
burntcopper: (sa working here)
gah. my google-fu is weak. I honestly don't know what search terms to use - trying to get an idea of what the laws and punishments *were* in medieval period - basically what would be practical to enforce in that sort of tech era.

searching on things like english law, anglo-saxon, norman, medieval, etc gets me how the laws were enacted, procedure, different types, how you could bring a case before someone, but nothing about what the laws actually *were*.

The closest I can find is the magna carta, which is the right era-ish (my brain for some reason defaults the Golden Age of Narnia to Plantagenet period, and it's easier for the brain to just keep going with that than confuse it) but with a few more human rights and status for women. Vaguely disturbs me that I can find Forest Law pretty easily but civil/anything that wasn't to do with hunting and game? Gah. Then of course, I've got to figure out the differences between that and Telmarine law which i suspect is something pre-tudor, but considering the pirates that apparently *settled* telmar were from the early 20th century, suspecting they were making it up as they went along.

anyone got any search terms?
burntcopper: (father jack otp)
How to know you may be fully subscribed to a cult : you see an interesting article on DNA vaccination by tattooing, and your first thought is to email a writer who specialises in futurism and cyberpunk. Helloooooo, Cult of Ellis. Why yes, I do probably qualify for Filthy Assistant status.

Currently struggling with new phone and trying to figure it out. It's very shiny but now I have to learn where all the functions are in the menu. Also, because it's a slide rather than a flip phone, I believe a phone sock will be needed to protect the lens and screen. Oh, and will be poking customer services a lot when I get home because it says it's possible to bluetooth over the message inbox and managed to bluetooth over all my media files (the important things, like ringtones and wallpapers) but keeps going 'sorry, failed' on the inbox thing.

Greatly amused. You know how some pubs just attract a certain type of clientele? The Battle Inn in Reading (oh, shush, it's on Battle Terrace which actually commemorates a civil war battle) has long had a certain rep - the grills over the windows and police cars lurking outside are there for a *reason*, furniture gets thrown at least four times a week - and, well, everyone used to say it was because it's long been an Irish pub with um, no IRA sympathies and smuggling, honest guv. What's amusing? It's slowly being colonised by the Poles. Who are doing exactly the same thing re: furniture throwing. Apparently fights just... start.

Oh well. Could be worse, could be the Boar's Head on Friar Street which used to open every 15-20 years and get shut down by the police within a minimum of six weeks - they finally knocked it down a year or so back because it was structurally unsound and actually crumbling (and to all those local history restoration lot wailing about it getting knocked down - I notice from the forum posts that you never went in there after, oh, the *1960s*. Stop whining. And OMG, they modernised the interior so it no longer qualified for preservation? WORKING. BUSINESS. That the breweries put a bunch of money into to try to attract different clientele.). Every local used to just eye it as soon it was opened and start laying bets when it would get shut, even if you were nobbut a babe in arms when it was last open.

Hrrm. Has anyone ever done that as a story? Buildings that have a type of behaviour so entrenched in them that it doesn't matter what you do, the same behaviour just keeps going over the centuries? The phenomenon's pretty well known...

Have Richard Marx's 'Hazard' stuck in head. And the usual cure of showtunes and christmas songs ISN'T WORKING. (the usual theory is that you listen to something even more annoying and catchy). Graham has just dumped the A-ha greatest hits cd in front of me as a solution and I'm poking it suspiciously.

Send help. :whimper:
burntcopper: (will kill you)
Today, it was so windy all the ferries were cancelled. Went to Pendennis, where I almost got blown over several times. Kind of interesting for the National Heritage geeks - St Mawes and Pendennis were built at the same time by Henry VIII, and the original castles are almost identical in layout and original gunrooms and so on, except Pendennis kept getting extra fortifications, the first of which made the original downstairs gunroom useless. Although if you've visited St Mawes, you can see how it would've originally been set up. Pendennis, on the other hand, was used continually as an artillery/barracks so quickly got extra buildings and big guns and so on. A lot of the Pendennis exhibition shows off the various fortifications and WWI and II barracks and guns and things like the location of the submarine mines and observation posts.

But my god it was like having your face made raw. With a couple of two minute bouts of rain. And interestingly, one case of hail when I was fifty yards from home.

