23 August 2008

Big Bang vs Audhumla

A friend recently drew my attention to this cartoon on the web which contrasts the scientific view of the origin of the universe with that presented in Norse mythology. The conclusion is a bit simplistic, but it should bring out at least a weak smile in the cognoscenti... My friend suggested it could be useful in teaching!

14 August 2008

Slaves of the Raven Banner

I'm currently 'listening again' to the interval talk from last night's Proms, with the great and the good of Viking Studies (Alex Woolf, Clare Downham, also a newish voice, David Wyatt) explaining slavery in the Viking Age. It can be heard again (for only a week, I think) on the BBC's Listen Again, here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00cxlms. Lots of attention to sex and power, less to the economic aspects of the trade. Good to see the media keeping up their interest in the Vikings, even if there is nothing in this programme that would surprise anyone who did an undergraduate module on the Vikings. Not quite sure where the 'raven banners' fit in, either. But at least the point is made that the Vikings weren't unique in keeping slaves ('as common as a car is today'!).