Thursday, April 30, 2020

Bronze Age Warfare

Other things are going on outside corona crisis (which thankfully, appears to be getting better in our neck of woods:)

A team led by Newcastle University examined thousands of marks on Bronze Age swords and staged experimental fights using replica weapons to better understand how they might have been used in the Bronze Age and the combat techniques that were needed.

Bronze - cast by mixing copper and tin – is softer than steel, meaning that it can be easily damaged. Until now, much speculation has focused on the possibility that because they are easy to damage, the ancient weapons were ceremonial rather than intended for battle.

However, the research findings, published in the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, indicate that not only were they used in active combat, but would have required fighters to use lots of skill and very particular techniques to minimise the amount of damage.

Read the whole article (and watch a video) over here:

Bronze age swords

Monday, April 27, 2020

King's Day

Today is the birthday of our king, but for many people it's been a stay-at-home day instead. Luckily, we have our garden/summer house so we went there:

It was the last warm and sunny day so far.

Happy Birthday Willem Alexander and all the family!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Digging A Hole

This masterpiece was discovered by my husband:

I guess Wind Rose got a new fan:)

Thursday, April 23, 2020

How To Make An Ideal Sandwich

This below is my own invention and I'm quite proud of it:) I've been eating it every day since Monday!

Take two slices of brown bread and pour some olive oil (extra virgin, of course!) on one of them, and spread hummus on the other (mine is with lime and coriander)

Add a slice of chicken filet:

then cheese (I'm really a cheese head, it's one of my absolute favourite foods)

(cats like cheese, too:)

top it with the slices of boiled egg:

I like mine soft. Oops, it was too soft so I couldn't slice it properly, but it was delicious nevertheless!

Cover and squeeze slightly (you don't really need salt or pepper since packaged chicken filet is high in sodium and hummus is spicy):

Enjoy! Since the beginning of March we haven't eaten out due to the corona crisis, and I don't trust takeaway that much (I mean who knows which hands touched it and whether they were washed properly) so as most other people (according to statistics) we spend more money on fun foods, which we probably wouldn't ordinarily eat quite so often (like hummus which isn't very cheap, but I love it).

What about you?

Monday, April 20, 2020

New Dietary Guidelines + My Review

This is a free translation from Dutch Health Ministry's dietary guidelines.

Fruit and Veg:

at least 200g of vegetables. That's about what we usually eat every day anyway.

at least 200g of fruit. This one was new for me though we normally eat fruit every day, like one apple, one banana etc. Fruit is expensive, btw, and there has been some info passed around that too much can be bad for you, I even once posted a video on this topic. However, I've done some research which points out that fruit has lots of fibre and won't raise your blood sugar too much unless you eat tons of it/drink fruit juice instead. Definitely something to work on.

Fat and Oil:

Substitute butter and hard margarine with liquid margarine/vegetable oils.

This one is kinda strange. There is a difference between health effects of eating butter vs hard margarine or olive oil vs other vegetable oils vs butter. I would say, avoid all forms of margarine and probably most of the oils except virgin olive oil, cold pressed. Some butter is OK. There is some controversy going on whether to cook with virgin olive oil,  personally I use it for cooking/baking.


Eat  (preferably fatty) fish once a week. Twice a week is even better, imo, and that's what we usually do (sometimes thrice even). Since fresh fish is expensive I chiefly buy frozen and canned.


Substitute refined with unrefined, like brown rice, whole grains etc. Eat at least 90g of  unrefined carbs per dag. Not sure how they arrived at this number but agree generally.


Eat legumes every week. Agree generally, with exception of soy. Research shows eating legumes extends life.

Nuts: Eat at least 15g unsalted nuts per day. Again, not sure how they arrived at this number, but it probably won't hurt. I should admit I'm not a big fan of nuts, my husband eats a lot but salty variety (unfortunately, lol!). Something to work on?

Meat: Limit consumption of red, and especially processed meat. This is very vague. There is a difference between processed vs red meat in terms of health. They also don't tell you anything as to how much to limit it. I think there was a research called Oxford research which showed that processed meats should be limited to 20g per day and they had numbers for red meat, too, but I forget how much it was. I do remember they discovered that those who ate less than 70g red meat per week had increased mortality, too. We mostly eat red meat 2-3 times a week. White meat, btw, had no correlation with mortality at all so I guess you can eat it every day, as long as it's not processed?

Dairy: Eat some portions of dairy per day, including milk and yogurt. Again, rather vague but they explain it further that they apparently mean two 150g portions of milk/yogurt. Another website said 3 portions. They also say nothing about full fat vs skim which Is good I guess. Dairy is generally good for you, unless you are lactose intolerant. There is some evidence that milk can protect you from infections, and the same is true about yogurt. (No, it doesn't increase congestion). Strangely, they say nothing about eggs. Recent research shows eating an egg a day is good for you, and 2 can't hurt, either.

