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The Cold War and That Damned Berlin Wall

TweetBayard & Holmes ~ Jay Holmes On a cold, January day in 1961, in a world chilled by the threat of nuclear Armageddon, I sat near a radio with my family and listened intently to the words of a man that my very young mind idolized. Even [...]

British Drug Pushers in China–The 2nd Opium War

TweetBayard & Holmes ~ Jay Holmes Last week, we began the sordid tale of the First Opium War, in which England pushed opium produced in India onto China to balance its trade deficit with that country. Today, we continue with the rest [...]

British Drug Pushers in China–The First Opium War

TweetBayard & Holmes ~ Jay Holmes China became involved in direct trade with Europe when the Portuguese established a trade center in Macau, China in 1557. Then, in 1565, Spain established a permanent colonial presence in the Philippine [...]

Cotton Reigned Until Slavery Was Outsourced

TweetBayard & Holmes ~ Jay Holmes Today, Western nations are forced to consider the price and flow of crude oil in all foreign policy decisions concerning the Middle East. From Algeria to Iran, Oil is King. However, back in 1861, petroleum was [...]

Anzac Day–Memorial Day New Zealand Style

TweetMemorial Day–New Zealand Style By Matthew Wright Guest Post at Bayard & Holmes     In one of the quirks of history, both New Zealand and Australia remember their war dead on 25 April – which isn’t when any war ended. It’s [...]

The Man Who Stole Tea from China

TweetBy K.B. Owen   With stories in the news about Chinese hackers breaking into U.S. corporate computers and stealing proprietary software and information (for example, this 60 Minutes’ feature: The Great Brain Robbery), here’s [...]

Seppuku: Ritual Suicide in Samurai Japan

Tweetby Susan Spann Seppuku (sometimes also referred to as hara-kiri) is a form of Japanese ritual suicide. Many Westerners recognize this Japanese form of suicide, in which a person (often, but not always, male) slits his own stomach [...]

Ghostbusting 100 Years Ago

TweetGhostbusting, 100 Years Ago By K.B. Owen Among the joys of writing historical mysteries is running across cool nuggets of research. While writing Unseemly Pursuits, I needed to learn more about late-19th century spirit mediums and their [...]

Hanging Out With a Noren

TweetBy Susan Spann If you’ve eaten sushi anywhere, or visited Japan, you’ve probably seen a noren–though you might not have realized it at the time.  Noren are traditional Japanese doorway hangings. Most noren are constructed [...]

Shinobi Shuko: the Ninja’s Climbing Claws

Tweetby Susan Spann Ninjas are famous for climbing walls with the ease and grace of a spider. According to legend, ninjas could scale even impossibly high, completely polished surfaces with ease. Some myths even claimed they could fly. In [...]