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Queen Victoria's 200th birthday

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I missed it by a day, but May 24th was the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth. She was born in 1819 in Kensington Palace, London, the only daughter of Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent and Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Victoria was born during the reign of her grandfather, George III. She was christened Alexandrina Victoria.

Her father was George III's fourth son and--it turned out--that made Victoria an heir to the throne. Her older cousin Charlotte--the only legitimate heir to the throne, daughter of George the Prince Regent--had died in 1817 after childbirth. Her baby was stillborn, so once again, George III's immediate heirs were his first four sons: George, Frederick, William, and Edward. George and Frederick were old and hated their wives. William had a ton of children from an invalid marriage, left his sort-of wife and kids, and like his brother Edward, found a German princess to marry. He and Edward married on the same day.

Edward died in January 1820. A…

Questions for the FrankenIdea

1. Can somebody explain the British university system to me, please? Thank you.

2. Can anybody explain the process of a UK country house becoming a business/graded and protected/National Trust home?

3. I could probably research all this, but I'm researched out at the moment. :-)

Last Week in Library School...

*pops head up*

Oh, hi.

So, I had a many and varied week this past week, an interesting mix of fun and school.

First, school: I have something like three more weeks until this semester is over. Of course, I have finals coming up, but I also have a research paper to write, a sort of study/presentation thing to do, and other shenanigans.

I had two presentations last week--one was a group presentation, which was stressful. I admit that I don't like presentations period. I hate talking in front of groups of people. I'm also not loud and am very small, which doesn't help when being forced to present things. The second presentation last week was me solo with a PowerPoint and some notes for a different class and frankly, that one was far less stressful.

And yet, though I was nervous before both presentations, it was not the depth of existential anxiety I've faced in the past simply talking in front of others, never mind standing in front of a room and talking to them. I think …

Reiwa!

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Today, April 30th, Japan's Emperor Akihito abdicates. He became the Emperor in 1989.

Japan's Emperor is a purely symbolic role. Technically, it's a constitutional monarchy, but I'm not sure of what official governmental roles the imperial family actually fulfill except to be symbols of Japan.

Japan tells time by eras, like many historical periods. There's the Edo-jidai or Edo Period, from 1603 to 1868, when the Tokugawa shogunate ruled over a not-very-centralized Japan. That's when Japan sort of isolated itself and there were a lot of samurais running around and some Dutch people came to trade and the Japanese gave them a punky island that they made them stay on in Nagasaki Harbor.

In 1868, the Emperor Meiji came to the throne and the Meiji Era began. The Meiji Era is considered Modern Japan and since then, each emperor corresponds to an era. The era name is symbolic and after the emperor dies--or abdicates--he will become known as the Emperor Era Name.

Which i…

TV Shows and Other Things

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So I'm on spring break this week, though I'm working on two projects plus work, so...is it a proper break?

At any rate, I caught up on Fosse/Verdon, a miniseries on FX about famous Broadway choreographer and director Bob Fosse and the rather contentious relationship he had with his wife, muse, and the best Broadway dancer of all time, Gwen Verdon. It stars Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams and there's lots of dancing and musical theater.

I know nothing about dance, but look at Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon dance:



I also want to watch the three-part miniseries Mrs. Wilson, starring Ruth Wilson, which aired on PBS. I have the first episode on the DVR but I'll have to find the final two. Mrs. Wilson is based on a memoir Ruth Wilson's grandmother wrote and left behind. When Ruth's grandfather Alec died in the 60s, her grandmother learned that that she was not the only wife he had--Alec Wilson was a spy, worked for MI-5 and MI-6, wrote a spy novels, and had four wives …