Of all the possible things in the world you can find in your new home, none can be quite as unsettling as plunging a shovel into the floor of your basement only to have a child’s skull come rolling out.

That’s exactly what happened to Helen Weisensel. And it turned out that, yes, her home had been built atop an old, long-forgotten cemetery– one that archaeologists and local historians estimated to be among the earliest in Wisconsin’s Jefferson County, which would make it a good 170 years old. Meaning the spirits could have theoretically been restless over slavery, Native American atrocities, you name it.

Weisensel’s nightmare didn’t just end with the bones of a child being unearthed from beneath where she slept. First, there were the pesky – yet quite pertinent – inquiries from the neighbors.

“Everybody asks me … ‘Did you have weird things happen in your home?’ I say, 'No, my house is just fine,’” Weisensel said of her neighbors. And it’s really not a surprise that nothing weird had happened: She probably hadn’t made Them angry. Yet.

The 6 Creepiest Things Discovered by New Homeowners

Nisi Shawl Discusses Everfair, Diversity in Publishing, and Giving a Voice to Those Silenced by History

The novel-length debut of prolific short-story writer Nisi Shawl, Everfair is a complex steampunk alternate history of Belgium’s disastrous colony known as the Congo Free State. Shawl weaves together many diverse voices to invent a steampunk alternate history that honors those who died during King Leopold II’s reign.

We recently talked to Shawl about history, racism, writing the other, and the ethics of technology.


[mod note] This book is next on my MUST READ list!

Islamic State militants have destroyed a temple at Syria’s ancient ruins of Palmyra, activists said Sunday, realizing the worst fears archaeologists had for the 2,000-year-old Roman-era city after the extremists seized it and beheaded a local scholar. ….  Activists said the militants used explosives to blow up the Baalshamin Temple [dedicated to the Phoenician god of storms and fertilising rains, dating to 17 AD], the blast so powerful it also damaged some of the Roman columns around it. 

Full story @ the Telegraph.

History can be one of Life’s greatest teachers and if there is one thing it has taught me is that the foundation of anything usually plants seeds that work to protect it’s fundamental beliefs. What do I mean? Take America for example. Home of the Brave, Land of the Free. That is the motto correct? The irony in the statement is that this country was built by people who were not FREE. The Foundation of America is built upon Racism White Supremacy; Still is and always has been. Recall what I stated earlier about protecting fundamental beliefs. Now think about everything that was done to black people in this country. Slavery, Jim Crow, Lynch Mobs, Rape, Murder, Castration and realize IT WAS ALL LEGAL. Why was it legal? Because we have always been looked at as senseless animals that need to be in cages or dead. The Government has millions of people brainwashed into believing legal means right!!! As @Solar_Innerg once said, “Legal is not synonymous for “right” and illegal is not synonymous for “wrong””. It is very important we realize the difference between right and “legal” because if not, everything that was done to us can be justified. Never Forget. SanCopha!!! Written By @KingKwajo

Jacques Vigoureux-Duplessis

Ambassadors from the King of Siam* to Louis XIV of France with Translator

France (1684)

From History Today:

French involvement in Siam in the 17th century was an extraordinary episode in the history of that country’s foreign affairs. It began in the naïve and arrogant belief that people in a faraway land**, with a religion much older than that of France, could be converted to the Catholic faith and it ended in military humiliation when French forces were drawn into a succession crisis at the Siamese court. In the key years from 1685 to 1688 three great embassies were exchanged, two French and one Siamese, lending an air of exotic charm** and ceremonial splendour to what was in reality the flimsiest of relationships based on mutual misunderstanding. Two absolute monarchs, Louis XIV and King Narai, inundated each other with gifts and declared bonds of eternal friendship across a cultural chasm.

* Narai was actually king of the Ayutthaya Kingdom

** Note that the use of othering language here seems only to refer to the French perception of these ambassadors from King Narai

The language/tone of this piece of writing about the French being “Naive” and “cultural chasms” gets a lot less cute once you look into the History of the Franco-Siamese War, the Franco-Thai War, and the atrocities committed in the name of French colonial interests in Southeast Asia.

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