I Am Back!!

Oh, my! It has been a very long time since I last appeared/posted/lived as the Nerdstorian. A lot has changed since the last show in Spring 2013. In 2014, my former co-host, Will, and I parted ways in real life (divorced). It was for the best, and I wish him all the luck in the world. No tears, dear readers. All is well because…

There is a new partner in crime! Steve, who is a huge comedy, movie, Broadway, horror, everything nerd, joined my world in Summer of 2015. We married in April 2016 and haven’t looked back. Expect to hear his funny take on history in new podcast episodes! (See pic for the awesome nerdiness that is us!)


Uncle Fester and Stranger Things’ Dustin

I also began writing more. I had my first short story published, joined a couple of writers group, and started working on my first novel. Yea!!

So, what do I have planned for the Nerdstorian? Author interviews, guest podcasts, general history talk, etc. There is so much! I just can’t wait to get back out there with my history nerd love! Look for more in the near future!


Slightly new directions

So I have decided to merge one of my other blogs with my Nerdstorian site. So now instead of just focusing on history/nerd things. I am going to go for all aspects of my nerdy life. I hope you enjoy. More later!

So, I am attempting to get control of some things in my life that I can actually control. I have some big things in my life that I cannot control like being unemployed or starting a family right now, but I do have to take control of something so that I can feel better about my life. I am not sure how long my period of unemployment will last while I look for a job. I start my program from my second graduate degree in a couple of weeks so that I can have access to other jobs beside teaching.  I love teaching, but I may need to go in another direction. So I have some time on my hands to try to make big and positive changes in my life. So what do I want to do? If I am going to change for the better, then what am I going to change? 1. Weight and Feeling Good about Myself- Let’s face it. Most of us have this on our list. I need to work on it. Ten years ago, I was at a weight that I had never been at before as an adult. I weighed about 190. The year before I had weighed 300, but I had weight loss surgery in December 2002. I lost all that weight and stayed like that for a couple of years. Slowly, but surely, I have put on weight. I currently weigh 260. You can see below..

I am in plaid at about 190 lbs.

I am in plaid at about 190 lbs.

Me close to 260.
Me close to 260.

So of course I want to try to get back to what I was. I felt pretty good about myself then. I don’t want to be super skinny. I just want to be healthy and feeling good about your self is part of that. My husband still finds me attractive, but I don’t. I am not all about having to look good for everyone else, but looking good for yourself. I am not even doing that. I don’t put effort in my appearance and that is because I feel that I don’t need to because I am not attractive. That has to change. I have awesome eyes and hair. I am 5’9″ and have long legs. I have a funny smile. I have to be proud of that. I also know that the harder I work on my physical state the better my mental state can ever be. 2. Writing- I have always wanted to write a book. I don’t care if I get published. I want to be able to write a book. I have snippets of short “stories” laying around. I hope to get at least a very crappy first draft done during this time. I also hope to keep this blog up as well. 3. Podcast- I have a history podcast called the Nerdstorian. I love it, but I have not been keeping up with it. I want to change that and relaunch my show. So, that is it for now. These are things I can control. I know it may be difficult, but I know I have it in me. Let’s see what I can do.

Welcome, #12.

Yep. The new Doctor has been revealed as Peter Capaldi. I honestly don’t know much of his work, although I now have access to The Thick of It thanks to Hulu, but I already like him! The official picture from the BBC shows a guy who is going to have fun with this role. I cannot wait to see him in action!




Here comes 12….

So today, August 4th, is the big revel of who the 12th Doctor will be on Doctor Who. I am not watching it live because I don’t have BBCAmerica, but I will on Twitter, following, watching, obsessing. Eeek!

So I came into Doctor Who fandom in late 2010/early 2011. My husband, Will, was working from home, and I was teaching at a nearby middle school. I would get home from work around four, just in time for BBCAmerica to run a rerun of the Doctor. At first, Will and I just had it on for background noise, but then we started watching it. We thought it was cheesy, then goofy, then pretty good, then interested. Netlix had all of 9 and 10’s episodes and the recently finished first series of 11. We saw that series 6 was coming on that fall so Will and I began watching all of the shows and movies of the show. We wanted to be able to watch the new series completely. We made it just in time.

Now we are hooked. We are Whovians. We got our Tardi, ringtones, etc. I am working on the screwdriver. We converted my younger sister to the cause. All of us are now working on my baby sister. She will be moving to college in a couple of weeks to a school that has a very active Quidditch (she is a big HP fan) and Battleship team so I am pretty sure that she will become a Whovian soon.

So now we wait. It is 2:07 Eastern time in Georgia so by the time you read this, the new Doctor will be revealed. I will write my thoughts later. I am going to miss 11. He is my Doctor. (10 is important, but face it. It’s like choosing which child is your favorite.) So let’s enjoy Whovians. It is a new chapter. Time to celebrate. Some reading material below!


Big Sister

So one of the biggest parts of my life is that I am big sister. I am the oldest of three girls, and I am proud to say that I am still very close to my little sisters. We definitely drive each other crazy, but we also love each other a lot.

