Monthly Archives: June 2014

Are we drowning in news?

If your street is the ever at the epicentre of a breaking news story, there you will find them — reporters with nothing to report. Lined up like fairground barkers, their arms flapping uncontrollably, as if playing an imaginary concertina … Continue reading

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How 19th-century color dictionaries painted the language of hues used today

Who knew…? How 19th-century color dictionaries painted the language of hues used today.

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From a Distance

It is easy to forget the state of research in the 19th century — a world that would be so unfamiliar to us now. Information was local and only held in someone’s memory, or on paper. Much information was so … Continue reading

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Amor vincit omnia

In my formative years I first encountered the phrase amor vincit omnia – love conquers all. I found the expression in Chaucer. (I tried to apply the incantation, though I could not make it work for me. These truths we … Continue reading

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What did Ponzi do wrong?

When the government robs Peter to pay Paul, it is  your taxes and someone else’s handout. When private enterprise has a go, it’s called a Ponzi scheme. Introduction to The Day They Hanged a Banker If you would like to … Continue reading

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A tinker’s dam and history’s bunk

I guarantee that you have yet to read a history book which, no matter how well-researched, recorded and double-checked, does not contain error. That is the very nature of the sources of history and biography. The protagonists themselves get simple … Continue reading

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When men go mad

The Rock Springs Massacre of Chinese workers was recalled at a website I follow and respect Nothing Gilded, Nothing Gained http://middlemaybooks.com/2014/06/20/chinese-immigrants/  It led me to thinking; firstly that there must be a switch in men (though women, especially young women … Continue reading

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Her name means A Beautiful Woman has Arrived

Her hat’s a bit dinged up, but she is undoubtedly beautiful, despite missing an eye. She is, or was, Nefertiti — and if her portrait bust is a true likeness, she outshines Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, the Mona Lisa, the Rococo … Continue reading

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Hit and run

  Early in 1873, 342 emigrants gathered at London’s West India Docks. Most were men their late teens or early twenties. They were drawn from the tough underclass that built Victorian Britain. There were a sprinkling of older men – … Continue reading

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The king is dead

A great old school Mad Men adman died last week.He was 93. Julian Koenig gave us the VW advertising of the sixties, the name Earth Day and a whole lot more.  Koenig was not without a degree of homespun, though … Continue reading

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