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Military History. We speak of pork instead of swine-flesh, because the English lost the battle of Hastings in 1066 on October 14. The Norman invaders made the English language of the day illegal in the areas they controlled (generally the cities). As one of the many results, English speakers adopted (by necessity) the French words beef and pork for the edible carcase, while in the less patrolled English hinterlands, the native (Germanic) words remained for the live beasties.
Montrose in War Through the Ages describes how the battle was fought, and why the English lost. The book, a volume I stumbled across while in High-School, so impressed me that when I could afford it, I purchased a copy via a used book service. Kahn's Code Breakers covers some of the same ground via a very different perspective. Each book complements the other to provide a better view of what happened and why throughout history.
Martial Arts. Having lived for several years in Japan, a culture where martial arts are pervasive, it would be more than a little bit unusual not to have an interest in the subject. I began reading early, tucking into adult novels in 1st and 2nd grade (I'm old enough TV was not really an option back then). My life was forever changed when I read the books of swords and adventure... John Carter of Mars. Influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs, I eventually studied fencing in college... where not only was I was the captian of the informal college team and student instructor, but engaged in such oddities as fencing against two simultaneous opponents; fencing up and down stairs; and fencing with two foils. Later yet, I fenced in the Army and then for a TV news program. Study of various Eastern Martial Arts came in between college and Army, and continues to be avocation.
Revised 2013.04.05 © 1997..2013 by Keith S. Brown