Archives for: July 2007


Permalink 01:48:57 pm, by Email , 94 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture, Wordless Wednesday, Religion and Spirituality, Asian History

Wordless Wednesday - Longmen Grottoes

"Tourists gather to admire the Longmen Grottoes Buddhist sculptures, one of China's Unesco World Heritage sites, in Luoyang, central China."

I would dearly love to see these, and photograph them in person one day. It is wonderful to know that Unesco has taken such an active interest in preservation of these sites, and that they will be open to the public to admire, and learn from for future generations to come.

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.

Image Source: BBC



Permalink 12:07:20 pm, by Email , 124 words   English (CA)
Categories: British History

The Beefsteak Club

At one time "The Beefsteak Club" an exclusive, elitist, gentlemen's group that's members included the movers, and shakers of Great Britain was raided by police due to the decrepit condition of the exterior of the building where at the time they met.

Police thought they were busting a den of criminals and were not amused when members announced they were "The Lord Chancellor," Governor of the Bank of England," and the "Archbishop of Canterbury."

The police interrogator at the time was very cynical, and was certain this was nothing more than a gathering of rogues. He asked sarcastically of a fourth, " And I suppose YOU are the Prime Minister.

"As a matter of fact...I am," replied Arthur Balfour ... then Prime Minister of England.



Permalink 09:06:10 pm, by Email , 119 words   English (CA)
Categories: British History

Taste Test?

John Colet January 1467 – September 10, 1519

St Paul's Cathedral was devastated after the great fire of 1666. The coffins that had been interred there had to be inspected, including that of the great 16th century humanist scholar John Colet.

John Aubrey is quoted below in regards to what they found:

"After the conflagration, his monument being broken, his coffin, which was lead, was full of liquor which conserved the body. Mr. Wyld and Mr. Greatorex tasted it, and 'twas of a kind of insipid taste, something of an ironish taste. The body felt, to the probe of a stick which they thrust into a chinke, like brawne."

What more can I add, but ... ew!

Source: Let Them Eat Cake, By Geoffrey Regan

Permalink 10:54:35 am, by Email , 341 words   English (CA)
Categories: Health And Sciences, Book Reviews

Free Online Biology Textbook

I was just reading through the following press release, which details the launch of a Free Biology Book. The book is written up in 1800 + questions, and answers, and yes is available in its entirety online.

I find this to be a bold, and innovative concept, and quite frankly welcomed in my opinion. I hope to see more textbooks made available to everyone who has an avid interest in the subject matters that are being presented.

Read on:

Authors Publish Innovative Biology Textbook Online and For Free

Biology teachers and students worldwide can now use a complete and real (ISBN assigned) Biology textbook published online by the authors. All of the 636 pages of the book is online.

The “Free Biology Book” ( is a full Biology textbook encompassing all Biology subjects for secondary education: Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Microbiology, Zoology, Physiology, Embryology, Botanics, Genetics, Evolution, Ecology and Diseases. Each of such Biology subjects is divided in several and well-organized chapters.

The main attraction of the online book is the way the content is exposed, each chapter made of a logical sequence of questions and answers. From the beginning to the end of the Q&A sequence, the text goes from introductory issues to deeper explanation of the chapter topic. It is then very easy to learn Biology reading the “Free Biology Book” ( since the knowledge is built question by question in small blocks of content.

Another innovation of the project is that it does not directly show illustrations. Instead, for each chapter the reader is suggested to click on links that open Google Images pages that show lots of pictures about what is being studied.

The intention of the authors, both are medical doctors, that published their real book online and for free is to allow students and teachers throughout the world to have access to a complete online Biology book. Students can use it at home or school and teachers can even take it as guideline to build their Biology courses.

Our thanks to our sponsor.

Permalink 12:58:59 am, by Email , 120 words   English (CA)
Categories: Murder & Mayhem

Of Gallows & Drunken Mobs

During the 18th century public executions were often attended by drunken mobs, hey even the hangman would usually imbibe in a pint or two.

In 1738 at one such public execution the hangman who was quite thoroughly intoxicated was convinced that he was supposed to hang three men, and was none too happy when he was presented with only two. As a result of what had been a clerical error he attempted to hang the preacher who had been given the task of attending the two condemned prisoners.

