Hockey Night in Toronto

Toronto has not won the Stanley Cup since 1967, but it dominated the 1940s and 1960s, and Cup wins go way back, the first two coming in 1913-14 (pre-NHL) and 1917-18 (the first year of the NHL). My grandfather, Frank Carroll, was the trainer of both those early Toronto teams. His brother Dick, was co-trainer of the Blueshirts in 1913-14, and the coach of the 1917-18 team.

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On the Brink of Fame

“Know what,” she said, “I have to learn to smoke for my next picture. Give me a cigarette and you can take pictures of me practicing.” That sounded like a good idea, and Jock shot an entire roll of film while Marilyn Monroe, propped up on the bed in her hotel room, struck a number of different poses.

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The Royal Game

Long before chess had black and white squares, it had a checkered past. For some a passion, for others an obsession, the Royal Game has driven more than a few combatants to total madness and others to an early grave. The medieval Norse epic Olaf’s Saga tells us that in A.D. 1037 King  Knut made a terrible blunder during a chess game against Jarl Ulf. When the king asked if he could take back the ill-considered move, his opponent understandably – but foolishly – refused. In what can only be called an act of poor sportsmanship, Knut chased Ulf into a nearby church and killed him. Vikings, apparently, took their chess quite seriously. Read more of this post

Cambodia & Thailand


Africa: Three Days at Leadwood


Into Africa: The Search for the Source of the Nile

By the time Karen Blixen wrote her critically acclaimed book Out of Africa in the 1930s, untold thousands had perished going into Africa. While its familiar shape had been determined with  surprising accuracy by Portuguese seafarers looking for a trade route to India in the late fifteenth century, little was actually known about the interior of the Dark Continent until the mid-1800s. Early maps marked large expanses simply “Terra Incognita” or, more ominously, “Anthropophagi” (cannibals).

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The Hortus Eystettensis: How Paper Type Can Help Decipher Printing History

In 1613, Basilius Besler (1561-1629), a Nuremberg apothecary, published the Hortus Eystettensis (The Garden of Eichstatt), one of the great early flower books. It was not only one of the most expensive books of the early seventeenth century, but with each leaf measuring 570 x 460 mm. (approximately 22 in x 18 in.), the largest. [1]

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