Modern Society

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

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.

Official London ale taster named

In a ceremony that dates back to the Middle Ages, 48-year-old chartered accountant Steve Williams was named London's official ale taster.

White Horse painted purple by vandals

Members of two groups that urge UK courts to take greater notice of divorced fathers' rights denied vandalizing the White Horse of Uffington with purple paint.

"Horrible Histories" author calls historians horrible

Terry Deary's Horrible Histories series appeals to schoolchildren by including disgusting and true historical details, such as the purpose of the Roman vomitorium. But the author finds modern historians even more nauseating than the Romans.

Hurling takes root in the USA

During practice, members of the Worcester Hurling Club hit a sliotar (ball) with their hurleys (stick). That's Worcester, Massachusetts, not England.

Conri Mac Eoghain to participate in USA National Gymnastics Championships

Don Eogan Ua Confraich of the Kingdom of Caid reports that SCA member Lord Conri Mac Eoghain has qualified to participate in the USA National Gymnastics Championships in Virginia Beach, VA in late June, 2010.

Questing for an equestrian dream

Equestrian blogger and SCA member THL Serena Kimbalwyke (Sheri Israel) has a quest: becoming a 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.

Church looks "good enough to eat"

Four years ago, Cwmbra, Wales resident Lynsey Gunn took a cake-decorating class at Torfaen council’s Croesyceiliog community education centre. Now she has created a fantastic sugar replica of Raglan Church. (photo)

[OUT] Gulf of Mexico Tournament

In 30 days (and every day) more crude oil will be washing up on the coasts of The Gulf of Mexico, threatening the livelyhood of fisherman, wildlife and sea life. The damage will affect everyone for years to come. If you are a little bit like me, you are heartbroken at the images of the birds, turtles, fish and dolphins among so many other including humans that are deeply affected by the Oil Spill.

Pennsic 39 Blood Drive - Be a Hero, Save a Life at Pennsic War

Baroness Angelique d'Herisson would remind Pennsic 39 attendees that there will again be a blood drive at the Pennsic War.

Ancient Welsh legends - there's an App for that

The Mabinogion, a series of Welsh stories first written down in the 13th century, are now available free of charge for iPhone.

Spanish pilgrim shrine blesses the Holy and the Digital

Don't have time to visit the shrine of Santiago de Compostela? Log in instead. "Armchair pilgrims" who cannot make the journey themselves now have the opportunity to light an electronic candle -- for a fee -- through a third-party website.

Oriental rugs from recycled plastic

Just in time for the camping season: oriental mats, for indoor or outdoor use, made from recycled soda and milk bottles (polypropylene). Rugs are available in 4' x 8', 5' x 8', and 6'3" x 9' sizes, at a cost of around $40. (photo)

House goes medieval

Fans of both the SCA and the Fox TV series House will be pleased with episode 17 of season 6, "Knight Fall," which begins with a battle at a Renaissance Festival.

Taylor Mali remembers a student warrior

Teacher Taylor Mali talks about a Viking ship class project and a special seventh-grader who died like a Viking warrior. The video is available on YouTube.

British fools seek political representation

A new political party is on the scene in Great Britain. The Tom Fool Party "aims to bring the spirit of the great British jester into the 2010 election campaign."

Escaping to the geek world of the SCA

In a recent blog, The Gauntlet explores the motives behind geeks and nerds, especially those in the Society for Creative Anachronism, who choose to "escape" from society to an ideal world.

Modern take on knightly virtues

It's popular in today's world of Twitter and Facebook to believe that the knightly virtues are stuff of history books or fairy tales. The website Chivalry Today thinks otherwise.

Connected History project offers help to historians

BBC Technology correspondent Mark Ward reports that a new search engine has been created to help historians find useful sources.

Why the Classics Still Matter

"What good does it do the reader to know that before battle the Romans often consulted a pullarius, a chicken-feeding augur? Such texts say nothing about modern life, critics say....But that's precisely the point."

14th century "piedfort" leads to prosecution of British woman

The controversy over the prosecution of a Ludlow, England woman who failed to report the discovery of a 14th century piedfort, a ceremonial coin, has led to claims of being "heartless authoritarians" against the officials. (photo)

"Line of light" spans Hadrian's Wall

As a kickoff for British Tourism Week, 500 volunteers illuminated the 84-mile Hadrian' Wall across norhtern England with a "line of light." (video)