Archives for: September 2007


Permalink 11:55:13 am, by Email , 252 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture, Religion and Spirituality, Asian History

Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi or simply known as Rumi was a 13th-century mystical Muslim scholar. Though he has not been on this physical plane for several hundred years, he is still very popular especially amongst American pop stars like Madonna. Here is a snippet from a fascinating BBC article on this most interesting poet:

Translations of Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi's - better known as Rumi - verse are hugely popular and have been used by Western pop stars such as Madonna.

They are attracted by his tributes to the power of love and his belief in the spiritual use of music and dancing - although scholars stress that he was talking about spiritual love between people and God, not earthly love.

Rumi, whose 800th birth anniversary falls on Sunday, was born in 1207 in Balkh in Central Asia, now part of Afghanistan.

I came here to see whether he has much resonance in his native country which, under the Taleban, went so far as to ban music.

Full BBC Article Here

"Mawlana says - if the sky is not in love, then it will not be so clear. If the sun is not in love, then it will not be giving any light. If the river is not in love, then it will be in silence, it will not be moving. If the mountains, the earth are not in love, then there will be nothing growing."

What an amazing quote that demonstrates why perhaps this poets continuing popularity. His words are as relevant today as they were centuries ago.......



Permalink 06:48:01 pm, by Email , 169 words   English (CA)
Categories: Murder & Mayhem, British History

The Worst Executioner Ever

The worst executioner ever had to be a fellow by the name of Richard Jaquet aka Jack Ketch.

In 1683, when William Russell was condemned for plotting to kill King Charles II he paid Ketch 20 guineas to make a good job of it. Ketch took the cash, but....the first blow of the axe glanced off of the side of Russell's neck. Russell is recorded to have said, " You dog, did I pay you to treat me so inhumanely?" It took three more tries to sever Russell's head, and Ketch was booed off the scaffold.

Two years later Ketch botched the execution of the Duke of Monmouth. After four blows with the axe Ketch had to resort to severing the head with a knife ... ew!

Jack Ketch was finally fired, and replaced by a man named Pascha Rose. After a few months on the job Rose was arrested for murder, and then hanged. Ketch was immediately rehired... :crazy:

Source: The Strange Laws Of Olde England, By Nigel Cawthorne, 2004

Image Credit



Permalink 02:23:58 pm, by Email , 111 words   English (CA)
Categories: Sports & Sports Entertainment

Charles "Kid" McCoy

Kid McCoy became the welterweight boxing champ in 1896. Earlier in his career he had shown what it took to survive in the ring when he fought a boxer that was completely deaf.

The other boxer could not hear the bell, and McCoy figured this out by the third round of their match. He also realised how to use this bit of knowledge to his advantage.

Kid McCoy motioned to the deaf fighter that the bell had rung, and as the other boxer dropped his guard he knocked him out.

And in case you are the bell had not rung. ;)

Source: They Did What? By Bob Fenster

Image Credit: Wiki

Permalink 10:11:53 am, by Email , 142 words   English (CA)
Categories: Holidays And Traditions

Dia De Los Muertos

Dia De Los Muertos or Mexico's Day of the Dead is celebrated each year on November 1st through November 2nd. The holiday (festival) highlights the reunion of dead relatives with their families, and in fact is a joyous occasion.

I have always been curious about this holiday, and coupled with my love for Dia De Los Muertos artwork, and food such as that pictured above I do plan to visit Mexico during this time.

Holiday Hypermarket provides cheap holidays to Mexico along with many other popular destinations worldwide. If you are planning on travelling to Mexico I do suggest you have a look at what they are offering, and save yourself some money on your travel expenses, just click on the link provided in this blog entry. There are some terrific deals listed for this upcoming November.

Our thanks to our sponsor!

Permalink 09:51:22 am, by Email , 63 words   English (CA)
Categories: War And Conflict, Wordless Wednesday, British History

Wordless Wednesday - Knight

I had the creepiest feeling come over me when I snapped this pic at the Royal Ontario Museum. I have no idea why, but I honestly felt like "he" was going to turn his head around ,and stare right at me. Silly eh!

