Saturday, August 01, 2009

This blog has moved.

This blog has moved ~ the new URL address is:

Hope to see you there soon!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Miranda, paleolinguist

In an early stage in his military career, an intrigued and ever curious young Miranda copied these odd inscriptions found on excavations surrounding the Alhambra - he then saved the copies in his Travels archives, along with his diaries:

Translation, anyone?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Best Travel Books of All Time

The Telegraph has just published their list of the twenty best travel books of all times- a selection worth reviewing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Second Earth (2009)

From the bright minds of NOAA comes this fascinating merger of technologies towards a better 3D visualization of topographic and satellite data, combined with the versatility of the Second Life platform. The potential is vast.

William White's Notes and Queries (1854)

"In one of the bodegas or cellars belonging to the firm of M. P. Domecq, at Xeres, are to be seen five or six casks of immense size and antiquity (some of them, it is said, exceeding a century). Each of them bears the name of some distinguished hero of the age in which it was produced, Wellington and Napoleon figuring conspicuously amongst others: the former is preserved exclusively for the taste of Englishmen."

From Notes and Queries by William White, published by Oxford University Press, 1854; picture of the Domecq casks which still exist in Bodega El Molino, Jerez de la Frontera, courtesy of

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A discovery: Hale Farm & Village (1863)

It must be said that the place exudes the very kindness and good spirit of the people who work there. I am convinced that to stumble across it, in the very heart of Bath Township in Summit County, may be the best thing that could possibly happen to you this or any Ohio summer on a warm Sunday afternoon.

There is a number of very well preserved buildings and many paths to explore. You can learn about bricks & crafts, good schooling and maple syrup; about living in a cabin, religious traditions and Mister Benjamin Franklin Wade. Our thoughts flew to families with nine children living in a dark log cabin in winter, without glass windows.

And we sang the 'Battle Hymn of the Republic' by the piano with cheerful patriotic folks, and attended a domestic session of bread-making.

To be sure, the gloomy days of the War between the States seem less wearisome and more hopeful in Hale, and should God place you in Mr. Richard and his daughter Mrs. Williams' stately home whenever a tornado becomes a happenstance, you should consider yourself lucky.

They will entertain you and be quite hospitable - Mr. Richards even offered his crisp copy of Harper's New Monthly for me to peruse until the rain eventually ceased.

Hallelujah! We shall return to visit our new acquaintances and friends soon.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fawcett's Basalt Idol

Before disappearing forever in the jungle in 1925, Percy Harrison Fawcett took with him this mysterious basalt idol, a gift of Sir Henry Rider Haggard (June 22, 1856 – May 14, 1925), the famed writer.

Apparently, the idol had belonged to Rider Haggard's son. Fawcett insisted there was some weird electricity generated from inside the idol, that would reach up the arm of those who held it.

Some claim he had obtained it from a slave in a Brazilian fazienda - a plantation; others attribute the finding to the British Consul O'Sullivan Beare. Fawcett had sent it to the British Museum for analysis, but the research came out inconclusive.

A few researchers like Prof. Barry Fell have reported progress in deciphering the writing on the statue; that the language was creole Minoan Hitite and that it was an appeal for people to visit a temple and pay a token.

Perhaps someday in the future, someone will rescue it back from the heart of the jungle and modern science shall be able to examine it more closely...

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Mysterious Peruvian

So, who is this mysterious Peruvian mentioned by Benjamin Franklin in his 1788 letter to James Bowdoin?:

"A Circumstance observ'd by the Inhabitants of South America
in their last great Earthquake, that Noise coming from a
Place some Degrees north of Lima, and being trac'd by
enquiry quite down to Buenos Ayres, proceeded regularly
from North to South at the rate of Leagues per
minute, as I was inform'd by a very ingenious Peruvian
whom I met with at Paris.

I am ever, my very dear friend, yours most affectionately,


Is it perhaps Miranda, who already admired him and was called in France Le PĂ©ruvien?

If so, this may be the piece of evidence that I have been seeking of an encounter between Benjamin Franklin and Francisco de Miranda... I am writing a small article on Miranda and the Founding Fathers.

More blogs about Exploratoria.