Like I said above, I have two younger sisters, Amanda and Maggie. Amanda and I are two years apart. Maggie is 13 years younger than me. Having Amanda being close in age to me was a blessing and a curse. We moved a lot as kids. I mean a lot so she and I were constantly the new kids. This made us very close. We were each other’s best friend because we were each other’s constant in all of our moves. We played together. We FOUGHT constantly, but we always made up. She was a manipulative little butt as a lot of little sisters are, but I fell for a lot of it because I thought I had to take care of my little sister.

I think I always took my role as the big sister seriously when it came to Amanda. There was one incident when we were little that I put myself in harms way to protect my little sis. My family remembers the golf cart “disaster” when I was seven. My grandmother had remarried after my grandfather died when I was almost 6, and her new husband had a daughter or granddaughter (I never can remember) that was around 12 or 13. This girl wanted to take Amanda and me on a golf cart ride. Amanda was not quite five so I put her in my lap so that she could ride. This girl decided to drive really fast to make it more fun. I had my arms wrapped around my little sister’s waist and was holding onto her. The golf cart made a very sharp turn while going very fast. The cart went to the left. Amanda and I went to the right. I honestly believe that I pushed Amanda away from me into the grass so that she wouldn’t get hurt. (She doesn’t.) I landed on asphalt. Amanda had a couple of scrapes and bruises. I had a lot of scrapes and bruises, pretty much from head to toe. That event pretty much sums up my relationship with Amanda. She will drive me absolutely insane, but I will take more pain so that she won’t. She is 28 now, and I still fight with her. Still, I would do anything to help her and make sure she is okay.

Then there is Maggie. Maggie was not supposed to be here. My mom and dad always wanted a third kid, but they kept putting it off for various reasons. Finally, when I was in 6th grade, they decided to try for another kid and became pregnant with my baby sis. Maggie was due in August of 1995. Mom started having problems in March. Mom was in and out of the hospital, almost miscarrying Maggie each time. Mom was on bed rest the whole time while my father had to work third shift as a Neuro ICU nurse. In laste April, Mom was put in the hospital until Maggie was born. It was a crazy time. Maggie was finally born in early June, about 2.5 months before her due date. From that moment on, Maggie was our world. Amanda and I became another set of moms for her. I was 13, and Amanda was about to be 11 when Maggie arrived. We did everything with her. Played Blue’s Clues or as she called it Coo Coos, read stories, took her to movies, everything. She was like a little mascot for my high school chorus. When Amanda was in 7th grade, she was in the talent show. Maggie kept wanting to dance with her during rehearsals so Maggie became part of the act. She was two. It was so cute.
Maggie was six when I started college. She was eight when I started dating my husband, Will. Amanda, Will, and I took her to her first concert when she was 11. She was like a little adult. She liked a lot of what her older sisters liked so she was into Death Cab for Cutie and the Decemberists instead of the normal kid stuff in 2006. Maggie is the tyrant that we worship.
Amanda is 28, and she is starting cool things in her life. Maggie is 18, and she is heading off to college. It is crazy to see them off on their little adventures. Believe me. I am still the big sister so I either boss them around, which Maggie laughs at, or I actually help them. We may all be adults, but I am still the big sister. I love it.

Remembering Daria

So this week College Humor put up a fake Daria trailer staring Aubrey Plaza as the titular character. (A link is at the end of this post.) Of course it is a huge deal on the internet, especially among us Generation Y’ers. (Is that right? Am I end of Gen X or beginning of Gen Y? I was born in ’82.) I loved the trailer as I own the DVD’s and watch the show about every two months, either using my discs or Hulu/Netflix.

Brittney, Daria and Jane (from left) in Daria.

I was a fan of the show when I was a teenager, and it was new. Lawndale High was pretty much a upper-middle class version of my high school. When Daria and Jane were complaining about the use of “dawn of the millenium”, it was pretty much my friends poking fun at the fact we were in high school at the “dawn of the millenium.” I knew a Kevin and a Britney. I knew a couple of UpChucks and Jodies. I definitely knew some Quinn’s and Sandy’s. Luckily, my sister and I were not Daria and Quinn. If I flip through my junior yearbook, which was at the height of Daria “mania” in 1999, I will see several brunette girls dressed as her for character day during Homecoming Week. Hell, Daria was MTV. If you are my age, you came home from school, watched TRL in the afternoon and watched Daria and Celebrity Death Match during the 10Spot. Hell, Daria did the musical episode before the much-loved Buffy episode. (My husband, a fan of Buffy in his high school days, was surprised by this.) Those were the days when they still showed music videos. Yeah, I went there.

What I love about this show is that the characters, while sometimes being very one-dimensional, could grow. This is definitely shown in the last two seasons and the movies, Is It Fall Yet? and Is It College Yet? All the characters grow, go through real problems teenagers have to go through, etc. My favorite story lines are Quinn’s realization that she is intelligent and that she is selling herself short, the Tom/Jane/Daria “triangle”, the Tom/Daria relationship, and Daria coming to an understanding about how her personality can be a problem but understanding that she should not get rid of the better parts of her, if that makes sense. The last official episode of season 5, in which Daria figures this out by examining a painful memory of her parents having to deal with her anti-social behavior as a little girl, really touches a nerve for me because someone close to me has experienced that and still does. They know who they are.

