History Schmistory: August 14. Can’t get enough (US) Football?

1959: Founding of the American Football League (AFL), which lasted 9 seasons, then merged with the NFL as the AFC. The XFL wasn’t so lucky. Remember that? What a joke!

By Keith Allison [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Keith Allison [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

History Schmistory: August 13. Getting a-head

1792: King Louis XVI is arrested by the National Tribunal and declared an enemy of the people. When faced with the guillotine, he asked if they could just take a little off the top.

By Georg Heinrich Sieveking (http://www.uncp.edu/home/rwb/louis16_execution.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Georg Heinrich Sieveking (http://www.uncp.edu/home/rwb/louis16_execution.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Marco’s List of Interesting Castles

1. Alnwick Castle
Location: England

Alnwick Castle was home to Earls and Dukes for 700 years. Around 1096, Yves de Vescy became baron of Alnwick and created the foundational parts of the Castle. During the 17th century the castle started to decay until Elizabeth Seymour and her husband decided to restore it and hired architects to make it gothic style. It was later changed from gothic style to what it is now. The site is actually one of England’s largest inhabited castles and has been used for multiple movies. Some of these include Harry Potter, Elizabeth, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Ivanhoe.

2. Mont Saint-Michel
Location: France
Mont Saint-Michel is located on an island in France, with unpredictable tide patterns (Victor Hugo described it to change, “as swiftly as a galloping horse”). In 708 St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, heard Archangel Michael telling him to the build the church. Later, the abbey that was built closed and became a prison during the French Revolution of 1789. There isn’t much that connects the island to the mainland, but thankfully a bridge is in the works! Also, for you Lord of the Rings fans out there; Minas Tirith (Gondor) was actually modeled after Mont Saint-Michel!

3.Predjamski Castle
Location: Slovenia
What is it? A castle built in the mouth of a cave in Slovenia. The name sounds complicated but it means, “Castle in front of cave.”Not very creative…but that’s okay. The cave that the castle is built in is actually Slovenia’s second largest cave system.

Here’s a snippet of its complicated history:
A 15th century infamous robber named Erazem, owned the castle. The emperor Gasper Ravbar sent an order to assassinate him. Erazem was killed in 1483. The castle ended up in the hands of Archduke Charles of Austria in 1567. Baron Philipp von Cobenzl ended up buying it from him 20 years later. In 1570, the current castle was built in the Renaissance style, pressed next to a vertical cliff. Later, a few Yugoslav Communist authorities decided to nationalize the castle and turned it into a museum. In 1986 the castle was used in the movie Armour of God starring Jackie Chan. The castle was also featured in Syfy’s Ghost Hunters.

4. Castle Frankenstein
Location: Germany

Castle Frankenstein has a haunting appearance to it. Did the castle’s history inspire Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein? The answer is uncertain but after reading a little more, you can decide that for yourself.
Castle Frankenstein has had many inhabitants dating back before 1250. However, one of the more notable residents would be Konrad Dippel. Konrad Dippel was a scientist and alchemist who spent his life searching for the Philosopher’s Stone. He was also said to have practiced the Dark Arts and rumored to have stolen dead bodies in order to attempt to reanimate them.
Before you go and cast judgment on the man though, I’ll add that he was originally a priest who got on the church’s bad side by practicing science. It is said that the Church started the dark rumors about the man.
Mary Shelley did visit the castle and knew the stories of Konrad Dippel. Castle Frankenstein’s appearance isn’t grand or elaborate, but its history alone makes up for what would appear as dull.

5.Château de Chillon
Location: Switzerland
Located on the shore of Lake Léman, Château de Chillon is Switzerland’s most visited historical monument. With over 1,000 years of history, the site has inspired artists and writers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo and Lord Byron. Lord Byron actually wrote a poem titled, The Prisoner of Chillon about Francois de Bonivard, a monk who was imprisoned at the castle. The castle is made up of 100 separate buildings that were eventually connected to become one single monument.

Didn’t see one of your favorite castles on the list? Leave a comment and let us know!

Ludicrous Latin: Eamus navis maiore indigeret

“We’re going to need a bigger boat”

'Jaws' by Kevin Dooley, https://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/, CC BY

‘Jaws’ by Kevin Dooley, https://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/, CC BY
















Speaking of sharks, anybody else excited about today?

History Schmistory: July 31. Houston, the Nina has landed.

1498: Christopher Columbus and crew arrive in Trinidad. What do they bring back? …Syphilis.
'Columbus landing at Trinidad', From Famous Voyagers and Explorers, 1893, The British Library [public domain]

‘Columbus landing at Trinidad’, From Famous Voyagers and Explorers, 1893, The British Library [public domain]



Ludicrous Latin: Duplicem Somnium Pedum

Double Dream Feet!    …never gets old :)

History Schmistory: July 30. “Eat it, gravity!”

1918: The first parachute jump from a perfectly good aircraft, performed with flair by Frenchmen Sarret.
Here goes nothing!  V.Leers (De prins der geillustreerde bladen) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Here goes nothing!
V.Leers (De prins der geillustreerde bladen) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ludicrous Latin: Eamus nocere quidam

We are going to hurt some people.

History Schmistory: July 29. The Final Frontier…

1958: President Dwight D. Eisenhower eagerly signs a federal statute that creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

To infinity and beyond!   By Bill Ingalls [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

To infinity and beyond!
By Bill Ingalls [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons















Sadly, they were never able to get him back to his home planet.

Ludicrous Latin: Facio is opus

Make it work!

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