Modern Society

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

Kickstarter Campaign for Realistic Sword Combat Games

Neal Stephenson and the members of Subutai Corporation want your support to make a martial combat game that doesn't rely on pulling a plastic trigger to simulate sword strokes. The goal for the first iteration of the project will be to realistically simulate two-handed longsword combat.

Pennsic Mayor responds to concerns about Cooper's Lake hydraulic fracturing contract

The owners of Cooper's Lake Campground, site of the SCA's Pennsic War, have signed a mineral rights contract that allows hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") on the property at some future time. The contract has led to concerns from some Pennsic attendees, and a blog post by this year's Pennsic Mayor responding to those concerns.

Championshipship archery on YouTube

Archery enthusiasts may wish to watch a video clip, posted on YouTube, of the 2012 Indoor Archery World Championships in Las Vegas.

Tudor costumes and weapons stolen from Northampton re-enactor

The education of school children in Northampton, England will be poorer after the theft of a van containing costumes and equipment belonging to re-enactor Steve Parish. Parish, who runs Past Alive, teaches children about English history.

Swan Hellenic cruises are a history geek's dream come true

The cruise ship Minerva offers more than just sun and sea. With on-board historians, a 5,000 volume library, and obscure port locations, the cruise line offers dream vacations for history buffs who have time and a lot of money to spare.

Wiki for time travelers

Morgan reports that Mistress Eithni has created a new wiki for travel recommendations targeting the historically minded. The wiki includes travel tips, discussions, and a page for photos and videos.

"Disgusting attack" on York's medieval hospital appalls local police

"This is a disgusting attack on York's heritage and those responsible should be deeply ashamed," said a North Yorkshire Police spokesman about recent graffiti inscribed on the ruins of York's 12th century St Leonard's Hospital. (photo)

Gladiators banned from Colosseum

Performers dressed as gladiators will no longer be able to make money having their photos taken with tourists, according to city officials. NPR commentator Renee Montagne has the brief audio report for Morning Edition.

Living the monastic life at Penn

In a world where the college experience usually involves football and parties, students of Justin McDaniel's religious studies class at the University of Pennsylvania should expect something differrent: a firsthand experience of what it's like to be a monk.

Heart of St Laurence O'Toole stolen from Dublin cathedral

Police in Dublin, Ireland are puzzled by the theft of the heart of St Laurence O'Toole, a 12th century relic housed at Christ Church Cathedral. The heart, in a wooden box, was stolen March 2, 2012 when the protective metal bars were cut.

"Hunger Games" creates interest in archery

The hit film The Hunger Games, whose heroine is proficient with a bow, has sparked interest in the sport of archery.

Re-enactor with spear bashes bad guys

Rochdale, England pub manager and re-enactor Neil Ashton never expected to enlist his medieval skills to defend his home until two robbers climbed in a window, causing Ashton to reach for the nearest weapon, his six-foot spear.

From Electronica to Elizabethan

Damon Albarn, frontman of Blur and Gorillaz, is turning his attention to an even more arcane topic than animated musical monkeys: 16th century intellectural John Dee.

H&R Block offers donation program to SCA for new customers

Thomas W. Hughes, President of the SCA Inc., has announced that H & R Block, a major income tax preparation firm in the U.S., has agreed to make a donation to the SCA Inc. for each new customer who has the company prepare their tax return this year.

JStor to offer open access to its online database

Kevin Guthrie, the president of Ithaka, the nonprofit organization that runs JStor, the online database which archives 1,400 academic journals, has annouced that the subscription service will allow users to view 70 journals after registering with the website.

Knight of the Spreadsheet

Come tax season, many of us feel like we are going into armored combat. This is easy for Duke Maynard von dem Steine, featured in an advertising campaign for accounting firm Freed Maxick.

Child's burial slab missing from Herefordshire church

Police in the village of Foy, near Ross-on-Wye, England, are looking for a medieval burial stone stolen from St Mary's Church on January 5, 2012. (photo)

Wikipedia to cover life in Monmouth

Roger Bamkin, of Wikimedia UK, has invited the public to take part in an experiment: chronicle life in Monmouth. The online encyclopaedia will create Monmouthpedia, a site where citizens and visitors can "contribute articles and photographs on interesting and notable places, people, artefacts and other aspects of Monmouth life."

Soldiers, medieval and modern, in Kildeen, Texas

The Kildeen Daily Herald visited members of the Stronghold of Hellsgate as they displayed their fighting skills, armor, and other aspects of the SCA.

New comedy film features four Monty Python alumni

The new film Absolutely Anything, which begins shooting in the UK this summer, will feature Monty Python alumni John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, but it is a science fiction comedy, not Monty Python reborn.

Ealdormerian celebrates generosity in song

Inspired by the generosity of those donating to help fund the SCA's lawsuit settlement, THL Asa Gormsdottir of the Kingdom of Ealdormere has written a lovely song to honor their spirit.

Lawsuit Donations

The Board of Directors would like to express its gratitude for the generosity of the good people of the SCA.  We know many of you are holding fund-raisers and seeking ways to donate to the Society, thank you. We deeply appreciate all your efforts. We have had many e-mails, telephone calls and messages asking about donations.  Here are some guidelines for donating or sending money to SCA Inc.

13th century Scotland is closer than you think

Medieval Scotland can be closer than you think...in New York, for instance. A home inspired by a 13th century Scottish castle is up for sale in New City, New York, just an hour north of Manhattan.

A Challenge to all Houses in the Known World

In an open letter, Clan Marshin Fayne challenges households, clans, and other non-official groups to offer assistance to the SCA's official branches in meeting the financial stipulations of the recently-announced legal settlement.

Royal Shakespeare Company to create "portable" theater for London performances

Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Company is hoping to construct a "flatpack replica" of famous theater for use in large productions in London. The theater interior would be reconstructed inside an existing building.

Ozark Castle Closes?

It appears that the replica medieval fortress in Arkansas, being constructed using authentic techniques and materials, has run out of money and is closing.

Help with a quest: Battle of Nations Team USA

Bob Dionisio is funding for his attendance at the upcoming Battle of Nations where he will participate as part of Team USA.

Cooking historian Constance Hieatt dies December 29, 2011

The University of Western Ontario Department of English reports that Professor Emeritus, Constance Hieatt, has died at her home in Essex, Connecticut. A medieval scholar and a pioneer in the field of medieval cookery, Hieatt had just completed her latest work, Cocatrice and Lampray Hay: Late Fifteenth-Century Recipes from Corpus Christi College Oxford.

Bill mandates that New Hampshire laws cite Magna Carta

Laws in the United States are supposed to take their legal precedent from the Constitution of the United States, but a new law proposed by Republicans in New Hampshire would require all legislation find its origin in the 800-year-old Magna Carta.

Geek fun for 2012

KTVQ TV in Billings, Montana knows how to tempt a geek with a list of serious geeky dates and activities for 2012. Included in the list: ComicCon and the Pennsic War.