A bl..dy shame

The people have voted for (Small) Britain to leave the European Union. A bloody shame. (Pardon my French.) There is research a-plenty to support the wisdom of crowds. (See James Surowiecki and Francis Galton. Wisdom of crowds appears most accurate when estimating the weight of a cow. The particularly variety of the cow is not…

Last train to the Kingdom

The battle of Trafalgar marked the beginning of the end of Napoleon’s ambitions. Tomorrow, Brits will flip a coin. All polls hover at 50/50 REMAIN or leave. This post may be the last with the Kingdom inside the EU. Maybe the last post for the United Kingdom. The Scots have already announced they would secede…

1916. The bride wore black.

La mariée était en noir. The bride wore black. June 1916. Exactly a century ago. WWI had started two years before. Two years of massive slaughter. For nonsignificant gains in the front line in the north and northeast of France. My grandfather, Louis Prodault, his brothers, cousins and in-laws, had been fighting for two years…

The black Queen

Nguyen Van Ty was a peaceful man. He’d arrived at the small village in Tonkin many years ago. Apparently from nowhere. Some of the villagers said he had a Saïgon accent, others assured he came from the Imperial city of Hué. He was dressed as a peasant, but his manners, his education, his delicate hands…