Been catching up on Robin Hood. Way too much fun, loads of gay, fanservice, and large amounts of ultra-violence (though oddly bloodless). And [livejournal.com profile] munchkinott, Allan doing the lean and Gisburne sizing each other up in motion is even better and gayer than it is in screencap. Also, the amount of blatant anachronisms vs. the really bloody inconsequential only see them if you're a history geek details that are disturbingly historically accurate is making my head hurt. It's like 'whee! gay! whee! laura ashley prints! whee! Swashbuckling! :whiplash: '...was that just them cutting Marian's hair off in public as punishment?' and MUCH. 'We're artists.' :glomps:

Hmm. have two minutes to decide whether I want to go see Eastern Promises (viggo and Naomi watts film about eastern european gangsters in london.
burntcopper: (tv set)
I love Ugly Betty far too much for words. Especially the evil twinnage of Mark and Amanda.

BSG? Pootling along in their screwed up fashion. :pats entire cast: Bless. And ooo, Mark Sheppard? (Badger from Firefly and things like 24 and X-Files to you) As a lawyer who... oh, the sunglasses. Mmm, the sunglasses. and a realistic Irish accent. (the one that's the soft gravelly one - it's not Belfast, that's all I know)

Rome. Oh god, show, never leave me. Pullo. Oh, Pullo. Mark Antony in eyeliner and henna/tattoos. Octavian sex scenes? :falls over in drool puddle: Also, Livia. It's nice to see that you are really intelligent and calculating under the cutesy. We approve.

End of season approaching. Thing is, I don't know if they can do a third series, since it's not as clear an arc - first one was very clearly going to end with the Ides of March, and this one was about the ascent and then dissolving of the Second Triumvirate with Octavian winning. The third? There's not exactly a 'big event' that's known by general public about Augustus' reign and he was rather long-lived. It's not like you could suddenly jump to Tiberius and then Caligula - not to mention the sheer aging and so on you'd have to do of the main cast. Plus? Caligula and Claudius are descended from Livia's *other* kid (the one who was born about four days pre-her marriage to Octavian, rumoured to be Octavian's but really, really not since he didn't actually meet her until she was a good couple of months preggers with said sprog), who married Octavia and Antony's daughter, and the series has only mentioned Tiberius (not to mention Caligula's mum is Julia and Agrippa's kid - Julia being Augustus' kid from his first marriage - the Julio-Claudian family tree is *guaranteed* to give you a headache). Rome, I love you but your trimming of all the kids means you've kind of shot yourself in the foot for the production of future Caesars.

Saw the first ep of Miss Match. Whose pitch was so very clearly 'Clueless grown up'. Alicia Silverstone has irritated me in everything except Clueless, but since she's quite clearly playing Cher (seriously, second gen lawyer daddy's girl with a thing for matchmaking and clothes?), this is actually enjoyable. Complete fluff, but fun fluff.

Still not got round to watching the SG-1. It lurks in my downloads folder. I think at this rate I'll be watching my shiny new dvds before I do. And possibly even the entire season of Dr Who before I watch SG-1. Reminds me, need to watch S3 Entourage before new eps start.


Nov. 29th, 2006 02:06 am
burntcopper: (ianto local place)
I spent at least half the evening writing a short history of England, kings and queens based, as your average person would describe it. Occasional referring to the BBC for kings I wasn't sure on (and found out that there's a reason you don't know much about Stephen or Henry III). Ran into trouble once I finished James II, since I know bugger all beyond then, and even less about the Georges. (though what's interesting is that around then it suddenly gets littered with stuff about Prime Ministers and political parties and Cabinet ministers. Hmm. Were our history teachers trying to keep us from this pre-GCSE?)

Most entries are two lines max. For your perusal :

Henry III : Um. Does anyone know anything about this one?

Edward I, Hammer of the Scots, Longshanks : Hammer of the Scots. And the Welsh. And pretty much everyone.

Ignore *everything* Braveheart says. No, really. There isn't a single historically accurate fact in that thing. Well, except the torture scene, and now we've had Passion of the Christ, we now know far more about Mel Gibson's fixations than we ever wanted to.

