Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pirate Events, New York City


a Swashbuckling Pirate Party
with an Ancient Greek twist

brought to you by Stolen Chair

Saturday, February 2, 2008
9pm - 3am
Underwater Lounge
66 Water St in Dumbo
F to York St / A/C to High St

$9 Advance tickets at www.partylikepirates.com
$14 Tickets at the door $9 Tickets at the door in costume

* Enter an underground pirate ship and maraud the coasts of ancient Greece!
* Witness live swordfights fought with naked steel on the dance floor!
* Discover what the fates have in store for your future at our Delphic Oracle!
* Savor a glass 'er two o' Captain's Blood!
* Dance as our sails are filled by music from DJ's BeenJammin, ShaneDigital, and Friar Tuck

…with clairvoyant performances by Lulu Miller and Jonathan Harford, spectacular swordplay by fight master Barbara Seifert, and decor by Laura Sheedy and David Bengali.

Tickets Online at www.partylikepirates.com

Pirates of the Aegean is a fundraiser event to support Stolen Chair's April CineTheater production - the Tragic Swashbuckler. Visit www.stolenchair.org for more info

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pirates in the News! January 26, 2008

To start out with a tale of high level petyness from a civic organization, a lady in England was fined and forced to take down a pirate flag in her garden.

The Nigerian Navy Killed a pirate and arrested three others, on the Sombreiro River.

And in Bangladesh, pirate gangs continue to fight with government forces in the Sundarbans, this time uniting gangs to fight the army.

Pirates Events, January 26, 2008

It's time again to see what's pirating around the world.

There's a big pirate festival in Tampa, Florida this weekend called Gasparilla.

There's also a pub crawl in Mobile, Alabama gearing up for Mardi Gras with the Pirates of LoDa

and if you're near Liverpool, England, Alton Towers is opening a new Pirate themed attraction called Battle Galleons.

Pirate Links- In Search of Pirate Wenches

This blog details the travels of the pirate Tiger Lee to different pirate events around the country and finds pictures of saucy wenches. Saucy wenches aside, it's a great resource for pirate events.

Pirate Comics: Lego Pirates

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pirate MMORPGs Aplenty

So, Today marks the release date for Pirates of the Burning Sea a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) . Also out right now is Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Online MMORPG.

Now, while I want to provide you all with the finest in pirate-media reviewing possible, but I do have a job and a first mate who is 10 month old, so I didn't do a lot of extensive testing. That said I DID try out the free trial of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Online.

In Disney's new game, placed in a somewhat undefined time between the end of the first movie and the beginning of the second, though with appearances and references to characters from the second movie (at least as far as I had gotten). Anyway, you're a pirate and you're more or less helping Captain Jack Sparrow fight an undead pirate named Jolly Roger and his skeleton army, and simultaniously fending off Lord Cutler Beckett and his East India Trading Company Assassins. Briganding Ensues.

With Game play being really simple and designed as a family-friendly game That said, it has a system built into it that prevents you from randomly shooting other players, or in fact anyone other than undead ghosts who wouldn't mind since they're already dead. That logic is somewhat tenuous given that you are shooting them to re-kill them. Regardless, the game was fun but like most MMORPGs I've encountered, expect to kill a number of random beasts trying to level up and a lot of time getting from place to place between quests. But, as a plus, if you want to try it out there's a free trial that allows you to play for seven days before committing to a monthly membership.

Next, Pirates of the Burning Sea, has no free trial mode! GASP! For Shame, Pirates of the Burning Sea, for shame.

Here's a review from QJ.NET They seemed to like it.

