Posted in September 2014

Dinosaur 13

This is a film about an event that is too awful to make up. Archaeologists from the Black Hills Institute in Dakota found the remains of the biggest T Rex ever, they made a deal with the farmer on whose land it was, then they got to work cleaning and preserving it. Then a load … Continue reading

Music and Longevity

One of the best reasons I known for being involved in various forms of art is the quality of life and longevity it often provides, especially to those who are good at it. When the best of Booker literary prize was first awarded, the average age of nominees was 75. This is an abbreviated list … Continue reading

Early Technology

The industrial revolution did not come out of nowhere. It came from a lot of dreaming, talking and tinkering, and most of all, sharing of ideas. It is surprising how old much of our so –called new technology is. This is from Lisa Nocks book, The Robot The Life Story of a Technology: I am … Continue reading

18th Century Parliamentary Elections

They were notoriously corrupt, with some MPs representing areas with no voters, several of which had fallen into the sea, so perhaps you could count a few fish. Bristol was especially famous for people purchasing the right to vote, of dead men voting, and lots and lots of bribes and riots, cited by Manchester as … Continue reading

Oxford Students, early 1700s

This is some more from Hudson’s English History A Compendium: This is a typical day for students in the early 1700s: Rise before dawn 6am Public Latin prayers Breakfast A walk with my friends, half an hour Study of the minor prophets Study of the poem of Tograeus 9am Study of Philosophy 10am To my … Continue reading

Urban Horseriding

This is an incredible survivor, a stable that survives beneath one of the busiest roads in London, where working horses used to be kept before the dreaded auto took over. Before the car, towns and cities were blighted by the tons of animal waste so cars were seen as a clean alternative. How many millions … Continue reading

Political Wisdom

I meant to post this at the height of the Scottish referendum, but oh well. This is one of the wisest soundbites I’ve ever found. A man was asked about the endless debates, and he said, ‘We’re a country, not a side.’ Indeed. Whilst on this point, there is also a quote from the late … Continue reading

The Supreme Showman

I have a book on the exploits of German born Katterfelto. He was fascinating as he walked a tightrope between real science and hokum. He was arrested once for setting fire to a hayrick when his balloon came down in a field. In his hey day his arrival was announced in town by a pair … Continue reading

Not Attacking Oak Trees

The draconian criminal code of 18th century Britain was basically caused by breakdown in civil authority following the Civil War & Reformation, and new money bringing landowners to buy up country manors without taking on the responsibilities that entailed, like caring for the poor. It is suggested this is why foxhunting was introduced, to bring … Continue reading

In London’s Pillories, 1419

This is a selection of crimes from the wonderful compendium, Hudson’s English History. Most of them were for selling mouldy meat: – Pretending to be a sheriff’s serjeant,, meeting the bakers of Stratforde, and placing them under arrest until they had paid a fine – Selling 2 stinking capons -Selling a putrid pigeon, -Pretending to … Continue reading