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

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

Permalink 09:46:41 am, by Email , 99 words   English (CA)
Categories: Holidays And Traditions

Gift Cards

Gift Ideas have been simplified with the introduction of gift cards in the 1990's. And now they have become even better with, which I had the pleasure of visiting earlier today.

These customized Visa gift cards allow for a much more personal gift giving experience while at the same time giving the recipient the ability to purchase something that they would really want, and will enjoy.

Have a look at the site by clicking on the link above, and check out the cool contest they are currently running for best holiday design!

Thank you to our sponsor!



Permalink 01:52:12 pm, by Email , 129 words   English (CA)
Categories: Book Reviews

The Miseries of Human Life

I came across this book at a yard sale this past weekend, and with a title like "The Miseries of Human Life" and a price tag of 50 cents I naturally could not resist.

Although this book was written over two hundred years ago, many of the "miseries of human life" that are listed by the original author James Beresford are still very much relevant today.

While it is true that many of the books written during the 19th century could be viewed as stuffy or overly long by the modern day reader I can assure you that this one is genuinely funny, and does give an interesting peak into life during that era, and how in some ways how little has really changed in regards to the human condition.



Permalink 10:52:17 am, by Email , 260 words   English (CA)
Categories: Murder & Mayhem, History In The News, Folklore And Superstitions, European History

Anna Goeldi - Last Woman Executed For Witchcraft In Europe

Anna Goeldi obtained the dubious honour of being the last Western European woman executed for witchcraft in Glaris, Switzerland in 1782.

Today the BBC featured an article on efforts being made to clear her name. Here is a snippet:

Fear and superstition fuelled witch-hunts all over Europe in the Middle Ages and caused the deaths of many innocent women. The last execution for witchcraft took place little more than 200 years ago but campaigners in Switzerland claim it may be time to clear Anna Goeldi's name.

To understand Anna Goeldi's story you need to go to where it unfolded, in the tiny Swiss canton of Glarus.

It is a long narrow valley, the mountains loom above, the villages are squeezed below into the spaces where the grey rock unwillingly makes way for earth and grass.

You get the sense, even today, that many of the world's events have passed Glarus by.

This was where Anna Goeldi arrived in 1765, looking for work as a maid.

One of the houses she worked in still exists. It is imposing, smug almost, four storeys high, with a grand doorway, and the crests of the noble Glarus families who lived there painted on its walls.

It is the first clue to Anna Goeldi's fate.

Full BBC Article Here

It is difficult to believe that this form of murder still continued long into what was considered the "Age of Enlightenment." Hopefully these efforts to set the record straight will give Anna the dignity in death that she was robbed from in life.

Image Credit & Resource on Witchcraft



Permalink 01:08:32 pm, by Email , 64 words   English (CA)
Categories: Odds & Ends, The South Pacific

Don't Let A Little Thing Like Death Get In The Way

Tautira beach in Tahiti

Chiefs of Tahiti continued to rule their kingdom for a full year after death. The embalmed body of a ruler was kept propped on a throne, and his orders were transmitted through a spokesman (telepathy? mediumship?. Apparently no one questioned these orders, and they were followed implicitly.

I wonder if this is what is going on with Castro?

Image Source

Permalink 09:44:41 am, by Email , 135 words   English (CA)
Categories: Institutions Of Higher Learning

Admissions Essays

Today I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you dear gentle readers an online resource for college application essays. Since the majority of our regular readers here at Pastyme with Good Companye are in fact students I thought that the website of Admissions Essays, and the services that they are offering might definitely be of interest to many of you! :D

I surfed through the Admissions Essays website earlier this morning, and must say I was impressed by what they offer including their competitive pricing. Since our post secondary education is so important to our futures, I do believe that any leg up we can get is a blessing. You can have a look for yourself, and obtain more detailed info by clicking on the link above.

Our thanks to our sponsor.

Permalink 12:41:38 am, by Email , 80 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture, The Ancient World

Muse of history

In Greek mythology, Clio or Kleio is the muse of history. Like all the muses, she is a daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. She had one son, Hyacinth, with the King of Macedonia, Pierus. Some sources say she was also the mother of Hymenaios. She is often represented with a parchment scroll or a set of tablets and is also known as the Proclaimer.

