Articles - Social Sciences / History

Comments, views and articles related to historical research, historic events and personal views related to history as a science.

The Citroên - Haardt Trans-Asiatic Expedition - It is quite an experience to travel by truck, and drivers have a whole and fascinating subculture of their own; sometimes, overlanding or navigating with trucks over terrain becomes quite difficult and dangerous.

Henry the Navigator - Dom Henrique de Avis was born on March 4, 1394; until his death on November 30, 1460 he achieved many things of importance for the history of mankind; he was a Prince and an explorer, and he is still remembered as Henry the Navigator.

Captain Frederick Melchior Raphael, Fallen at Spion Kop - Frederick Melchior Raphael was the son of George Charles Raphael and Charlotte Hanne Melchior, and grandson of Lewis Raphael and Rachel Mocatta; he was born in a family of bankers and financiers but chose to have a military career. That ended with his life when he was only thirty years old, during the Boer war.

Skowronek the Horse and Skowronek the Bank - If you like horses, perhaps you have already heard of Skowronek, the stallion bred by Count Józef Potocki in Poland and later purchased by Lady Wentworth; what you probably don't know is that at the time the horse was foaled, in 1909, my family was in apparently making a deal for a contract marriage between my grandmother, born in 1908 and the family of the Count.

The Skowronek Bank Robbery - In Dec 1915, Shlomo, my great-great grandfather, was shot in the neck as a band of eight thieves entered his bank at 5 Elektoralna st. in Warsaw. Two of his sons, Abraham and Motyl started shooting back, the police came, and after a few moments, three robbers, a passing-by 14-year old girl and a policeman died; Shlomo Skowronek died two days later.

The Gamble Of The Conquistadores - The Spanish Conquistadores or conquerors are a prime example of what means betting your life to an idea: they literally abandoned the world they knew and their prior life in order to win a prize or die trying to.

Games And Sports Unite... Or Divide - A couple of decades ago, two countries in Central America went to war because of a football match; Honduras and El Salvador waged a real war because of the way in which twenty two men with a round ball and a referee could not play well. Not exactly what one would expect from a friendly match.

The Easter Massacre - The plague has been ravaging the city of Lisbon since January, it was Easter, 1506 and people blamed the Jews for it; some survived hiding in the homes of people who offered help to them or by fleeing the city, but after two days, more than two thousand men, women and children, and even their pets, have been murdered, including João Rodrigues Mascarenhas, the uncle of Maria Andrea Mascarenhas, my 13th great grandmother.

The Real Jud Süss - The Nazi propaganda film Jud Süss was loosely based on the real life story of the life of Joseph Süss Oppenheimer; a masterpiece of hatred brainwash anti – Semitic pseudo art.

What Makes The Difference In The Air? (I) - All thorough history there have been seemingly good or bad airplanes, but what really makes the difference is the pilot.

Survival History: The Construction Of The Burmese Railway (I) - The history of the construction of the Burmese railway tells us that true Survivors know that opportunities never disappear, but just go elsewhere, with someone else.

Dom Lopo Vaz de Sampaio, Knight, Explorer, and Governor of India - The father of Dom Iago de Sampaio y Belmonte dedicated his life to maritime exploration and trade between Portugal and the Far East during the XV and XVI centuries.

Saul, King for a Day - Saul was one of the sons of Samuel Judah Katzenellenbogen, the Rabbi who helped Prince Mikolaj Radziwill return to Poland from Italy after all his belongings were stolen; Saul was also elected king for one day.

The Baluchitherium of Chapman Andrews - The idea that monsters do exist comes probably from the finding of fossil remains long before their original was scientifically explained for the first time, around 1850 when the science of palaeontology was born, but aside from the fact that we know the origins of those bones turned into stone, they don't cease to fascinate us. Moreover: dinosaur fossils are extremely valuable, surpassing millions of dollars in net worth.

Science Or Scavenging? - The most extraordinary way to win the lottery - or something like that - is to find a new or valuable fossil from an unknown or barely studied species: A well-preserved dinosaur skull can easily command prices ranging into millions of euros, but that's not necessarily good for science.

Lessons From Karal (I) - The real estate business is probably one of the oldest in human existence and it is here to stay; regrettably, wars are here to stay too, most of the times provoked by territorial disputes despite that archaeology proved that things could have evolved otherwise.

Meet The PA-11 Cub Special (I) - The PA-11 is not the most powerful Cub, neither the most advanced, but it is for many the epitome of all flying machines.

How To Use Wood In A Camp Or During A Survival Situation - Wood can indeed be used to start fires, but that is not the only way in which you could make use of it in the wilderness; on the contrary, there are lots of things that you can do with this natural resource.

The Casino Of Meteorology And Life On Earth - If you think about thunder and thunderstorms, far from seeing them as threatening, you should see that they are beneficial and luck bringers; without them, life on Earth would have never appeared or developed.