Another Review from GameSpot,

In the midst of any number of World of Warcraft clones, it's unusual to come across a massively multiplayer title as unique as Pirates of the Burning Sea. Make no mistake: This is not just WoW with pirates instead of Night Elves. Instead, Pirates of the Burning Sea seeks to offer a deep but accessible role-playing experience with any number of original features.
I think the thing that captured me as having the most potential (also potential to literally suck my entire life into a game) was this:

Each nation includes over 1,000 missions, and SOE promises that 80% of them can be finished without having to group. This should be good news for solo players, especially because the target completion time for most of these missions is between 20 and 30 minutes. However, player-vs.-player enthusiasts will find a real treat in the game's PvP system. There are a number of ports scattered around the game world, and these ports can be contested and captured by any of the four nations. This isn't a quick process, however. First of all, you need to create unrest in the region, which will cause an uprising. To do this, you can perform acts of espionage, such as delivering gunpowder to insurgents. Once enough unrest has been caused, the port will be contested, which opens up plenty of opportunities for PvP combat. After a few days, the contest is decided in a huge final battle.

If that doesn't sound like a good time I'm not sure I know what does, possibly reading a blog about Pirates.

If any of you play them please send in comments, I'd love to hear from you.

Nautical Superstitions- Fiddler's Green, Part 2

So, after my Fiddler's Green post I got some response describing how Fiddler's Green is actually a fairly common bit of Army Lore (at least in America) and Father sent me this song from Fort Davis, Texas:

U. S Ninth Cavalry, Ft Davis, TX

Halfway down the trail to hell in a shady meadow green Are the souls of all dead troopers camped, near a good old time canteen.
And this eternal resting place is known as Fiddler’s Green.

Marching past, straight through to hell, the Infantry are seen, Accompanied by the Engineers, Artillery and Marine, For none but the shades of Cavalrymen stop off at Fiddler’s Green.

Though some go curving down the trail, to seek a warmer scene No trooper ever gets to hell ‘ere he’s emptied his canteen And so rides back to drink again with friends at Fiddler’s Green.

And so when man and horse go down, beneath a saber keen Or in a roaring charge or fierce melee you stop a bullet clean And the hostiles come to get your scalp, just empty your canteen

And put your pistol to your head
And go to Fiddler’s Green."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday Morning Interlude

Who's ready for some Monday Morning extensive academic discussion?

Me neither,

for your viewing pleasure, I give you some comics that include pirates and often, is about pirates.


I especially enjoyed "True Facts about Pirates"

Also, several non-pirate comic strips have pirate/nautical related comics today:



This delightful and romantic strip immediately brought to mind some of my feelings when i consider the sea.

And just because I love this shirt,

Diesel Sweeties

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What the *$^% is a: Quartermaster?

A Quartermaster enforces discipline aboard ship; sometimes the same job as the Bo’sun. They were elected by the crew and were the second most powerful men aboard ship and had veto power of the Captain's orders as long as they were not in the middle of a battle.

Quartermasters led raiding parties onto other ships and some Quartermasters, notably Captain Jack Rackham succeeded to command their own ships and become captains in their own rights.

Nautical Superstitions

It is unlucky to have flowers aboard ship. They're too close to funerals for a sailor's comfort.

Pirate Exibits- Greenwood, S.C.

The Greenwood County Historical Society is Presenting a Pirates in the Carolinas program this Sunday at 2:30pm.

Pirates in the News! January 17, 2008

According to a new study Columbus Carried Syphilis from the New World to Europe
researchers using the genetic markers in syphilis have found evidence that supports the idea that frisky sailors carried the disease from America to Europe. The Spanish Pox (also known as the English Pox, French Pox, Italian Pox and "Various Other Country we dislike at the time" Pox) appeared in its modern sexually transmitted form approximately 3 years after Columbus first returned from his expeditions.

This new research also says that it may have been transmitted non-sexually before it mutated into its modern form. Meaning the jury is still out on where syphilis originated.

For those of you saying eww, just be glad I didn't post pictures of sores, very gross.

You may remember that I reported on the Sea Shepard Alliance's efforts to attack whalers off Antarctica, this has taken an interesting turn as two of the environmentalists have been taken hostage by Japanese whalers.