Parts of Daria’s personality and problems really spoke to me. I was not very popular, but people knew me. I had some friends and two best friends. I was pretty bright, although I was one of those smart kids that had potential and didn’t really use it. Although, I was very involved in Chorus and by the end of high school, SGA. I was very outspoken. I wore glasses, dealt with trying to use contacts, and the idea of people seeing me differently because I didn’t have glasses. Hell, I am 31 and still feel like that not so popular, outspoken girl that Daria was.


Even though the show went off the air in 11 years ago and sometimes can seem dated (the “new” technology, Jake working for a start-up dot-com), its themes still hold up. My 18-year-old sister could definitely relate to this show. This may be one of the few things MTV ever created, and I am glad for that.

So let’s see…

What am I going to talk about? Maybe I should go over the basics. The name of the blog does explain some. I am a girl. Well, I am really a woman, but girl sounds better when you are trying to come up with titles. Next, I am nerdy. As I type this, I am watching Adventure Time on my television that is next to a Tardis and Tyrion Lannister Funko Pop! figure while my PS3 controller charges so that I can play Bioshock Infinite again. Yes, I am married. I have been for over 6 years so someone loves my nerdy. Now the over 30 thing. Yep. I am over 30. As of this blog post, I have been 31 for about three and a half weeks. So that is the basics.

So why then am I writing a blog? Because I welcomed 30 with open arms. Had a lot of fun celebrating it. Lot’s of hope that year. I was leaving a job that did not agree with me and starting a new one where I thought I was going to grow. I had just gotten past some health issues that scared me. I was going to make changes for the better. When I turned 31, well, that was a different story. It’s kind of like one of those flash forwards from a show. You have the bright-eyed, hopeful, younger woman who is going to be awesome. Flash a year later, she is sitting on her couch, in pajamas at 5:00 in the afternoon, unemployed, gained weight, and not that happy with her life. Oh, wait. That is me now. You see, I am writing this blog as an exercise in working on becoming a better person. I want to explore all of the things I love while getting to know myself better and transforming myself into the person I thought I would be in my early 30’s. I hope to become the healthier, more creative, keeping up with her original podcast, happier person than I am now. I hope I can do that.

So. that’s it. That’s the blog in a nutshell. It is only an introduction. I am going to try and keep this updated as much as possible. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I will enjoy writing it. Thanks.

Also, don’t worry. I will nerd it up plenty. I won’t be serious the whole time!


The Over 30 Nerdy Girl

History themed and non-history themed thoughts a year into The Nerdstorian thing

So, according to WordPress, today is my anniversary. Yes, today is the first anniversary of when I created my blog, the Nerdstorian. I am proud of my little niche of the nerd-verse, and I hope that it goes farther. So what does a year bring. Over a thousand page views, which I am very proud of. A podcast, which has taken over the blog. Renewing my love of history even more than it was. Did I know that because of this little venture I would meet some cool people like the former hosts of Stuff You Missed in History Class, episode 5, Jackie Kaishain, who interviewed Will and me for her very popular podcast, or the guys over a CastBender, who we are working on some cool stuff with? No. It has opened my small world, and I feel proud of this “baby” that I created. So there is that.

Some history thoughts:

I just finished the book, Mary Coin, which is loosely based on those involved with the Migrant Mother photo from the Great Depression. I did enjoy this book because even though the names are changed and the story is just an outline of the lives of the real people, it had me doing my own research into the history of that famous photo. I recommend this book, and I may dedicated a future podcast or blog entry to this photo.

I am working on different blog/podcast topics for the summer. Topics include The Hatch Show Print Shop in Nashville, Tennessee, Crazy Bet van Lew, Disney and the Good Neighbor program (which is also part of a work thing), the dwindling of traditions in Jewish communities in Argentina, possibly another “culture” episode like our zombie one, only about social studies connections in the Avatar: The Last Air Bender and Korra series. It will be a lot of fun. 


Now if only I can make money off of this thing. Haha. One can dream…

Nerdstorian in the Atomic City

Hello, listeners. Welcome to episode 7 of the Nerdstorian. Today, we travel to a place that is special to Sarah, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, also known as the Atomic City. We look at Denise Kiernan, not Diane Kiernan (mistake at the end), her book The Girls of Atomic City, and one of its very cool women, Colleen Rowan Black, an employee with the secret project that Oak Ridge was home to. We also look at the sad and strange case of Ebb Cabe, also known as Patient HP-12, who was subjected to experiments of the atomic age. So sit back, take a listen, and travel with us east Tennessee during World War Two on the Nerdstorian.

Colleen Rowan Black

Colleen Rowan Black- picture from Denise Kiernan and Touchstone Books

Nerdstorian the Sixth: The Hemingways Go to France

Hello, podcast listeners. In this edition of the Nerdstorian, we visit Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson. We talk about her early years, her marriage to Ernest, the affair that ended it, and life after Ernest. So bob your hair and do the Charleston like Al Capone on top of a flagpole, cuz we are heading to 1920’s Paris in this episode of the Nerdstorian!

Nerdstorian the Sixth

Nerdstorian the Fifth: “Stuff You Missed” Edition

What up, nerds? Welcome back. In this just as special as other special episodes episode, Sarah and Will visit the How Stuff Works offices in Atlanta to talk with “Stuff You Missed in History Class” hosts Sarah and Deblina about history faves, podcasting, cat poodling, and the Norman invasion of 2066 (not a typo). Meanwhile, Will’s passion for gratuitous reverb is challenged by natural acoustics and poor mic placement.



