Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Will there be any history left?

When I think about my trip to Ightham Mote the other day, part of it’s attraction was how they didn’t definitely know who’d built it, they didn’t definitely know if Henry VI had visited, they thought that probably the new chapel was built as a guest bedroom.

They had done some cool dendochronology thing where they had managed to work out the date of origin for each part of building. There were lots of theories about when the ceiling in the new chapel had been built and painted. Had it been built for another building? A ceremonial outdoor thing for the king perhaps? But the exact same proportions as the roof in the room at Ightham Mote? They worked out eventually it had been built for the room and painted in situ.

There was a lot of mystery, a lot of research. I often wished, when reading history books, that we knew exactly what had happened, exactly what kind of people they were, exactly what they were thinking. But I also recognised that if I did know all those things, the mystery and intrigue would be gone. I’d probably go, “I wish I knew what they were really thinking at that moment? O, here it is. She was a bit bored. Ok, then. Ummm.”

And this is my worry. Are we making our history boring by recording everything? There’s no mystery. If someone in a few hundred years wanted to know what the World Famous Writer/Baker/Farmer Laura Maisey was thinking about at 7:26am on September 24, 2013, it’s all here. I’m going on about making history boring.

The stuff that’s most interesting for me in Ham House is the stuff that they don’t know for definite yet or the stuff that has numerous different stories attached to it.

And there’s Time Team to think about too. I mean, what will Baldrick do if he doesn’t need to dig sections of soil up anymore? People will have been rabbiting on about their new houses and gardens and there will be no need to try and establish where the outside walls of the castle were anymore. He’ll be able to just Google it.

Is that ok? That we are turning future historians into Google lovers? Maybe we should kill the internet briefly in a hundred years or so and start afresh, erasing everything and so creating some mystery for the poor bored historians of the year 2500?

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Search terms 3

Ok, it’s the third installment of the Search Terms posts. In this one, we have your average search about Highgate or Kingston Uni or what to do with bingo wings. But then right at the bottom, a strange Donald Duck search, which must have lead to disappointment when Google sent them to me….

lazylauramaisey
dairylea triangles music
“ici logo”/ “wavy lines”
things to remember while swimming
deaflympics in brazil 2016
are you going to scarborough fair?
vaynites
upstairs downstairs
robinson helicopter garage
the grove highgate george michael
sandy denny maddy prior
once i’ve finished i dont like them
the song remind me of the good time
london eye chairoplane
inspirational quotes about new adventures
laura maisey
gold leaf wedding cake disaster
alwasy moisturise bingo wings
how do i put my kingston email
i like my childhood friend who is my hero
inspirational quotes
kate moss house highgate coleridge
salt works liverpool 1871
i don’t want to finish reading my book
through on my mind right now
my reflection in swimming in word
motivational quotes about journey in life
fromromewithlove.de
what do people say about working with chickens
taxi drivers don’t know the way
first bikram yoga class fainting
i don’t want to finish reading my book
skytrain o2 arena
whelk stall
what is the background laughter in parties
drunks refuse to pay for taxi cabs
chairoplane london eye
moss covered stump
upstairs downstairs 2012 and downton abbey
cockle & welks stalls 1950’s pics
store with this apron close to pantheon
why do i say things twice
goat and dog train boy
trolleyology
college bucket list
hit by bird droppings
goat met dog
what are renegade squats
which road in highgate does george michael live on
listening the songs reminds me of holiday
shakeing my head when swimming
who said “freedom is the absence”
letters and dolls
neologism of big brother
did it rain on may 7 2012
dedication sample
why do kids say things twice
my feeling about olympics
freedom rules
things to remember when swimming
books about truffles
a memo in a polite way to my lazy dog
kingston uni pgce interview
donald duck girls big tits

Y is for…

YGGDRASIL!

(I’m handing over to the guest blogger again today.)

Yggdrasil is defined as: “An immense tree that is central in Norse cosmology on which the nine worlds existed” (Wikipedia). Apparently, in old Norse, it means “Odin’s Horse”.

