Undiscovered King Arthur and Merlin Stories Found Hidden in Medieval Texts

The tales of King Arthur, his Knights of the Round Table, and his wizard Merlin have regaled children around the world for hundreds of years. If you happen to be a Camelot-ophile yourself, you may be thrilled to hear that we may be getting more stories soon, thanks to academic Michael Richardson.

Richardson was scouring the University of Bristol’s Special Collections Library for new reading materials for the university’s master’s program in Medieval Studies, when he found something totally unexpected.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Inside some of the 16th century books he was thumbing through were seven  hand-written parchment fragments that contained, upon closer examination, new renderings of the King Arthur, Merlin, and the Holy Grail legends.

Richardson contacted Leah Tether, the President of the International Arthurian Society, and together they found the fragments told familiar – though at times significantly different – stories. Tether expounded on their findings in a statement.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

“These fragments of the Story of Merlin are a wonderfully exciting find, which may have implications for the study not just of this text but also of other related and later texts that have shaped our modern understanding of the Arthurian legend.”

The new fragments depict longer, more detailed accounts of the stories of Arthur, Merlin, and Gawain preparing for battle against Lancelot’s father, King Claudas, and include many unique details.

The fragments were found in books that are believed to have been printed in Strasbourg between 1494 and 1502, and then sent to England unbound. Researchers believe the Arthurian parchments were probably used as extra material during the binding process in order to save money.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Based on the content of the parchments, Tether and others theorize they come from an old French text called the Vulgate Cycle (aka the Lacelot-Grail Cycle), which were used as the primary source for the work of Sir Thomas Mallory. He penned the most famous account of King Arthur – the one that inspired most modern retellings of the tales – Le Morte D’Arthur.

“Time and research will reveal what further secrets about the legends of Arthur, Merlin and the Holy Grail these fragments might hold,” says Tether.

King Arthur fans around the world, rejoice!

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8 Facts to Know About W.E.B. Du Bois

W.E.B. Du Bois was a highly influential activist and scholar who lived during the time between the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. Unfortunately, as has too often been the case with prominent African-Americans of that era, his contributions have been largely relegated to history books instead of celebrated the way they deserve to be.

In the spirit of Black History Month, here are 8 things you should learn about W.E.B. Du Bois.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

1. He wrote The Souls of Black Folk.

The book was a collection of sociological essays that discussed the challenges of life as an African American. One essay discussed the death of his first child, who passed from diphtheria after Du Bois spent the night looking for one of the three black doctors in Atlanta, as no white doctors would treat his son.

2. He opposed Booker T. Washington.

Du Bois publicly opposed Washington’s “Atlanta Compromise,” which placed vocational access over equality. In response, Du Bois helped found the Niagara Movement, which advocated for equal rights.

The founders of the Niagara Movement, with Du Bois in the middle row wearing the white hat
Photo Credit: Public Domain

3. He published a groundbreaking study in 1899.

His study, “The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study,” was the first major case study of a black community and one of the first data-driven social science studies.

4. He organized Pan-African Conferences.

He helped organize several Pan-African Conferences to fight racism and help end European colonialism.

5. He was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Fisk University and studied abroad at the University of Berlin in 1892. He earned his Ph.D. in 1895.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

6. He co-founded the NAACP.

Du Bois co-founded the NAACP in 1909. He acted as the organization’s director of publicity and research until 1934.

7. He became a citizen of Ghana.

Du Bois moved to Ghana at the invitation of the country’s president and became a citizen, although he never renounced his American citizenship.

Du Bois (middle) at his 95th birthday party in Ghana, 1963

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

8. He died the day before the “I Have a Dream Speech.”

Du Bois died at age 95 in Ghana on August 27, 1963. The next day Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his iconic speech at the March on Washington.

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Brilliant Map of Indigenous Lands Shows Whose Property You’re Currently Occupying

Holidays like Thanksgiving and Columbus Day, along with the way we teach colonization of the Americas in general, have all come under scrutiny over the last few years, and not without reason — the true roles of indigenous peoples is almost entirely glossed over and watered down. One effort to amend that has been for some communities choosing to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day on October 8th instead of Columbus Day.

But there’s much more we can all do to educate ourselves and our children about the people who populated North America before European settlers arrived.