Plant Protein: Eat more plant- and less animal-based protein as showed in other guidelines. Again, vague. Also, there is a difference in types of plant protein. If you substitute your daily steak with soy, you may very well become infertile, and it goes both for men and women. However, if you just eat vegetarian 1 or 2 days a week, you'll probably be fine.

Tea: (really, there is a guideline on tea consumption:) drink 3 cups of tea (450g) per day. Sometimes I do think they are pulling it out of their...wherever. Of, course, there is nothing wrong with drinking tea and I think they want people to consume more tea than coffee or sugary/alcoholic drinks, which is fine, but why only black/green tea? I'm caffeine intolerant and mostly drink herbal teas or water with honey and I don't think my health suffered because of black tea avoidance:)

Sugary Drinks: avoid sugary drinks as much as possible. Agree fully.

Alcohol: none or in any case, no more than 1 drink a day. They are probably right on this one, too.

Salt: 6g per day. Not sure about this one so won't comment.

Supplements: Not necessary unless recommended. Disagree, Vitamins/supplements can often improve your health in many ways. Agree that you shouldn't just blindly take them whenever you feel like it but do some research and exercise caution. I think we benefited greatly from cod liver oil, personally, and probably everyone in our climate should supplement with some vitD in winter.

Well, that's about all. Thoughts?


Saturday, April 18, 2020

Keep Calm And Eat Marmalade Sandwiches

Here is some feelgood news for you all:

a 99 year old British lady survives corona virus:

What's more, great grandmother Rita Reynolds reckons she's found the secret to defeating the infection - eating marmalade sandwiches...

Yup, if Rita survived The Blitz by hiding under her kitchen table and reading a book, she's unlikely to have been too fazed by this whole scenario.  

That's exactly the type of person who you could expect to survive this sort of thing:)

She isn't the only one and not even the olldest any more:

A 106-year-old woman has recovered from coronavirus and been released from the hospital...

“I think the secret of her old age is that she is physically active and very independent,” she continued. “She had a hip operation back in December and within 30 days she was walking again. She really is amazing and I know all the family can’t wait to see her. She has quite a few fans!”

See above:)

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Work-Life Balance In Medieval Europe

Talked to someone in Norway today. Their government basically gave everyone 3 months vacation, paid out of the emergency fund. Of course, they are an independent country and don't have to support their less well-to-do neighbours (the privilege of not being a part of the EU), but it's another topic:)

Apparently, some people would consider such a long hiatus immoral somehow, yet historically speaking, people in Middle Ages used to have a much better work-life balance than we do now:

In her essay, the professor revealed that records from 13th century England show many families only worked 150 days a year on their land and in the 14th century, even servants often only worked 175 days a year. 

Their working days, though technically longer, were much more leisurely, too:

A typical working day in the medieval period stretched from dawn to dusk work was intermittent - called to a halt for breakfast, lunch, the customary afternoon nap, and dinner. 

'Depending on time and place, there were also mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshment breaks.'

While the article compares long medieval holidays with much shorter American ones, I should say that even in Europe, people typically don't enjoy 25 weeks vacations:

The medieval calendar was filled with holidays - official [church] holidays included not only long "vacations" at Christmas, Easter and midsummer but also numerous saints' and rest days. 
'In addition to official celebrations, there were often weeks' worth of ales - to mark important life events (bride ales or wake ales) as well as less momentous occasions (scot ale, lamb ale, and hock ale). 
'All told, holiday leisure time in medieval England took up probably about one-third of the year.' 

In light of this, 90 days off in Norway don't look like something really extraordinary, do they now?

Read the whole article over here.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday

File:Assisi-frescoes-entry-into-jerusalem-pietro lorenzetti.jpg

The image comes from Wiki Commons

It's Palm Sunday  today and the weather is beautiful. We watched the church sermon live online this morning and spent the rest of the day in our garden.

I'll post more tomorrow, have a blessed day!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Egg Cakes

I think the correct name for them would be scones, but that's how they were called in the original recipe which comes from a Dutch magazine, and I  cut it out so long ago (and never tried, shame on me!) that I actually forget which magazine it was and can't give a credit to anyone (I think it was some lady's invention  for her kids' breakfast but I'm not sure). I changed it slightly anyway, so I guess I can just share it with you:)

You will need:

200g flour (the recipe calls for almond of spelt, but since we still have flour shortages I used pancake mix: 20% buckwheat 80% white flour. It turned out fine but the scones were somewhat dry)
3TBSP honey (again, I used 3 tsp, as a result they weren't sweet, but we ate them with butter and jam anyway)
1 1/2tsp baking powder
a bit lemon juice, salt

Warm the oven to 180*C, and line the baking tray with baking paper. Mix all the ingredients, and form round cakes with a table spoon, you should get 8 - 10 cakes. Bake for 10 minutes, serve for breakfast, lunch, or just by a cup of tea. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Should We Blame Women For Everything?

