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Blackbeard

Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was an English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of Britain's North American colonies. Little is known about his early life, but he may have been a sailor on privateer ships during Queen Anne's War before settling on the Bahamian island of New Providence, a base for Captain Benjamin Hornigold, whose crew Teach joined around 1716. Hornigold placed him in command of a sloop that he had captured, the two engaged in numerous acts of piracy, their numbers were boosted by the addition to their fleet of two more ships, one of, commanded by Stede Bonnet. Teach captured a French slave ship known as La Concorde, renamed her Queen Anne's Revenge, equipped her with 40 guns, finished her off with a crew of 300+ men, he became a renowned pirate, his nickname derived from his thick black beard and fearsome appearance. He formed an alliance of pirates and blockaded the port of Charles Town, South Carolina, ransoming the port's inhabitants.

He ran Queen Anne's Revenge aground on a sandbar near Beaufort, North Carolina. He parted company with Bonnet and settled in Bath, North Carolina known as Bath Town where he accepted a royal pardon, but he was soon back at sea, where he attracted the attention of Alexander Spotswood, the Governor of Virginia. Spotswood arranged for a party of soldiers and sailors to capture the pirate, which they did on 22 November 1718 following a ferocious battle. Teach and several of his crew were killed by a small force of sailors led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard. Teach was a shrewd and calculating leader who spurned the use of violence, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response that he desired from those whom he robbed, he was romanticized after his death and became the inspiration for an archetypal pirate in works of fiction across many genres. Little is known about Blackbeard's early life, it is believed that at the time of his death he was between 35 and 40 years old and thus born in about 1680.

In contemporary records his name is most given as Blackbeard, Edward Thatch or Edward Teach. Several spellings of his surname exist—Thatch, Thache, Tack and Theach. One early source claims that his surname was Drummond, but the lack of any supporting documentation makes this unlikely. Pirates habitually used fictitious surnames while engaged in piracy, so as not to tarnish the family name, this makes it unlikely that Teach's real name will be known; the 17th-century rise of Britain's American colonies and the rapid 18th-century expansion of the Atlantic slave trade had made Bristol an important international sea port, Teach was most raised in what was the second-largest city in England. He could certainly read and write; the author Robert Lee speculated that Teach may therefore have been born into a respectable, wealthy family. He may have arrived in the Caribbean on a merchant vessel; the 18th-century author Charles Johnson claimed that Teach was for some time a sailor operating from Jamaica on privateer ships during the War of the Spanish Succession, that "he had distinguished himself for his uncommon boldness and personal courage".

At what point during the war Teach joined the fighting is, in keeping with the record of most of his life before he became a pirate, unknown. With its history of colonialism and piracy, the West Indies was the setting for many 17th- and 18th-century maritime incidents; the privateer-turned-pirate Henry Jennings and his followers decided, early in the 18th century, to use the uninhabited island of New Providence as a base for their operations. New Providence's harbour could accommodate hundreds of ships but was too shallow for the Royal Navy's larger vessels to navigate; the author George Woodbury described New Providence as "no city of homes. In New Providence, pirates found a welcome respite from the law. Teach was one of those. Shortly after the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht, he moved there from Jamaica, along with most privateers once involved in the war, became involved in piracy. About 1716, he joined the crew of Captain Benjamin Hornigold, a renowned pirate who operated from New Providence's safe waters.

In 1716 Hornigold placed Teach in charge of a sloop he had taken as a prize. In early 1717, Hornigold and Teach, each captaining a sloop, set out for the mainland, they captured a boat carrying 120 barrels of flour out of Havana, shortly thereafter took 100 barrels of wine from a sloop out of Bermuda. A few days they stopped a vessel sailing from Madeira to Charles Town, South Carolina. Teach and his quartermaster, William Howard, may at this time have struggled to control their crews. By they had developed a taste for Madeira wine, on 29 September near Cape Charles all they took from the Betty of Virginia was her cargo of Madeira, before they scuttled her with the re

Bloody Panda

Bloody Panda is a doom metal band based in New York City. The band was formed in 2003 by Yoshiko Ohara, an established visual artist based in Osaka, who "decided to spend her savings on a trip to New York City, brand new recording equipment in tow, with the idea that she’d move to America to make music, this despite the unfortunate fact that she didn’t know how to play an instrument of any kind." Ohara posted advertisements for band members that read, "Seeking guitarist and drummer to form the biggest band in the world, as soon as possible. Must have dark personalities." One such ad posted in a local record store, caught the attention of trio Josh Rothenberger, Bryan Camphire, Blake McDowell, who responded and subsequently joined Ohara's project rounded out by "respected jazz and world music drummer/percussion-ist/tabla-ist" Dan Weiss. Between 2005 and 2006, the quintet played around New York City opening for such diverse acts as Akron/Family, Genghis Tron, Mouth of the Architect. College Music Journal commented on Bloody Panda's live performances stating, "Known for their daring stage shows, the band performs in executioner's hoods and robes to amplify their Yoko Ono-meets-Black Sabbath ))-like) riff work."