“Theme for Nerdstorian”, Will Winchester

“Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)”, Boney James


Stuff You Missed in History Cast

Zombie Nerdstorian

MWAHAHAHA!! It’s Halloween, and we are in the holiday spirit! Will and I talk about zombie lore, films, comic books, and all kinds of other tangential bull. Join us for a journey through zombies’ pop culture emergence and re-emergence, and what they have to say about our society. It’s freakin’ awesome, I swear. And why would I lie? Brains!!! (Does contain mild cursing)

Zombie Nerdstorian

Will Winchester- “Theme for Nerdstorian”
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins- “I Put a Spell on You”
The Damned- “Born to Kill”
The Flaming Lips- “Convinced of the Hex”
Donovan-“Season of the Witch”
Wye Oak-“Civilian”
Sparklehorse- “Weird Sisters”

Note: If you like it, go buy it!

Nerdstorian Whocast

Welcome to our third episode of the Nerdstorian podcast. On this episode, we have a special guest, Diane Martin, of the DiHard podcast. We discuss Doctor Who, his connection to historical figures, especially Madame de Pompadour from the episode “The Girl in the Fireplace”, and general history/Whovian nerdiness. You can follow Diane on Twitter at @dihard11, her blog at http://dihard.info, and as a contributor to the Nerdist site. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to hit us up at nerdstorian@gmail.com. Also remember to follow us on Twitter: Sarah @nerdstorian, Will @wwimchester, and the podcast @nerdstoriancast.


Nerdstorian Whocast

Madame de Pompadour

So. I am about to record a fantastic episode with some amazing guest hosts this coming weekend about Madame de Pompadour aka Reinette, her place in the Doctor Whoverse, and a bit of nerding out with the history and all. I thought I would visually prepare you, loyal readers, with some pictures of a visual nature because they are best consumed visually….visual. Enjoy.




Now the Doctor and Reinette in “The Girl in the Fireplace” written by Stephen Moffit- I love this episode!


I hope you look forward to the upcoming podcast. I will.




A serious aside from the Nerdstorian

Today I thought I would be serious since it is such an important day.

11 years ago today, I was a freshman at the University of West Georgia, living at Strozier Hall. I remember it was a beautiful day, cool and sunny, like today. I was late to class and sitting at the bus stop next to my building. One of my friends leaned out of the window, yelling to get back in the building. What I saw on the television has changed my world. I will never forget this day.

I do remember that all the girls in my dorm forgot all the pettiness and group building that is so prevalent in teenage girls. For the whole day, we sat in different rooms because we all kept our doors open not caring if we were friends or not. I remember that so many people at UWG forgot the social norms and became a family as we cried together at the lives lost and/or affected, screamed at the live images that will never leave our minds, and tried frantically to call our loved ones because we needed to hear their voices because we were in fact still children. I remember missing my friends from high school and my family because I was in a new place doing new things and wanted the familiar during this tragedy. I remember worriying about my baby sister, Maggie, and how she would understand all of the horror since she was a six-year-old little girl. I remember worrying about my younger sister, Amanda, and how she,even though she was a junior in high school, was handling all of the horror without her big sister to immediately talk to. I worried about my parents, a former Navy man and Navy wife (if you are a military brat, you understand), and all they understood about this tragedy and the people they knew who would be affected because they were still in active service.

I now teach children who were born in 2000 and 2001 and that blows my mind. They don’t remember the day and have asked me what I remember and what it felt like. I try to help my students understand the importance of the event, and how they can make the world a better place.

I also know that I will not let hate for others be the emotion that rules this anniversary. I believe that today should be a reminder that people can be good and people can be bad, but that we, as humans, can do many great things that can try to change the world and make it better. Remember that my friends, especially during this election season where so many hurtful things can be said on both sides. I love you all, even if we disagree on so many things. You are all amazing and special.

Alternate History on a Rainy Day- Spoilers!

Hello, readers. It’s raining here in northwestern Georgia, and I am recovering from my wisdom teeth being removed. So since I am just sitting around, I started flipping through cable. Well, one of my favorite movies, Inglorious Basterds, just happened to be on TNT. Now some of you who know TNT would probably be wary of trying to watch a movie on that station. We all know the jokes about the amount of commercials making a two-hour movie more like 5 hours, but I love this movie so why not.

