Modern Society

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

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.

Chainmail shows team spirit

Love your sports team? Show it in chainmail! That's what San Jose Sharks fan "Metal Mind" did with the creation of a chainmail Sharks jersey constructed of 23,000 rings of anodized aluminum dyed in the colors of the hockey team. (photos)

Viking fest named fourth in list of winter events

Up Helly Aa, the rousing Viking winterfest held each year in the Shetland Islands, has been named number four in a list of the ten best winter festivals compiled by the British travel publication Wanderlust. Stephen McGinty of The Scotsman has the story.

Secret weapon of athletes: Pickle juice!

Every athlete - be they football hero or SCA knight - knows the value of pickles and pickle juice as a "secret weapon" to balance electrolytes during intense exercise, especially in hot weather. Now a new study from Brigham Young University validates the folk remedy.

Good news for Pennsic 41: No more one-lane bridge

Throughout time immemorial, Pennsic-goers have contended with the traffic pileups at a one-lane bridge on Currie Road leading to the event site. That bridge is, finally, being replaced in the spring of 2012.

CNN recommends Known World Handbook as a useful gift for the geek in your life

What to get your medieval geek this Christmas? CNN recommends a copy of the Known World Handbook, or perhaps a rapier from Darkwood Armory.

Medieval reading list

What do you get for the SCAdian who has everything? More books of course! Medievalists.net presents a list of new books of medieval topics that might also make your holiday wish list.

Charles and Vlad: Royal cousins?

In a speech to help save the forests of Transylvania, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, revealed that he is related to Vlad the Impaler, the 15th-century Romanian warlord who inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula.

British Male Progeniture and Act of Settlement overturned

A vote by the 16 members of the British Commonwealth has allowed a daughter of William and Catherine the possibility to ascend to the British throne. The rule of male primogeniture, giving males precedence over females in British royalty, dating to 1689, was recently overturned.

Farewell to Anne McCaffrey

Anne McCaffrey, noted science fiction and fantasy author, died Monday evening, leaving behind a legacy of some of the best-loved SF/fantasy novels. She is most famous for her Dragon Riders of Pern novel, and the series that followed, blending the two genres. She was 85 years old.

The history of print comes full circle

First there was the printing press. Then the printer. Then the PDF, and then the e-book reader. And then there was...the printing press?  The Sacramento Public Library is about to become one of the few libraries in the nation to operate an Espresso Book Machine.

Own an "extraordinary medieval castle" in Italy

Southby's International Realty invites interested parties to purchase an "Extraordinary Medieval Castle" in Torino, Italy.

SCA issues press release concerning allegations against Mr. Fremon Seay

The SCA Media Relations Officer has issued an official statement concerning the recent police allegations that a man in the northwestern U.S. used simulated medieval weapons to abuse his daughter.

Investor wanted for £2m Hadrian's Wall project

Hadrian's Wall Heritage is hoping to attract an investor with the funds to construct a new visitor center at the Bowness House Farm in Bowness-on-Solway, England, the eastern end of the 84-mile (135km) Hadrian's Wall trail.

Armored women who mean business

The debate about the depiction of women's armor, whether in print, on film, or in reality, continues on the Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor website, which includes photos and artwork showing women with body parts actually protected. [PG-13: Language]

British defendent demands trial by combat over UK£25 fine

Leon Humphreys, of Bury St Edmunds, England, failed to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) that his Suzuki motorcycle was off the road, incurring a UK£25 fine, but instead of payment, Humphreys demanded the ancient right to trial by combat.

"Modern-day scribe" creates illuminated Tolkien

German art student Benjamin Harff spent six months creating illuminations and binding for a copy of author J.R.R.Tolkien's Silmarillion. The work constitued Harff's exam at the Academy of Arts. (photos).

Canadian Castle for sale: Dungeon included

For less than a cool CAN$1 million, you can own your own castle getaway, a short drive from the Canadian capital city of Ottawa, complete with "guard tower, battlements, dungeon, and a moat." (photos)

Trinity College less than impressed with Dr. Barbarian's academic credentials

Trinity College of Dublin, Ireland has removed a web page in its professor profiles section belonging to one “Dr. Conan T. Barbarian, B.A. (Cimmeria) Ph.D. (UCD). F.T.C.D. (Long Room Hub Associate Professor in Hyborian Studies and Tyrant Slaying).”

Michael S. Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, dead at 64

Michael S. Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg and inventor of the e-book, has died. His vision of seeing all literature made available for all people has revolutionized the way SCAdians and other amateur researchers gain access to data.

Fake 'gladiators' outside Roman sites run afoul of local authorities

Re-enacting can be a lot of fun, but it can also be lucrative if you happen to live near the Colosseum or other prominent Roman tourist attractions. Unfortunately, not all of the costumed characters are upstanding in their dealings.

Calligrapher to the stars

Professional Calligrapher DeAnn Singh has done everything from historic reproductions for movie sets to the personal scrapbooks of celebrities. She has been passionate about her work for 30 years, and practices both ancient and modern letters.

LARPers take on Hell in upcoming film

What happens when a gang of medieval LARPers summon a demon from hell? A comedy/horror film entitled Knights of Badassdom, that's what. View the trailer online. (PG-13)

The other big war

While the war between the East and the Middle raged on, another battle is took place near Hanover Germany, this one for a conquest of an mythical land. The Conquest of Mythodea claims to be the world's largest LARP.

Viking longship sails on "Wings of Hope"

Jack reports that he has uploaded two videos of the christening and launching of Calontir's cardboard longship as part of a fund raiser for the Wings of Hope charity.

Disney princesses get historical makeover

Anyone who loves, or interacts with, a little girl is bound to be familiar with the "Disney Princesses," the heroines of movies whose costumes have inspired many a Halloween. Now LA-based illustrator Claire Hummel reinterprets the costumes with an historian's eye.