Modern Society

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

Nice legs!

The latest fashion look for the Spring/Summer 2010 season: Warrior Chic! Armored jeans feature shiny metal plates on the knees, shoulders and elbows.

Vermont mayor injured in mock joust

The Mayor of Barre, Vermont, decided to have some fun at the town's Heritage Festival and joined in a "pedestal joust" using padded weapons. Unfortunately, His Honor took a tumble and broke several ribs.

Dinner at Olde Hansa

Planning a visit to Estonia? You might want to stop by for dinner at Olde hansa, a medieval-themed restaurant "established to honour the Hanseatic League and our forefathers and foremothers." (video)

Pennsic 38 Blood Drive: Be a Hero, Save a Life at Pennsic War

Baroness Angelique d'Herisson, Pennsic Blood Drive Liaison, requests the attention of Pennsic attendees for an announcement regarding this year's Pennsic Blood Drive.

Roman road being destroyed by 4x4s

The last remnants of a Roman road from Wandlebury to Horseheath, England are being destroyed by trail bikers and 4x4 drivers who using it as a race track.

Pub evacuated due to Holy Grenade of Antioch

The bomb squad was recently called to a pub in Shoreditch, east London when workers from the water company discovered a suspicious object. Such an evacuation is not an unusual occurrence in today's terrorist-conscious world, but these workers must not have been fans of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Kissing Wench learns "What Not to Wear"

Atlanta administrative assistant Ariel Stewart's clothing decisions are "a little eccentric" according to her mother and roommate who recently turned her in to TLC’s What Not to Wear makeover program. Ariel. AKA “Ruby Two-lypps" is one of the Georgia Renaissance Festival’s Kissing Wenches.

A Viking dreams of home

Ray Hamaker has dreams of being a Viking. He shares them in a promotional video for the Granlibakken Resort in Lake Tahoe. The video is on YouTube.

LOL in the SCA

No one ever said people in the SCA didn't have a sense of humor. Now the Middle Ages meets the Age of Twitter with I Can Haz Anakronizum? on LiveJournal. (PG-13 for language).

Mediaeval Bæbes release 6th album

Fans of the classical crossover group Mediaeval Bæbes will be happy to learn that the female sextet have released their sixth album, Illumination.

Viewing Giotto through modern eyes

An article on great works of art for the UK's paper The Independent discusses how works of art from the past are viewed through modern eyes. Included is The Lamentation of Christ by 14th century Italian master Giotto, whose angels seem to zoom about like jet planes. (photo)

Pennsic War may lose post office

Mistress Zaynab Yasmine bint Hasan, and other members of the Spalding Abbey Philatelic Society, report that the United States Postal Service may cut costs by eliminating the Pennsic Station. For years, this service has been a Pennsic landmark, appreciated by merchants and the populace alike. Mistress Zaynab is asking for help to try to save the station.

Under Armour recalls athletic cups, citing potential injury hazard

Under Armour, manufacturer of a line of athletic garments popular with SCA martial participants, has recalled over 200 thousand athletic cups because they may break under stress and cause injury.

Medieval design could be eco-house of the future

Engineers and architects at Cambridge University have constructed a prototype "eco-house" based on a 600-year-old design. The plan uses a domed technique developed in Spain called "timbrel vaulting" which retains the sun's heat and cools naturally in the summer. (photo)

Tournament of the Nerf

You've heard all the warnings from your mother: "Don't hit your brothers with a stick!" "Stop swinging that sword around in the house." Well, now you can! Nerf has created the N-Force sword: sturdy enough to be fun, but harmless enough to not do any real damage. ARS Technica has a review.

Earthquake takes lives, damages treasures in central Italy

Tragedy struck central Italy April 7 when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake toppled ancient and modern buildings in the medieval city of L’Aquila. Over 200 people lost their lives, and the earthquake damaged nearly all the historic buildings of the town. (video)

Winter woolies

What do you do when the calendar says it's spring, but a glance out of the window says it's still winter? You put on a sweater and hope for the sunshine. But what if you are a sheared sheep...?

Byzantine bathhouse excavation continues during rocket attacks

Archaeologists are working amidst rocket-fire to complete the excavation of a Byzantine village, complete with a large bathhouse, near Gaza in Israel. Because of the existence and size of the luxury bathhouse, experts believe that the area was inhabited by wealthy residents.

Promwear for the creatively-minded

Want to get "Stuck at the Prom?" Enter Duck Products' annual duct tape promwear contest! View previous entries and get all the rules online.

"Militas Christi" to premiere in North Carolina

Duchess Seonaid ni Fhionn reports that Militas Christi, a film made by senior students at the North Carolina School of the Arts Film School, and featuring SCA members, will premiere May 29, 2009 on the University of North Carolina School of the Arts campus in Winston-Salem, NC.

Thousands of historical documents lost in building collapse

The City Archives building in Cologne, Germany collapsed unexpectedly on March 3, 2009. Six stories of archival storage were destroyed, including documents dating from the 10th century and the minutes of Cologne town council meetings recorded in an unbroken line back to 1376.

3M™ introduces "Nuclear Grade" duct tape

For fighters who are concerned about the vulnerability of their current weapons wrap, the 3M™ Company has introduced Performance Plus Duct Tape, described on their website as "nuclear grade."

Plenary Indulgences again available in the Catholic Church

In 1517, Martin Luther denounced the selling of indulgences by the Church, setting off the Reformation. Now the modern Catholic Church is reinstituting the practice.

SCAdian the inventor of S.P.E.A.R.

Baron Josef Donnerbauch (Simon Rohrich) is a Renaissance man. In addition to his passion for the SCA, his Excellency has invented S.P.E.A.R., the Self-Propelled Electronic Armored Rack, "a compact data center on wheels." Jamie Peachey of the Phoenix New Times has the story.

Mongol invasion via Playmobile?

Parents of young children know that Playmobile, out of Zirndorf, Germany, has a seemingly endless supply of small, plastic figures to purchase including knights, Romans, pirates and ponies. Now they have added what appears to be a Mongol.

Quest for the holy G

Gatorade has taken on an ambitious project: create an online parody of Monty Python and the Holt Grail complete with NBA star Kevin Garnet as King Arthur, a basketball-shooting wizard and a talking goat.

SCAdian is "lyrical rocker"

Shava of Northshield reports that SCA member Thora Hrafnsteinn Ornolfsdottir, known in the modern world as Andrea Potts, has produced an album of "original alternative lyrical rock."

America's oldest free library may close

Out of our time period, but a sad commentary on the financial crisis in the United States: Delaware County's Darby Free Library (Pennsylvania) is one of eleven libraries destined to close their doors due to lack of funding. The library "is believed to be the oldest continuously operating public library in America."

Breakfast under siege!

Does your morning repast need a little more excitement? Perhaps you should consider Ivo Vos's Trebuchet Toaster which will launch "the finished product to your plate."

"Murder" at the re-enactment

A fall 2008 Civil War re-enactment in Virginia went terribly wrong when a Yankee cavalryman from New York was shot and wounded by a .44-caliber ball from an 1860 Army Colt pistol.