It was with great difficulty that he was prevented from hanging the third man as well!

We apologise if this entry has left you breathless.

Source: Let Them Eat Cake, By Geoffrey Regan



Permalink 02:05:12 pm, by Email , 71 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesday, Asian History

Wordless Wednesday - Mysterious Lady

I was out photo hunting last Saturday when I came across this lovely statuette. I snapped a couple of pics despite having no idea who she might be or what she may represent, and decided I would share her with you. I love this type of statuary. She appears so peaceful.

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.

Permalink 02:02:27 pm, by Email , 161 words   English (CA)
Categories: Science And Technology, Games & Recreation

Birding or Bird Watching

My mother is an avid bird watcher. She is not an Ornithologist, but someone who dearly enjoys observing birds in their natural habitat. My mother's preference is Leica binoculars, which you may have a look at via the link I have added. These particular optical devices as you can see are designed for those who seriously love this hobby, and the prices quoted on the page are very good.

Bird watching is not new, in fact bird watching clubs have been around in both Britain, and the USA for well over a century. Anacortes Telescope & Wild Bird provide optical devices to enthusiasts with capabilities that those in the past would not have dreamed of. And as stated above their pricing is highly competitive. If you are a bird watcher as well it is worthwhile to pay their fine site a visit, and have a look at the various telescopes, spotting scopes, and binoculars being offered.

Thank you to my sponsor.

Permalink 11:20:52 am, by Email , 71 words   English (CA)
Categories: Religion and Spirituality, Museums And Historic Sites

Trinity Chapel Toronto Ontario

The image above is only one of several we took at Trinity Chapel over this past weekend. It is a stark, yet hauntingly beautiful, sacred place. Each time I visit I find the experience to be almost magical, and I do encourage all those who may have the opportunity to spend some time there.

The history behind Trinity Chapel, and further information on visiting may be obtained by checking their website.

Permalink 09:08:08 am, by Email , 211 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture, Museums And Historic Sites

History In Photographs

This past weekend we spent the greater part of Saturday at the University of Toronto. The older buildings there offer some great photographic opportunities, and it is a sought after choice for outdoor wedding photography. We certainly took advantage of this beautiful historic site with our own digital cameras, and took several shots of both the exterior, and interiors of Trinity College, and Trinity Chapel. Some of these photos will be displayed right here on the blog, and watch out for a special one that was taken, and will be featured here for this week's Wordless Wednesday.

One of my personal goals for this blog is to use my own digital camera at museums, and sites of historic importance to enhance the articles, and items written about here.

Currently I own a Samsung Digimax, but I would love to upgrade to a Canon Rebel in the near future. Digital photography has made the process of taking good quality pics so much easier in my opinion, and therefore I would like to bring you the reader a much more complete experience of the places I visit than mere words alone.

So keep your eyes peeled to Pastyme for more photos to accompany the articles that I write.

Thank you to my sponsor.



Permalink 02:05:39 pm, by Email , 74 words   English (CA)
Categories: Americana, Arts And Culture, Who Am I

Who Am I?

I was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry four times. I was one of the most popular poets in the 20th century. President John F. Kennedy even asked me to recite one of my poems at his inauguration.

I lived in England for a few years, but my home was in New Hampshire, USA. The people and landscape of New England inspired my poetry.

Who Am I?

The answer is in the comments section.



Permalink 12:35:25 am, by Email , 66 words   English (CA)
Categories: Loons Throughout History, British History, Period Clothing & Uniforms

Beau Brummell - the Original Fashionista

Beau Brummell - June 7, 1778 - March 30, 1840

Beau Brummell who ruled the conventions of British society in the 1800s would spend an entire day dressing for a royal ball.

So obsessed was he with couture that he hired three people to fashion his gloves alone: one would work on the palms, another on the fingers, and a third worked on the thumb!

