“You were there at the turnstiles, with the wind at your heels…”

Tonight, I found myself explaining orcs to a four-year-old. As snow falls on Washington, take comfort in knowing that somewhere out there is a kid who thinks an orc is a mean, pig-faced creature who uses the word “stupid,” calls other people “blockheads,” and sometimes hits his fellow orcs.

What do orcs have to do with the following assortment of Monday links? Nothing; I just couldn’t leave this introductory section blank, for heaven’s sake.

Last year, I heard from a reader in British Columbia who was planning to walk the Via Francigena, the old pilgrimage route to Rome. I knew too little about the route or its history to offer much help, but I was delighted to learn that he and his wife did it: they walked the stretch from Switzerland to Rome. They’re telling their story here.

What do you get when you combine the Ramayana with 1920s jazz songs? Sita Sings the Blues.

Natalia wants her students’ essays to look her in the I.

Eternally Cool finds The Aeneid on Facebook.

Cinderella says I’m “excessively diverting.” Thanks!

Steven Hart says that some blog-posts last.

Unlocked Wordhoard wonders: What are medieval barnacle geese?

When the BBC ran a silly story about computer models of English past and future, Got Medieval was there to give it a deserving kick, and Language Log was there to demolish it.

Finally, this video from a couple years ago plainly demonstrates why learning a foreign language can be pretty useful.

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