Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pirates Online

Avast, me hearties! International Talk Like A Pirate Day, September 19, is a wonderful way to introduce your kids to some colorful figures from history. will be the sixth an event your family will love celebrating. Started by John “Ol’ Chumbucket” Baur and Mark “Cap’n Slappy” Summers as a private joke, TLAPD has been celebrated around the world since 2002, when humor writer Dave Barry brought the holiday to the world’s attention. But if you need a little pirate prep before you don the eyepatch and hook, sail over to some of these Web sites:

Baur and Summers’ International Talk Like A Pirate Day site is a treasure trove of piratical fun and information. Although some humor leans towards the risqué, there’s a special section for Junior Pirates which includes a links page, lists of children’s books and even ideas for Pirate Math, Pirate Geography and more. You’ll also uncover links to pirate songs, art, videos, games, festivals and expeditions. Learn to parlay like a pro with the English-to-Pirate translators, and or use one of the Pirate Name Generator to discover your alter ego. The questionnaire at is my favorite.

Mark Summers ("Cap'n Slappy") and Jo...Pirate Guys Baur and Summers
If the end of the Pirates of the Caribbean series left you clamoring for more of Captain Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl, Disney has a free online “massively-multiplayer” game that lets you forge alliances, hunt for buried treasure, battle evil undead forces, and use cunning and strategy to outwit your foes. With the Sony online version of the Pirates Constructible Strategy Game (which sadly is no longer in stores). You can hear the roar of cannon fire and the crash of waves in 3-D and challenge privateers from across the globe as you amass wealth and fame.

Pirate history is fascinating, and the National Geographic Kids online high seas adventure is a game that also tells you about actual people and events. For more true tales, the New England Pirate Museum has educational articles on pirate lore such as the "Articles of Agreement" able-bodied prisoners signed to become pirates themselves. Rules were harsh: “If robbery took place between two crewmen, the guilty one had his nose and ears split and would be marooned.”
“Real Pirates” is the name of a traveling exhibit from the Expedition Whydah Sea-Lab & Learning Center in Provincetown. More than 100,000 artifacts have been recovered so far from the slave ship-turned-pirate vessel which sank off Wellfleet in 1717.

What to serve your hungry crew on Talk Like a Pirate Day? The Seattle Seafair Pirates’ recipe for Salmagundi (the traditional pirate stew) calls for corned beef, anchovies, goat, pickled vegetables, and dried mango and begins “Hack meat into gobbets.” I use what I have around, but it still comes out great. Yo ho ho and a bottle of ginger ale!

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