Anyway, this movie is a great example of how alternate history can be so much fun to watch. For those of you who need a refresher, Inglorious Basterds was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, came out in 2009, and offers an alternate look on how World War II could have ended. There are two storylines in this movie. One storyline follows Shosanna, a young French Jew who escapes the massacre of her family at the hands of Hans Landa, a Nazi “Jew Hunter,” who lives in Paris under a new identity as a cinema owner. She crosses paths with a German war hero, Frederick Zoller, the subject of Joseph Goebbels’ newest propaganda feature. The Nazis have chosen her cinema as the site for the big premier of the film where only the German/Nazi elite can attend. Zoller has a crush on Shosanna, who is being watched by Hans Landa, who has been put in charge of security for the event. Shosanna and her protectionist/ lover, Marcel, decided to exact revenge on the Nazis by trapping them inside during the premier and burning down the cinema. Storyline two follows a group of American Jewish soldiers called the Basterds who are led by Tennessean Aldo Raine. Their mission is to systematically hunt down and kill Nazi soldiers in France, collecting scalps along the way. Survivors of their ambushes are left with a swastika carved into their forehead so that everyone knows they were Nazis. The Basterds, mostly the German-speaking ones, join up with a German actress/ British double agent, Bridget von Hammersmark and a British solider to blow up this important film premier. They meet in a basement bar, where all hell breaks loose, as the German Basterds and the British solider are killed when their cover is blown. Aldo and the remaining Basterds are now responsible for carrying out the mission of killing the Nazi higher-ups because it is now revealed that Hitler will also be attending the premier! The two storylines intersect as Hans Landa investigates the bar shootings and the night of the premier arrives. Shosanna does not know the Basterds exist, The Basterds do not know Shosanna exists. The movie reaches its climax as both plans go into effect at the same time killing Hitler, other Nazis, and many of our heroes. Hans Landa switches sides in order to end his part in the war and Aldo Raine is ordered to bring Landa over to the Allied forces. Hans does not escape his fate with the Basterds though as they carve a swastika into his forehead. A lot happens in this movie so excuse me if it all sounds a little jumbled.

Anyway, the reason this movie is so much fun to me is it makes me wish it was real history. When I first watched this movie, I left the theater wanting the war to end earlier, for Hitler to suffer the way he did in the film, and for a group like the Basterds to really exist. Alternate history does that. It sometimes draws on what people wished had really happened in history instead of the truth. Tarantino does a great job with that. I have to say he seems to know his World War II history because the events in the movie are very believable. Hans Landa could have very well have been a  real Nazi that students read about when studying that time period. Also Tarantino’s use of real historical figures is great. They are either speaking characters or just pointed out with what looks like handwritten titles. I love this movie. Oh, and the tension at the beginning of the movie!! Geez!!!

Tarantino has another alternate history film coming out this winter, Django Unchained, which I am sure will hold up an uncomfortable mirror to the Southern U.S. as it looks at the 1860’s in a spaghetti western type flick. Cannot wait. I will definitely be talking about it on here.

Just some small thoughts:

I love Doctor Who. I am a definite Whovian. So as a Whovian and history nerd, I, of course, love episodes showing and/or dealing with historical figures. My favorite episode is where Amy and the 11th Doctor meet Vincent van Gough. It is such a wonderful episode that make me smile and cry every time I watch it. Below are the historical figures that have appeared in the show since the 1st Doctor in 1963. It shows which Doctor, the actor, and the episode. I am planning on getting more detailed on some specifics on here and maybe, just maybe the podcast.

Historical figure Actor(s) Doctor Episode/Serial(s)
Tigellinus Brian Proudfoot 1st The Romans
Lucius Caecilius Iucundus Peter Capaldi 10th The Fires of Pompeii
Poppaea Sabina Kay Patrick 1st The Romans
Nero Derek Francis 1st The Romans
Saladin Bernard Kay 1st The Crusade
Al-Adil I Roger Avon 1st The Crusade
Richard I of England Julian Glover 1st The Crusade
Joan of England, Queen of Sicily Jean Marsh 1st The Crusade
John, King of England Gerald Flood 5th The King’s Demons
Robert de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Leicester John Bay 1st The Crusade
Kublai Khan Martin Miller 1st Marco Polo
Marco Polo Mark Eden 1st Marco Polo
Gaspard de Coligny Leonard Sachs 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
Catherine de’ Medici Joan Young 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
Elizabeth I of England Vivienne Bennett 1st The Chase
Angela Pleasence 10th The Shakespeare Code
Charles IX of France Barry Justice 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
William Shakespeare[1] Hugh Walters 1st The Chase
Dean Lennox Kelly 10th The Shakespeare Code
William Kempe David Westhead 10th The Shakespeare Code
Cyrano de Bergerac David Cannon 2nd The Mind Robber
Charles II of England Paul Critoph 11th The Impossible Astronaut
Blackbeard Gerry Wain 2nd The Mind Robber
Henry Avery Hugh Bonneville 11th The Curse of the Black Spot
A Good Man Goes to War
Louis XV of France Ben Turner 10th The Girl in the Fireplace
Madame de Pompadour Jessica Atkins 10th The Girl in the Fireplace
Sophia Myles
Paul François Jean Nicolas, vicomte de Barras John Law 1st The Reign of Terror
Maximilien Robespierre Keith Anderson 1st The Reign of Terror
Napoleon I[2] Tony Wall 1st The Reign of Terror
George Stephenson Gawn Grainger 6th The Mark of the Rani
Abraham Lincoln Robert Marsden 1st The Chase
Charles Dickens Simon Callow 9th The Unquiet Dead
11th The Wedding of River Song
Queen Victoria[3] Pauline Collins 10th Tooth and Claw
Louis Pasteur unknown 7th Time and the Rani
Paul Gachet Howard Lee 11th The Pandorica Opens
Benjamin Briggs David Blake Kelly 1st The Chase
Albert Richardson Dennis Chinnery 1st The Chase
Virgil Earp Victor Carin 1st The Gunfighters
Ike Clanton William Hurndall 1st The Gunfighters
Wyatt Earp John Alderson 1st The Gunfighters
Johnny Ringo Laurence Payne 1st The Gunfighters
Big Nose Kate Sheena Marshe 1st The Gunfighters
Doc Holliday Anthony Jacobs 1st The Gunfighters
Vincent van Gogh Tony Curran 11th Vincent and the Doctor
The Pandorica Opens
Bat Masterson Richard Beale 1st The Gunfighters
Warren Earp Martyn Huntley 1st The Gunfighters
Billy Clanton David Cole 1st The Gunfighters
H. G. Wells David Chandler 6th Timelash
Winston Churchill[4] Ian McNeice 11th The Beast Below
Victory of the Daleks
The Pandorica Opens
The Wedding of River Song
Albert Einstein Tom O’Leary 7th Time and the Rani
Nickolas Grace 11th Death Is the Only Answer
Charlie Chaplin M. J. Matthews 1st The Daleks’ Master Plan
Adolf Hitler[5] Albert Welling 11th Let’s Kill Hitler
Agatha Christie Fenella Woolgar 10th The Unicorn and the Wasp
Bing Crosby Robert Jewell 1st The Daleks’ Master Plan
Richard Nixon Stuart Milligan 11th The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon
Elizabeth II Mary Reynolds 7th Silver Nemesis
Jessica Martin 10th Voyage of the Damned
Barack Obama Unknown 10th The End of Time