Hideki Moronuki, the Japanese Fisheries Agency's chief of whaling, said the two anti-whaling activists taken aboard the Japanese ship would not be released unless Sea Shepherd stopped "dangerous and illegal activities".

The two men - Australian Benjamin Potts and Briton Giles Lane - have been held on the Japanese whaling ship the Yushin Maru No.2 since yesterday.

Sea Shepherd has said the men were trying to deliver a protest letter to the Japanese crew.

"The ICR (Institute of Cetacean Research) is ready to release the two intruders provided that full security can be secured for our research vessel. Sea Shepherd is a very violent organisation," Moronuki said.

What a twist, right?

Pirates in the Caribbean- Captain Edward "Blackbeard" Teach

Captain Edward “Blackbeard” Teach (1680-1718)

An English Pirate, Blackbeard began his career on privateers sailing in the Caribbean during the War of Spanish Succession. He worked his way through the ranks of sailors and was given his command when his former Captain retired.

He chose pirating over privateering and earned a reputation for cruel
ty attacking the Atlantic Coast and West Indies.

He was 6’ 4” and noted for weaving hemp into his beard and lighting it aflame during battle. He is depicted in paintings as having numerous weapons of all kinds on him and is the archetypical pirate.

He kept his headquarters in the Bahamas and the Carolinas and was eventually brought down with a detachment of the English Navy sent from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland.

He died in combat after being shot 5 times, stabbed more than 20 and finally beheaded.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Book Review: A General History of The Pyrates

A General History of the Pyrates by Captain Charles Johnson (Daniel Defoe)

The first edition of this tome was published in 1724 and is considered one of the most valuable accounts of buccaneering available because it is thought to be written by famed author Daniel Defoe. Defoe was not only the author of literary classics like Robinson Crusoe but an expert on all things maritime.

This two volume opus contains fantastic biographies of early 18th century pirates including, Kidd, Teach, Rackham, Bellamy and many, many others. It also contains many instances of policies and governments aboard ship.

Of course, its historical relevance is only part of its appeal, Daniel Defoe tells a great story with extremely colorful setting and description. If you enjoy literature you will enjoy A General History of Pirates.

Five out of Five Hooks

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Modern Pirate Attacks Worldwide, Map

For those of you interested in Modern Piracy check out this excellent website that shows pirate attacks worldwide as they happen.

Pirate Symbols- The Black Spot

This, like parrots, planks and eye patches, is one of the famous accouterments of pirate life, or in this case, death. When a pirate had done something truly awful, and usually, done several things truly awful, and usually, several truly awful things, pretty often to many of his friends, he was given a death sentence. The mark of this sentence was a black spot of ink on a page ripped from the bible. It informed the soon to be deceased that his time had come.

From Treasure Island to Pirates of the Caribbean The Black Spot is a staple of Pirate movies and stories.

Pirates in the News! January 14, 2008

The statistics are in and

Pirates Attacks have Increased for the first time since 2003

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) These increases are seen mostly around Africa where pirates have gained a significant foothold in recent years

  • Two crew men were injured on Wednesday when gunmen attacked four supply ships near Bonny Island, Nigeria, an export point for about 400 000 barrels of oil per day.

  • A ship watchkeeper was tied up and severely beaten when pirates boarded a chemical tanker at anchorage near Lagos. The ship lost valuable equipment.

  • Four armed robbers in a small rubber boat attempted to board a bulk carrier at anchor in Lagos harbour using a grappling hook. The alarm was raised but the robbers escaped.

  • Seven pirates armed with knives used a wooden boat to board a large container ship while it was anchoring at Haiphong, Vietnam. They attacked three sailors and stole ship stores.

    There were 263 reported attacks on ships in 2007 compared with 239 attacks in 2006. In total 64 sailors were assaulted and injured and 292 held hostage, compared with just 17 injuries and 188 hostages in 2006.

  • Also, not exactly pirate news, but worth reporting, The United States' Pirate Party (related to Internet freedoms) has thrown its support behind Barack Obama.