Source: They Did What? By Bob Fenster



Permalink 12:59:24 am, by Email , 187 words   English (CA)
Categories: History In The News, British History

Lost Village In The Lake

The BBC is reporting that a team of divers have discovered the remains of a lost village under a lake in Wiltshire UK. The village only told of in legends until now was apparently sacrificed in order to put the lake in 250 years ago. Here is a snippet:

A team of divers who set out to solve the mystery of the drowned village of Bowood in Wiltshire has found the remains of buildings under a lake.

The lake at Bowood House was created 250 years ago by 'Capability' Brown when legend has it a village was sacrificed to make way for the design.

Diver Jon Dodsworth, 28, said old maps showed a community called Manning's Hill where the lake now stands.

The team discovered stone walls and the remains of two cottages under the lake.

A document entitled Wiltshire Community History mentions Manning's Hill as one of several communities which existed near Bowood in the 18th Century.

It continues: "The entrance to the park at Manning's Hill was drowned by the lake."

Full BBC Article Here

How cool is that! I am so there with my swim fins on!



Permalink 01:32:02 pm, by Email , 34 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesday, Central & South American History

Wordless Wednesday - Ancient Monuments

Source: Views of ancient monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yvcatan. London, F. Catherwood, 1844.

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.



Permalink 12:03:18 am, by Email , 160 words   English (CA)
Categories: History In The News, British History

The Cerne Abbas Giant Vs Homer Simpson

I admit it. I admit when I first saw the image above I chuckled. According to a BBC report Homer Simpson's image was placed beside that of the Cerne Abbas Giant (thought to be thousands of years old) as a publicity stunt for the new Simpsons movie. However, this has upset local pagans, and I do sympathise with how they must feel.

Here is a snippet:

Pagans have pledged to perform "rain magic" to wash away a cartoon character painted next to their famous fertility symbol - the Cerne Abbas giant.

A doughnut-brandishing Homer Simpson now adorns the hillside above Cerne Abbas, Dorset, next to the giant.

The ancient chalk outline of the naked, sexually aroused, club-wielding giant is believed by many to be a symbol of ancient spirituality.

Many couples also believe the 180ft carving aids fertility.

Full BBC Article Here

What next Homer on the Great Wall of China, tagged on the side of an ancient pyramid....not likely.....



Permalink 11:54:32 am, by Email , 253 words   English (CA)
Categories: Museums And Historic Sites, The Ancient World

The Threat to World Heritage in Iraq

I spent most of this past weekend reading the book that I mentioned in my last blog entry. The book is called "Stealing History" Tomb Raiders, Smugglers, and the Looting of The Ancient World, by author Roger Atwood, and its content is very disturbing to those that value history.

I had been aware of the looting that had occurred of Iraq's National Museum in Baghdad, when the US, and Britain invaded, but I was not so keenly aware prior to reading this book as to how much has been lost to the world by the systematic destruction of sites of great archaeological importance by "tomb raiders."

My opinion is that these precious antiquities must be housed in a public museum where they are available to all, yet properly cared for, and maintained for generations to come. More importantly they should only end up in a museum's collection after the site from where they originate has been properly investigated, and documented by a qualified archaeological team.

I do not place blame for the loss of these sites on the looters themselves who are most likely attempting to feed their families in a war zone, but on those rich, private collectors who have created the demand for these ancient world artefacts.

These items are now meaningless as we have lost the opportunity to study the history behind them. They are a trinket to their buyer, and nothing more. And that is wholly depressing to anyone who cares about history.

Another reason to hate these wars.......



Permalink 09:14:37 am, by Email , 329 words   English (CA)
Categories: History In The News, Book Reviews, Museums And Historic Sites, The Ancient World

Who Is That Mummy?

This mummy is believed to be the body of Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt in the 15th century B.C.

The identity of all of Egypt's royal mummies is now in question since scientists found one was wrongly identified as a Pharaoh. Here is a snippet from an article on CNN:

Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said on Thursday he would use computed tomography, or CT, scanning and DNA to test more than 40 royal mummies at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

In June, the mummy long thought to have been King Tuthmosis I was found to be a young man who died from an arrow wound, Hawass said. History showed Tuthmosis I died in his 60s.

"I am now questioning all the mummies," he told Reuters in an interview. "We have to check them all again.

"The new technology now will reconfirm or identify anything for us."

