A few weeks ago I came across a book by Sigmund Freud called Moses and Monotheism, his last completed book. The subject of this book is an attempt to delve into the origins of Judaism and make sense of the story of Exodus. The story of the Exodus is one of the most important in the Judaic […]

“For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he; and therefore truly, sir, I think it’s clear that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government; and I do think […]

On September 3rd 1658 a stately funeral was held at Westminster Abbey, the burial place of the Kings of England. However, this funeral was not for a king, it was for a regicide, the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. Following the end of the Civil War and the execution of Charles I, Cromwell had been made […]

One Sunday morning, on the 23rd of October, 1642, two armies of roughly 15,000 men each gathered on the field of Edgehill, outside the small village of Kineton (south Warwickshire, England). This was the first serious engagement of the English Civil War between those loyal to the king, Charles I, and those who sought to […]

Last week CNN produced an article headlined Great Fakes: Top Tourism Replicas. This article was highlighting a number of replications of famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Michelangelo’s David, mostly in China. Among the “fakes” were several facsimiles of the tombs of Tutankhamen, Thutmose III, a Caravaggio painting, and the cave paintings at Lascaux. However, […]

Recently I was reading stories about the Norwegian resistance during the Nazi occupation of Norway in the Second World War. Many of the activities of the resistance were quite funny, borderline childish. For example there was one operation that involved coating condoms in itching powder before distributing them to German soldiers. The result of this […]

This is the time of year when the weather has started getting progressively worse, when the first of salvos the annual bombardment of Christmas adverts begin, and of course when people dress up as miscellaneous undead and carve Jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. In the liturgical calendar Halloween is a time to remember the dead, in particular […]

Everyone has heard of Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer who discovered the New World. Whilst the statement about his discovery is untrue (the Vikings under Leif Ericson had discovered Newfoundland centuries earlier), Columbus did initiate a prolonged period of contact between Europe and America. Despite the enormity of his discovery (and luck as Columbus had […]

Introduction We are seen as the only great ape to have stood upright and taken strides forward. Why this event took place is surrounded by a lot of hypotheses.  These include 1. savannah theory: leaving the trees to live on the ground (Dart, 1953) 2. brachiation hypothesis: it evolved from walking in trees from branch […]

Today all of our phones and computers carry the initials of a 10th century Danish King, Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson (so-called for his love of blueberries). The companies behind the design of the Bluetooth wireless communication device (Ericsson, Nokia, Intel, Toshiba, and IBM) decided to take the name of this ancient Danish King because of his […]