The band released—through Holy Roar—a split album with avant-garde metal group Kayo Dot in early 2007, recorded a cover of Eyehategod's "Anxiety Hangover" for the tribute album For the Sick. At this time, the debut album by the "enigmatic metal band with the indie rock name" had become one of the most anticipated full-lengths in 2007. Produced by Jason Marcucci, who has worked with The Flaming Lips and The White Stripes, Bloody Panda's first full-length, was released in April 2007 by Level Plane Records, which had signed a recording contract with the band earlier in that year. Decibel magazine defined the album as "moody," definition complemented by PopMatters writer Adrien Begrand, who stated, "Singing in both English and Japanese, Ohara could be singing in Esperanto for all we care, as her melodic chants are difficult to discern, but despite the fact that her lyrics to possess a poetic quality, Pheromone is more about mood than message, her vocals every bit as entrancing as the arrangement behind her."

Their second album, was released in 2009 on Profound Lore. Jonathan Horsley of Terrorizer commented that "Bloody Panda may be too experimental to win your heart, but they demand your complete, undivided attention." Bryan Camphire - bass, samples & backing vocals Lev Weinstein - drums Josh Rothenberger - guitar & synthesizer Yoshiko Ohara - lead vocals Blake McDowell - organ & backing vocals Gerry Mak - throat singing & vocals Michael Harriff - drums Dan Weiss - drums Richard Swartz - drums Promo EP Kayo Dot/Bloody Panda Split Pheromone LP Summon LP Summon: Invocation LP Bloody Panda's official website

Zaga Christ

Zaga Christ referred to as Ṣägga Krəstos, Atənatewos, Lessana Krəstos, was a seventeenth-century Ethiopian man who, after having been imprisoned, claimed to be the son of Emperor Yaˁəqob I of Ethiopia. Zaga Christ travelled extensively, living in Sudan, Palestine and Italy. There he met the Pope and fell in love with the franciscan nun Caterina Massimi, who he corresponded with from the years of 1633 to 1637 with letters of love written in their own blood. Zaga Christ died the following year of pleurisy while in France, where the letters were discovered. There are many accounts of his life story; the French Franciscan friar Eugène Roger met Zaga Christ in Nazareth and was familiar with his whereabouts from there until his death. Rèchac's accounts came from an Italian manuscript, written by Zaga Christ himself when he was living in Rome; the Catholic Patriarch of Ethiopia, Afonso Mendes, devoted a letter in 1638 to disputing his claims of royal birth. Depending on the author, Zaga Christ was born between 1610 and 1614.

While he claimed King Yaˁəqob I as his father, it is unlikely as King Yaˁəqob I was killed in 1606 by Susenyos. He was Christian, his mother was named Nazarena. He had a brother named Cosme, he claimed, in 1629, when he alleges his father was killed, that his mother ordered the brothers to split some gold and jewelry between them and flee. Cosme went south to Monomotapa, ruled by an enemy of Ethiopia, to the Cape of Good Hope. Zaga Christ himself went north to the Sennar Kingdom, where he was received in the court of King Orbat. After a falling out with King Orbat over Zaga marrying his daughter, the threat of death from Susenyos, Zaga left for Cairo, he left Cairo and arrived in Jerusalem during Lent of 1632, where he was seen by Roger. For security reasons, he left for Nazareth, he was received into the Catholic Church by Father Paul de Lande Guardian of Jerusalem. From September 1632 until October 1634, he lived in Rome. During that time, he met with Catholic church officials in hopes of setting up a mission in Ethiopia and reclaim the throne.

While many memorandums were written, no final decision was made, due to tensions between various groups in the church and European countries. The original goal after he left was to go to England, but that fell through, only made it to Turin to Paris in early 1635. There, he announced he would stay there, he ordered his servant, Ignazio, to return home. Zaga was supported by French Royalty. Zaga died of pleurisy on April 22, 1638, he was buried next to a prince of Portugal. He was buried at Rueil with the epitaph "Here lies the king of Ethiopia\ The original or the copy."