Modern Society

Areas of interest in the modern political, legal, economic, and technological worlds, where such items bear directly on the living history community

"The Games Maestro" comes to YouTube

Craig Wood stars as The Games Maestro (The GM) in an online, musical series following the adventures of a D&D dungeon-master. The hilarious series has now been funded. The pilot is online, with future episodes coming soon.

Heather Dale needs your help

Canadian muscian and SCA member Heather Dale (Marian of Heatherdale) is seeking help from fellow musicians who post their music of YouTube. A video, (ironically posted on YouTube), sums up the situation.

The power of cheese

Travelers in northern Norway were inconvenienced recently when a truckload of burning cheese closed the Brattli Tunnel at Tysfjord. The fire continued for five days, releasing toxic gases, and making clearing the tunnel hazardous.

Chainmail comfort shoes

The perfect footgear to pair with your chainmail bikini, PaleoBarefoots offers customers the opportunity to have "100% protection and 100% barefoot feel."

Tolkien-inspired "Hobbit House" graces Chester County, Pennsylvania

A devoted collector of J.R.R. Tolkien memorabilia, having spent thirty years accumulating a private collection, wanted an appropriate house to showcase the collection. Architect Peter Archer overcame surprising engineering challenges to bring the house to reality.

University of Exeter app to bring Anglo-Saxon poetry to smart devices

Like Anglo Saxon poetry? The University of Exeter will soon have an app for that! An article for Phys.org writes, "The University of Exeter's Modern Languages department is working in collaboration with Antenna International to create the App which will reveal the secrets of medieval literature to a new audience."

Romans invade Burbank

Romans in Burbank, California? Why not? On December 15-16, 2012, French troupe Histore'Event will present Spartacus and the Roman Legion at the Equestrian Center in Burbank. Burbank Leader reporter L. Thompson has the story.

Spartacus online auction

On December 9, 2012, Webb's Auction House in New Zealand will host an auction of props and set dressings from the Starz television series Spartacus. Online bids will be accepted.

Star Wars illuminated

Fandom meets fantastic when artist Chey Chao used medieval illumination techniques to tell the story of Star Wars. The illuminations were created for a school project.

Robin Hood Land?

The city council of Nottingham, England and a private concern are at odds over plans to construct two major attractions honoring Robin Hood in Nottinghamshire. The city hopes to revamp the Nottingham Castle, while Discovery Attractions wants to build a UK£13m theme park near Edwinstowe. (graphic)

Denny's to offer Hobbit menu

In an effort to capitalize on the release of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, Denny's restaurant will offer a promotional menu tie-in. The menu announces the new cuisine with "Welcome to Middle-Earth's Diner."

Air New Zealand: the airline of Middle Earth

The folks at Air New Zealand prove their connection to Middle Earth and their sense of humor in a new safety video created to coincide with the release of the film The Hobbit.

Fly like a falcon

Falconers in Abu Dhabi have created a mini helmet cam designed to allow viewers to experience the flight and hunt of a falcon. A short video reveals what it's like to "fly like a falcon."

Garbed thieves rob medieval festival

On July 30, 2012, a gang of thieves in garb robbed organisers of the Medievales Europeennes de Bitche, one of the largest medieval festivals in France. The gang got away with 20,000 euros (US$25,000).

Theft of Codex Calixtinus alleged to be an inside job

Four people, including the former caretaker at Santiago de Compostela cathedral, have been arrested for the 2011 theft of the Codex Calixtinus Of Pope Calixtus II, a 12th-century collection of sermons and liturgical passages.

The Baroness who saved Star Trek

In the Kingdom of Caid, their Excellencies Mistress Flavia Beatrice Carmigniani and Master John ap Griffin are known as the former Baroness and Baron of the Barony of the Angels, but in other worlds, they are known as the driving forces behind the movement to save Star Trek.

Free medieval computer fonts

The website Fontspace offers a number of medieval or medieval-like computer fonts on their website. The fonts are available to download free with an account.

Authentic Austrian castle will take 30 years to build

A team of experts in Austria plans to construct an authentic medieval castle in the town of Friesach, using only period construction methods. The project is expected to take 30 years to complete.

Canadian knight promotes chivalry

"I am a knight. I'm trying to be that symbol of something that is incorruptible... and never to fail my duty, which is to be a knight and be good and be an example," said Quebec resident Vincent Gabriel Kirouac about his cross-Canada right to promote chivalry.

What's missing from Olympic fencing? Inigo Montoya

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die,” says Inigo Montoya in the Princess Bride. Joe Posnanski, writing on JoeBlog about the 2012 Olympic Games, laments that there was not more Inigo Montoya in the competition.

St Winefride's Well on your smartphone

Developers at the Centre for Advanced Software Technology (Cast) at Bangor University in Wales hope that their new smartphone technology will allow visitors to really enjoy the detail of the historic site.

Xena inspires modern armor design

The increase in the number of female soldiers in combat has prompted American engineers to design better-fitting body armor for women. Their inspiration: Xena: Warrior Princess, "with more curves in the chest and hips."

Using a fire extinguisher safely

While slightly off-topic, this blog article from ABC News could save a life, especially with Pennsic coming. The article by Elisabeth Leamy teaches How to Use Fire Extinguishers Correctly: Think P.A.S.S. (You do keep a fire extinguisher in your camp, right?)

Spring 2012: Duct tape at the prom

Spring is prom season, and for the 12th straight year, Duck Tape Brand has encouraged teens to use their creativity to win scholarships in the Stuck at Prom contest by designing innovative duct tape promwear. (photos)

Their homes are their castles

Across the United States, people have longed to live out their medieval dreams by owning castles, and some have achieved their dreams. Marti Attoun of American Profile has the story.

Online series filmed at Ozark Castle

Catherine Koehler reports that Epilogue, an online series dealing with plague and time travel, premiered on July 1, 2012. The series was partially filmed at the Ozark Medieval Fortress before it closed earlier this year.

Return to the Shire

Cassie Carpenter, a reporter for the Daily Mail, takes a look at the set of the upcoming Peter Jackson film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, set to be released December 13, 2012. The article includes a trailer for the film. (video)

Welsh castle fails to deflect 80's TV star

Knight Rider and Baywatch star David Hasselhoff has been visiting castles in Wales. Welsh news outfit the Caerphilly Observer tracked the star as he visited Caerphilly Castle, Cardiff Castle, and Castell Coch.

O Fortuna: What you think you heard

OK, it isn't period to the Middle Ages, but we all love O Fortuna from Carmina Burana, right? It's the soundtrack from Excalibur, after all. But do you know the lyrics? Or only think you do...

Lizzie Stark leaves Mundania

Freelance journalist Lizzie Stark wrote the book on LARPing, literally. Her Leaving Mundania explains the fantasy world of Live Action Role Playing games from D&D-types to Nordic avant-garde art LARP. She explains the appeal in a short video for the BBC.