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Infundibular thinking about worldbuilding

I am a lucky, happy fly on the wall in the International Association on the Fantastic in the Arts, which was founded by and is run by academics who study “that stuff.”  [deliberately not defined is “the fantastic in the arts;” these folks are inclusive; they are lumpers, not splitters] The IAFA admits members who

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Author interview: Dr. Jeana Jorgensen, author of Sex Education 101

Dr. Jeana Jorgensen recently released three hefty, extremely useful nonfiction books: Folklore 101: An Accessible Introduction to Folklore Studies (Folklore Made Simple) and Fairy Tales 101: An Accessible Introduction to Fairy Tales (Folklore Made Simple) and Sex Education 101: Approachable Essays on Folklore, Culture, & History (Folklore Made Simple) Today I asked her some questions

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SWC: A syllabus for learning about 21stC money

I’ve been writing about class all my working life, although I didn’t always recognize it, because I wasn’t foregrounding it. Since I began researching the question “How do pyramidal hierarchies die?” I’ve tripped over dozens of really, really interesting texts. Here are some of the books that have blown my mind while I research the background

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There’s Tea, and Then There’s Tea

Ah, tea…that most English of meals…but which meal is it? Well, that kind of depends. Tea was introduced in England as early as 1635 but didn’t become fashionable until the 1660s, when King Charles II married the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza. Tea drinking was already established in Portugal, and Catherine brought tea and her

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Feeding Your Invalid in the 19th Century 2: Barley Water

Horatio Wood’s ‘Treatise on therapeutics’ (1879) says that “Barley-water is used as a nutritious, demulcent drink in fevers.” It is still in use. You can buy it flavored with citrus in bottles, beside the lemonade, in British grocery stores. I can just remember drinking barley water as a child – it was also popular in

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