28th February…

Art historians have long debated the mystery behind Mona Lisa’s smile—or if, in fact, she’s smiling at all—but the subject of Leonardo da Vinci’s 1503 painting didn’t get her first medical diagnosis until 1987. According to a February 28 article in Physician’s Weekly, Mona Lisa’s smile is actually a symptom …

A question of time……

Not everyone sees time in terms of past, present and future. The Kipsigis of the Nile region have three types of past tense: today’s past, yesterday’s past and the distant past. Several American Indian languages divide the past tense into the recent past, remote past and mythological past; other languages …

February 27th 1890…..

The European starling is a major pest in North America today thanks to Eugene Schieffelin, a well-intentioned but misguided Shakespeare fan from Germany. On this day in 1890, Schieffelin let loose 60 starlings into New York’s Central Park in an attempt to introduce all of the birds mentioned in the …

February 26th 1535

To protest the corruption of the Catholic Church, twelve Anabaptists ran naked through the streets of Amsterdam on February 26, 1535, in the first recorded instance of streaking as political protest. The seven men and five women stripped off and burned their clothing under order of Hendrik Hendriksz, a self-styled …

A very short history of Ink…..

The Greek verb egkaiein literally meant ‘to burn in’, being a compound of en-, ‘in’, and kaiein,‘to burn’. In fact the term denoted a particular method of painting which was practised by the ancients. According to a first-century account in the writings of Pliny the Elder, the process involved mixing …

February 25th 1915

On this day, Bassett Digby, an esteemed British scientist, published the following Letter to the Editor in the Times newspaper: Sir, A little light might be shed, with advantage, upon the highhanded methods of the Passport Department at the Foreign Office. On the form provided for the purpose, I described …