Why ISIS Killed an Antiquities Scholar

temple to BAAL -- gone.ancient tombs in palmyra  -- goneFor a half-century, Khaled Asaad devoted his life to the antiquities of Palmyra, a UNESCO Heritage site located northeast of the Syrian capital, Damascus. A scholar of Aramaic, Asaad wrote extensively about pre-Islamic life in Syria and was a fixture of international archaeological conferences. Unfortunately,  the … Continue reading Why ISIS Killed an Antiquities Scholar

The garden bee from Cousin Hattie

Now, Ellen, stop screaming and running away,And come here and listen to me;Is it true, my dear daughter, I want you to say,That you're foolishly scared by a bee? The bee is as frightened as you are, my dear, For he can't tell the way to get out;And as for his sting, that you never … Continue reading The garden bee from Cousin Hattie

Bran Castle Transylvania, Romania

Bram Stoker's Dracula was inspired by Vlad Dracula, a 15th-century prince known for atrocities such as impaling his enemies on stakes. Although it is known that Vlad spent at most a few nights at Bran Castle, that hasn't stopped the steady flow of Dracula buffs, who come from all corners of the world to explore … Continue reading Bran Castle Transylvania, Romania

Lviv Ukraine

 Lviv has had many names:  in Polish it's Lwów, German Lemberg, Russian Lvov. Now it is part of the western Ukraine, on the Roztochchya Upland. It was founded in the mid-13th century by Prince Daniel Romanovich of Galicia, and historically been the chief centre of Galicia, that region that now separates Ukraine and Poland.Its geographical position controls … Continue reading Lviv Ukraine

Death Becomes Her

from the UK Spectator, July 26 2015Not content with Facebooking our every foible, Instagramming the births of our children and live-tweeting our daily lives, more and more of us are now making a public spectacle of dying. We're inviting strangers not merely to 'like' expertly filtered photos of our breakfasts, but to admire the way … Continue reading Death Becomes Her

The Silver Bullet: Werewolves, Miracles & Martinis

silver bullet, n.[' A bullet made of silver. Freq. with reference to the folk tradition that such a bullet can harm a werewolf (or other supernatural being) whereas an ordinary bullet cannot.']Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌsɪlvə ˈbʊlᵻt/,  U.S. /ˌsɪlvər ˈbʊlət/Etymology: <  silver adj. + bullet n.1Here is something about how silver bullets both CREATE and DESTROY witches from the American Journal of Folklore … Continue reading The Silver Bullet: Werewolves, Miracles & Martinis

Hand of Glory, a macabre twist.

I was surprised what this word meant, and particularly how it was used. I would imagine it would work,  if only out of sheer fright but if you read on, it was supposed to make the holder invisible.Hand of Glory, n.[' Originally: a charm made from or consisting of the root of a mandrake (see the … Continue reading Hand of Glory, a macabre twist.