It's A Fine Day For A Beer.

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September 2, 2011

London's Burning

The Great Fire of London (1666)

It was in the early morning hours of September 2, 1666, when fire broke out at the Pudding Lane home of the king's baker, Thomas Farrinor. If the narrow streets tightly packed with timber framed houses, the preponderance of thatched roofs, the nearly year-long drought, or the evening's steadily blowing wind gave ample cause for alarm, at least one key figure was underwhelmed by the possibility of disaster. Lord Mayor of London, Sir Thomas Bludworth was said to have suggested that "a woman might piss it out" upon being awoken with news of the fire…


August 24, 2011

The Willow Wolf

Pliny The Elder's Naturalis Historia

It is but a passing reference in an ancient text. The commentary is terse and wholly dismissive: "may be rather termed amusements for the botanist than articles of food," reads the best known English translation of Naturalis Historiae (Natural History). It is barely a footnote in the life's work of Pliny the Elder — but for those who hold beer to be sacred, that footnote is scripture. Indeed, buried some fifty chapters into the twenty-first book of Pliny's lone surviving work is the first known allusion to and scientific classification of hops…