Quotulatiousness

April 4, 2017

Ray Manzarek – Riders on The Storm

Filed under: Media — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on May 21, 2013

The wonderful Ray Manzarek tells of the making of “Riders on The Storm”
Rest in peace Ray

The Forgotten Ally – Portugal in WW1 I THE GREAT WAR Special

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 3 Apr 2017

Portugal’s participation in the First World War 1, especially the service of the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps on the Western Front, is often forgotten. And even when the troops were still fighting, the political situation back home had changed so much that the soldiers were largely forgotten.

Archaeological evidence of corpse mutilation in deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy

Filed under: Britain, History, Science — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

A bit of gruesome post-death ritual from the middle ages in Wharram Percy:

Wharram Percy, aerial view © Wharram Research Project/Historic England

Archaeologists investigating human bones excavated from the deserted mediaeval village of Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire have suggested that the villagers burned and mutilated corpses to prevent the dead from rising from their graves to terrorise the living.

Although starvation cannibalism often accounts for the mutilation of corpses during the Middle Ages, when famines were common, researchers from Historic England and the University of Southampton have found that the ways in which the Wharram Perry remains had been dismembered suggested actions more significant of folk beliefs about preventing the dead from going walkabout.

Their paper, titled A multidisciplinary study of a burnt and mutilated assemblage of human remains from a deserted mediaeval village in England, is published today in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Located in the Yorkshire Wolds, Wharram Percy was continuously occupied for about 600 years, and was probably founded in the 9th or 10th century, but had become deserted by the early 16th century as a result of gradual abandonment and forced evictions. The ruined church is the last-standing mediaeval building, beside it remaining the grassed-over foundations of two manors and about 40 peasant houses and their outbuildings.

Since 1948 the settlement has been the focus of intensive research, which has made it Europe’s best-known deserted mediaeval village, and in what may be the first good archaeological find regarding the practice, human remains from the site suggest the predominance of folk beliefs regarding revenants in 11th-13th century England.

Tank Chats #4 Vickers Armstrongs Type E

Filed under: Britain, History, Military, Russia — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 15 Apr 2015

The fourth in a series of short films about some of the vehicles in our collection presented by The Tank Museum’s historian David Fletcher MBE.

Alongside their work for the British armed forces Vickers-Armstrongs produced military equipment for foreign buyers. Their earliest commercial tank designs failed to sell but in 1928 they produced a masterpiece. Known as the 6-ton or ‘six-tonner’, it was a remarkable design, with a rear-mounted, air-cooled engine driving to a gearbox and track sprockets at the front of the tank. There were two main variants; some tanks were supplied with two machine-gun turrets (Type A) while others carried a larger single turret (Type B) like our exhibit.

Following trials the British Army turned it down but the tank was a major export success. It sold all around the world, from South America to Japan and was even studied by the United States Army. It was built under licence in Russia (see our T-26 exhibit) and influenced tank design in many other countries. Our exhibit is displayed in the fancy camouflage style adopted by Vickers for their commercial offerings; it is seen at a mythical army equipment exhibition some time in the thirties.

Shortly before World War II Vickers built a new version, powered by a Rolls-Royce engine (the Mark F) but this failed to sell. Subsequent to this the government of Siam (Thailand) placed a repeat order but specified the original Armstrong-Siddeley engine. These were completed closer to the Mark F design but few, if any, reached their destination. With the outbreak of war the British Government impounded all commercial tanks still in the factories and the remaining stock of six-tonners, of which this is one, were used by British forces for training.

QotD: The last 30 years of Vikings football

Filed under: Football, Quotations — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

Watching the Vikings the past three decades has been like chronicling an ’80s hair band. It’s been all fun and games except for the times the lead singer got busted and the drummer spontaneously combusted.

For a franchise that has been frequently competitive, the Vikings have rarely experienced what felt like sustainable success.

They were once owned by a Gang of 10 that feuded with the general manager, who was replaced by a non-football executive who wore coach’s shorts and a stopwatch.

Their next owner lived in San Antonio, and, once he realized he couldn’t win big or get a stadium built, stripped the team to make it attractive to new buyers.

Red McCombs sold to Zygi Wilf, whose jagged learning curve led to the hiring of Fran “I know New Mexico Football” Foley and Brad Childress.

Jerry Burns was an elderly coach who would have retired even if he had won a Super Bowl. He gave way to Dennis Green, who collected enemies the way a coffee shop message board collects business cards. Green gave way to Mike Tice, who had never been a coordinator at any level before he became a head coach, and eventually Childress, who saved time by burning bridges before he bothered to build them.

Childress gave way to Leslie Frazier, who served as the asbestos quilt that ownership threw over their constant brushfires, then tossed aside once the flames went out.

The Vikings’ best teams since the mid-’80s have been one-offs: The 1987 team that backed into the playoffs, then won two games with Wade Wilson at quarterback. The 1998 team that resurrected Randall Cunningham. The 2000 team that relied on Daunte Culpepper to outscore a shoddy defense. The 2009 team that hired Brett Favre as a temp. The 2012 team that made the playoffs in Christian Ponder’s lone showing of competence.

The past 30 years of Vikings football have felt like annual acts of desperation. That might be changing.

Jim Souhan, “Vikings finally have the makings for long-term success”, Star Tribune, 2015-09-13.

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