Friday, April 10, 2009


Steve Muhlberger writes on his Early History Blog:

I am editing this month's edition of Carnivalesque, a blog carnival dedicated to pre-modern history. It should appear at this very spot on midnight of April 18. If you have seen some good blog material on ancient or medieval history in the last couple of months, I would appreciate a note and a link. Send your nominations for inclusions to Steve DOT Muhlberger AT Gmail DOT com.

Go. Submit.

Surcotes: another Vizinni Moment

Once upon a time, I thought I knew what a surcote was. First and foremost, it was a loose, sleeveless garment that knights wore over their armor from the 12th century through the 14th. Second, it was a loose sleeveless garment worn by women.

But when I looked at how the term was actually used in the Middle Ages, I found something different. Surcotes were rarely described in a military context. When they were, examples of sleeveless garments worn over armor were rarer still: a surcote might be worn without armor or beneath it.

And the far more numerous civilian references often explicitly mention sleeves. Chaucer's reeve wears a surcote, and the almost contemporary illumination of him in the Ellesmere Chaucer shows his surcote as a sleeved garment

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Delicious is a useful tool for getting more value from your web bookmarks. You can use it apply tags to your bookmarks, so you can later go back and access them by content. Also, you can see the web pages that other Delicious users have tagged with a particular topic. Also, if a particular Delicious user is tagging pages that seem interesting to you, you can arrange for updates on their new tags. Also, you can search all the sites that other Delicious users have tagged with a specific topic.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Titanic Hotelicopter

An incredible flying hotel has been announced by the Hotelicopter Company, based on the Mil Mi-12, because nothing says comfort like a a 1960s Soviet era airframe. Indeed, the luxury of Aeroflot in those years was matched only by its safety record. Looking at the design, I was struck by the resemblance to the visionary designs of Bruce McCall.

The luxurious interior is strongly reminiscent of the Yotel airport hotel chain. The Hotelicopter Company has clearly put all their resources into developing the vehicle, and boldly refused to accept the conventional overhead of a physical address or phone number.

The story has gotten a lot of online coverage, with thousands of sites linking to the story, but it is only now getting coverage from conventional newspapers. I think the difference in treatment highlights a key difference between old and new media.