Enter this pretty cool use of Google Maps, created by a company called Native-Land. It shows you which Indigenous tribes resided in what parts of the country over the centuries.

Photo Credit: Native-Land.ca

But the maps include more than the Americas.

Hold onto your hats, Aussies and New Zealanders.

Photo Credit: Native-Land.ca

Canadian developer Victor G Temprano started the company in 2015 during a time of a lot of local development projects, according to the company’s website:

While mapping out pipeline projects and learning more about them for the sake of public awareness, I started to ask myself whose territories all these projects were happening on. Once I started finding the geographic data and mapping, well, it just kind of exploded from there.

Photo Credit: Native-Land.ca

Controversial development projects like the Trans Mountain and Dakota Access pipelines not only helped him to be more culturally aware, it made him wonder where else modernization might be infringing on native lands.

He continues to explain on the site:

I feel that Western maps of Indigenous nations are very often inherently colonial, in that they delegate power according to imposed borders that don’t really exist in many nations throughout history. They were rarely created in good faith, and are often used in wrong ways.

Photo Credit: Native-Land.ca

The maps are not part of any academic project and feature input from users that causes them to change constantly, but Temprano did recently announce that he’s hired a research assistant to ensure all of the information is as accurate and complete as possible.

It’s a great site to visit with your kids around the holidays or anytime you want to discuss cultural appropriation and western civilization.

As one does.

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10+ Times College Professors Were the Actual Best

They say that those who can’t do, teach – and I’ve always thought that if being a writer doesn’t pan out, being a college professor sounds pretty good. Flexible hours, you deal with your students directly instead of having to put up with their parents, and you still get longer holidays.

I mean, what’s not to love — you know, aside from the ass-kissing, publish-or-perish mentality, and the politics that go hand-in-hand with higher education?

No, but seriously, these 11 college professors totally confirm my assumption that their jobs are awesome more often than not, and that the profession attracts the best sort of people.

#1. It’s best not to ask too many questions.

Image Credit: Twitter

#2. It’s cool.

Image Credit: Twitter

#3. Yo.

Image Credit: Tumblr

#4. Even if he’s not in, he’s in…poster-style.

Image Credit: Reddit

#5. And possibly hungover.

Image Credit: Twitter

#6. You’ve got to meet kids on their level.

Image Credit: Twitter

#7. Buckle up, because this ain’t high school.

Image Credit: Tumblr

#8. Email is hard, yo.

Image Credit: Twitter

#9. This made me lol.

Image Credit: Twitter

#10. He’s just trying to connect.

Image Credit: Twitter

#11. Critique’s still valid, tho.

Image Credit: Twitter

I’m off to apply to grad school!

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When a millionaire Harris…

When a millionaire Harris Rosen gave everyone in his Orlando neighborhood – Tangelo Park, free college education and free daycare, the crime rate was cut in half and high school graduation rate increased from 25% to 100%.

The Latest in the Fight Against School Shooters? Trained Dogs

Given the lack of action we’ve seen in the face of school shootings becoming an epidemic in our country, educators have been forced to get creative and come up with their own solutions to keep our children safe. There’s ALICE trainingRun Hide Fight, and even an extremely controversial idea of arming teachers. Amongst all these ideas, nothing seems to have really taken hold.

Maybe keeping trained attack dogs in schools – not exactly a new idea, but one that seems to be gaining traction – will be different.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Real Deal Dog Training in Norco, CA, and Active Shooter K9 in Chariton, IA, are two of the companies working to train dogs.

James Greco, the head trainer for Long Island K-9, told the New York Times that “the best trained dogs have an accuracy rate of 85 to 90 percent. This sniffing ability means K-9s could help detect the tens of thousands of guns that are brought to school by students across the country each year.”

To be clear, the idea is that having trained dogs in schools could help prevent a shooting before it starts because the dogs will (hopefully) be able sniff out guns and ammo on students. It is not so much that the dogs will be able to stop a shooter who is already on the loose (although, maybe it could happen that way).

If they are successful, these dogs could mean the difference between happily boring, repetitive days at school and the nightmare that too many American kids have already experienced first-hand in recent years. At the very least, taking this step, in addition to others, could help parents and educators feel as if they’re doing something useful to prevent the loss of their children.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

In this day, when so much is so scary and uncertain, simply feeling less impotent is worth a lot.

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