Damned if you do, damned if you don’t….

Starting around 1800, an enthusiastic and very eccentric preacher began touring the US, often on horseback, attracting large crowds with his declamatory style and bizarre appearance. Unkempt, far from clean, he yelled and postured, flattered, fascinated and challenged. Lorenzo Dow died in 1834, and in 1836 his writings were published …

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 …