Posted in April 2012

Spheres, Souls and Reality

Spheres, Souls and Reality

I have recently discovered the author Jorge Louis Borges; his Book of Imaginary Beasts, from which the following is drawn,  is a history of how people have explained the world through the ages, and makes fascinating reading, and shows us how un-modern science fiction really is. No matter how strange, it has probably been described … Continue reading

Myths of Longevity or its Lack

Myths of Longevity or its Lack

I don’t know how many times I have been told that people in the past had an average life expectancy of 35, so therefore a person was old at 30. Utter nonsense. Averages are statistics. and a major component of those figures was infant mortality. If this was high, then the average was brought down. … Continue reading

The Most Important Television Series Ever

The Most Important Television Series Ever

Next month, one of the most amazing and drawn out television projects returns to British television. It is the series Seven Up which was broadcast in 1964, and can claim to be the first reality television series. It involved interviews with 14 children aged 7 and has followed them through their lives, so is part … Continue reading

Something Stirring in Suburbia

Something Stirring in Suburbia

Yesterday I interrupted my blogging to meet up with the group trying to turn an abandoned school and area of wilderness into a sustainable community in Bedminster, South Bristol.I have been meaning to get involved with  them for ages, but  with  all my problems, just never made it. The  site is about 100 acres, at … Continue reading

Sarah Guppy (1770-1852) Inventor

Sarah Guppy (1770-1852) Inventor

Until recent times, women were incredibly restricted in what they were allowed to learn, and to achieve. Most had to make do with dabbling in the fine arts or literature, so when one breaks through into the world of engineering, she really must have been special. Sarah was born in Birmingham, and married a wealthy … Continue reading

Songs About Dancing

Songs About Dancing

I’m sure there are loads of these, but my investigation into the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York got me thinking about what happens when we dance. It can be a drunken leap around, the usual Saturday night getting wrecked for many, but dancing can be a celebration, it can be a bond, it can be … Continue reading

Water Dogs

Water Dogs

I apologise I cannot share with you the map I  am referring to by Jacob Millerd, of Bristol. I am thinking of a bigger, more detailed version of the many he produced, but this one from 1671 will give you an idea. The river Avon winds through the city, and is dotted with a wide … Continue reading

Fox News – Spot the Facts

Fox News – Spot the Facts

I picked this up from a facebook page and am still struggling with what these people are broadcasting under the title of news. They can’t spell Toulouse, they think it is in the region of Bulgaria, they don’t know the difference between Buddhists and Moslems…… Oh well, at least she’s got a good hair stylist. … Continue reading

Call Me Wilhelm or Amadeus

Call Me Wilhelm or Amadeus

There are a lot of authors that have fallen through the holes in history and fashion, but there’s one that really does deserve to be resurrected -the Prussian grandfather of Gothic literature, E.T.A Hoffman (1776-1822). You may know the surname, but just not all the stuff he did. He is the subject of Jacques Offenbach’s … Continue reading