Edward II : Gay. Murdered by his wife's boyfriend by the means of a red hot poker up his arse in some castle that wasn't his. (no really, what more do you need to know about a monarch?)

Edward III : Fought the French. Father of the Black Prince. Who was bloody scary in battle. Other son, John of Gaunt.

Richard II : Got on the throne as a kid - son of the Black Prince. Fell asleep during his coronation. Got deposed as an adult.

Henry VIII : Wives. Six of 'em. Founded the Church of England to get a divorce. Three legitimate kids that survived, a few illegitimate ones. (not exactly news when it comes to the British Monarchy) Apparently died of a syphilitic heart condition.

This is because I decided to add more to Oi Yanks No. Also being worked on are a brief description of attitude to religion and racial distribution, aka 'no we aren't religious' and 'what time is the next wave of immigration due?'

Oh, and I missed Holby City. :pout: Peter Wingfield, that's all I'm saying...

Also for those willing to squint please note what the sign says behind Ianto.
burntcopper: (being repressed)
Just read an article on the BBC about some bloke who tried to say he was a claimant to the throne in the 1930s.

The words 'rightful heir' get thrown about a lot. I know there's some bloke in Australia who insists he is. I just... :facepalm: These people have clearly been reading too many ballads and fantasy novels. There is no such thing as a 'rightful heir' or 'true heir' when it comes to thrones and the position of royalty. Just because so-and-so is the eleventh-generation descendant of a deposed king/the crown prince that got smuggled away by the loyal retainer the night there was a coup and the nasty mean uncle took the crown, this does not give him anymore claim to the throne than the average pigkeeper. The next pigkeeper you come across may very well have a fuckload more 'royal blood' than said 'rightful heir', because royalty, as has been very, very well documented throughout the ages, has a habit of shagging everyone from the maidservants to the courtiers. The amount of maidservants that got sent off with a bit of money to hush them up is untrue. The amount of mistresses and actual *acknowledged* bastards is also untrue.

Kingship is conferred by *force* and *power*. Whoever has the throne at the time is the rightful king. See the Wars of the Roses for a good example. Also see the Georges. And best of all, William the Conqueror. Note the title. I haven't seen any relatives of the Godwinsons laying claim to the throne since 1066. The rightful heir is normally the most direct heir the current king has, and if said heir gets ousted when the king dies for being too weak too hold onto power, the traditional and correct response to any whining from them or their descendants is 'Tough luck, Sonny Jim, come back when you've consolidated enough power and influence to get yourself on the throne by either family connections, force or looking like a very stable marriage candidate with enough political power to prop up the current regime.' (see William of Orange for that one) Charles II only got invited back because he seemed a stable choice politically, and Parliament realised a politically astute figurehead with no illusions about what they could do to him if they really got pissed off was a good idea. Also note that this was *after* Cromwell died.

Of course, the romanticists' view is not helped by Tolkein. Aragorn only gets the throne because he has the elves backing him, friendship as a half-decent general from the Rohirrim, a bit of charisma, the instability of Gondor post-War of the Ring and Faramir doesn't want power the way his dad ruled. Yes, that's right. *Ruled*. The Stewards of Gondor were only Stewards in name. Like Pratchett, if that throne had been made of anything other than stone, it would be a mass of wood lice and collapse when you poked it. If Faramir hadn't been severely injured, had a bad experience with Dad going nuts, and also hadn't come under the influence of everyone who'd been affected by the elves' political manouevering and the general approval from the Rohirrim (who never actually supported him as a throne-claimant, they just didn't mind having a good fighter on their side), Aragorn wouldn't be within a sniff of that throne. And even then it's mostly Aragorn consolidating power whilst Faramir was recovering from his injuries.

Besides, people going on about the whole 'bloodline being passed down the ages from son to son, and there's also this ring and sword' bollocks - um... what makes you think there wasn't an affair on the mothers' side on occasion? The only thing you can absolutely, definitely prove in any pregnancy or birth is who the mother is. DNA testing only goes so far, and most of these stories don't have anything like that to guarantee it. Not to mention any of them that have the genetic power thing in there as a tester, hello, bastards, plus very probable that mummy dearest had an affair with another noble who in all likelihood had the gene as it was (nobility being a pretty small genepool).

:breathes: Rant over. Honest.


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