Tuesday, January 26, 2010

From the Vice Desk

From our friends at Arts & Letters Daily come two entertaining stories:

Der Spiegel Online recently published an article about Patrick McGovern, an archaeologist from the United States who theorizes that our neolithic ancestors didn't start planting grain crops for bread -- the current accepted theory -- but rather for beer. Kind of changes the notion of the forbidden fruit, no? Read it here.

History Today has Lucie Skeaping's excellent explanation of the "jig" as it relates to Elizabethan theatre. What's a jig? At the turn of the 16th century it was a bawdy performance that went on after the more respectable stage show had ended.

Like network television and basic cable after prime time, Elizabethan theaters offered filthy songs and ribald dances for the giggling masses who knew to hang around for the second show. Get all the dirty details here.