The Treasure Ships - Only few times you will be able to get significant prizes without significant efforts: during the thirteenth century China had the most advanced naval and marine technology in the world, and as the ancient nation was attempting to expand its dominions and power, it began to develop oceanic commerce but had to make very significant investments in engineering and the construction of enormous shipyards.

The Phoenician Explorers - Phoenicians had a natural gift for business, but dedicating yourself to commerce in those days required an adequate combination of natural commercial instincts indeed, with the addition of exploratory abilities as well as military and combat skills.

Guerrilla Warfare As Survival Tactic For Feeble Nations - The invasions of France and Germany against Russia, the Napoleonic occupation of Spain, the Vietnam war and the conflict in Iraq demonstrate the great vulnerability of military superpowers thorough history.

The Story Of Captain Tarapow And His Icebreaker - April 2007: A fire develops on board the A.R.A. Almirante Irizar, a massive ship and the only icebreaker in the southern hemisphere; everyone abandons the vessel, except the captain; the ships seems to hang on, as well as the captain.

The Heterodoxy Of Hawaii - Contrarily to common beliefs related to the islands, the original physiognomy of Hawaii was very different to today's popular images, and there are other weird things related to them that only a few know.

The Nature Of Gambling Is The Nature Of Humans - Within the context of our society many different forms of betting, gambling, bidding and winning prizes have evolved over time.

Is The Quest Of Alchemy An Impossibility To Explore? - Alchemists dedicated their lives in order to attain two main goals: eternal life and a method to produce gold; according to our current knowledge in physics and chemistry, both things are unattainable but is that so or is it that nothing is impossible?

They Way In Which Hittites Cured All Evils And Infections - The quest for truth, happiness, the prediction of the future and the fight against infections and all sorts of evil have been part of our human culture seemingly for ever; spiritual cures for physical problems are also survival tools.

Food And Gunpowder - Did you know that it seems that there is a connection between eating and the discovery of gunpowder?

Gun Ownership Is A Natural Right - Stating that people should not have guns goes against human nature and turns those who accept that principle into cattle, it goes against nature and is a principle that will never succeed.

The Survival Of Tyre - Tyre is an ancient city in southern Lebanon that can teach us a lot about the survival of its inhabitants as well as the town itself.

Ungrateful To Phoenicians - The countries that exist today in northern Africa, including Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Egypt have within their territories very significant archaeological and historical sites that tell a lot about the first cultures and civilisations that occupied the area long before the Christians or the Islam.

The Unsolicited Economic Growth Of Tibet - Today, Tibet is experiencing a fantastic growth of its economy, bolstered by the Chinese miracle, and everything seems to be okay, according to the authorities in Beijing, but is this really what Tibetans want?

The Survival Of Tyre - As the history of Phoenician cities like Tyre prove, with a little ingenuity even sand can be used as a weapon for survival.

The Purple Of Tyre - If we ponder a little about those animals that have proved to be very valuable to humans we would probably think about cattle, horses, or pets, but few know that a couple of rather smallish gastropods from Mediterranean shores have been as valuable as gold since ancient times.

Color photohistory (I) - Though the invention of photography had an immediate impact on the whole art & culture world at this time, but the early photographs were all in monochrome.

Bet Till You Drop... Some People Really Meant It - Clippers going from China to the UK competed ferociously against each other, and when steamers were finally ready for oceanic travel, people began betting on them too!

Sometimes You May Hit an Empty Jackpot - Sometimes the most coveted things prove useless once people get them, either because the really worthwhile thing about coveting something was the desire itself, but not the object; and sometimes the problem lies in the fact that people believe untrue things about what they covet and want.

Forever Dice - One of the things that was believed to be the cause of the Black Death was sin in all its forms; and one of the sins was of course, gambling, especially dice games of various forms, which were commonplace in crowded streets and dark corners of every kind.

Horses And Entertainment Thorough History - Since the time of the Accadians, horses have been pets, machines, and entertainment stars.

A Brief History Of Keno - How governments can behave in a very strange way when it comes to define gambling, betting and playing games in general.

How Religious People Learned To Gamble And Avoid Taxation - One of the ways in which commoners sought to acquire fortune bypassing the economic system of late medieval times, taxation and other kinds of fines, bribes and so on was by gambling.

The Origins Of Equestrian Competitions - The first competitions involving horses go back to the advent of the light chariot, especially as related to its military uses and the need for training both charioteers and horses.

The Origins Of Naval And Marine Technology - The construction of boats and vessels is tightly related to survival as well as to exploration and the progress of mankind.

Situations in Which Laws Become Worthless - Law and order should be maintained even during emergencies of any kind, but those in charge of doing so should also understand reasonably that human nature has indeed some limits, especially when and where there is an exacerbated survival instinct.

Stories About Our Natural History - One of the topics that fascinated me the most was the history of Earth, and this is why here I present you some links to pages where we tell about things that might seem as mere details to some, about the evolution of some species and changes in our world, but that in reality, show the unsurpassable elegance of things.