Some more side notes: There won’t be a new podcast for a couple of weeks due to some health things. But I have some great things planned so I am excited!

Nerdstorian the Second: The Aleppo Codex

Hello, listeners!! Here is episode two of our lovely, little podcast. In this episode, we have mystery, intrigue, murder, mysticism, and some corrections. Come join us as we take a look at the mysterious Aleppo Codex.

Podcast music credits: Will Winchester, “Nerdstorian Theme”, Beirut, “Bratislava”, Gulag Orkestar, Ba Da Bing! (2006), Gogol Bordello, “Underdog World Strike”, Gypsy Punks: Underground World Strike, Side One Dummy Records (2007), Neutral Milk Hotel, “The Fool”, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Merge Records (1998)

Nerdstorian the Second

Podcast Corrections

Hi! So in the podcast found below, I made a mistake about blister plastering. What I was thinking of was a form of cupping, which when overdone can cause horrible blisters. I do apologize. According to the following website Medicine-in-Jacksonian America (http://tinyurl.com/983uqhc) blister plastering is:

“The application of blister plasters was another way of cleansing the system. These were usually made of mustard or Spanish flies (cantharides) which were powdered and mixed with liquids to make a plaster. The compound caused great irritation to the skin; when blisters discharged the pus, much of the harmful matter supposedly was expelled. Once cleansed of its irritants, the body could be restored to health by the use of tonics. Arsenic, mercury, lime, copper, iron, and nitric acid frequently were used as components of the various restorative solutions and compounds.”

Always something to learn here at the Nerdstorian!


Nerdstorian the First

Hi! This is the first episode of our podcast. In it, we talk about Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. She is an amazing 18th century woman who was ahead of her time in politics, fashion, and more. Take a listen as we look at her through our eyes.



Information: Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman

Nerdstorian the First



So I am re-watching an episode from season 1 of the Tudors from Showtime. I’ll admit it is trashy, over-sexed, too many things glossed over, etc. I still love it. Makes me wonder though. Which is sexier the real Henry VIII or Jonathan Rhys-Myers? Both are still kinda scary! Anyone else notice how those Howard/ Boylen guys are so sleezy when it comes to their daughters. I know in real life they basically pimped out their daughters, but it is still a little disturbing.

Dangerous, kinda crazy

Not too bad if you don’t know the history.

A Duchess, A Movie, A Book, and A Podcast?

Hello, internet! It’s a cloudy, kind of rainy Saturday here at my apartment, but I like it that way. My husband, Will, has been helping me prepare for my first podcast!! I am excited. I thought I would preview a little of what we will be talking about in my first episode.

In college, I took several classes with a professor named Dr. Michael de Nie. These classes were about British and Irish History, which is an area of history I adore. While in one of these classes, I read Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman. It is now published as The Duchess. (See below)

Image  Image

Anyway, this book is a great biography about Georgiana, who was born in 1757, married William, the Duke of Devonshire in 1774, and lead an interesting, albeit sometimes tragic, life as one of the most influential women in Britain. She grew up much loved by her parents and younger siblings, but she was constantly striving to please everyone she met. This was how she remained for the rest of her life. Her husband was the de facto leader of the Whig Party, which advocated personal freedom and that sovereignty ultimately rested with the people. She founded Salons that had the important literary and political figures meeting to discuss ideas of the day. In a world where women had little or no rights, she held rallies, fundraisers, and drives to get the vote for Whig and Devonshire candidates.

Georgiana’s marriage was a fairly loveless one. Her husband, the Duke, was a powerful man, who had many affairs, including with Georgiana’s best friend, Elizabeth Foster. He fathered child by a mistress before his marriage to Georgiana, several children with Georgiana, and two children with Elizabeth. Georgiana was involved with other men, but she was specifically involved with Lord Charles Gray, the future Prime Minister. She had a child with him, Eliza, who she was forced to give up and  was raised by his family. Georgiana is the great-great-great-great-aunt of Princess Diana (Spencer) through her brother, George Spencer, and the great-great-great-great grandmother of Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York, through her daughter, Eliza, with Gray. She was also a friend and pen pal with Marie Antoinette. She had to end her affair with Gray when the Duke made her choose between her lover and her Devonshire children. She ultimately choose her children by the Duke.

