Monthly Archives: February 2015

Beer or Wine: A Short History of Alcohol

THE HISTORY OF ALCOHOL: BEER OR WINE? We Brits are traditionally beer drinkers, though our middle class aspirations have seen us increasingly switch to wine instead. But how did these two drinks come to dominate our culture? Let’s go back to the beginning. In the Bronze Age, wine and beer were considered the gifts of…

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The Bizarre History of Animals On Trial

We’ve all heard of animal trials; the controversial experiments on animals that give us our vital medicines, but also our inessential shampoos. But what about animals ON trial? Well, weirdly, that was once very much the case. In medieval and Renaissance Europe the application of logic in the legal system was paramount, despite our widely-held…

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The History of Communication: It’s Nothing New

If you’re hoping to understand the history of communication, perhaps it’s best to start with the obvious. Communication technology is nothing new, because technology is not just the shiny iPhone in your pocket. There’s an old joke about a young German boy who has been totally mute since birth. His parents are worried sick, and have…

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How To Trend On Twitter: Do Good Ideas Always Spread?

This is an essay about how to trend on twitter, but it didn’t start that way. It all began rather innocently. In June 2011, while on my lunch break, I was seeking audience feedback on the television programme I made at the time, a children’s comedy sketch-show called ‘Horrible Histories’. Series 3 was a few…

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Time To Rise and Shine!! The History of Waking Up

With the exception of zombies and sleepwalkers, who are surprisingly proactive with their subconscious lurching, almost every day in our life must first begin with the simple achievement of waking up.  Biological processes aside, going from a state of slumber to a state of alertness is wonderfully simple; you set your alarm clock, go to…

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