The Egyptian Museum has had CT scanning equipment for just two years and its first DNA laboratory was installed in April.

The CT scan allows the mummies to be virtually "unwrapped" without damaging them. Teenage Pharaoh Tutankhamun was one of the first mummies to be examined with the technology in 2005.

Hawass said only the identity of the mummy of Tutankhamun was certain because he was discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922 still in a sealed coffin in his tomb.

Many royal mummies were taken from their tombs and hidden elsewhere -- sometimes in other tombs or in temples -- to protect them from desecration and looting hundreds of years after their deaths.

Full CNN Article Here

Speaking of ancient history, and tombs I am currently reading....

...."Stealing History" Tomb Raiders, Smugglers, and the Looting of The Ancient World, by author Roger Atwood, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject. While it is highly fascinating it so far has proven to be quite sad, particularly the looting of ancient Iraqi sites since 2003. More on that later....



**Shocking! Matthew Blogs about a Bus!**

Yeah, I know... you're blown away with strangeness that I, Matthew, the INFAMOUS "Double-Decker Bus Guy" would blog about a bus...

From the Imperial War Museum
Picture credit to The Imperial War Museum

Meet "Old Bill". A London "B" Type bus that was used for the war effort for England... in fact, "Old Bill" was not simply an advertiser or the like... "Old Bill" was near the front line of battle!

London Transport (or London General as it was known back then,) saw a need for transporting troops during the "Great War" of 1914 through 1918 and heeded the call.

Not only did drivers enlist, but three-hundred "B" type buses and three-hundred and thirty-three drivers went to the lines to shuttle soldiers back and forth in the style and grace of old London town.

In fact, the first of these buses were delivered with their red and white livery, ads, and destination boards still attached! (This of course changed over time...)

At a tip-top speed of a whopping twenty-miles per hour, "Old Bill" could carry twenty-five equipped soldiers to their destination.

Soldier boarding Old Bill...

According to London Transport's Museum website...

The most famous bus of the First World War was a B-type called 'Old Bill', which saw action in the Somme, Antwerp, the Ancre, Amiens and Ypres. One driver single-handedly captured 12 German troops near Armentires and drove back to his army camp with them on the top deck.

Old Bill at the Front

Yup, "Old Bill" was a true trooper.

I can't help but wonder two things... first of all if seeing an old London bus was a morale boost to the troops considering the horrors of WWI trench warfare... and if they loathed travelling on them again after the war?

From written accounts I found, "Old Bill" was well loved... and the troops did get a kick out of their transport from home.

Sadly, the work is never done for an old warrior like "Old Bill"...

Old Bill at a funeral

"Old Bill", the one at the top, is now a resting safely in The Imperial War Museum... (note the side destination panels...) This is one old soldier that hasn't faded away... and hopefully won't. A wonderful machine and a wonderful (and a little tragic) history.

Artist Unknown
Old Bill delivering men to the front - Artist Unknown

Thanks to the London Transport Museum, The Imperial War Museum, and the Bruce Bairnsfather and Old Bill Dugout Website for information and images...

To the Bruce Bairnsfather and Old Bill Dugout Website folks, if you see this, I tried to e-mail you, but my mail "bounced" back. If there is any issue with the images or information used, please contact me via my personal blog... link below...

If you like old buses, please stop by my "personal" blog and the family "dream" blog, One Old Green Bus



Permalink 05:14:19 pm, by Email , 246 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture

The Nutcracker Ballet

The Nutcracker St. Petersburg, Russia 1892

The nutcracker ballet is a fairytale with a long standing history, and tradition of absolutely delighting its audiences of all ages. I will admit to you now that it is indeed my favourite ballet, and brings back warm childhood memories of seeing it with my Mother in what was perhaps the most magical point within my own life. And seeing the nutcracker is a family tradition that I too have passed along to my own children.

Composed by Tchaikovsky, the nutcraker was first performed on December 18, 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Russia. It wasn't until the 1930's that the ballet was seen performed outside of Russia, and still later in the 1940's that it was first seen in the United States.