This came up in Jeopardy last week, and we were both stumped! :oops:

Source: Wiki Entry



Permalink 01:39:30 pm, by Email , 59 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesday, Central & South American History, The Ancient World

Wordless Wednesday - Machu Picchu

Yale University has agreed to return to Peru thousands of Inca relics that were excavated at Machu Picchu.I believe that this is absolutely the right thing to do, and applaud Yale.

(Image above courtesy of Yale Peabody Museum)

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

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



Permalink 07:21:47 pm, by Email , 263 words   English (CA)
Categories: Canadiana, Americana, Going From Here To There, Games & Recreation

Fixing little red wagons since 1917...

It's not a wagon if it's not a Radio Flyer.

So sayeth Sue... and many others.

A Wagon!

Certain toys have longevity and are known worldwide... and today, I saw one of them in action that doesn't get a lot of thought from the masses... and that's a good ol' Radio Flyer wagon.

I was standing outside waiting for a friend when a young lad and his mum walked by... him pulling a Radio Flyer wagon with the family groceries inside... and I got to thinking about how this scene has played out time and time again... all over North America... and remembered how I would haul cargo for my mom with my wagon too.

Antonio Pasin, recently come to America from Italy, started building toy wagons in 1917... by 1923, demand for his wagons made him set up the Liberty Coaster Company (named after the Statue of Liberty,) which mass-produced the No. 4 Liberty Coaster and set a tone for years to come...

In 1930, he renamed his company Radio Steel & Manufacturing and started making "The Radio Flyer"... based on Antonio's interest in the inventions and progressions in radio broadcasting and flight...

In a lesson of "Why Mess With Success?", Radio Flyers are still being produced by the original company and still sold all over the world... in fact, their website features a rather cool History and Heritage section!

A true original toy that, like so few others, has longevity! (Almost a century of it... and call it a hunch, Radio Flyers WILL celebrate their centennial!)


Radio Flyer - Company Website
MonkeyShine News - Radio Flyer History
Wiki Entry



Permalink 12:13:07 pm, by Email , 83 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture, Who Am I

Who Am I

I was born Israel Baline in Russia in 1888, but by five years of age I was singing for pennies on New York's Lower East Side. I began writing songs as a teenager. My first big hit was "Alexander's Ragtime Band," published in 1911.

Although I could play, and compose only in the key of F sharp, I became one of America's greatest composers. I think that my most famous song is probably "White Christmas."

Who Am I?

The answer is in the comments section.



Permalink 04:33:02 pm, by Email , 179 words   English (CA)
Categories: Canadiana, Arts And Culture, Folklore And Superstitions, The Ancient World

Atlantis In The Arctic?

Seems unlikely, yet there is a tradition that tells that the great lost continent of Atlantis is located in of all places the Arctic!

Plato's lost island kingdom pops up in Arctic waters in theosophical thought. In ancients times it is said that the First Root Race - an ethereal, invisible "fire mist" people lived near the North Pole. This was at a time when its climate was much less severe. W. Scott-Elliot, the English theosophist identified the sacred land of the First Root Race with the polar region and named it "Polaria."

In the 16th century, Gerardus Mercator fixed Atlantis in the Arctic on one of his maps, as did Abraham Ortelius on his world map of 1570. Later writers to envision an Arctic Atlantis include W.F Warren, Herman F. Wirth, Rudolf Gorsleben, and Siegried Kadner.

In Richard Hatfield's novel Geyserland (1908) the Atlanteans live a blissful life of pure communism at the North Pole!


Colombo's Book Of Marvels, By John Robert Colombo

Lost Continents, by L. Sprague

Fads, and Fallacies In The Name of Science, by Martin Gardner

Permalink 10:17:30 am, by Email , 84 words   English (CA)
Categories: General, Website Reviews

Argue With Everyone

History buffs that like to argue??? No kidding! :p

I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to the Argue With Everyone Discussion Forums. If you like political debate you will probably enjoy this site, which offers much of that sort of thing in an almost completely unmoderated board. Not for the faint of heart, but will be enjoyable for those who want open, and free debate.

