Monday, 26 January 2015

Updates! And blegging!

A while ago, I posted about an upcoming exhibition of early modern dresses in Nuremburg. I've since received an update about this - it will start in December 2015. You can read more about the exhibition here.

Also, it's time for me to bleg again...

Together with a colleague, Gillian, whom I met in Leeds, I've been working on a book about medieval England these past years. The book is going to give an overview about England from c 1050 to 1315. We have tried hard to write a book that gives enough detail for those readers who would like to use medieval England as a basis for their own projects - such as a medieval-based fantasy world, or writing a historical novel, or getting started with Living History.

We're now actually in the last stage - copyediting, getting the last few stray bits and pieces in line, and... illustrating it. We have the opportunity of putting pictures into the book, even colour pictures, which is just wonderful. The only drawback? Our deadline is approaching, fast. And we need to get the illustration done double-quick...

A while ago, I've already gotten a few gorgeous pictures for the book, but there are still quite a few topics that are not covered. We would love to have pictures that show actual live persons using good-quality replicas of stuff from England (or non-regional things), from the time-span 11th to very early 14th century. Daily life scenarios, craftspeople doing their work, children playing, any combination of things that actually existed and were used and people using them would be helpful, whether secular, religious, or military. Good pictures of just tools and maybe half-finished products would be very welcome as well.

So... if you have a photo, or several photos, that fit the bill and you would be happy with them being published, please send it to me at And we will be ever so grateful for your help!

Friday, 23 January 2015

Thank goodness it's Friday.

It's really about time for the weekend to arrive! Which is really obvious by the fact that this morning, and this noon, completely got away from me (by being filled with stuff that had to be done) and I almost forgot I hadn't blogged yet.

To top things off (or to top them under?) I don't even have a nice amusing link for you. I can tell you, however, that my yoga mat still has a slightly rubbery smell (especially when freshly cleaned and hanging to dry in the bathroom), that the cat insist on sleeping on the Most Patient Husband's desk chair (which is no problem during the day, but leads to mild conflict when he's home in the evening and actually dares to sit there) and that having ample tea standing beside me is helping immensely with everything. Hot motivational beverages for the win!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

The European Union... explained.

Have you ever wondered about that thing called the European Union? Here's a nice video that explains it all.*

* More or less.

Speaking of the EU, there's news about the VAT stuff. Here's a roundup on how the start of the new rules went - not pretty. However, there's still some hope: There will be a meeting of the EU VAT Action group with Donato Raponi (yay!), and they are assembling case studies for this, so if you are affected by the rules, that's your chance to get heard. There's also an Action Challenge currently running - go here to get challenged.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Where you can help, part two.

After the more depressing please-help thingies I posted yesterday, here is a different one where you can help. I've stumbled across this through the chat on HabitRPG (I posted about this before, here) and it's an absolutely fascinating project - though if you want to join in, it will take a few hours of your time.

Voices, like fingerprints, are something deeply personal. For a lot of speech-impaired people, though, there are communication machines with only very few standard voices to choose from. VocaliD is a project that aims to remedy this, by blending the sound characteristics extracted from sounds the speech-impaired person can make with the (missing) rest of the voice-forming properties from an actual human voice. And you can actually become a voice-donor and help with that!

Rupal Patel explains it all in much more detail and depth in her TED talk. Which I found deeply touching - she really does bring the point across that a voice is a deeply personal thing.

If you are game to help now, you can go visit VocaliD and support them. For the moment, they are recording English speakers, but my guess is that if this works nicely, there will be a demand for other languages as well (and also, maybe, more than one language spoken by a single person).

Monday, 19 January 2015

Where you can help, part one.

Sometimes it feels like things are trying to fall to pieces, or go pear-shaped, in nicely regular intervals. These days, though, there's the Power of the Internet that can be harnessed to actually change some things...

so if you have a few minutes to spare today, maybe you are willing to help with these?

First, the biggest issue. There's been ACTA and TTIP, and now it seems to be time for the next one: TISA. Just like the last ones, it has been mostly discussed behind closed doors, and just like the last time, it's high time for us to protest such lovely and helpful ideas as privatisation of water supply or passing bank data on to other countries (at least that's what has been hinted at). I'd say no thanks! (Whatever things are being discussed really, just the fact that it's being done behind closed doors is enough for me to feel uneasy about it.)

There are petitions in Switzerland and Austria as well as in Germany, if you search for "stop TiSA" on the 'net. You can sign for the German version at Avaaz, or at, or at both if you're so inclined. Please help also by spreading the word.

A little smaller, but also in need of signatures is this petition against a very serious budget cut for Swiss archaeology: The government is cutting the budget for archaeology in the Kanton Schaffhausen by more than half until 2018. More than 70% of the regular job positions will be terminated and fixed term positions will not be renewed.  This will be a massive loss of work capacity - and means that it will not be possible to get the necessary archaeological work done. Please sign the petition against this and help keep archaeologists in their (very rare) full-time jobs!

Friday, 16 January 2015

Superheroes, Renaissance-Style.

A friend sent me this link to a gallery of superheroes (and supervillains) re-imagined as Renaissance portraits.

In other news from hereabouts, I'm drinking herbal tea, I was just compelled by Neil Gaiman to back a music project on Kickstarter (I blame Twitter for that), and I finally took the photos necessary to update the shop with oillight wicks and hemp strick. I'm working on it now, so the things should be up and available by the early afternoon. Also there's some editing work hanging out here and calling for my attention... which it shall have. Soon.

Good thing it's Friday, and the well-earned weekend is approaching fast!