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History Geek – One Month Anniversary

Well so far I’ve lasted just over a whole month in the blogosphere so I thought I’d take the opportunity to post a bit of an update on the aim of this blog and some of the places I want to take you the readers in the next few months.

First of all thanks for the comments and encouragement – it is great to know that some of this geekery is of interest to others.  It’s been interesting to see what topics have attracted the most attention, so far the most popular have been this one on what children can learn from collecting postage stamps and this write-up on the recent use of T-34 tanks.  It is difficult to think of two more antipodal topics!  That is the direction I intend to continue to take – an eclectic mix-mash of content all with a history bent.

There are plenty of exciting topics to look forward to in the upcoming months including more tales from maritime, military and New Zealand history, secret societies, gold rushes, shipwrecks, Nazis, postcards, menus and assorted ephemera; and practical self-help guides including ‘What to do if the Japanese attack Wellington’.

To update yesterday’s post – I’m pleased to say that despite snowing the night before the weather was perfect for budding astronomers.  I spent the morning at the local observatory where both 19th and 21st century techniques were used to view the transit of Venus.  It was a fantastic experience to observe the same event that once attracted so much scientific attention; and to get a firsthand perspective on the size of our solar system and our place in it.

© Lemuel Lyes

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5 replies »

  1. Dear History geek
    I’m really sick of historians on radio and TV who speak about things that happened hundreds of years ago in the present tense…

    For example; (made up)

    “The arrival of muskets in New Zealand precedes the Treaty of Waitangi. After the treaty is signed there is much less focus on intertribal warfare and potato cultivation. Prostitution becomes less common, especially among the serving classes…”

    I assume they do this to make themselves feel more interesting, more relevant more “now.” Why can’t they just accept themselves as the history geeks they really are?

    Yours,
    Disgruntled man

    • Dear Disgruntled Man,

      I sympathise with your plight. In the good old days a spade was a spade and a pick axe was a pick axe, but in the 21st century it seems that everything is changing. Society welcomed television into their living rooms, computers into their pockets and their social network into their bedrooms. It is a strange new world indeed. Modern storytelling certainly hasn’t escaped this transformation either and I can understand how it might make you a little tense.

      You and I are a dying breed, we can recognise a good story without needing to have it spoon-fed to us. We can pursue knowledge for the sake of it without needing to know how it is immediately relevant to our daily lives. We connect our own dots.

      My advice is just smile and nod as the storyteller weaves their craft and dissects good honest history into bite sized morsels for the masses. Historians, authors, writers, journalists, scientists, they all have to dance a silly dance to please their masters and gather their tokens. But often if you look hard enough there will be a rugged and real undercurrent beneath the rosary. The trick is to reach for that without getting pricked.

      Yours historically,

      History Geek

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