Filed under history of science

Forth Bridge and Britain’s Decline

Forth Bridge and Britain’s Decline

This is from a piece by Ian Jack who remembered the opening of its predecessor 53 years ago. What has been lost? Odd little things: a quiet pice of shoreline a view, a further erosion of Fife’s separateness – which could be argued is for the good. The argument against the car is a bigger … Continue reading

Secrets of Silicon Valley – part 2

In the second and final episode, of this fine investigative programme, ‘The Persuasion Machine’, Jamie Bartlett took us from the big players in Silicon Valley to what they actually do, and in some way sit was more frightening than the big bucks involved. This is an aspect of the internet few of us pay much … Continue reading

Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey

Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey

This is one of the most important, but least known historical and archaeological sites in Britain. Gunpowder has played a huge role in modernisation; without it we would not have city states, mining, wars, hunting, and spectacular fireworks. This is from historian Brenda Buchannan: Gunpowder and the explosives and propellants which followed it provided a … Continue reading

Secrets of Silicon Valley BBC2

Secrets of Silicon Valley BBC2

This is the first of 2 documentaries by blogger Jamie Bartlett whose intelligent, low key investigation of the big tech companies are seen to be very different to what they claim. He visits Silicon Valley, the main source of so many inventions that claim will improve our lives, but he finds they are based on … Continue reading

Nourishment for our Brains

Nourishment for our Brains

This is from the i paper, an obituary for Marian Diamond Neuroscientist 11/11/1926 – 25/7/2017. Her work has huge implications for how our society is changing: Marian Diamond, a neuroscientist who studied Albert Einstein’s brain and was the first to show that the brain’s anatomy can change with experience, has died aged 90. … Her … Continue reading

Breathing Can Cause Weight Gain

This is one of the most bonkers stories I’ve come across, but it is rather worrying. This is from the i paper: A new study finds that people are putting on weight simply by inhaling house dust because much of it contains chemicals that interfere with the body’s hormones. The culprits are “obesogens” known as … Continue reading

Iron Lung for Polio Victims

Iron Lung for Polio Victims

I am just old enough to remember the horrors of polio. A friend of mine had an older brother who was one of the last to be affected by it – he walked with a stick and his leg was in a brace so he was an object of pity for most of us. When … Continue reading

Beyond Love

I’ve become a huge fan of Ira Glass’s ‘This American Life’ podcast, especially since it provides a welcome antidote to all the bad news coming out of the states recently. Last week i stumbled upon one of the strangest stories ever, in the episode ‘Grand Gestures’ which challenges so many aspects of what we are … Continue reading

St Thomas’s Old Operating Theatre

St Thomas’s Old Operating Theatre

This is a wonderful, haunting but small museum, a place that should make you fall down and give thanks to whoever you believe in that modern medicine exists. It’s in the attic to provide maximum light for operations. Everything is so small, especially the operating table which I doubt would be long enough for me. … Continue reading