Georgiana was also fashion icon in late 18th century England. She was known for her hair styles as being BIG, outrageous, and daring. I have included one example.Image

In 2008, a movie version called The Duchess was released with Kiera Knightley as Georgiana and Ralph Fiennes as the Duke. They were good in their roles, but I did have an issue with the ages (Georgiana and the Duke were 7 years apart. They were married when she was 17, and he was 24.) I also had an issue with the fact they glossed over her influence in politics, her childhood, and even her status in fashion. It was mostly about love, affairs, freedom, etc. That part is interesting. Heck, I even mention it. Read the book. It’s great. The movie is good, but the book is better. Below are some photos from the movie.

Look at that hair!!!! ^


The Duke^


Close up on the hair^

Anyway, get ready for the upcoming podcast. I will really get into the above subject matter and have some fun with it. Just one more picture to make us smile.


Who doesn’t love corgis?

Sorry for being gone

Well, it has been pretty busy over here in the land of the Nerdstorian. I am back to work as a teacher and have been made a department chair so that is exciting. I am hoping to get this blog updated more often then not, but it has not been easy. Too much work to be done. I will try.

So what have I been doing on the nerdy, history-minded front? I have read and re-read some books, watched some movies, planned some curriculum, been bugged by my husband to get my podcast going, and just bummed around on the internet. I love books. Well, really I am obsessed with books. I try to read as many as possible. I recently re-read some historical fiction like books like The Other Boylen Girl, Shanghai Girls, Dreams of Joy, and The Paris Wife. I don’t know a lot about the some of the histories these books are based on, but I do know a lot about Tudor England. I am not an expert, but I can tell people a lot of really “boring”, but awesome (at least to me) facts about this era. I was watching men’s rowing yesterday during day one of the Olympics and was making my husband and I late for dinner with his family because I was geeking out over the event taking place on the Thames. 

The Olympics!!! I always love the Olympics. I loved the Opening Ceremonies. They were great. I still need to watch the first part before the children’s lit portion (which was SWEET!!!!) and the part before the Parade of Nations. Freaking NBC cut out the final act before the parade on the encore broadcast. WHY?!?!? I don’t care if Ryan Seacrest has to interview someone. Give me my dang history making, history based Opening Ceremonies. UGH!!! 

Enough for now. I have places to be. I will check in later (I hope) with more specific nerding out.

No sleep

Hello, readers.  Hope all is well. Long time no see. Things got a little busy here in the land of the nerdstorian. Also has a case of the writer’s block. I am back now.


So what upcoming thoughts can you expect from me in the near future? Historical fiction, stuff about Atlanta since I am returning there as a teacher, maybe zombies. I am becoming obsessed with zombies. Probably, start looking at weird history or just completely going full on nerd on some stuff. If you gave any suggestions, let me know. That’s all for now. Must try and get some sleep. Laters!

More on Helga…

I found some examples and information to go with examples of Helga’s amazing work.

1. Image

From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (ushmm.org): 

Bread on the Hearses” by Helga Weissova, a child imprisoned in Theresienstadt. Drawing with brush and watercolors. Caption with the artwork reads: “Everything was transported on old hearses—luggage, bread and elderly persons. ‘Jugendfürsorge‘ (Welfare for the Young) is written on this hearse. But coffins were transported flatbed carts.” December 1941.


Listening to a concert in the Terezin ghetto.


One of two places- Being deported from  to Terezin/ Theresienstadt or On the platform at Auschwitz: Need I say more. Most people from this ghetto died in Auschwitz, especially after the infamous/famous Red Cross visit. The old, the young, the women with children… They were sent to the gas chambers. So sad. 

Terezin was the site of the Nazi propaganda film, Terezin: A Documentary Film from the Jewish Settlement Area, that showed how “well” the Jews of Europe were doing under Hitler. The Nazis cleared out a section of the population for a Red Cross visit, gave the “prisoners” more food and clothes, put on plays, concerts, and musicals (see Brundiabar and the children of Terezin), and put on other events. After the Red Cross left and the film was made, most of the population was deported where many died at Auschwitz. 

Catching Up Part 1: Art of the Holocaust

Hello to all you readers out there. I am sorry that I have not posted in the last couple of days, but after the last week, I needed to let my brain rest and churn all that new information that I recieved. I knew some basics about the Holocaust, but wow. That is all I can say about it. I did say that I would post some of the information that I learned so let’s get started. I hope that it will enlighten some of you to the stories of the Holocaust.

Art of the Holocaust:

When I heard the lecture over the art of the Holocaust, a couple of artists stuck out to me. One was Helga Hoskova-Weissova. The other was Felix Nussbaum (I will discuss him tomorrow). Both created amazing pieces of art that captured the hope, despair, horrors, and dreams associated with living during the Holocaust.

