Modern Society

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

Medieval beaver to be reintroduced in Wales

The beaver, extinct in Wales since the 12th century, is being reintroduced to Machynlleth, Wales. The European beaver was prized for its fur and the medicinal qualities of its glands.

Stacking the shelves

Midrealm Kingdom Chronicler and librarian geek, Mistress Siobhan O'Neill, shares a longed-for method for organizing your bookshelves. (video)

Evildoers beware! British heritage police are on the job!

Thefts and vandalism of historic British landmarks has led English Heritage to team with police chiefs in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset to create a new police force to guard historic sites.

Elizabethan theaters and the Internet

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Scott Turow, Paul Aiken and James Shapiro ponder the connection between “cultural paywalls,” public playhouses, and the free sharing of creative content on the Internet.

Knitting improves behavior in English schoolchildren

British schoolteachers have a new defense against the cellphone: knitting. A program to teach knitting to elementary age schoolchildren has reaped surprising results, including improved behavior.

Urban SCAdians live by the sword

The National Post has a chat with Nicolaa de Bracton and other members of the Canton of Eoforwicof (Ealdormere), mundanely Toronto, Canada. The article discusses various activities in the SCA and how the SCA has to alter some aspects of the middle ages to accommodate safety and modern concerns.

Google Maps error reignites medieval border dispute

In the latest in a series of Google-driven international incidents, Google Maps gave the German port city of Emden to the Netherlands. The exact location of the border has been disputed since the 15th century.

Medieval siege in Cairo?

The recent political protests in Egypt have brought together strange bedfellows, some of whom must have included engineers, according to photographer David Degner, who caught a group of protesters using a siege engine.

Young Viking raiders bring shock and awww to English town

In honor of the 26th annual York Viking Festival, local school children have put on their Viking gear and invaded the festival, spreading fear and cuteness throughout the land.

Wearable art comes to Arizona

Medieval and Renaissance costumers may want to dust off their best garb and enter the Fashion Fantastico, a wearable art show which will take place May 13, 2011 at the Avondale Sports complex in Avondale, Arizona.

Borders to close over 200 stores

Borders, the second largest bookstore chain in the United States, has filled Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close at least 200 of its 642 stores. The company cites competition from such companies as Wal-Mart and Amazon.com as the reason for the bankruptcy.

Hunting and falconry law changes proposed in Virginia

Britton reports that Delegate Harvey Morgan of the Virginia legislature has proposed a change to laws affecting the practice of falconry and hunting with dogs.

Cannabis catapult hurls pot over the Mexican border

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents and Mexican authorities have joined forces to intercept a catapult used by drug smugglers to hurl pot from Mexico into Arizona.

Red Cross takes aim at Robin Hood

The British Red Cross has threatened a Scottish production of the pantomime show 'The Magical Adventures of Robin Hood" for placing a red cross on a nurse's costume.

Persimmon dye from ancient Korea finds new foothold in modern world

Galot, fabric died with the juice of unripe persimmons, likely originated in Korea in the 15th century and became the mainstay clothing of farmers and fisherman. Largely lost to the centuries, a fashion designer is reviving the art on the resort island of Jeju.

Latin lost language in Iowa

"We’ll come to Xavier if you teach us Latin." said the granddaughters of Justin Kramer, who is teaches the language at one of only two schools in the state of Iowa."

Equestrian statues come to life in Rome

Michelanglo's statue of Marcus Aurelius, sculpted in the 1530s, features a horse with "a strong build, a broad chest, thick manes and tails, and robust legs," the same characteristics of modern Maremmano horses, believed to have descended from the emperors' mounts.

Roman soldier tweets hopes and fears for school kids

If they had had them, the Romans would have used them -- cell phones, that is. Now a group of British schoolchildren will have the chance to follow the "hopes, fears and experiences of a fictional 26-year-old Roman soldier called Marcus" on Twitter.

SCA "bad citizen" opens coffee shop in Missouri

SCA member Mark Abbott is a bad citizen, at least according to a Hallsville, Missouri Alderman, when the local lawyer applied for a permit to open a bar in town. Jodie Jackson Jr. of the Columbia Daily Tribune has the story.

Harry Potter flies into the classroom

With Quidditch teams forming on college campuses, it was only a matter of time before Harry Potter entered the classroom. This year, universities in the United States and England are offering a variety of classes based on the popular series.

Knit Your Bit for WWII vets

The Knit Your Bit knitting program was established by the National World War II Museum to provide warm, handmade scarves for WWII veterans in veterans homes across the country. All needleworkers are encouraged to participate.

Glamping: the new trend in tent camping

Those who enjoy luxury in their camping may want to take a look at the Tiny House Blog which discusses "glamping," the new term being used for upscale — or glamorous — camping. (photos)

Medieval scholar focuses on modern romances

Most professors of medieval English literature read Chaucer or Boethius, but one scholar is setting her sights on a far more mundane subject: the world of modern "bodice-rippers".

Modern world heraldy in Canada

Canadians who wish to own their own official heraldry may apply directly through the Canadian government rather than going through the British heraldy offices.

Designing with Duct Tape

Scotch® Tough Duct Tape has teamed up with Instructables.com for the Duct Tape Tough Contest, a challenge to create a project for Instructables involving duct tape in some way. Contest deadline is November 28, 2010.

Controversy continues over alleged theft of SCA member's article

Dona Illadore de Bedegrayne, mka Monica Gaudio, received a partial apology from Cooks Source magazine editor Judith Griggs, but the firestorm continued amid allegations (by others) of a pattern of bad behavior. A deeper apology followed, and Cooks Source has changed its editorial policy as a result of the incident.

Longtime SCA member pens romance novel set in SCA

Romance author Jamaica Layne (the pen name of journalist and playwright Jill Elaine Hughes, who is known in the SCA as "Lady Marissa de Courette") has written a contemporary romance novel set in the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Sir Terry Pratchett granted Arms in England

The Armorial Bearings granted to Sir Terence David John Pratchett of Broad Chalke, Wiltshire, Knight, OBE by Letters Patent of Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms dated 28 April 2010 are illustrated in the September 2010 Newsletter of the College of Arms.

SCA author alleges theft of article by print magazine

In 2005, Monica Gaudio wrote an article entitled A Tale of Two Tarts for Ice Dragon and allowed it to be published on the Godecookery.com website. Recently the entire article was published without permission in Cooks Source Magazine, producing an explosion of commentary on the Internet.

TV show gives boost to declining castle

"Downton Abbey", a hit British TV series about the lives of a noble family on the eve of WWI, is having an effect far beyond television ratings. The show is set at the real-life Highclere Castle in Berkshire, England. The castle is deteriorating and it need of costly repairs.