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Vicki Leon, author of over 35 nonfiction books on women's history, ancient history, and travel, along with pictorial books for younger readers on wildlife and earth's fragile habitats, lives on the California coast but often returns to her favorite research sources around the Med.
Colossal Comet Proclaims the Birth of Champagne
What in heaven's name could a great comet, a daring Frenchwoman, and a great glass of bubbly have in common? This triple cosmic intersection in 1811 produced one of history's most memorable moments when an inventive winemaking widow created the first modern champagne from a vintage so extraordinary that she named it after the comet that blazed across the skies above her-- "le vin de la comete." Series: Uppity Women Wednesdays (9 Articles, 11937 views)
Tuesday, November 25, 2014(2 comments)
Abused kids, child trafficking, & slavery in Honest Abe's day
Rarely do page-turners written for middle-school kids ignite excitement in adults. (A notable exception is the series of Harry Potter books.) Fewer still explore the secret sorrows of children's lives in the mid-1800s, whether enslaved or free. Running Out of Night, a debut novel from Californian Sharon Lovejoy, offers both. Series: Uppity Women Wednesdays (9 Articles, 11937 views)
Tuesday, October 28, 2014(2 comments)
Haunted by the Evil Eye? Grab the nearest phallus!
Uppity historian and time-traveler Vicki Leon offers a fascinatingly eerie experience this month with stories of vampire chicks, winged harpies from hell, and bogeywomen B.C.! Long-ago Greeks and Romans went wild during their October festivities which revolved around graves, ghosts, and gruesome rites to keep scary spirits at bay. Even weirder? Their belief in the evil eye. To ward it off, they depended on Phallus Power! Series: Uppity Women Wednesdays (9 Articles, 11937 views)
Tuesday, September 16, 2014(8 comments)
Inked Amazons: Passionate Warrior Women Who Loved Cannabis, Battle-axes, Booty & Bling
Vicki Leon's Sept. installment of "Uppity Women Wednesdays" reviews Stanford scholar Adrienne Mayor's new book, "The Amazons: Lives & Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World." The mythological Amazons were modeled on real barbarian archers -- sexy horsewomen who gloried in battles, wore ink as well as bling and got high on pot. Lots of intriguing surprises here - ancient history is livelier than you thought! Series: Uppity Women Wednesdays (9 Articles, 11937 views), Book Reviews (2 Articles, 2517 views)
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Friends, donors and countrymen
Let the men and women who want to be servants of the people earn back our trust the old-fashioned way and show their commitment by carrying out voter-specified works in the public interest. Instead of liturgy, we could call it an investment in the greater good. That puts a satisfying new spin on the term "buying American," doesn't it?
Tuesday, August 19, 2014(4 comments)
Cleopatra One-Upped! Nubian Queen Trounced Romans, Evaded Taxes
Ancient Egypt had Cleopatra, but Egypt's unsung southern neighbor, Meroe (now Sudan) rocked a centuries-long line of warrior women. One ferocious standout, Queen Amanirenas, dropkicked the Romans out, won autonomy and deftly avoided taxation. Her people smelted iron, mined huge quantities of gold, and 200 of their pyramids still stand. And the temple honoring their queen is open to visitors in NYC today. Series: Uppity Women Wednesdays (9 Articles, 11937 views)
Tuesday, July 8, 2014(20 comments)
Early American Torture Porn: How to "Cure" a Witchy Woman
Imagine watching unwilling females of your acquaintance being strip searched, probed, and tortured by a group of your friends, from needle stabbing to the very public, pubic shaving of said naked ladies. Sound like a tall tale from the internet? Far from it. These abuses were routinely carried out by numerous holier-than-thou religious communities of colonial America.
All in the sacred name of witchcraft suppression. Series: Uppity Women Wednesdays (9 Articles, 11937 views)