There is a group of people online who habitually appears to engage in doublethink: on the one hand, the females of the species are the weaker vessel never progressing past a teenage stage in their mental development and should at all times defer to male judgement (ever heard of the woman being the most responsible teenager in the house?), while simultaneously all the troubles of modernity come solely from women and it's up to women to change the world for the better.

In other words, women at the same time lack agency completely AND are the only persons with agency who can produce real change.

Sounds schizophrenic, doesn't it? Like much of what passes for deep right wing commentary on the internet, actually, if you think of it.

Historically speaking, women have always been viewed as more passive and thus having less agency than men (but not totally lacking it, otherwise they couldn't be held responsible for any crime), and by the same principle, men were viewed as the guardians of society, not women, as the s8x which is more active, aggressive, and thus having more agency.

And if women have less agency, you can hardly blame them for all of the world's problems. Some time ago I did a series of historical articles about some 19th century personalities who fought and sometimes died for the new liberal world order, and guess what? They were all men. In every war and revolution, men are always the primary agents with women filling supportive roles, and those internet warriors expecting women to fight their battles for them against the said order, are well, delusional.

The funny thing is that many of the ardent antifeminists online espouse some variant of libertarian philosophy and have a deep-seated distrust of all authority, yet seem to think that women should obey them unconditionally. It just doesn't work this way. First, here is some news for you, guys: Anglo-libertarianism has never been a tradition in continental Europe or other parts of the world, it's something which the victors of the last war forced upon most countries. For thousands of years, tradition in the West didn't mean "limited government" and "human rights", but rather "blood and soil" and "throne and altar", liberalism and later libertarianism were the result of the Enlightenment.

Also, "rugged individualism" isn't necessarily "right-wing", and not all collective action is wicked communism, either. In fact, there are many countries in the world with a very weak central government, like Somalia or Afghanistan, and yet keyboard libertarians never want to move there, by some reason.

Well, how does it tie to women's question, you'll ask? Simply this: too many of self-professing online antifeminists apparently dream of something like Little House on the Prairie situation, with the nuclear family totally isolated in the wilderness with the wife and kids totally depending on the good will of the father (who doesn't have to be legally married to the mother of his children so that she will have no recourse at all should he abandon her  because government wedding licenses are evil communist statism).

So the woman is totally subjected to the man, who lives in some sort of libertarian paradise. Well, it may sound appealing, but it's hardly traditional. Every community had distinctions between legal marriage, concubinage and just sleeping around. It was Catholic (and later, national) churches which kept records of legal marriages, which were very important since bastards couldn't inherit. In fact, my husband was able to trace his family genealogy to 1400s and guess what? All his ancestors were legally married with church records proving it.

Married couples lived in communities with extended family often near by, and ready to jump in when a conflict arose, with parishioners and neighbours nosing around and laws protecting the vulnerable. Married women always had rights, not only duties and their role as mothers and housewives was viewed as important and revered in society.

You see, the key point is "society" and "community", something which most libertarians have no use for. Do whatever thou will seems to be a leading principle for many, yet this principle comes out of satanism, not Christianity. Feminism didn't arise on its own, because one day women just decided to rebel against their menfolk, it's a part of a much bigger rebellion against authority and God's order. You can't fight feminism while promoting rebellion on other fronts.

That is not to say that we should always automatically obey authorities, even when they are issuing wicked and unjust decrees. There is place for things like civil disobedience,  protests etc but the general attitude of rebellion isn't an exception nowadays, but rather the rule. And, as I have mentioned earlier, the same people who deeply mistrust any authority (especially church authorities because the pastor told them not to j88k off while watching p0rn  because all pastors are wicked feminists who always believe women) somehow change their tune when talking about female submission and obedience. Another example of wanting to have your cake and eat it too, I guess.

There is another trend online of constantly blaming working mothers for working. Yes, in an ideal situation, the wife and mother shouldn't work, but many women who work nowadays do it not because of general wickedness but because their husbands fully encourage and sometimes demand it, because of the general acceptance of the bugman consumerist lifestyle with its unending demands, and especially because some are in a fragile economic situation. In fact, those who are pro-family shouldn't favour economic libertarianism, but vice versa, a society which offers more protection to those less fortunate.

I know that my country does it, that's why I'm freer with my criticism but it's not the same everywhere. You hardly can blame all working women for the way the neoliberal system functions and constantly droning on how evil all those working mothers are while not trying to reform the system built on usury and debt is hardly helpful. To sum it up, if your life s*cks, it's not always because some woman is trying to get you. Instead of trying to change human female nature, may be try to change the society which values financial concerns above all?