Bad hair day….

Having a bad hair day- slang for a time when things are going badly undoubtedly had a limited currency before it reached a wider public. In an interview on Weekend Update, the American television journalist Jane Pauley mentioned having invented the term herself during the 1970s. But according to the  …

Thousand Year Old Eggs…

The origin of this Chinese delicacy, also known as century eggs, is said to go back six centuries to the Ming Dynasty, when, according to legend, a man in the Hunan province found some two-month-old duck eggs in some slaked lime that was being used as mortar in the building …

Tulipmania….

Capitalism isn’t the road to riches for everyone. Take the examples of the 1990`s dot-com boom and bust, or the 1929 stockmarket crash (as well as a series of disastrous depressions across earlier decades), not to mention the imploding speculative European market disaster known as the South Sea Bubble of …

Hair and Superstitions…

Ancient superstition decrees that a person’s hair contains their ‘essential spirit’ (this could be a forerunner of what we now call DNA). Therefore, anyone who has a strand or lock of your hair has the power to command your person and bewitch you. So should you give such a valuable …

The Victorian Internet…

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web – which is the operating system upon which the internet runs – but what is less well known is that his invention was inspired by a forgotten Victorian bestseller. Enquire Within upon Everything was a ‘how-to’ miscellany that was first published in …

English lessons…

A big thank you for all the responses, but sadly I can only take 10 of you on. The lucky recipients have been notified, and we will start the classes on Wednesday.  

Learning English…

Recently I have received a number of emails requesting help in understanding the vagaries of the English language. So, I have put together a small course for all you lucky people. Let me ask you a question… When you’re at work do you find it hard to express yourself in …

A very short history of the handshake…

In its oldest recorded use, a handshake signified the conferring of power from a god to an earthly ruler. This is reflected in the Egyptian verb “to give,” the hieroglyph for which was a picture of an extended hand. In Babylonia, around 1800 B.C., it was required that the king …