Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pirates for Everyone!

Aye, maties, it's that time a year again. The Gasparilla Pirate Fest is today in Tampa, FL. The Tampa Bay Times has a nice piece on the festival highlighting the growing diversity of the festival.

Formerly a Mardi-Gras-style event for white people with privilege, the Fest is now growing into something for everyone, from the suburbs to the "gritty" neighborhoods, to the rural surrounding areas. The article describes the various groups involved:

Time — and even Gasparilla — changes. After the big brouhaha over Ye Mystic Krewe's all-white, all-male membership, they admitted a few black members. Today you have more than 50 krewes in the pirate party: a krewe for "women of spirit and wit," krewes of sailboaters and riverboat gamblers, the Krewe of Buffalo Soldiers, a krewe in kilts. There's even Ye Notorious Krewe of the Peg Leg Pirate, with a core mission of helping amputees and their families.

It's fitting for a pirate festival to be diverse, because most pirate crews were more diverse than their Naval and otherwise reputable counterparts. Since pirats pledged allegiance to no nation, many nationalilites could be represented on their crews. Pirates had even been known to capture slaving ships and invite the enslaved people to join their crew as equal members.

So if yer near Tampa today... hell if you're near Tampa you're probably already at the fest, so read the nice article tomorrow...

Friday, January 30, 2015

Pyrate Video of the Day

We recently found this version of Rolling Down the River, which is not a historical sea shanty; it was written in 1982. However, it's in classic sea shanty style, and Elise and the folks at the pub do a bang-up job with it. It helps that someone in the crowd is singing contrabass, like Thurl Ravenscroft on Disney's Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me. The uploader of the video disabled embedding, though, so you'll have to click to hear it: Elise and the gang singing Rolling Down the River

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blackbeard's Ghost Says "Up Yer Arse!"

Blackbeard was known for being defiant. When confronted at his last stand, he toasted the crew of his capturers, calling them "cowardly puppies." They say he had to be shot and stabbed numerous times before falling, and even after being tossed overboard, his beheaded corpse was said to have swum around the ship several times before sinking. Such was his reputation that this last tale was considered believable by those who knew him.

It's not surprising, then, that the ghost of Blackbeard is still giving us news nearly 200 years after his death.

The wreck of Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, was discovered nearly 20 years ago off the coast of North Carolina. They are still excavating it and making new discoveries all the time.

The latest finds have been various archaic medical technologies, including a device used to treat dehydration by pumping fluid into the rectum. In the 16th century, it seemed reasonable to cure a deficiency by forcing the needed substance up your ass.

Click here for the full story: Medical finds from Blackbeard's wreck