Category Archives: History

Momotaro: Sacred Sailors (Review)

In 1945 the first ever Japanese feature-length animated film was released, funded by the Japanese Naval Ministry as a tool for propaganda. As an anime fan with a keen interest in history, I couldn’t resist purchasing this as a special … Continue reading

Posted in Anime, Entertainment, History, Movies, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Abroad for Christmas #3

Alfred Basil Lubbock was a maritime author who fought in the Boer War, and wrote about his experiences in Round the Horn Before the Mast, published in 1902.  However, before being sent to the war, his ship was heading to … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Abroad for Christmas #2

The following quote is from Travels in Greece and Russia by the frankly magnificent author Bayard Taylor, published in 1859.  This man certainly knew how to live his life, and spent one Christmas Day in Lapland, travelling 40 miles across the … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Abroad for Christmas

American Quaker William Savery (1750-1804) was a notable abolitionist who travelled through Europe between 1796 and 1799.  His journal of travels was published posthumously, as A Journal of the Life, Travels, and Religious Labors of William Savery.  He spent one … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, History | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The First Trick or Treat

The origins of “trick or treating” are debatable, but can probably be dated back to one of various festivals and traditions from the middle ages in Britain. However, something strikingly similar and almost certainly unconnected can be found in the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Poetry, Random Chatter | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Pioneering Film

In the very early days of silent film, France and Italy were the big hitters in the industry, with British filmmakers struggling to compete.  In the 1st April 1909 issue of The Bioscope, the editor welcomed a production that could … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, History, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Board Game Tour of Britain: Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight.  We have a mission: to follow the route of an old 1940s board game around Great Britain, sticking to the instructions as closely as we possibly can. Along the way we will look at the history of … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Cthulhu and UFOs at the Nativity

UFOlogists over the years have pored over the finer details of Renaissance art, looking for evidence to support their cause, and recently I have been having fun taking a scalpel to their findings.  The example I am going to look … Continue reading

Posted in Art, History | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Spaceships at the Crucifixion

Once again I am indebted to a good friend for bringing another interesting painting to my attention, one that has fascinated UFO enthusiasts who went looking for historical evidence.  So here we have a 1350 fresco from the Visoki Decani … Continue reading

Posted in Art, History | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Original Foley Artists

Until the late 1920s films were all silent, with musical accompaniment generally provided live by a pianist. You might have seen clips of silent films with some very clichéd music playing on a hideous honky-tonk piano, such as Mysterioso Pizzicato … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, History, Movies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Pliny’s UFO

Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia is a fascinating piece of work, displaying an understanding of the world that seems remarkably ahead of its time. The first book concerns what we could broadly term astronomy. I recommend reading the whole text, … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, History | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The UFO Baptism

My article about UFOs in Rome provoked an interesting discussion among my friends, and I am indebted to one of them for sending me this image: It was sent as an example of the possibility of UFOs in art, and … Continue reading

Posted in Art, History | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

UFOs in Rome

When you look at lists of UFO sightings through history, one of the events that makes the list is recorded in Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita (The History of Rome), and took place in 218BC.  You tend to just see the … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, History | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Film Rights War

In the very early days of cinema there was nothing in the way of regulations to protect the interests of the film-makers. As cinema became more and more popular, this became an increasing problem. Films were sold to theatres to … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, History, Movies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Lost

Looking back through some old Bioscope magazines, covering the early days of cinema, there are plenty of references to films that were made to pull in the punters at Christmas.  The following quote is from the 5th November 1914 issue: … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, History, Random Chatter | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Cat Returns

Studio Ghibli don’t really go in for sequels.  They could be forgiven for doing so.  Spirited Away won an Oscar, but never got a sequel.  Several other films are ripe for a sequel, My Neighbour Totoro in particular.  But the … Continue reading

Posted in Anime, Entertainment, History, Movies, Reviews, Studio Ghibli | Tagged | Leave a comment

Spirited Away

OK, this one is going to require a different approach.  Up until this point I have been writing about Studio Ghibli films that a good proportion of readers won’t have seen, and some will not have even heard of, but … Continue reading

Posted in Anime, Entertainment, History, Movies, Reviews, Studio Ghibli | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Princess Mononoke

We are only one film away now from Studio Ghibli’s big Oscar-winning moment, but Princess Mononoke was the studio’s breakthrough in terms of international recognition. It goes without saying that it was hugely successful in Japan, virtually all the Ghibli … Continue reading

Posted in Anime, Entertainment, History, Movies, Reviews, Studio Ghibli | Tagged , | 1 Comment

City of Death

The appreciation of art can easily be extended to film and television.  It is not a giant leap to interpret Doctor Who as art, and more than once a story has actually taken a work of art as the starting … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Doctor Who, Entertainment, Fourth Doctor, History, Reviews, Science Fiction, Television | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Talons of Weng-Chiang

The Talons of Weng-Chiang is a fabulous Doctor Who story, brilliantly written, dark and scary, with some of the best acting performances in the whole of Doctor Who, and a double act that was memorable enough to justify 14 box … Continue reading

Posted in Doctor Who, Entertainment, Fourth Doctor, History, Reviews, Science Fiction, Television | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment