Mao the Mass Murderer

Mao Tse Tung was once seen as the hero of the left in the West;  his Red Book was recently waved by an MP in Britain’s House of Commons.  But Chinese archives are now being opened, and Frank Dikoetter in the current History Today explains the great man now appears one of the great criminals. … Continue reading

Public Dissections

Modern medicine tends to be divided between doctors in general practice, and those in hospitals who specialise in various fields. But for centuries there were two groups: Physicians who were educated, elite and well educated, and barber-surgeons who were mere tradesmen and often treated people by bleeding them. Apparently this in turn dates to when … Continue reading

Belief, Gardening and Rituals

Belief, Gardening and Rituals

My father was raised a Catholic, but when the church supported conscription in World War II and he was forced to become a soldier, he turned against it, and for the rest of his life railed against all forms of organised religion. As a result I grew up with little understanding of faith beyond singing … Continue reading

A Child Drowned in Norfolk, 1772

This comes from the diary of William Youell of Great Yarmouth, a document in the Norwich Record Office: 9 June The poor girl Quinton taken up this day, her tongue was rolled in her mouth swelled as big as any fish and her Eyes started out of her head, that a great many people believe … Continue reading

Vitamin D Supplements?

Here’s another item from the i paper – We are now being urged to take Vitamin D tablets: Public Health England said Vitamin D was vital for bone and muscle health but that people were generally not getting enough in winter. It said everyone should ensure they were getting 10 micrograms … per day, and … Continue reading

Photographs of Antarctica’s Blue Ice at Eye Level

Photographs of Antarctica’s Blue Ice at Eye Level

Originally posted on ALK3R:
On a recent trip to Antarctica, photographer Julieanne Kost spent several days weaving in-between icebergs around Black Head, Cuverville Island, and Pleneau Bay, spending her time aboard a zodiac boat in order to experience the beauty of the continent’s blue ice at eye level. Her images showcase the deep gradations of…

Popes and Ventriloquy

I love reading about early theatre performances. In the early 18th century the first Prime Minister Robert Walpole was annoyed at the many scurrilous plays and comedies insulting him and his ministry so he passed the Licensing act of 1737 which censored public performances and continued into the 20th century. This led to shows advertising … Continue reading