Now American audiences have the opportunity to see the nutcracker ballet as presented, and performed by the great Moscow Ballet! And I encourage you, if you have not seen it or have never seen any ballet performed on stage before, you should treat yourself, and perhaps someone you love to tickets. You will be enchanted! This I can promise you!

Further information on tickets, dates, and prices throughout the USA may be obtained by clicking on the link, which also has an online gift store to look through.

It is wonderful to know that this magical ballet is still gaining in popularity, and will delight audience members for years to come.

My thanks to my sponsor.



Permalink 01:01:59 pm, by Email , 146 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesday, Museums And Historic Sites, Period Clothing & Uniforms

Wordless Wednesday - Shoes

Stunning pair of 18th century shoes! Here is a snippet from The Bata Shoe Museum here in Toronto where they, and others like them are on display. If you LOVE shoes, you must visit this museum!

"Artifact: Yellow silk shoes with buckles, French, c.1760s.

Information: Like pieces of jewellery, buckles were valued accessories worn on varying pairs of shoes to complement different outfits. The most expensive were made of sterling silver set with diamonds, but most were embellished with glittering paste or rhinestones. The buckles on this pair of yellow silk shoes are typical of the preference for flowers and bows even on jewellery during the age of Rococo."

Owner: The Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto
Photo Credit: (c) Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto.
Photo: Hal Roth

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.

Permalink 09:39:08 am, by Email , 244 words   English (CA)
Categories: Games & Recreation

Poker With No Rake

The history of poker is highly disputed to this day, but it is fair to say that it's origins lie in card games played during the European Renaissance, and poker games have been noted to have been played from the early 1800s in New Orleans, USA.

Today the game of poker has come a long way, particularly now that the premier backgammon online website, and community has added poker to it's line up of great internet games.

The history of backgammon itself is very old, with records indicating that the ancient Egyptians played a game called senet which closely resembles modern backgammon, but I now digress....

Getting back to the focus of this post which is online poker has introduced their game with the fantastic opportunity of real money game play for no rake, this means that the house will take no commission.

For those who may wish to hone their poker playing skills without risk of losing any money, they also provide fun mode games. has been positively noted in the press for it's high standards, exceptional graphics, friendly gaming community, large payout competitions, and their recent charitable works.

This is definitely a wonderful opportunity for online game players, and reason to say when it comes to poker games, wow, we certainly have come a long way since the old card rooms in southern Louisiana at the turn of the 19th century.

Thank you to the sponsor.



Permalink 04:51:36 pm, by Email , 513 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture, British History

Marie Lloyd - Queen of The Music Hall

Marie Lloyd - February 12th 1870 – October 7th 1922

Marie Lloyd was born Matilda Alice Victoria Wood in Hoxton, London, England. Her father described by historians as a very likeable man worked at one time for Royal Eagle Tavern, which is where Marie first got a taste of music, and performing.

With her sisters, Marie formed a singing group called the Fairy Bells Minstrels, and their mother designed costumes for them. They would perform temperance songs in local missions and church halls.

It was during her teen years that Matilda changed her name to Marie, and soon after began to see major success as a music hall performer. Her performances were considered racy by many within her generation, but in fact would be quite tame by today's standards. She was a brilliant comedienne, singer, and performer who would engage her audience, and therefore built a strong, adoring fan base.

However, there were those who attempted to shut her down particularly groups known as Vigilance or "Watch" committees. They stated her songs were immoral, yet when she sung them straight without the benefit of well placed smiles, and winks they sounded very harmless, and she loved pointing out that any "immorality was in the minds of the complainants!"

During a visit to America she found that her rather racy reputation was already well known in the States. In an interview with the New York Telegraph she stated, "They don't pay their sixpences and shillings at a music hall to hear the Salvation Army. If I was to try to sing highly moral songs, they would fire ginger beer bottles and beer mugs at me. I can't help it if people want to turn and twist my meanings."

Marie was famous in her day that is of no doubt. She was paid very well for her performances yet still walked the picket lines during a 1907 strike by other performers who were ill-treated. Here is another quote in regards: "We (the stars) can dictate our own terms. We are fighting not for ourselves , but for the poorer members of the profession, earning thirty shillings to £3 a week. For this they have to do double turns, and now matinees have been added as well. These poor things have been compelled to submit to unfair terms of employment, and I mean to back up the federation in whatever steps are taken."

