Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Importance of Citations for Historical Studies

Citations are something that many students see as a boring and unenjoyable task, and indeed sometimes citations can seem pointless and unnecessary. They are, however, very important in modern academia and I believe that they are very important to a meaningful study of history, in whatever fashion.

In this article I would like to narrate my journey of how I came to terms with citation in formal writing, and would like to suggest various reasons why citation should be seen not as a chore but rather as an important and integral part of historical study.

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Command the sea, command the world!

This week I felt it would be interesting to look back at one of the areas I was fascinated by over the course of my studies, naval warfare. Growing up at sea due to my father’s job I have a love of the sea and only truly feel at home when onboard a ship…I also had a tendency to pretend I was sailing on one of the Galleons of the British fleet in glorious battle against pirates (or vice versa depending which side were the “goodies” in the last piece of media I consumed). As I grew up I also became fascinated by the fact that a tiny island in the North Sea developed the largest empire the world has ever known. The following essay looks at how Britain exploited sea power after 1689 to sustain a new role as one of the front rank European states. It is one of the more heavy academic pieces I have posted but I feel it will be of interest to many readers.

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Learning a musical instrument with the AHA

Learning a musical instrument with the AHA

You may know that the charity running the AHA is called Triquetra Services (Scotland).  One of the meanings of Triquetra is a triangle, indicating its three-sided nature.  The three branches of the Academy of Historical Arts are combat, crafting and music.  The AHA has a thriving programme of events and classes across the UK including a wide diversity of crafting and combat lessons.  However, the musical branch of Triquetra is lesser known.

It has been possible to craft musical instruments such as the flute and Celtic whistle at crafting events for several years and music lessons have been available sporadically as well.  It is in the last two years that a music corps has been officially created and become active across two locations.  It is not surprising that the chief instrument is the bagpipes given that Triquetra is a Scottish charity.  The chanter is played to prepare musicians for the bagpipes and there is also the facility to learn the drums, flute or singing within the academy. The possibility of offering lessons in more instruments is under review.

So, why would you want to learn a musical instrument?

One of the most common regrets people seem to have is that they gave up their childhood instrument.  In contrast, no one has ever told me that they really regret having given up finger puppetry or tiny tot ballet.  It doesn’t even seem to matter how well they played their instrument or what it was.  Clearly there is something about playing a musical instrument that resonates with people.

Quality, not Quantity

Today I want to talk about a very simple concept: there’s not much point doing something wrong, if you could be doing it right. This is a problem I see particularly in PT and exercise programs. The PT program used in my group has students perform very few reps of any given exercise. When running people through a PT program, I prefer to think about the quality of the reps rather than the quantity. As far as I’m concerned, the quality of the reps is the most important thing to consider, and everything else comes secondary (with the exception of health & safety concerns, however focusing on quality not quantity should reduce H&S concerns anyway).

I frequently get asked questions along the lines of “what do you think about this 100 push ups a day program?” My first two thoughts about questions like this are always: 1) what relevance does being able to do a 100 push ups have to HEMA, and 2) if you’re doing 100 reps in a row, what’s the chance that those reps will actually be good?

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