Archive for March, 2014

Lost Libraries: Are We Burning The Library at Alexandria Every Single Day?

Welcome to the digital age – where people are tossing their book collections in the garbage, keeping their precious family photos on hard drives, and storing all of their music in the “cloud”. We are presently dooming ourselves to a ‘digital dark age’ of such immense and tragic proportions that the burning of the Library at Alexandria is a trifle in comparison. Perhaps you’ve noticed that the floppy disks you used just a few years ago are no longer usable? All of those files, lost. Digital media itself may endure the years, but the players with which you access that media changes with the wind…


Are you panicking yet?


Perhaps we need to take on the “Renaissance preoccupation” with lost intellectual treasures?



Engraving from the Dell'Historia Naturale (1599) showing Naples apothecary Ferrante Imperato's cabinet of curiosities, the first pictorial representation of such a collection

Engraving from the Dell’Historia Naturale (1599) showing Naples apothecary Ferrante Imperato’s cabinet of curiosities, the first pictorial representation of such a collection




…”In the latter half of the 17th century the English polymath Thomas Browne wrote Musaeum Clausum, an imagined inventory of ‘remarkable books, antiquities, pictures and rarities of several kinds, scarce or never seen by any man now living’. Claire Preston explores Browne’s extraordinary catalogue amid the wider context of a Renaissance preoccupation with lost intellectual treasures…”



See more here at the Public Domain Review.





The Dark Origins of Classic Nursery Rhymes

You probably noticed as a child that the Nursery Rhymes we all grew up with seemed to have an air of the macabre about them. This concise read on the dark origins of nursery rhymes will solidify this hunch for you…




The Dark Origins of 11 Classic Nursery Rhymes


by Jennifer M Wood



“In the canon of great horror writing, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley tend to dominate the craft. But Mother Goose isn’t too far behind. Yes, that fictional grande dame of kiddie poems has got a bit of a dark streak, as evidenced by the unexpectedly sinister theories surrounding the origins of these 11 well-known nursery rhymes.




Though most scholars agree that “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” is about the Great Custom, a tax on wool that was introduced in 1275, its use of the color black and the word “master” led some to wonder whether there was a racial message at its center. Its political correctness was called into question yet again in the latter part of the 20th century, with some schools banning it from being repeated in classrooms, and others simply switching out the word “black” for something deemed less offensive. In 2011, reported on the proliferation of “Baa, Baa Rainbow Sheep” as an alternative.




It’s hard to imagine that any rhyme with the phrase “goosey goosey” in its title could be described as anything but feelgood. But it’s actually a tale of religious persecution, during the days when Catholic priests would hide themselves in order to say their Latin-based prayers, a major no-no at the time—not even in the privacy of one’s own home. In the original version, the narrator comes upon an old man “who wouldn’t say his prayers. So I took him by his left leg. And threw him down the stairs.” Ouch!…


Click here for more.



6,000-Year-Old Dead Sea Treasure Hoard Revealed…

…”The purpose and origin of the hoard remains a mystery…”




6,000-year-old crown found in Dead Sea cave revealed

(by April Holloway – Ancient Origins)



“The world’s oldest crown, which was famously discovered in 1961 as part of the Nahal Mishar Hoard, along with numerous other treasured artefacts, are to be revealed in New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World as part of the ‘Masters of Fire: Copper Age Art from Israel’ exhibit.


The ancient crown dates back to the Copper Age between 4000–3500 BC, and is just one out of more than 400 artefacts that were recovered in a cave in the Judean Desert near the Dead Sea more than half a century ago. The crown is shaped like a thick ring and features vultures and doors protruding from the top. It is believed that it played a part in burial ceremonies for people of importance at the time…”


See more here.


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