Tag Archives: history of technology

Automata of the Middle Ages

This topic is one of the interesting intersections between my medieval research and my current research into Chinese technology. Some of the earliest known automated figures are clock jacks–figures that come out and do something when a clock strikes a … Continue reading

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Religious Influence on Medical Care, A Historical Perspective

A couple of recent court cases and the advent of recent changes to health insurance law have brought the issue of who controls the patient’s access to health care into the public mind, particularly in relation to religious freedom. Should … Continue reading

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The Tangle of Medieval Medical Thought

Now that Elisha Barber is out in the open, available in a bookstore near you, one of the questions I’m frequently asked is whether I have a medical background. The short answer is, alas, no–though I am fortunate to have … Continue reading

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To Know the Future

As you know, next week will see the launch of Elisha Barber, and with it, the culmination of a dream which will hopefully lead to many more. Will it be a success? The suspense is killing me! And it makes … Continue reading

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Handgun Control in Medieval Japan

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a nice exhibit of Japanese arms and armor. Toward the end of the exhibit hung two very elegant matchlock guns dating to the Edo period (the 17th century). A small accompanying sign stated … Continue reading

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Review: Songs for a Machine Age

Songs for a Machine Age by Heather McDougal My rating: 4 of 5 stars This book is a delightful journey through an unusual fantasy world where machines and magic co-exist. While I didn’t find the heroine initially engaging, her talent … Continue reading

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Deleted Scenes and Settings: St. Catherine’s Oratory, Chale, Isle of Wight

Every so often in my research I come upon a place or an idea so compelling that I must learn more.  Some of these places eventually become scenes, and some of those scenes, alas, end up on the cutting room floor.  … Continue reading

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