All kinds of news!

Wow, today feels like it was a huge day for history related items! Maybe I just got lucky and ran into an unusual amount today, but I’ve chosen a couple things I think are worthy of putting up on the old blog here.

Pieces of the Voynich Manuscript have been decoded

If you’re unfamiliar with the Voynich Manuscript, it’s a document that carbon dates to the 15th century and is written in a language unfamiliar to any era experts. Named after the book dealer who found it – Wilfrid Voynich – The manuscript has befuddled researchers and crypt-analysts alike, and appears to be some kind of alchemist’s guide.

It was recently announced that professor Bax – a professor of linguistics at the University of Bedfordshire has applied the same analytical technique used by other lost language analysts like Young and Champollion who decrypted demotic hieroglyphics. The technique which was used was to look for commonly used names, and apply them where the language would have been used.

For instance, if you know that in the English language you can expect a common greeting followed by the name of who the letter is for, and that this will be the first thing in the letter, you can suss out what our common greeting would be “dear (so and so)”

Professor Bax was able to decipher two words so far: “Kantairon” and “Taurus” which indicate that previous theories that the manuscript was falsified may be incorrect.

At this point, only time will tell what the purpose of the Voynich Manuscript is, but the secrets are on their way to being solved!
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The US Army’s Treasure Room

According to Buzzfeed author Benny Johnson, the US Army does indeed maintain a repository not unlike the vast chamber of boxes shown in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

The so called “treasure room” is at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and holds  all manner of items from every conflict the US Army has participated in including weapons, uniforms, and even art. There are even original watercolors by Adolph Hitler himself.

These amazing items can not be displayed, however because of a lack of space. The good news is that there is currently a plan to build a museum, but the project is dependent upon obtaining funding. Be sure to read the buzzfeed article to see the amazing photos, and if you’re interested in the project to fund the museum, please see this link.

 

 

Andrew Jackson: The Bear (Part I)

Hey, who’s that guy on the 20? In honor of President’s day 2014, this episode kicks off a 3 part series on one of the most masculine US presidents there ever was. Impress your girlfriend by trying your best to emulate him while walking around your house by dealing out some raw justice and being lippy to British commanding officers!

If Andrew Jackson had been an animal….scratch that….Andrew Jackson WAS an animal. He was a bear of a man, and if you don’t believe me then have a listen!

 

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News: What happened to the Hunley?

Who doesn’t love submarines? The idea of being able to sink beneath the waves and explore the world below has a draw to it that calls back to our most basic instincts in the same way that flight does.

See, there are two questions that are asked of every new technology that has ever been created:

1) “How can I use this to make things go boom?”

and

2) “Can this be used for porn?” (although you can also extrapolate this question to be “How can I use this to find sexual satisfaction?”

The submarine was no different and so devoid of any practical applications for pornography or otherwise sexual satisfaction, the implications of using the submarine to make things go boom became a major draw for those with the dough to invest into the idea.

From this question sprung forth many concepts for a militarized submersible, one of them coming at a time when killing technologies were benefiting from the same mechanical precision as commodities like cotton – the industrial revolution.

This is where the C.S.S. Hunley comes in.

I have the Hunley on my list of topics to cover so I’m going to stay away from diving too deep (no pun intended) into this topic, but there has always been a bit of a mystery about what exactly caused the Hunley to sink.

There has been a flurry over the past 15-20 years over the discovery of a number of sunken vessels being found after generations have considered them lost to time including the C.S.S. Merrimac, and Blackbeard’s pirate ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. The C.S.S. Hunley was raised in 2000 and has been under intense scrutiny ever since coming to shore, but the reason for the sinking of the first effective naval submarine has been elusive.

As researchers investigate the remains of the crew, maybe soon there will finally be a definitive answer to the question: what happened to the Hunley?

 

Special Thanks

Now that we have this ship off the dock, I want to send out a HUGE thank you to these folks for helping give this podcast legs:

Kevin Beaty – Thanks a heap for the cover art! Napoleon probably never thought he’d have a pixelized representation of himself far, far into the future. But if he were alive today, I imagine he’d be as impressed as I was when I saw it.

Brian Hamilton – The hardest part of this has been finding a proper intro track, so thanks for taking the time to work with me to get it sorted out.

My wife Amanda – For supporting my habits and addiction to history enough to encourage me not to stop working on this project, and for graciously loaning her computer to the recording and editing effort. Life is a lot easier when you have a good partner in your corner.

Ryan Duff – Last on the list, but absolutely not least. Couldn’t have come this far without your help linking me up with some mad talent, and the hosting space. The thing I want to thank you most for though is for taking the time to hear out all the dirty pre-release cuts and give honest feedback. Finding friends willing to spend the time and dedication to quality control a friend’s project is a rare trait, and i’m deeply thankful I have a friend like you to do that for me.

 

Without any of these outstanding people, this podcast wouldn’t have made it anywhere. I’m lucky to have such a great support network to help make a project like this successful.

 

Thanks, yous guys!

The Secret Speech of Nikita Khrushchev

A lot has been said about the character of Nikita Khrushchev. Some people feel he continued the Soviet Union’s poor foreign and domestic policies into a new generation but politics aside, the fact that he had the guts to deliver such a damming attack on Stalin’s public and private character says a lot about Khrushchev: the man.

 

 

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