She also performed for free for the returning veterans of WWI.

Marie passed away in October 1922 just three days after giving what was to be her final performance. She was so beloved that over one hundred thousand people attended her funeral, and a theatrical newspaper, The Era proclaimed the cortège a "Royal Progress."

This entry is for Khlari who I wish to thank for introducing me to Marie, a woman who in life I would have admired, and who in history I have greatly enjoyed learning about!

Sources & Further Reading:

The English Music Hall - Fantastic write-up, and several images.

Marie Lloyd - Wiki entry

East London History - Newspaper Article

Miss Marie Lloyd - Queen of the Music Hall
- BBC special



Permalink 10:43:24 am, by Email , 128 words   English (CA)
Categories: Americana, Who Am I, Historical Recipes

Who Am I

Who Am I? In the year 1896 I published a cookbook. My cookbook was very successful, and was found in homes all across America. My book introduced standardised measurements to recipes, making it easy for anyone to duplicate my tasty dishes. I think this was one reason that it become so popular.

With the success of the cookbook I managed to open my very own cooking school. And from there I became very interested in food as medicine. I worked hard on devising special diets for people who were recovering from various illnesses. I even taught at Harvard Medical School for one year!

My cookbook is still popular today.

Who Am I?

The answer as always to this week's Who Am I? can be found in the comments section.



Permalink 01:02:51 pm, by Email , 84 words   English (CA)
Categories: Americana, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday - Independance Day

Wishing our American readers a very happy, and safe Independence Day! It is a little known fact that during the War of 1812 Canadian citizens feeling terrible at the knowledge that an American town had lost all of it's fireworks for Fourth of July celebrations did ship over some explosives for their American brothers to use. Despite being in the middle of a conflict!

Happy Wordless Wednesday everyone, and thank you for stopping by!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.

Permalink 10:05:30 am, by Email , 295 words   English (CA)
Categories: Science And Technology, Website Reviews

How Secure Are You?

Normally when we discuss security, and security related issues on this particular blog we are thinking about castles, forts, and other fortified structures. However, today we shall return to the 21st century for a brief period of time to talk about security related issues as they concern the very mode by which you have found yourselves reading this blog entry ...the internet.

I had the opportunity to take this Security Quiz earlier this very morning, and it was a bit of an eye opener for me.

Firstly let me tell you that this quiz was designed by Agnitum, which is a company that's expertise is within internet security. According to their stats hackers should very much be a concern of all internet users with computers that have online access being attacked every 39 seconds!

The Security Quiz is very easy to take, and straightforward. It only takes a few minutes of your time to test out your knowledge on internet security issues.

After starting out with the first couple of questions I thought to myself this is going to be very easy, and I will ace this quiz with no problem. I was definitely wrong! Halfway through the quiz I started to realise I'm not as internet security savvy as I thought I had been.

My final score was 11 out of 30.

"You’re headed in the right direction, but your knowledge needs straightening out a bit."

Apparently my score makes me a warlock! And that is kinda cool!

Like I said above, a bit of an eye opener to say the least! And definitely cause to think about better ways to fortify the home PC!

So how secure are you, and how well do you think you'll do on this quiz?

Our thanks to our sponsor!



Permalink 12:21:12 am, by Email , 209 words   English (CA)
Categories: History In The News, Asian History

Mysterious Chamber Found In Chinese Imperial Tomb

Famed Terracotta Warriors

A very exciting discovery was made within the Chinese Imperial Tomb reports the BBC. Here is a snippet:

A mysterious underground chamber has been found inside the Chinese imperial tomb guarded by the famous Terracotta Army, Chinese archaeologists say.

Historical records describing the tomb of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of China's Qin dynasty, do not mention the room which is 30 metres (98 feet) deep.

The unopened chamber was found at the site near the old imperial capital of Xian using remote sensing technology.

One expert says it may have been built for the soul of the emperor.

More than 2,000 years old, the chamber is buried inside a pyramidal earth mound 51m (170 feet) high on top of Qin's tomb.