Helga Hoskova-Weissova was born in 1929. As a young girl, she and her family were forced into the Czech ghetto of Terezin. While there, she began creating artwork capturing what she saw in the ghettos. In 1944, she and her mother were sent to Auschwitz were she continued to do her work while suffering the horrible conditions of forced labor. She survived this and a forced labor march to become one of the most celebrated artists of the Czech Republic. She was one of the 10 percent of children to survive Terezin. She did this by lying to Josef Mengele about about old she and her mother was when arriving at Auschwitz. She was recently in Atlanta, talking about her art and her story. In January of 2013, a published version of her diary will come out.  Below is some examples of her artwork. 


This was a birthday present to a friend of Helga. In it, Helga talks of their lives and their dreams of the future. It starts with the year she and her friend were both born, 1929. In 1943, they are both stuck in Terezin as prisoners of the Nazis, but they both dream of the future. They dream of walking the streets of their home, Prauge, as adults with their children in a post-war world. Sadly, Helga’s friend did not survive the war. This drawing, done by a young teenage girl is powerful in its hopes for the future, but yet heartbreaking because most of Helga’s friends and contemporaries did not make it from Terezin. Helga was an amazing artist at such a young age, and it is a great thing that she and her artwork survived to be witness to the Holocaust.

Tonight, I will post more examples of her artwork so that we can all see what she captured. I do suggest that you look up stories about the art of the victims and surviviors of the Holocaust because they are moving.

Die Moorsoldaten or The Peat Bog Soldiers

These are the English translation of a German language protest song dating from the yearly years of Nazi rule in Germany. This is song was written and performed in 1933 by political prisoners (Socialist and Communist) in Emslandlager, a concentration camp for political opponents of the Nazis, who were not allowed to sing songs associated with their political beliefs. This song became their anthem in a way and was used by Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War. It is considered to be one of the best known protest songs from Europe. It is a very powerful song. Enjoy.

Lyrics to Die Moorsoldaten (English):

Any directions you might see,
Bog and heath is everywhere.

Here are no birds to sing for me
The oaks, they stand twisted and bare.
We are the bog battalion,
On spade instead of stallion,
In bog.

In such a deserted landscape
Just for us, this compound dire.
Far from friends and with no escape
We are cached behind barb-ed wire.

Columns long, we head for the bog
To dig the early morning.
We sweat in sun, work like a dog,
And think of loved ones mourning.

Thought to home and hearth do return,
To parents, wife and children.
Many a breast may sigh and yearn
To leave this prison, when, oh when?

The patrols guard us day and night,
Escape is a losing sport.
Your life’s not worth attempted flight,
Four rings of wire fence the fort.

Complaining will not set us free;
Winter can’t last forever.
The time will come when we will see,
Our homeland ours, together.

Then no more bog battalion
No spade instead of stallion
In Bog.

So funny in the morning…

Saw this on the New Yorker site this morning from the caption contest. Cracked me up! Just a little funny in the morning…


“I don’t care what planet they are from, they can pass on the left like everyone else.”
Submitted by Justin Sather
Oswego, Ill.

Read more http://contest.newyorker.com/index.html#ixzz1xly2m1Je

Good morning!

Hello, happy readers. It is a lovely late Spring/ Early Summer morning here in Atlanta. I have some down time right now before today’s session starts at the institute I am attending so I thought I would type up something. 

Yesterday, I briefly spoke about a lecture I was listening to that discussed the art of the Holocaust. It was an amazing lecture, and I am planning on putting up some examples and the stories that go with them. These pieces are both beautiful and sad. 

This whole experience has left a huge impression on me. I was explaining my frustration on the amount of children who died during the Holocaust to my husband, Will, and found myself getting worked up and almost in tears. I started ranting about how horrible and unbelievable it is that this horrific event happened in our history and YET there are still maniacs, horrible, horrible human beings who are still doing things like Hitler and the other Nazi leaders did. I felt all the old anger I felt as a 11/12 year old when I was hearing about Rwanda on the news. I felt all the old anger I felt at the atrocities in the former Yugoslavia. I feel the anger rising when I think about Syria and South Sudan!!! Did these people not listen to history? I know that certain things are not taught or are ignored, but COME ON!!!! I already felt this way growing up, but this institute is making them come back and wanting to do something about it. I am thankful for this institute. I hope I can take this back into my classroom and also talk about the events that are happening now. It is going to be difficult to talk about the Middle East and Africa to middle schoolers without wanting to talk in detail about the violence that is going on now in Syria and South Sudan. We shall see though.

Okay, readers. TIme to leave. I will check in with you later as my day or week progresses.

Art of the Holocaust

I am here in my training/ institute, and we are talking about the art of the Holocaust. These pieces are an example of how these targets of hatred used art to add to their resilience and their resisitance to the crimes being committed to them. One person hid his artwork in a copy of Mien Kampf that was in the Dachau library. He tore the pages out and hid his work in it. When Dachau was liberated, an American doctor found the book and art. In 1970, the doctor and art reunited with the artist. How amazing.

I will add more about this lecture later in the evening. I will try to include examples.

Teaching the Holocaust

Hello. As many of you are aware of, teachers are not off during the summer. We are either working on lessons, units, curriculum for the next year and/or are taking workshops, going to institutes, or taking classes. This week, I am participating in an institute about teaching the Holocaust at the Breman Center in Atlanta. I am starting on Day 3 of 6 of the institute, and it is changing my life. If you are a teacher in Georgia, please consider this institute. It is moving, sad, depressing, uplifting, and more words than I can say. I will post more as the week goes on.