The 1st Puzzle Updated: What’s Hidden Beneath Hagia Sophia?

Posted by on Dec 27, 2011 in Historical Puzzles

Hagia Sophia is the only building in the world to have served as a Catholic Cathedral and as the seat, the real focal point, of two religions, Orthodox Christianity and Sunni Islam, each of which has hundreds of millions of followers. Yet no guidebook shows any part of the building below ground level. Why? and When Ataturk turned Hagia Sophia into a museum in 1934 and gave the powers of the Sunni Caliphate to the Turkish parliament, he enraged many in the Islamic world....

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The 7 most useful books about how to write fiction

Posted by on Sep 21, 2011 in On Writing

My Oxford dictionary defines useful as, “that can be used to advantage; helpful, beneficial.” And that’s exactly why I keep these books nearby. 1. Solutions for Writers by Sol Stein. First published in 2005 this is the essential guidebook on how to write for our times. Broken up into sections and covering both fiction and non fiction it contains a mother lode of practical advice on issues from the writer’s job, to the keys to swift characterisation, to...

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Dracula, Vampires and Islam

Posted by on May 6, 2011 in Research

In early April 1453 Mehmet the Conqueror, Sultan of all the Ottomans, and only 21 years old, began the last great siege of Constantinople. He had an army of 200,000 men and a navy of 320 vessels at his command. When the city fell 57 days later a tremor passed through Europe. Ottoman Muslim armies appeared to be unstoppable. The voyages of Christopher Columbus, financed to avoid Ottoman control of the spice trade, were one outcome. Constantinople’s change of name to...

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