The Forgotten Medieval Habit of ‘Two Sleeps’

 

Nearly 300 years later, in the early 1990s, the historian Roger Ekirch walked through the arched entranceway to the Public Record Office in London – an imposing gothic building that housed the UK’s National Archives from 1838 until 2003. There, among the endless rows of ancient vellum papers and manuscripts, he found Jane’s testimony. And something about it struck him as odd.

Originally, Ekirch had been researching a book about the history of night-time, and at the time he had been looking through records that spanned the era between the early Middle Ages and the Industrial Revolution. He was dreading writing the chapter on sleep, thinking that it was not only a universal necessity – but a biological constant. He was sceptical that he’d find anything new.

So far, he had found court depositions particularly illuminating. “They’re a wonderful source for social historians,” says Ekirch, a professor at Virginia Tech, US. “They comment upon activity that’s oftentimes unrelated to the crime itself.”

But as he read through Jane’s criminal deposition, two words seemed to carry an echo of a particularly tantalising detail of life in the 17th Century, which he had never encountered before – “first sleep”.

Perhaps insomnia is normal?

Source: The forgotten medieval habit of ‘two sleeps’

May 1: Victims of Communism Day | Ten Films to Honor the Dead | MissLiberty.com

Every May 1st for the last several years, Ilya Somin has written an editorial for the Washington Post declaring the “May Day” so beloved by the Left to be renamed “Victims of Communism Day.” I concur, and so, while socialists blissfully celebrate their worker’s paradise this May Day, indifferent to the human cost of their political philosophy, I propose that well-meaning people consider watching a film on the subject, both out of respect for those lost and to be intellectually armed against the ignorance of those still in denial. Here are some recommendations.

Remind yourself and others of what the Democrats have in store for you. They may call it the ‘green new deal,’ or ‘critical race theory,’ or ‘climate change,’ but it’s the same old Communism espoused by Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Chavez, Maduro, etc. They are on record as wanting you dead if you don’t submit.

Source: May 1: Victims of Communism Day | Ten Films to Honor the Dead | MissLiberty.com

Today In History

3 Jan 1892: English writer J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, is born in Bloemfontein in what is now South Africa. He died in England in 1973.

Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks to the Law School

So the Founders decided to take a gamble. They called it a great experiment.

They would leave “the People” broad liberty, limit the coercive power of the government, and place their trust in self-discipline and the virtue of the American people.

In the words of Madison, “We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves…”

This is really what was meant by “self-government.” It did not mean primarily the mechanics by which we select a representative legislative body. It referred to the capacity of each individual to restrain and govern themselves.

But what was the source of this internal controlling power? In a free republic, those restraints could not be handed down from above by philosopher kings.

Instead, social order must flow up from the people themselves – freely obeying the dictates of inwardly-possessed and commonly-shared moral values. And to control willful human beings, with an infinite capacity to rationalize, those moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s will – they must flow from a transcendent Supreme Being.

In short, in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people – a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and man-made law and who had the discipline to control themselves according to those enduring principles.

Source: Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks to the Law School

The Battle of Tours

It seemed that Muhammed and his successors did not understand that “Jihad” meant internal struggle over oneself and that “Islam” meant “peace” and the meaning of “submission” was one’s own submission to Allah. They apparently thought “Jihad” meant real war against unbelievers, using real swords and spears, leaving real dead and mutilated bodies in its wake and the “submission” was forcing those not in Islam to submit to it. But what did they know? They only founded the religion or followed in the footsteps of the founder.

Need another Charles Martel to hammer the Moslem nail… hammer it all the way to Mecca.

Source: The Battle of Tours

Soldier of Fortune: John Smith before Jamestown

Mercenary, pirate, Turkish slave…

Most of what we know about Smith’s life before Jamestown comes from his The True Travels, Adventures, and Observations of Captaine John Smith (1630). He provides such a daredevil account of his life that critics have sometimes accused him of exaggerating his exploits. But by comparing Smith’s own account with letters and documents of the time, scholars such as biographer Philip Barbour have confirmed his story and clarified it. It is an amazing story.

Source: Soldier of Fortune: John Smith before Jamestown

The Cost of Bad Intentions

Shriver and like-minded policymakers designed programs far more ambitious than those of the New Deal liberalism that had characterized the Democratic Party since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s election in 1932. Though the New Deal vastly expanded the government safety net, it still recognized a connection between work and upward mobility and viewed government’s role as that of a temporary helper when someone was truly down and out. The officials behind the War on Poverty, by contrast, saw the poor as powerless, crushed by economic and cultural forces that could be overcome only with massive government help. Instead of temporary aid, welfare would now be a right, which the poor were entitled to receive, and benefits became far more generous, so that, by the late 1970s, welfare payments and other government aid now brought in about as much money as low-wage work.

Read the whole thing.

Source: The Cost of Bad Intentions

Navigating to the Moon — Remembering the Apollo Sextant

The Apollo sextant was used in Earth and lunar orbit, as well as while en route between Earth and the Moon. It played different roles in each of those contexts: in orbit around Earth or the Moon, the sextant could be used to compute the spacecraft’s altitude and position; whereas in transit between Earth and the Moon, it could be used to compute the spacecraft’s attitude (orientation), position, and velocity. A proper attitude during the flight to and from the Moon was critical for accurate course corrections and burns to reach the Moon and correctly insert the spacecraft into the desired lunar orbit. The device was used repeatedly throughout the Apollo program across many phases of the missions, up to and including re-entry.

Pretty impressive advanced technology! Also shows how the basics will never be outdated.

Source: Navigating to the Moon — Remembering the Apollo Sextant