Just click on the logo above to check out the forums.

Thank you to our sponsor!



Permalink 01:17:05 pm, by Email , 57 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesday, The Ancient World

Wordless Wednesday - Egypt

I would love to visit Egypt one day. It along with Greece is in my top 10 list of places, which are historically significant that I would like to travel to. Where would you spend a dream vacation?

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

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



Mummy Maiden Stirs Controversy

"La Doncella"

She was a 15-year-old girl whose remains were found in 1999 in an icy pit on Llullaillaco volcano. For the first time her mummy was put on display in an Argentina museum.

People were apparently quite shocked at how well La Doncella's mummy is preserved, and some even publicly denounced the display stating she should be reburied.

La Doncella was sacrificed along with two other children by the Incans around 1500 AD.

CNN reports on the display here.



Permalink 01:34:17 pm, by Email , 63 words   English (CA)
Categories: Kings And Queens

Happy Birthday Elizabeth Tudor

Her Majesty Elizabeth I Queen of England

In my humble opinion the greatest of all English monarchs.

- Born: 7 September 1533
- Birthplace: Greenwich, England
- Died: 24 March 1603

For an excellent resource on Elizabeth I please do check out this wonderful site I came across at Definitely bookmark worthy for those such as myself that LOVE all things Tudor, particularly Queen Elizabeth I.

Permalink 12:08:54 pm, by Email , 162 words   English (CA)
Categories: Holidays And Traditions

Holiday Shopping

Oh, don't you dare say "bah humbug!" Believe it or not I always start my holiday shopping early, and I utilise online shopping coupons to save as much money as possible on the gift giving. Both of these practices work to relieve my own holiday tension so that when they do roll around I can enjoy the season as stress free as possible.

So what do two amateur historians tend to give each other for the holidays you may be wondering????? Books of course!!!! ;)

Our combined holiday wish lists including many items from, and from Alibris. And yes there are many available Amazon coupon codes, and Alibris deals to save $$$$ with.

If I could do some dream gift giving though, it would definitely be an all expense paid trip to England to scope out all the great historic sites, and naturally I would use Travelocity coupons to make sure there was a lot of extra cash for souvenir shopping! Sigh......



Permalink 07:25:03 pm, by Email , 244 words   English (CA)
Categories: History In The News, Museums And Historic Sites

Where Have All The Craftsmen Gone?

York Minster's Great East Window

It appears that many historic sites are in jeopardy now, and in the future due to the lack of people who are skilled enough to maintain them. The BBC has featured a fascinating article on this subject that is entitled "Stone, wood and love." Here is a snippet:

Britain's historic buildings - some of the jewels in our architectural crown - are crumbling, not because of a lack of money, but because of a shortage of traditional skills.

Watch stonemasons at work and as you feel the tang of dust in your throat, hear the clash of metal and material and see objects painstakingly appear, it's hard not feel a certain frisson of magic.

Never mind shopkeepers, ours used to be a nation of trades people and craftsmen, but now it is easy to think those days are gone. When York Minster's spectacular Great East Window was recently found to be in a dilapidated state, there were no glass conservators in the country who could repair it.

Full BBC Article Here

This is not just an issue in Britain, but something we face in Canada too. Perhaps people should consider the earning potential of skilled craftsmen, and the very real demand for them that has been created over the past few decades as more, and more aspire to white collar work. Pretty much anyone can operate a computer these days, but how very few can actually do detailed stone work etc...



Permalink 01:00:36 pm, by Email , 35 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesday, British History

Wordless Wednesday - Forgery

Taken August 2007 Royal Ontario Museum

A clever forgery of the seal of King Henry VIII.

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

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



Permalink 02:23:58 pm, by Email , 64 words   English (CA)
Categories: Kings And Queens, History In Film & Television, British History

Nobody Does English History....... well as historian David Starkey in my humble opinion. The above is a promo clip from his series on English monarchy. Definitely worth seeing for anyone even remotely interested in this fascinating subject, and yes available on DVD. His series on Henry the VIII's wives is also must viewing, and part of my growing collection of history based documentaries. :D


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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