Category Archives: History

They Had No Choice

On the annual anniverary of the D-Day invasion of France by the Allies, it’s customary to focus on the sacrifices of the human members of the military. This year, I thought that it was also time to acknowlege the contributions … Continue reading

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Pocket Money

Even with the widespread acceptance of the Euro, these days there are still about thirty currencies in use among the fifty countries of Europe. In the 17th century, things were much more complicated for travelers. This Dutch book offered a … Continue reading

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A very big book

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s The First Folio. The collection of 36 plays by William Shakespeare that was published in London in 1623. Considered to be one of the most influential books ever published, … Continue reading

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The Poor Man’s Rembrandt

Visitors to Amsterdam often take home Rembrandt related artwork in the form of posters, postcards, or T-shirts. Now they can also take home  permanent Dutch souvenirs on their own bodies. Travelers searching for that perfect keepsake of their time in the … Continue reading

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What’s your sign

I have recently noticed a number of stories online suggesting that there is a resurgence in the popularity of astrology. While I do not want to wander into the quagmire of discussing  astrology, it’s interesting to note that the pseudo-science … Continue reading

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Game of the World

Created in 1645 by Pierre Du Val, Le Jeu du Monde is one of the oldest known geographic board games. The purpose of the 17th century French board game is to progress from the North Pole to the center of … Continue reading

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Hidden history of the world

Last week, I ran across three different references to an eye-opening documentary titled A History of the World According to Getty Images. This impressive video created by British filmmaker Richard Misek  explores the way that historic films are hidden from public … Continue reading

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Saturday Sundries

I won’t be spending my summer this year riding the rails in Europe, but I can still torture myself by reading articles about luxury trains and gourmet food. You can too, if you check out this excellent piece from the … Continue reading

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More Than Just The Great Wave off Kanagawa

If you stop by here on a regular basis, you are probably aware that I am a fan of Japanese woodblock printing. Most folks are familiar with “Under the Wave off Kanagawa”  by  ukiyo-e artist Hokusai, created in late 1831 during the Edo … Continue reading

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Decoding the Heavens

“The Astronomicum Caesareum (1540) by the German mathematician, astronomer and cartographer Petrus Apianus was used by the privileged – including the Holy Roman emperor Charles V, who commissioned it, and the Tudor king Henry VIII – to find guidance, knowledge and fate in the stars. … Continue reading

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