Hey folks! Fireside this week - sorry for those of you who were waiting patiently for the last post on cereal farming. I had hoped to have it ready to go, but the start of fall semester teaching has pushed that off until next week. Those who pay less attention to higher education news may … Continue reading Fireside Friday: August 14th, 2020
As the third part (I, II) of our look at the basic structure of food production in the pre-modern world (particularly farming grain to make bread) we're going to finally look at how one actually farms grain to make bread. Now that we have all of our farmers in place, both the big ones and … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did they Make it? Part III: Actually Farming
This is the second part (I, III) of our look at the basic structure of food production (particularly grains to make bread) in the pre-modern world. Last week, we began by looking at the great majority of our rural population, the little farmers. Now I know everyone is eager to get to the mechanics of … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part II: Big Farms
This essay will hopefully be the first post in a series (II, III) covering some of the basics of how things in the past, particularly in the ancient world, were made. This isn't a how-to guide (we're not going to go into that much depth) but instead intended as a window into the many tasks … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part I: Farmers!
Hey folks! Fireside this week; musing on a rather silly topic: the practicality of planetary invasions in a science fiction setting. I am working currently on (among other things) getting the "How They Made It" post series started up; those will be a set of post-series detailing how pre-modern societies made all of the stuff … Continue reading Fireside Friday: July 17th, 2020
This week I want to explain how the academic side of history (the part that happens in research universities, a term I will define in a moment) leads to the history content that the public at large consumes.
I have been holding off writing something like this, because it is often such a well-worn topic and I hardly wanted to preach to the converted. But at the same time, the humanities need all of the defenses they can get and I've found, looking at the genre, that my answers for why we need … Continue reading Collections: The Practical Case on Why We Need the Humanities
Hey folks! Fireside this week, as we're coming off of the end of what is now my longest post-series, the eight part series on Helm's Deep. It was a blast to write and I don't seem to have worn a hole through my DVDs in the process (though, it will surprise no one, but my … Continue reading Fireside Friday, June 26th, 2020
This is is the eight and last part of a series taking a historian’s look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII) from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. Last time we looked at the overall impact of morale … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VIII: The Mind of Saruman
This is is the seventh part of a series taking a historian’s look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I, II, III, IV, V, VI) from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. Last time, we looked at the weapons and armor of the film sequence … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VII: Hanging by a Thread