Modern Society

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

Wanted: People who make their own armor

Photographer E.F. Kitchen wanted to find "people who make or collect their own armor." She found them in the SCA and documented their work in her book Suburban Knights. Claire O'Neill of NPR's The Picture Show has the story. (photos)

From a falcon's eye view

Ever wish you could fly like a falcon? Now you can, with a little help from technology and the internet. Experts for the BBC have attached tiny cameras to the backs of a Peregrine Falcon and the Goshawk. The resultant video is amazing. (video)

Welsh folklore for the iPhone

iPhone users and British folklore enthusiasts may want to download the iPhone app for the Mabinogion, a cycle of Welsh legends collected in the 14th century Red Book of Hergest.

Midrealm Chivalry Calendar available online

The Honorable Lady Tyzes Sofia called Zsof reports that the 2011 Midrealm Chivalry Calendar is now available to order online from ArtFire.com. The calendar features photos of knights representing the Middle Kingdom's four regions.

Guide for a True Knight

The Imperial Constantinian Military Order of Saint George, which follows principles dating back to the Emperor Constantin, seeks to bring their ideals into the 21st century. One way is through the "Quest," the Thirteen Rules of Chivalry.

eBook sizes linked to sheep

In a recent article, Wired Magazine's Tim Carmody ponders the reason that eBooks, and other electronic gadgets, are the size that they are. His conclusion: Sheep.

Middle Ages: "the default historical playground"

The great interest in medieval themes by the public has led academics to create a new educational organization: The Society for the Public Understanding of the Middle Ages, which was formed during the International Congress on Medieval Studies to address how the general public views the historical period.

Monty Python fans flock like swallows to Doune Castle

Fans of Monty Python and the Holy Grail are expected to come from around the world to Doune Castle in September, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the movie. The 14th century Scottish castley features prominently in the movie.

Duct tape rules at the prom

Over 200 couples from the United States and Canada competed for scholarship money and $3,000 for their high schools in the latest The Duck® brand duct tape Stuck at Prom® Scholarship Contest. (photos)

Pennsic bumped forward in 2013 by National Fireworks Convention

Cooper's Lake Campground will play host to the National Fireworks Convention in August 2013, bringing $4.5 Million to Butler County, PA and bumping the Pennsic War forward to July.

Inspirational Equality -- An Tirians begin a movement to support same sex couples in Crown

A group of SCA folk in An Tir, led by Ariel de Courtenay and Master Eduardo Francesco Maria Lucrezia, are petitioning their Crown and the Board of Directors to allow same-sex couples to enter Crown Tournaments as contender and consort.

scacommunity.com launches new website

Christophor and Emily Wilson have spent the past six months coming up with the concept and direction of the newest website to bring the SCA community together.

SCA members create guild on World of Warcraft

Alastair Ronal Kester Aeyalweard has announced the creation of a guild on World of Warcraft for SCA folk who want to adventure together in cyberspace when they can't be together in person at events.

2010 Palio takes place in Siena, Italy

The Tartuca (Tortoise) neighborhood is the winner of this year's Palio, a bareback horse race that takes place in the middle of Siena, Italy.

Old state laws affecting homebrewers

For the first time in 22 years, there will not be a homebrew competition at the Oregon State Fair. This is because of an 80 year old law saying that homebrewed products may not leave the brewer's home. Oregon is one of several states with laws limiting or banning homebrewing.

"Convivencia" explored in Second Life

In 2007, Rita J. King and Joshua Fouts collaborated to create Al-Andalus, a virtual Alhambra, on Second Life, in order to explore the concept of Convivencia, the "Spanish term for the harmonious 'living together' of Muslims, Christians and Jews in the southern Iberian Peninsula during the Islamic caliphat." (photos)

Medieval monks meet 21st century "vellum"

Guttenberg on the iPhone? Really? The Bavarian State Library has released an iPhone app that allows users to download and view rare manuscripts. (photo)

Brave belly dancer "had the bigger knife"

When a would-be robber tried to steal the purse of Yuma, Arizona belly dance instructor Zarmineh Moody, he got a big surprise: her 25-inch Turkish scimitar trumped his knife.

Pennsic Featured in Broad Street Review

Kristen Eaton has written a column on Pennsic for the mundane arts and culture site Broad Street Review.  "To me," she writes, "[Pennsic is] a cross between a university history department, a theater, a really great pub, and a really bad frat party."

Midrealm baron to champion cancer research at Pennsic 39

Baroness Maerwynn of the Barony of Brendoken in the Midrealm has announced that her lord husband, Baron Einar Blakklar, will take on all comers to raise money for cancer research.

"Salamander" published online

Salamander, a new fantasy novel written by David Friedman (Duke Cariadoc of the Bow), is available online.

Steampunk new outlet for costumers and reenactors

Steampunk has caught on in Australia, just the latest of a series of "dress-up" activities such as LARPing or the Society for Creative Anachronism. Rachel Wells of The Age (Melbourne, Australia) has the story.

Huge collection of books on period subjects to be auctioned

In the fall of 2009, the Viking Society for Northern Research received a huge windfall when Professor Peter Foote died, leaving his library of Viking and medieval-related books to the Society. By his request, the collection will be auctioned to raise funds.

SCA scribe settles suit over stolen artwork made into T-shirt

Maestra Lucia Bellini, a scribe in the Barony of Windmaster's Hill in Atlantia (Triangle Region, North Carolina), announced today that she has come to an agreement with an unspecified manufacturer over the use of artwork of hers that they made into a t-shirt for sale at Wal-Mart stores without her knowledge or consent.

A Zero Waste Pennsic

Sharon Gordon has a radical idea: A Zero Waste Pennsic, one where the SCA's huge annual event does not add to the local landfill as well as the local economy.

Midrealmer semi-finalist in modern equestrian contest -- needs our help to win!

THL Serena Kimbalwyke (Sheri Israel) is a semi-finalist in a contest to be named web correspondent for the upcoming World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. SCA members can help by casting a vote for her online, and the deadline is July 12.

Fool loses head in Washington

Ah, the beleaguered life of the fool! The Onion reports that "Motley, the official White House Jester, was beheaded Tuesday after delivering a poorly received jape about the spiraling national debt before President and Mrs. Obama."

Mounties learn from the SCA

Everyone knows that SCA members are always glad to help. In 2003, SCA members in British Columbia, Canada helped the RCMP riot squad train in crowd-handling techniques. (photos)

Shakespeare thief goes to trial

A book dealer is on trial in England for stealing a valueble first edition foilio of Shakepeare's plays. The book, which was stolen from Durham University, dates to 1623 and once belonged to Bishop of Durham John Cosi.

Geek accused of boffer terror at G20 in Toronto

Brian Barrett of the fantasy role-playing group Amtgard was on the way to an event bearing the tools of his trade - boffer swords, nerf arrows, and homemade armor - when he was waylaid by authorities enforcing security at the G20 conference. Police searched him at gunpoint and confiscated his armor, weapons, and shields.