10.30.15 The Jack Facts

Who’s Jack? And what’s up with the lantern? There’s a lot of ancient tradition involving scary lights at harvest time. Pre-Christian Europeans celebrated Samhaim, the autumn festival of the Dead, with bonfires and torches and other late-night illuminations. Samhaim was later displaced by All Saint’s Day, but the fascination with the afterlife continued, in the […]

6.27.14 Comedy of Horrors

This comedy of errors would be hilarious, were it not so tragic. It starts in 1894, in Serbia, with the birth of a sickly child. His parents name him “Gavrilo” in hopes his namesake angel Gabriel will save him. He survives childhood – barely – but never grows to full stature. Gavrilo also grows up […]

6.13.14 Inter caetera

The World Cup is upon us, and so of course we need a quick refresher course in Global Domination! But we’re not talking about team rankings, Messi versus Neymar, or the sinister mind of Sepp Blatter. We’re talking about…the awesome power…of the Inter caetera. Let’s return to the early 1400’s, when Europe is on its […]