Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all, the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!" Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs." The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold. Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat. Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the “upper crust”. Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of “holding a wake”. England is small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a “bone-house”, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive... So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (“graveyard shift”) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be “saved by the bell” or was considered a “dead ringer”.
“Here are three positive suggestions to make high-school history more engaging and thereby more memorable. First, replace those phone-book-size tomes with Web-enabled content. Second, make the new stuff more interactive. (There's solid evidence that well-designed games and simulations hugely improve learning.) And third, ask more exciting questions.”—Niall Ferguson
What is history, but a narrative, an interpretation of events that have
occurred and told from the perspective of the world we live in!
“Life must be lived forward, but understood backward.” Kierkegaard
“Die Weltgeschichte ist das Weltgericht.” (World history is the world’s court of judgement.) Friedrich von Schiller
“History is our interpretation of past thoughts that happened to be written down or otherwise preserved. We do not really study [historical] causes, but what people at the time thought were the causes. And our aim in retrieving their thoughts is not so much to explain how things happened as to understand how they seemed to have happened.”
“So much of liberalism in its classical sense is taken for granted in the west today and even disrespected. We take freedom for granted, and because of this we don't understand how incredibly vulnerable it is.” ― Niall Ferguson
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