What? You’ve never heard of it? A Google search throws up just over 3.5 million results (including pictures & drawings of seemingly endless variety!). Among those, on the first few pages are some intriguing examples:

1. Yggdrasil – the board game. On sale at Amazon for around $35-40.

2. Yggdrasil – a Swedish band (apparently of the genre “folk metal” – an oxymoron of a music type if ever I heard one!). Visit their MySpace site for latest info but some knowledge of written & spoken Swedish would be useful. Their debut album was “Kvällningsvindar Över Nordrönt Land.” (For those of you, without Swedish as a first language, it translates to: “Evening Winds Over Northern Lands”).

3. Yggdrasil – http://www.yggdrasil.com/ is the 7th result in the list and is a domain name which is up for sale. Yours for a mere $16,990 (£10,500)! Go on treat yourself!

4. Yggdrasil Afghan – This is a knitted blanket (or throw) based on the world tree idea from Norse mythology.

There are millions of other Yggdrasil results but perhaps one of the oddest is on the “nationstates.net” site which tells us there are 140 nations in Yggdrasil and if you look down the list you can see the different ones with their flags and main characteristics. Unreality springs to mind!

Odd word perhaps, to many of you – special to me. Why? Because I can remember exactly when I first learnt it and when I used it in an essay for the first and only time, ever – UNTIL NOW!

Why so memorable? It begins with me having to sit an English Literature exam many years ago. I was not good at Eng Lit. Prior to the exam I thought it might be a good idea to improve my chances of passing by learning some new words and slip them into some of the essays to make my work look better than it really was. Along with “Yggdrasil” I remember learning “amorphous” but can’t remember the others because I couldn’t work them into my answers. How did I come across “amorphous” & “yggdrasil”? Easy. I just flicked through the pages of the dictionary on our bookshelf at home. When I saw Yggdrasil I thought it looked quite unusual and would demonstrate my supposedly superior vocabulary skills.

Exam day arrives. I file into the hall. I sit down. When instructed, I “turn the paper over”. I begin the rehearsed pre-exam routine: spend the first few minutes reading all the questions thoroughly. Don’t start writing straight away in case you miss something later on. We’d had a reading list, of approx 50 books grouped into 5 blocks. We were told that, in the exam, there would be 5 sections, each with about 5 questions. As it was impossible to read and remember the plots and characters for all 50 books, we were told you could pick about 10 (2 from each section) and that should give you the ability to answer one from each of the required sections without too much trouble. Easy? Well, providing you’d done the work. I hadn’t. I’d read only 6-7 books, hoping to have done enough. My 5 minute look over the paper confirmed I hadn’t! I was ok for essays in Sections 1,2, & 3 but 4 looked tricky and in 5 I couldn’t do any of the questions. In section 4 there was a question along the lines of “Describe what John & Sally” – made up names because I can’t remember the exact ones in the question – “saw on their journey through the forest”. My extra words sprang to mind. I thought I could work a few into this question with descriptions of parkland, forest and some of that atmospheric mist drifting about etc. I’d have to give the 5th essay a miss and hope I would score enough on the four I could do. 1st mistake. I set off scribbling away on the first three essays and then finally came to what, I imagined, John & Sally saw on their journey. I breathed a sigh of relief as I put the pen down and the papers were collected. On the way out I did, as you tend to do, ask friends which ones they’d picked to answer. It was then I discovered my rather glaring mistake as a friend said, of the (John & Sally) question I had answered, “I couldn’t do that because I hadn’t read the book with them in.” “Book?” I said, rather glumly, immediately realising then, that I written a whole essay which was a complete fabrication. 2nd mistake. I’d been so determined to get my unusual words into an answer that I hadn’t related it to any, let alone “the”, book on the course at all! Doh!

The lesson was and still is today: concentrate – especially on the wording of each question on the paper.

Oh, and of course, I’ve never forgotten the word; I didn’t fool the exam markers; and, not surprisingly, I failed that particular exam – mea culpa!

Here’s a quote from a 2008 Graham Lockey poem actually called, “Yggdrasil”:

“Mysteries unravel in the time-wide shade
Thrown by Yggdrasil,
And under Yggdrasil
I solved the riddle of it all
And found what smiles lead to.
I’m bringing that smile home to you.”

I hope this ramble, from real life, did bring a smile to your face, wherever you are.