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"In 1492, Columbus sailed the oceans blue. And brought back syphilis."

SCA Today - Wed, 04/08/2015 - 17:51

Medical researchers have long sought the origins of the sexually-transmitted disease syphilis, but most now believe that the pox was brought back by Christopher Columbus from one of his voyages to the New World. LiveScience recently published an Op-Ed from the Conversation.

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The codpieces of Wolf Hall

SCA Today - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 09:30

This spring, viewers of the BBC and PBS will be treated to a video version of the Hilary Mantel book Wolf Hall set in the court of Henry VIII. Since its announcement, there has been discussion of the size of the actor's codpiece, perhaps smaller than is historically accurate. Jane Huggett of The Guardian joins the conversation.

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Orange was the new black for London's all-female Henry IV

SCA Today - Sun, 04/05/2015 - 11:44

It's true that Shakespeare's plays bent gender over backwards by requiring female roles to be played by male actors, but a new version of Henry IV, staged at the Donmar Warehouse in London, took the practice even father by presenting an all-female cast set in a women's prison. (photo)

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Two different Magna Cartas in Washington

SCA Today - Sat, 04/04/2015 - 15:57

In 2014, the city of Washington DC was privileged to host two copies of the Magna Carta, one permanently housed in the National Archives, and another on loan from Lincoln Cathedral in England, displayed at the Library of Congress. Geoff Edgers of the Washington Post looks at the differences between the two documents.

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What's in a name?

SCA Today - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 16:01

A new study by Gregory Clark of the University of California, Davis and Neil Cummins of the London School of Economics reveals that those people with Norman surnames are more likely to have a higher social status in the UK that those without.

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Validating the Principessa

SCA Today - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 14:29

Art historians around the world are never quick to validate a "lost" work by one of the great masters. Thus is the case of La Bella Principessa, a small, "pen-and-ink portrait of a Florentine woman with a Mona Lisa-esque smile," believed to have been created by Leonardo da Vinci. (photo)

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The frightening illuminations of the Getty

SCA Today - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 10:18

For Halloween 2014, Bryan C. Keene of the J. Paul Getty Museum blog Iris, chose to look at some of the frightening images of medieval, illuminated manuscripts in the museum's collection. The article is richly illustrated with examples. (photos)

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Future SCA Events to Take Place Only in Facebook

SCA Today - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 13:07

Bowing to the inevitable, the Board of Directors of the SCA Inc. has announced that beginning May 1, 2016, all SCA events will take place in cyberspace, using Facebook.

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Pennsic Blood Drive Becomes Fully Authentic

SCA Today - Wed, 04/01/2015 - 10:24

The traditional Pennsic Blood Drive, held the middle weekend between Peace Week and War Week, is getting an extreme makeover this year, as blood collection will now follow fully period medical practices.

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Sistine Chapel "dazzles" after tech makeover

SCA Today - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 12:45

A new lighting system will allow visitors to the Vatican's Sistine Chapel  to appreciate Michelangelo's famous frescoes more than ever better. The chapel makeover "cost some three million euros (US$3.77 million)—with 1.9 million euros spent on the lighting alone."

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