Powerful proverbs from Mesopotamia about fate, luck and fortune

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If you were born lucky, even your rooster will lay eggs. ~ Assyrian Proverb Don't pick things ahead of time; some bear fruit later. ~ Sumerian Proverb Owoce i warzywa Fruit and veg Copyright Content Catnip 2015 If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. ~ Assyrian Proverb Illustrator John Tenniel 's…

My All Time Favourite Top-Ten Non-Fiction History Books

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Here's a collection of some of the non-fiction I have reviewed in the past, ranked as a top ten. The subject matter and time periods vary, but I really like the history of medicine, psychology, symbolism, medieval history, animals and more. 1. The Book of Symbols by the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS)…

Book Review: The Fashion Chronicles: Style Stories of History’s Best Dressed by Amber Butchard

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Genre: Non-fiction, Fashion, History. Publisher: Hatchett Publishing Rating: 1/2 Stars Amber Butchard Amber Butchard is the charismatic TV host of the BBC’s ‘A Stitch in Time’, a fantastic show about the history of fashion told in several outfits. She is also a fashion historian and author. She has blazing red hair in…

Ancient Word of the Day: Love-Drury

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Love-Drury: n. A treasured token or keepsake given to a lover or partner. Origin: French. Comes from the French word Drut meaning a friend or lover. Drury made its way to English in the Middle Ages. In the 14th Century, a drury was a sweetheart or beloved person or a treasured object. Vincent Van Gogh's…

Ancient Word of the Day: Serendipitist

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Serendipitist: n. A person who benefits from a chance or serendipitous event Serendipity: happenchance or providence. This beautiful term was originally coined by writer Horace Walpole in 1754. Walpole was inspired by the ancient Persian tale The Three Princes of Serendip, about some titular characters who ran around in ancient Persia having some marvellous luck…

Ancient Word of the Day: Uiscebeatha

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Uisgebeatha: n Irish Gaelic uisce "water", and bethu "life" or Water of Life. Another variation is the Scots Gaelic Uisge beatha. Pronounced Ish-ka ba-ha. This was a Gaelic name given by Irish and Scottish monks in the early Middle Ages to describe distilled alcohol. It's a translation of the Latin aqua vitae 'water of life'.…

10 Cool Things I found on the Internet #23

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Does your brain need to be plunged into icy-cold water? Consider this weeks picks to be a refreshing and brief dunk into a frozen arctic pool...when you know that a sauna will be waiting for you afterwards. Where the river begins A look at how linguistics, word origins and paleo-climatology are linked. "If you pause…

Ancient Word of the Day: Hell Kettle

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Hell Kettle: n. A deep abyss or bottomless pool The deep pools in Darlington, Co. Durham in England are a part of fearsome local legend. These mysterious pools are said to have inspired Lewis Carroll's endless rabbithole, where Alice tumbles into another world - in his classic book Alice in Wonderland. They are known as…

10 Interesting Things I found on the Internet #21

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If the internet is making funny sounds and has crapped itself a few times in your house, well then perhaps it's time for a reboot.... Mountains, Cass, 1936 by New Zealand painter Rita Angus Mountains, Cass, 1936 by New Zealand painter Rita Angus Dead Can Dance- ACT II The Invocation video filmed in Bulgaria Dead…

Book Review: The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss

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*No spoilers "We all live in patterns we do not see. We are all following magic ravens, even when we are lost. Otherwise there would be no story." ~ Sarah Moss, The Tidal Zone. Sarah Moss is now my favourite writer. She seems to be a occupied with the lives of women. However in this…

Ancient Words of the Day: Anglii/Angle/Ankle

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One of the oldest English words recorded is Anglii used first in the year 98 AD by Roman historian Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56-120 AD) Anglii i.e "the Angles," literally "people of Angul" (Old Norse Öngull). Tacitus wrote in 98AD in his book 'Germania' about the various Teutonic tribes he came into contact with including…

Wāhanga o Te Rā/ Times of the Day in Māori

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Learn some new words in Māori during Mahuru Māori/Māori Language Month. Here are the various times of the day...enjoy! Waenganui pō - Midnight Te Pō - Night Atapō - Before Dawn Ata Hapāra - Breath of Dawn Atatū - Just after sunrise Awatea - River of Light Ata - Morning Poupoutanga o te rā -…

Captain Seeks a Sea-Going Cat to Sign on for a Trip Around the World, New York Times (1922)

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Captain Edwin Dyason, master of the freighter Woodfield will welcome any ablebodied seafaring cat wishing to join the crew of his vessel, sailing today for Manila and China. "We missed the ship's cat shortly after we put into port here," said the Captain. "Her name was Cleopatra. She joined on in Fremantle, Australia and did…

Seven suspenseful and unforgettable historical novels

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Great historical novels are fully immersed in time, place and have a tangible effect of bringing you into a time period that you may otherwise never know. This is what’s truly exhilerating about the historical novel. The setting and surroundings become like a fully formed character in the novel. Whether we’re talking about a British…