    Monday, January 7, 2008

    Nautical Superstitions- Fiddler's Green


    As opposed to Heaven, Hell or Davy Jones' Locker, Fiddler's Green is an alternate afterlife for sailors. The Green is a place where there is eternal happiness and the fiddlers and dancers never tire. References to Fiddler’s Green are found in Homer’s The Odyssey, but the concept can also found in nautical mythology around the world.

    To arrive at Fiddler’s Green an old sailor, be he merchant or pirate, puts his oar over his shoulder and walks inland. When he arrives at a pastoral village deep in the country people will ask what he’s carrying. The villagers will give him a seat in the sun at the local inn, a bottomless mug of grog and an eternally smoking pipe, and he watches the beautiful maidens dancing for the rest of time.

    You Are a Pirate- Lazy Town

    This is a pretty entertaining song, I especially like the bridge, very housey.

    You Are A Pirate

    What the *$^% is a: Cabin Boy?

    A Cabin Boy is a boy usually between the ages of six and twelve who tends to the ship's quarters and runs errands aboard ship. These boys were usually onboard as apprentice sailors, and often received an education in navigation or other important seafaring skills.

    These boys may have been powder boys when they were younger.

    Cabin Boys feature prominently in many folk ballads and stories like Treasure Island.

    Ship Types: The Galleon

    The Galleon

    A large, multi-decked ship used from the Sixteenth to Eighteenth century by all the European powers, the galleon was a staple for both battle and commerce. All the great trading nations, Spain, Portugal, and the Dutch in all the Seven Seas employed galleons. They were extremely stable on the water and were powered entirely by sails. They had three to five masts and sails wherever they could find room. The famous Spanish Armada was made of galleons and was finally defeated by the English who had modified the traditional galleon design for speed. Man-o-wars and clippers eventually replaced them in the Eighteenth Century.

    Tuesday, January 1, 2008

    Nautical Superstitions

    It is unlucky to start a voyage on December 31.

    It is considered to be the day Judas Iscariat hanged himself. My personal take is that the year might eat you, what with time at sea being as tricksy as it is.

    What the *$^% is: Grog

    Grog - Refers traditionally to a mixture of alcohol and water.

    Today Grog can refer to any number of drinks usually involving rum, usually pirate themed.

    In Australia and New Zealand it means pretty much any alcoholic drink.

    Ironically, while most people associate Grog with pirates and sailors accounts show that they prefered Bumboo, rum mixed with water, sugar and nutmeg.

    Book Review: A Short and Bloody History of Pirates

    A Short and Bloody History of Pirates by John Farman

    This is a great introduction to pirateology for the young swabby just putting to sea (an nine or ten year old would LOVE this book). There are copious pictures and anecdotes as well as delightfully horrifying descriptions of pirate "food" and methods of torture.

    It's truly adorable. But that said, it doesn't pull that many punches, there are topics on disgusting disease, cross-dressing, cannibalism and untimely deaths in graphic detail.

    Here's an excerpt from Page 36:

    Dysentery is a horrible disease and almost too yucky to talk about. You get it when a lot of people are crowded together and don't wash their hands after going to the bathroom, and then handle food. On a pirate ship, not only did they not have proper toilets... but the water was far too precious to be used for washing. Actually, pirates were a filthy bunch who wouldn't have washed their hands anyway.

    Don't worry, you'll soon know if you've got it: severe bouts of blood-filled diarrhea, followed by severe stomach pains, followed by a severe thirst, followed by, if you're a bit unlucky severe death. Severely not to be recommended.

    Medical Tip
    If you've got dysentery, don't, for God's sake, confuse it with scurvy for, if you rush for the fruit bowl, it'll more than likely make it much worse."

    Four out of Five hooks

    Back to Port

    Sorry about the break between posts, To make up for it, here's a photo of the awesome gift my in-laws got me.

    Reviews of some other gifts will follow in the coming weeks.

    Happy New Year!