The flip of a coin……

In ancient times, people believed that major life decisions should be made by the gods. And they devised ingenious forms of divination to coax gods to answer important questions with an unequivocal “yes” or “no.” Although coins—ideally suited for yes/no responses—were first minted by the Lydians in the tenth century …

Caligula and foreplay……

The appalling Roman emperor Caligula (12 – 41 AD) had a somewhat novel approach to foreplay according to the historian Suetonius in his De Vita Caesarum which was written in about 121 AD. Caligula was in the habit of inviting attractive aristocratic couples to dine with him. Then during a …

The worst novelist in history….

Who was the worst novelist in history? A worthy candidate would be a schoolmistress from Northern Ireland whose novels were so uniquely and thrillingly terrible that, in the early years of the last century, she became an ironic cause célèbre among the cultural luminaries of her time. Step forward, Amanda …