Words and Music: Stases & Neist Point on the Isle of Skye

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b6h4hYBSgM [I will write a poem about a place that I've been each week with music to match] Neist Point on the Isle of Skye Swirling batons of time Erasing thoughts and hushing life and death On a clear day you can see all the way to Iceland it's said In any case there to…

How real women dressed over the ages

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A lot of fuss and attention is given to how wealthy women dressed in ancient times. Yet for every affluent woman there would be 10 other women of more humble origins, toiling and working in low paid and thankless jobs. Here are some really incredible videos that showcase how these women dressed over time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t__RhUyZMDM…

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #14

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1. Nick Cave performing Stagger Lee in Copenhagen is electrifying I have seen Nick live three times so far and his live performances of this song Stagger Lee are always a big highlight. The song escalates and gets harder, darker and more intense as it goes on. This is definitely my favourite Nick Cave song…

Hauntingly relevant ancient Mesoptamian Proverbs about love and friendship

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A mere friend will agree with you, but a real friend will argue. ~ Assyrian Proverb "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller with Charlie Chaplin Tell me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.…

Ten Quirky and Mind Expanding History Books

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Here’s a collection of the best and treasured history books that I don’t think I could ever part with. They are quirky and delve into a little known aspect of history making them delightful lazy weekend reading. I hope you can get a hold of them, if you do...please let me know what you think…

Book Review: Lost Wisdom by Una McGovern and Paul Jenner

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Lost Wisdom and its two other companion books Lost Crafts and Lost Lore are beautifully typeset and laid out. Their contents are a cabinet of curiosities - a wunderkammer of the same sort as the Book of Barely Imagined Beings, which I have mentioned in the past. Although in this case Lost Wisdom runs the…

Hanako the 226 year old koi

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Hanako means flower girl in Japanese. Hanako lived the majority of her life in the pure spring waters of a pond at the foot of Mt Ontake near Oppara. It's believed that the purity and relative isolation of the pond contributed to her longevity. Hanako lived through the English conquering of both Australia and New…

Book Review: The Sky Atlas by Edward Brooke Hitching

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Edward Brooke Hitching, history-hound, lover of quirky things and writer for the ever-popular and erudite quiz show QI, has written The Sky Atlas. A treasury and history of some of humankind’s most beautiful maps and charts. Yet this book is more than that, it’s a sparkling and glittering array of sky-bound achievements. It’s a visual…

Fritz Khan’s painting Der Menschen als Industriepalast in dreamy animation

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Fritz Kahn's Der Menschen als Industriepalast by Henning Lederer.   Fritz Kahn combined industrial and mechanical functionality with the working wonders of the human body. He was a creative genius whose work remained undiscovered for many years. Until a curious curator Uta Von Debschnitz unearthed them. Kahn was a Berliner who did well for himself…

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #12

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1. Haunting and cinematic Norse music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aMKnHkeJEQ&feature=youtu.be 2. Tatsuya Tanaka's tiny whimsical worlds Each of these mini masterpieces represent a vibrant and quirky aspect of Japanese life (both past and present) made from the flotsam and jetsam of our everyday world. https://twitter.com/tanaka_tatsuya/status/1278810685984522240?s=20 https://twitter.com/tanaka_tatsuya/status/1272407163709739008?s=20 3. The price we pay for awareness With every level of consciousness…

Medieval bangers and tavern stompers circa 2020

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Treat thine ears and eyes to a new genre of music - bardcore! Perhaps you're looking for that tavern banger that you enjoyed back in 1365. Or perhaps you want to reminisce on the summer solstice when you gathered with jolly folk at Stonehenge, got wasted on mead and were visited by a strange celestial…

Travel: A History of the Beautiful Highland Cow

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Highland Cows or as they are commonly known in Scotland Highland Coos are an ancient breed known to have grazed the rugged Scottish landscape since the sixth century. Their genetic origins are still up for debate. They may be native to Scotland or introduced by the Vikings to Great Britain. One scientific train of thought…

Book Review: His Bloody Project by Graeme MacRae Burnet

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His Bloody Project by author Graeme Macrae Burnet recounts the story of the triple murder and subsequent trial of accused 17 year old crofter Roderick McRae, who brutally slays three people in his remote village in 1896. Roderick lives with his family in a tiny croft on a property and land owned by the laird. His…

Book Review: The Recovering Intoxication and its Aftermath by Leslie Jamieson

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The Recovering is a memoir about alcohol and how it runs rampant in the lives of writers and artists throughout history. It’s seen through the lens of the book’s author, Leslie Jameson as she navigates her way through life and the being drunk and being in recovery. Jamieson clearly has a knack for the written…

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #10

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1. Subterranean murmurs and echoes from beneath the ice Two hours of haunting, swirling and otherworldly sounds as ice crackles in a frozen river in Sweden. This is a nice lullaby for going to sleep. Although you may have strange vivid dreams! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd-CwJa1SHE 2. Jessica Baumgartner on how to find balance on a global, local…