It is situated near the life-size terracotta warriors and has four stair-like walls, says Duan Qingbo, a researcher with the Shaanxi Institute of Archaeology.

The Chinese authorities have not given permission to excavate the site.

Full BBC Article Here

It really is a shame that the site will not be excavated, at least for the time being, in my opinion. Discoveries like this are rare, and of course very exciting! I'm certain archaeologists, and historians are just itching to find out what secrets the ancient chamber may contain!



Permalink 12:46:23 am, by Email , 591 words   English (CA)
Categories: Canadiana, Holidays And Traditions

Happy Canada Day!

Today is Canada's 140th birthday! The following is a history behind our distinctive red, white, and maple leaf flag........

The History Of The Canadian Flag

The search for a new Canadian flag started in earnest in 1925 when a committee of the Privy Council began to research possible designs for a national flag. However, the work of the committee was never completed.

Later, in 1946, a select parliamentary committee was appointed with a similar mandate, called for submissions and received more than 2,600 designs. Still, the Parliament of Canada was never called upon to formally vote on a design.

Early in 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson informed the House of Commons that the government wished to adopt a distinctive national flag. The 1967 centennial celebration of Confederation was, after all, approaching. As a result, a Senate and House of Commons Committee was formed and submissions were called for once again.

In October 1964, after eliminating various proposals, the committee was left with three possible designs -- a Red Ensign with the fleur-de-lis and the Union Jack, a design incorporating three red maple leaves, and a red flag with a single, stylized red maple leaf on a white square. (Pearson himself preferred a design with three red maple leaves between two blue borders.)

Two heraldry experts, who both favoured a three-leaf design, played a decisive role in the choice of our flag: Alan Beddoe, a retired naval captain and heraldic adviser to the Royal Canadian Navy, and Colonel Fortescue Duguid, a heraldist and historian.

The names of Mr. John Matheson and Dr. George Stanley are well known in the story of the evolution of a new Canadian flag. Mr. Matheson, a Member of Parliament from Ontario, was perhaps one of the strongest supporters of a new flag and played a key advisory role. Dr. Stanley was Dean of Arts at the Royal Military College in Kingston, and brought to the attention of the committee the fact that the Commandant's flag at the College -- an emblem, i.e. a mailed fist, on a red and white ground -- was impressive.

Dr. Stanley's design is based on a strong sense of Canadian history. The combination of red, white and red first appeared in the General Service Medal issued by Queen Victoria. Red and white were subsequently proclaimed Canada's national colours by King George V in 1921. Three years earlier, Major General (later the Honourable) Sir Eugene Fiset had recommended that Canada's emblem be the single red maple leaf on a white field - the device worn by all Canadian Olympic athletes since 1904.

The committee eventually decided to recommend the single-leaf design, which was approved by resolution of the House of Commons on December 15, 1964, followed by the Senate on December 17, 1964, and proclaimed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, to take effect on February 15, 1965.

In due course the final design of the stylized maple leaf was established by Mr. Jacques St-Cyr, the precise dimensions of red and white were suggested by Mr. George Best, and the technical description of precise shade of red defined by Dr. Gunter Wyszchi.

The national flag of Canada, then, came into being, credit to those eminent Canadians: the Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson, who wanted a distinctive national flag as a vehicle to promote national unity; John Matheson, who established the conceptual framework for a suitable flag, then sought out and combined the appropriate components to create it; and Dr. George Stanley, who provided the seminal concept - the central concepts of red-white-red stripes with a central maple leaf - in this process.

Source: Canadian Heritage

Happy Birthday Canada!


Pastime with Good Company

Pastyme With Good Companye

Welcome to the blog of amateur historians Matthew James Didier and Sue Darroch. Partners in life and in crime, we endeavor to entertain you with snippets from our combined historical research. Past time with good company indeed, as we shall introduce you to Kings and Knaves, Queens and Mistresses, Cons and Heroes, from our collective past......from events well known to those perhaps all but forgotten, we will do our best to bring you interesting historical factoids from around the globe. It is our belief that through understanding our past we will all gain a better perspective on our future.

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