The History Of An Aristocrat's Game: Baccarat - Even the Church went into the gambling business for a while, as people preferred to throw dice and use cards instead of going to mass, and little by little certain games evolved and began to take shape, and one of those was an Italian game that we today know as Baccarat.

Is There A Parallel Between Medieval Christian Society And Today's Islam? - For some, this comparison can be derogatory or even insulting, but it seems that at least, medieval Christianity and present-day Islamic world can be compared, or at least comparisons are tempting.

How To Create An Effective Security Force - It is a mistake to assume that security levels could be increased just by improving the equipment of security, military and police forces.

Are muzzleloaders useful as survival weapons? - Old-fashioned, black powder, muzzle-loading muskets and weapons of similar technology are being used today just by a handful of old-time enthusiasts, but they can also be valid as par of your survival gear.

Jungle Factories: The Local Production Of Expedient Weapons - There are many interesting cases of more or less clandestine weapons factories and those that managed to produce useful and novel ideas in weaponry despite very difficult circumstances and scarce resources.

The Successful Jungle Factory - The production of clandestine weaponry in the so-called 'jungle factories' - but indeed, it is not mandatory that such factories actually be in the jungle or any other particular environment - is a characteristic of mature guerrilla or irregular forces fighting in a long-term conflict. The appearance of such miniature industrial plants is also typical among well-organised resistance forces in invaded territories, and de facto autonomous regions.

STEN: The Stench Gun - This British design of a submachine gun that appeared in early WWII was loathed by troops but had a very significant impact on the weapons industry and is perhaps the best example so far of something that can be produced to replenish the arsenal of any fighting force, no matter how dire the conditions for its survival in the battlefield are.

The Black Market - One of the consequences of the prolongation of any sort of state of exception or survival is the apparition and development of the black market; survivors and survivalists should know what it is and how to operate because having to participate in it may be a probable scenario.

Some Stories Of Bootleggers, Smugglers And Entrepreneurs Of The Black Market - Why study and learn what an assortment of crooks id in the past? Certainly, not to applaud their crimes but knowing a little bit more may help us learn a little bit more about urban survival techniques, what works, what doesn't work and why.

Rationing And The Black Market - Rationing is a technique used to distribute food and goods for survival needs when normal distribution chains are broken; rationing cards are a classic of urban survival scenarios, as well as authoritarian and inept regimes.

A possibility that should not be overlooked in the framework of study of urban survival: Governments may turn against their own people. - It might seem inappropriate, subversive, exaggerated or apocalyptic, but even democratic governments sometimes turn against their own citizens and act in order to persecute them; thus, if you study urban survival techniques you have to at least account for this possibility.

Is patriotism good for survival? - In this regard we will have to become a little Macchiavellian because when the topic of patriotism is usually considered, it is done from an emotional perspective; but in order to find out if patriotism helps or doesn't do so for your survival, particularly in urban or combat scenarios, we will have to get rid for a moment of our feelings to try to see the matter objectively.

USGS Astrogeologists Contribute to 'Moon in Google Earth' - Astrogeologists at the U.S. Geological Survey here provided critical data sets used in the latest release of planetary exploration tools from Google, Inc. The updated software enables users to explore the moon in high detail, including the Apollo 11 landing site.

Urban Survival: Institutions May Not Tell You Always The Truth - If we remember cases like those of ENRON or Mr. Maddoff, and if we think that both private and public institutions should have audited their activities and accounting books, it becomes immediately apparent that government and non government institutions may not tell the truth when it is not in their interest; there is no need to believe in any conspiracy theory because proof is there.

Gold And Jewels To Guarantee Your Financial Survival - When someone open an ancient Egyptian tomb or finds some sort of treasure, things of great archaeological and historical value are usually found, but there is something else there, a lesson for anyone trying to find out the safest investments that are possible, because such pieces, aside from their uniqueness, are still valuable for the intrinsic material of what they are made of.

Palestine and Israel: Surviving Genocide or Just Exaggerating? - Certain rather nasty terms became common after the Holocaust of WWII; words like genocide and euthanasia became common in everyday language, but the fact that they have very serious undertones means that they should be used them with more responsibility than what is common today, in situations that some people want to compare with what happened during the Nazi regime, probalby to dillute their own guilt or responsibility.

NOAA: Past decade warmest on record according to scientists in 48 countries - Earth has been growing warmer for more than fifty years - The 2009 State of the Climate report released recently draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years.

Regions / Patagonia / Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia - Did you know that Patagonia actually had a King? He was no madman, no dreamer, but a true King.

Survival / Survival Tales - Articles telling histories and tales about real survival experiences.

Anthropology and Sociology - Articles and texts on Anthropology, Sociology and subjects related to the behavior of the human being in general.

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Literature, Tales and Stories - Thoughts, reflections, aphorisms, phrases or simple short stories and fiction.

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